Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All My Eggs in Three Baskets

I had a wee bit of an epiphany on the weekend. I'm not sure if it's possible to have a wee bit of an epiphany or whether one must have an epiphany in its entirety but I had something.

Here's how it went.

On Friday afternoon, I came home from work, hopped on my bike and cycled 30k in the scorching heat and oppressive humidity. Why? Because I felt like it. I left the house, made up my route as I went along and I threw in the big ol' hill on 9th just for fun.

On Saturday morning, I ran 10k. Why 10? Because I felt like it.

After the swim, Doug and I hopped in the car and drove to Welland so I could meet up with Janice, Erin and Klari for an open water swim. We (well they) jumped in (I lowered myself gingerly) and we swam to the buoy and back as many times as we felt like swimming. Then we got back in the car and headed back home again. We figure we swam about a kilometre.

Sunday, we went cycling with the Runners' Edge group and logged almost 40k. Up and down hills, down long straight fast stretches and into unrelenting headwinds.

Lots of activity and lots of variety in a few short days.

And I feel fine. I have energy and, more importantly, nothing hurts.

That's when I had my mini-epiphany.

Last summer, I was marathon training. Which means that running was pretty much all I was doing except for our Sunday morning rides which were supposed to help with recovery but were absolutely exhausting after Saturday's long runs. I remember having to second guess whether or not to wear sandals when Doug and I were going to see a play last summer because we might have to walk a few blocks and my shins were so beat up that I wasn't sure I could walk any distance without my running shoes on.

This past weekend, after three days (and almost 6 solid hours) of physical activity, I photographed a wedding. I was on my feet for four hours without a break and I wore my very flat, very unsupportive sandals the entire time. How did I feel the morning after? Fine. We're going to see a play on Friday and I've jokingly said that we can park as far away as we want from the theatre and I'm still wearing my sandals.

I apparently thrive on variety. My body loves it. It doesn't get worn down, it doesn't get beat up. It doesn't even mind doing more than one sport in one day. Nor does it really care if it gets a day off or not.

Last summer, I ran four days a week, cycled one and lived for the other two when I could have a break. This summer I'm looking for free hours before or after work every single day just to squeeze something in because it feels so good to move. Run three days a week, swim three days a week and now I'm trying to cycle three days a week. That's nine activities in seven days. Six if I take a rest day.

And I feel fine.

Perhaps there is a marathon in my future. But it's not this year. I'm too busy having fun, doing races, getting stronger and feeling good.

I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket again. It hurt too much when I dropped the basket. So I'm putting my eggs into three baskets and having a grand ol'time.

Oh, and just because I think it looks so cool, here's a photo I snapped of my favourite camera bag while I was shooting the wedding on the weekend.


  1. It's fantastic that you're having such a great time swimming, cycling, and running! I, too, find that the variety helps prevent getting bored or overly eager for a rest day.

    You still have to be careful, though. Doing three sports doesn't injury proof a body; in fact, it requires that you be even more conscientious about your recovery. Every 3-4 weeks, dial back the intensity and take a day or two off. Be sure to pay extra attention to what you eat in the half-hour after a long run, bike, or swim. And be sure to stretch the muscles that you're now using all the time: your I-T band, calves, lower back, etc. (You probably know all this already.)

    Finally, if you do 7+ workouts a week (like I do) you're going to go through periods where you're just plain-ole tired. Your performance might suffer a bit; intervals might be harder; getting motivated to workout might escape you; you might get a cold for no apparent reason; a muscle or joint is going to feel "funny." These are the classic signs of over-training, which leads to injury or illness. When you notice any of these things a couple times in a week, it's time to take a day off, eat right, and get some extra sleep.

    Trust me. I've been there... more than once. :^)

  2. Love the camera bag, very stylish :-)