Feeling The Pains Of Being Out Of Shape

A lot of people assume you are “in shape” when you look thinner than most of those surrounding you. Comparisons are dangerous…especially when health is concerned. That’s typically the case when health and such topics are talked about and I’m part of the conversation. I eat really healthily and that keeps my weight in check. But that does not mean that my muscles have not atrophied, my cardiovascular system works efficiently, my bones are strong, and that my overall health does not need work. All of this is to say, “I am out of shape!”

I just finished Day 5 of my program to prepare for my first triathlon. My body feels sore and tired. This became especially evident in the last 5 minutes of this morning’s running routine. My right hip had a bit of an ache and I could feel my energy level taking a nose dive. But before I talk about today, let me recap yesterday’s swim.

As mentioned earlier, I really like to swim. Looking back on my time in high school, I am surprised I never became a swimmer. I think it might have suited me even more than tennis. The sport that consumed me into my first two years of college. Yesterday my swim was made easier by having the pool timer on for the entirety of the session. This allowed me to easily space out the 30 second breaks at each end of the pool. This swim was exactly like before with breaks at each end for a total of 20 minutes.

As time passes, my goal is to look decent in a skimpier swimsuit. I am not sure if I can go full on brief Speedo but maybe a tight square leg. Currently the board shorts really add drag that I can feel. Also in the future, I need to purchase a swim cap. I want this mainly to keep some of the chlorine out of my hair and to get used to it for the actual race.

I knew my body was tired as the night wound down. The kids interrupted our sleep again last night, and I seriously thought of not getting out of bed this morning. The 38 degree weather and my body made a very compelling argument. I pushed through and began a workout of 3 minute runs followed by 1 minute walks for a total of 7 rounds. I made it pretty solidly until the last run and the metal focus needed kicked in to finish because the body was ready to quit.

Some of my pain is due to the use of the incorrect shoe as discussed in an earlier post. The other is the running on asphalt out of necessity at the moment. The book (Your First Triathlon by Joel Friel) advises to run on an artificial track, trail, or grass for each of these sessions thus far. I do not have access to this and must run on the road. This is definitely something I need to watch as I progress to longer and harder runs.

Another problem with running early in the morning darkness is vehicles on the road. The road I travel on is fairly quiet but the speed limit is 50 mph. It is also dark and poorly lit at night/early morning. It is amazing to me that some vehicles will not turn off their bright lights and others resist the temptation to move slightly away from you when passing. I had to jump onto the slope of the ditch a number of times this morning for fear of getting grazed by a side mirror or worse.

On a final bright note, the sunrise was really marvelous as I turned to walk down my drive. It is amazing that this happens every single day. Tomorrow I’ll be up at my usual 5:30am time but will take the next two days off to recover. My program wants six days a week of training but I know my 40 year old body needs to repair itself. That last sentences the first time I think I’ve written or said I’m 40. Hopefully next week will be a full six days of success.

Feature photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash


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