My Saturday triathlon: Running, Balancing, and AquaSocializing

I read somewhere in a Runners World that runners are notoriously weak in the upper-body. I thought about it and realized that I run and run and then run some more then I think about more running and try to run some more. More or less I just ran. I used to teach spinning but that is another story. I like running and would be more than happy to keep doing that for a long time. The problem is that, running is a great work-out and can burn the calories and get my legs looking fantastic.

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They do look fantastic. I mean come on, look at those calves the are rock hard and shaped like two giant pistons ready to propel my body ever further. And my ankles are narrow and efficient. The quads are just amazing and need a license to be that shapely. These legs are to die for and I have earned them.

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Enough of that. I can talk about my legs some more at another time. The fact is that running with all of its benefits still does not work out the rest of the body. And this is where the story begins.

Many years ago (two to be exact) I was in recovery from years of smoking, eating too much and inactivity. Yet another story. I had been going to the South East YMCA of greater Cleveland, (The Y) and been working out a little and had discovered Spinning and was having a lot of fun with that. I was never a biker but it was a great work out and it was what I needed. Well, a couple of months of that and there was an event called the Lazy Mans Triathlon. It involved going to a certain number of Spinning classes, Aquatic/Aerobic Classes and some time on the treadmill. I was okay with the Spinning but I needed to get myself going on the treadmill and start these group exercise classes and I only had a month to complete it. Getting back into the running was tough I have obviously worked it out. Now enter Josie. I entered the Saturday Morning Aquarobics class at “The Y.” I did not know what to expect but I was sure I could handle it. I was not completely correct. I had a whole lot of fun and got a fantastic work out. This was something I was doing after running on a Saturday. Lets skip ahead a little. The month was over and I won my sex/age division in The Lazy Mans Triathlon. I was the only Male participating. 😛

As I continued to run more and more I kept up my routine of running early and going to Aquarobics. I had dubbed Aquarobics “Saturday Morning Aqusocial Hour with Josie and Friends” This is not imply that it was a cake walk of a class. To the contrary, Josie is a task master and ensure that we had an opportunity for a fantastic low impact workout that could involve the entire body. It was also a good cool down after a long run, no matter what temperature the water was. Of course sometimes we in the back row would not work out as hard as others but that was the best part of a self paced class.

Now back to my original statement. I have fantastic legs. No, that may be true but not my original statement. “runners are notoriously weak in the upper-body” I had read this and found that I was lacking in the upper body. My torso was still a mini-keg, my arms were starting to ache on long runs and I was having trouble picking up Rachael. She squirms. Then I heard this voice: “Come to stability ball” It was no little voice in my head. It was Josie and Friends. I decided a few weeks later to run early and get to “The Y ” at 8 and try this stability ball thing out. Once again I was not quite prepared for the class. I got a stability ball, some weights and a mat. I got pushed and stabilized, and my abs got crunched and extended. For the most part I got my but kicked. I still had Aquasocial Hour afterwards. After the initial outcry of “No Mas” I realized this is exactly what I needed for a cross training routine. It really breaks up the monotony found in weight lifting and crunches. I get encouraged to work harder or just yelled at because I am not working hard enough. Kiss me or slap me I can take it. I have a lot of fun and get to talk about running with my friend Dave (Josie’s husband). He has qualified for Boston which is totally awesome. I get to groan about it being too much or just say bring it on. And the one footed bridge is just hilarious to watch as well as the leg lift thing with everybody’s feet in the air. It is kind of an upside down wave.

Now every Saturday I wake up and prepare for my Triathlon. Run for an undetermined mileage and then make my way to Stability ball. After getting my but kicked for 45 minutes I mozy on to the Aquasocial hour where I can get an aerobic workout without the impact. It is a cross training routine has me actually feeling my abs and maintaining my arm strength. My arms haven’t been sore from running in a long time. Now I can type the overly long Blogs. I can’t wait to start the new year with my Saturday morning triathlon: Running, Balancing, and AquaSocializing.