I've only been two times so far, but I have to say I'm loving the pool running. Thanks to Bob for his recent posts on the subject. I've known about this form of cross training, but being a non-swimmer, I don't think I'd have considered it otherwise.
Yesterday, I ran for 30 minutes while the little guy was at swim team practice. The only feasible place to run was in the open play area so I had to make sure to stay out of the way of the kids jumping in and splashing around. Marc ran with me for a while but then went to swim some laps. Interestingly, another man showed up to run, who just so happened to be a former high school track and cross country coach. We chatted for about 15 minutes, which helped pass the time. I explained why I was there and I think he was surprised that I could pool run without pain. He suggested that I might actually have a bulging disc which could be causing referred pain into my hamstring. I'm not sure he's right, but I'll definitely bring up the possibility of alternate diagnoses with my PT on Wednesday.
This evening I ran for 35 minutes and it was a much more peaceful experience. I arrived while the aqua aerobics class was going on in the lap pool. They had 4 lanes roped off, but since they were only using the shallow end, I had a good 30 sq ft of the deep end to myself. I was right by the timing clock ticking off the seconds, so I passed the time by going hard/easy for 60 second intervals. This lasted for 15 minutes. Then I started losing my form and spent about 5 minutes trying to regain my rhythm. Out of water, our bodies naturally know how to walk and run. But in the water its easy to lose stride and start lifting right knee with right arm, then left knee with left arm. Or maybe its just me! After finally getting my form back, I ran another 15 minutes steady. Surprisingly pool running is not boring. At least at the community center pool, there's a lot to focus on. My goal is to work up to 60 minutes. And I think I'm going to keep this up long term. I have to take the little guy to swim practice anyway. I might as well take the plunge too.
This weekend I also tested out the various cardio machines at the gym at work. Both the elliptical and stair climber feel fine. I used each machine for 30 minutes and had no pain, but did feel a little pain later in the day. And were my quads ever sore. Ouch! But in a good way! I should probably make those machines part of a regular cross-training routine too. So many ways to exercise and too little time! I tried some power walking on the treadmill too but felt some pain in my hamstring so stopped. At some point I might try to push it, but right now I want to stick to painless activities.
Endorphin junkie signing off!