A testament to cross training, swallowing my elliptical pride, and discovering my true identity (Spoiler: It’s Female Benjamin Button)

My running plan has me increasing my mileage this week for the first time in my training.  Finally!  I feel like I’m making some progress!  I’ve been looking forward to this week ever since I started training, because it’s the first time I’m really pushing myself beyond what I was already capable of.  And while the increase in mileage is very verrrrry very small, (I’m going from 3 mile runs to 3.5 mile runs during the week, and from a 4 to a 5 mile run on the weekend,) my body is already feeling it.  More than little aches and pains, I’m actually exhausted and stuff is starting to not work.

Sigh.  I think I’m Benjamin Button.  It seems I have an old person body.

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I’m pretty proud of how tough I am, being a girl boxer and all (I say that with a heavy dose of irony), so I feel lame admitting this.  But I think I strained my right quad.  And so I’ve been hobbling around all week.

I’ve managed not to miss any of my workouts so far this week, because once I’m actually running, my leg doesn’t hurt all that much.  But I was supposed to box tonight, and I knew that would be way too much for me.  I had a hard time even walking home from work today, and all the side to side and pivoting movement involved in boxing would have been killer.  And like I said, not only is my leg dying, my whole body is just feeling rough today…  Like, feeling the fatigue of a slightly tougher training regimen, something that I’m not conditioned for yet.  It’s that extra half mile every night!  Damn you, half mile!  Who knew I could be so weak?!

So tonight at the gym, after running some boxing drills for Joe, I hopped on the bike and did some intervals for about 20 minutes.  Not super mega intense intervals, more like 80% of the effort I’d normally put in.  And after that, I did something I never expected myself to do…  I got on the elliptical (gasp!) and busted out another 15min of cardio, before hitting the mat for some ab work.

I have a long, complicated history with the elliptical machine.  There have been ellipticals in my life that have brought me long, intense and satisfying workouts at times when I was too injured to run…  And then there are these ellipticals.  The ones in the gym in our building.  For some weird reason, these machines do absolutely nothing for me.  I try cranking the incline and the resistance, I try going as fast as I possibly can…  I just can’t get myself to feel tired!  And the kicker of this is that the ellipticals seem to be the only machine that anyone in our gym ever uses!

This has led me to have a smug sense of gym-equipment superiority over all the people who get on these machines and essentially stand there while the elliptical goes around and around underneath their stationary feet while they stare at me all condescending like I’m a weirdo for having sweat pouring into my eyes while I run my butt off on the treadmill.

Well anyway, I should really check myself before I wreck myself here with this superior attitude I’ve been rocking towards the elliptical folk in my building.  Because tonight, feeling I had no other option, I ellipticalled.  Again, I cranked the resistance, hit the “interval” button, and (drumroll…) I actually loved it.  Something about how tired I already was before I even got to the gym, and having both my arms and legs moving at the same time, meeting with just the right amount of resistance, without feeling like I was ripping the quad muscle out of my right leg every time I took a step…  it was therapeutic.  I had a nice sweat going, it honestly felt great!

So I left the gym tonight feeling about nine million times better than I felt before I went.  I’m proud of myself for forcing myself to go, in spite of my low energy level, my total apathy, and having to take a copious amount of Advil just to be able to walk there in the first place.  And after I finished my workout, my leg actually felt significantly less awful.

Lovely.

P.S. I had the gym to myself tonight.  I love it when I have the gym to myself.

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See, look!  Empty!

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