Run. Strength. Stretch. Rest. Four components of a running training program. In my past two years of running (2?!), I've managed the running and the resting with occasional side-trips of strengthening and stretching, but putting all four together consistently has been a challenge. This year I don't know all the races I may run or what distances I will go, but I plan to knit these four things into my life. Yoga, the stretching part, seems to be fairly entrenched. With a time-based running program printed out for me by my husband, running may become regular again, especially with this great weather. That leaves rest and strength. Yeah, I can do that first one.
So, strength training. This wasn't going to happen on my own. Along came a great groupon for personal training at a gym that a friend of mine frequented. I show up at the gym and someone else has the plan for the hour and counts the reps so I can focus on form and breathing? Yes, please. Over four weeks ago, I started training with Eric once a week. I can feel the difference already both in strength and my overall enthusiasm for getting fit. We are doing lots of work on my abs, trying to boost my core strength. I'm astonished at how much focus I have to give towards engaging my abs. If I'm not actively thinking about holding my core steady, it's just lazy ab city around my middle.
I'm sore after every session, but it's a glorious soreness from working hard and calling muscles out of hibernation. I've always said that I was in the best shape of my life during swim season in seventh grade. I hope someday, maybe this year, I won't be able to say that.