Jumpsquat Girl’s ankles snap off

Okay, so my feet are still attached to my legs, but boy are my ankles flimsy!  I went for a walk/power walk yesterday, following up on Wednesday’s swim, and my right foot kept rolling to the right, on the outside of my foot.  Today my ITB hurts, and it’s my left ankle that’s killing me.  What?!

I might even take the ice pack from my lunch box and apply it to my leg.  I want to run without *much* pain again.

When I was 18 to 20, and now I’m 31, I ran four miles four times a week, sometimes outside, sometimes inside.  I’m sure I didn’t have this routine for two years non-stop, but it was around that range.  I ran 5k’s that won awards in my age group.  I enjoyed running and always pushed myself to a seven-minute mile at the very end of each run.  I was really proud of that, and I still am.

Now, my knees get sore, my ankles, apparently, want to separate from my legs, and my heart rate soars.  Will I ever be able to run–and enjoy it–again?

At runs and triathlons, I would see all these women whom I presumed to be in their 30s in great shape, with ropes of muscles and firm jaw lines.  Somewhere, I heard that people can reach their peak fitness levels in their 30s, but then I’ve also heard that the body begins to fall apart after 30.

Is the difference a state of mind or is it purely physical?

The last thing on my mind today is that I’ve found two triathlons in which I’m interested.  One is a “super-sprint,” which is “super” short for a tri:

200-meter swim

8-mile bike

1.5-mile run

The thing is, it’s in July.  I don’t know if I’ll be ready to run steadily that far, especially after the other activities, by then, and I do know that it will be very, very hot.

The second race would be a regular sprint (about a 440-meter swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run) in September or October.  I kind of want to try both, but I guess time will tell if I’m ready for the first option.  I’m still going to shoot for my original goal, a traditional sprint in October, and if I happen to be ready for something else before then, I will take it on.  

For now, I’ll ice my ankles, watch my heart rate, and try my best.  That’s all I can do, right?

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Jumpsquat Girl does the frog

“Press your feet together,” she said, grabbing my feet and pushing them toward my body. “Like that!”

When we got to the edge of the pool, she pulled herself out, quickly laid a towel over a rubber mat, and asked if I’d ever done ballet.

“Do I look like I’ve done ballet?”

“I don’t know who’s done ballet!”

“I’m not coordinated enough. Anyway.”

My trainer, a 19-year-old former ballet dancer and gymnast (and, apparently, swimmer), lay on her belly in a cobra pose–pelvis down, legs back. Then, she put the soles of her feet together.

“Like this,” she said. “Butt down. Like a frog. This is the frog stretch in ballet.”

It was my turn again: shove off the wall, hold the kickboard, and focus on bringing my feet together, tucking my knees toward my chest, and then kicking back, both legs together. Never had I put so much effort into breaststroke. And it was hard.

I used to enjoy doing triathlons, and I was a fast swimmer compared to others in my waves, but did I even really know how to swim?

There I was in the pool yesterday, learning to swim for what seemed like the first time.

While I took years of lessons as a kid, I was too preoccupied with the prospect of drowning to really learn.

I’m trying to say that I used to think I was good at this thing, and now I’ve learned not that I’ve done it wrong, necessarily, but that I can improve. It’s humbling. I’m taking in more water than I’m splashing, and I even accidentally spat all over my trainer.

The point? You’ve got to have fun, remember not to hold your breath under water, and not be embarrassed to do the frog.