Cross training

In 2009, I ran 451 miles.

I did a little bit of walking and biking, too, but I was mostly focused on running.  And I’m proud of having run over 450 miles in the year.

But I’d really like to do some more cross training.  I still want my main activity to be running, because I really like it.  But I’m up for some other things, too.

The new YMCA is open in my town now.  Having a Y less than two miles from my house helps eliminate at least one of my excuses, that being that the Y is so far away.  (The next closest Y is a whole SIX MILES from my house.  Yes, it’s silly that such a distance would actually keep me from working out, but sometimes it does.)  It also enables me to be a wimp and not work out in the cold as much.  But, I could actually run to the Y, do a workout, and run back.  It would give me maybe a three mile run in the fresh air in addition to whatever workout I did there.

On the day of its grand opening, I drove there (because it was something like 14 degrees and snowing, and I was feeling wimpy).  I ran three miles on the treadmill.  Meanwhile, a spin class was going on in the same room.  I watched them working out and they could watch me working out.  It was a little bit strange, because we were practically facing each other and it was easy to watch one another.  But it wasn’t really that awkward.  Mostly, I was looking at the televisions on the wall and otherwise checking out the new facility as much as I could without falling off the belt.  And it made me think that maybe I’ll take a spin class someday.  It also made me realize I’d better get there early because even for a class at 8:00 in the morning on the first day the facility was open, all the bikes were filled.

After my run, I took a Pilates class.  I’d never taken Pilates before, but I had heard that it was good for your core muscles.  I’d really like to do more to strengthen my core because I think it will help reduce the SI joint pain I’ve had over the past year.  If your back is already strong, then it’s less likely to be injured.  So I took this Pilates class, and at first I thought, “Oh, this is no big deal.  I can do these moves without modifying them to make them easier.”  And throughout the class, I could do them without modification for the most part.  By the end of the hour, I was modifying a bit.  And the next morning, I was really sore.  Just sneezing made my abs cry out in pain.  It was hard to roll over in bed.

It was awesome.

I definitely want to do it again next week.

There aren’t a lot of other group exercise classes at the Y that I can fit into my schedule, especially if I want to keep running as my focus.  But Pilates is definitely on my list, and maybe an occasional spin class — or at least some stationary bike work while I’m there.  And I’ll be checking out the weight machines, too, so that my little noodle arms will perhaps not be so noodley.

I think I’ll enjoy cross training.  It will add variety and strengthen my body more completely.

But I’m still a runner.  That’s for sure.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rita
    Jan 08, 2010 @ 11:33:02

    You inspire me, theoretically, but practically, I look out the window at the snow, and accept that I’m a lazy wimp.
    Taylor has a fantastic center so nearby, maybe I should look into that…hmmmmmm, an idea!

  2. Cristina Elizabeth
    Jan 08, 2010 @ 11:41:16

    Ditto on what Aunt Rita said, you’re definitely inspiring!

    Isn’t it amazing how a workout can not feel horrible as you’re doing it, yet leave you in such utter pain the next day?!

  3. Heather
    Jan 08, 2010 @ 13:03:14

    Spin class is so much fun! I think you might like it, K. It can be really challenging, too. Keep up the good work, my friend. You rock!

  4. Tracy
    Jan 08, 2010 @ 14:43:40

    I hear ya on the noodley arms. I need to get back to doing push-ups. 😛

  5. Thelma
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 13:12:27

    I dream of a day when I can do pilates well. Currently, I do it more for entertainment than actual muscle toning. I can’t do a pose without adjusting it in someway!

  6. Christine
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 14:30:07

    Hi Karen! 🙂
    I stumbled upon your blog from Tracy’s Sugarcrafter blog. I’ve commented on a few of the same threads as you there, and I just had to click over here because of your username. You see, I’ve been cross training at my Y for the last five or six years and have just recently become a runner! Kinda funny how you and I are addressing fitness from opposite ends.

    I started exercising more seriously outside the gym in late August ’09 when I got a new road bike and then started doing some serious running in November ’09 and now I’m addicted! One of the instructors from my Y whom I befriended in spin classes (she was taking the class… not instructing) started a running class at the Y and I joined pretty much to support her pilot class. Who would have thought I’d become so addicted to running? I’m still a novice and have a lot of work to do to improve my pace and endurance, but it’s been so rewarding.

    Keep up the cross training! I think you’ll enjoy how hard it works your body. 😀

  7. Dawn
    Jan 12, 2010 @ 19:08:34

    Awesome on the mileage for last year!! I, too, am hoping to work on cross training this year. I’d much rather run and not do any other form of exercise, but apparently the cross training is good for running, so I feel the need to do it!

    I love reading your blog!

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