The past week taught me that I must be pretty determined to stay in shape and that I can push through monotony and boredom to reach a goal. How did I learn this? Pool running (aka. aqua jogging). I bought my lovely flotation belt for $15, the cheapest and first that I found, and it was not comfortable so I doubted my ability to wear it and run back/forth in a pool for more than 30 minutes. I knew I could handle 30 minutes on a treadmill so I assumed pool running would be just as exciting.
My first pool run was in the not-too-cold, not-too-warm water of my apartment complex. I wore a bathing suit and a Nike long-sleeve drifit top for additional warm. I jogged back/forth in the deep end and was surprised that an hour passed without my beating my head against the pool deck in boredom. After the run, I was coughing a lot and hoped that the water had not been so cold that I would end up sick for my spring break.
The next day was slightly colder and much windier and the running was more difficult because I started coughing up phlegm about 30 minutes into the workout. I kept pushing, though I did not keep doing intervals, and got concerned when my phlegm contained blood. I got out after an hour and the coughing up blood (small amounts but enough to make me wonder...) continued for several hours. I realized I needed to carry a water bottle and hydrate during the run as I felt very dehydrated and that could have caused the bloody phlegm.
Thursday I sought advice from another injured runner off the RWOL boards and decided to hit the lap pool at a 24 hour fitness. The water temperature was much warmer and I easily did 80 minutes before calling it a day and heading to the sauna for some heat training. Friday I again ventured to the gym and 90 minutes passed by quickly, especially since I spent about 20 minutes conversing with 2 other people in the pool area. Both days I was famished and my legs felt like they were getting a good workout, as they had the prior days. Hm...guess pool running is not so bad after all.
Saturday brought warmer weather and sunny skies and I checked the water temperature at my apartment pool- perfect! I was stoked to be able to run back/forth in the sun and shade and soak in the beautiful day while getting in a 2 hour pool run; I know I could have continued but I was getting bored and my legs were telling me to quit. The most annoying part of the longer runs is that the flotation belt rides up and I have to readjust the cheap elastic belt part; if I continue having to pool run for long periods of time, I can tell it will fall apart.
Considering I'm pool running sans an ipod or any music (except for the music I heard from a neighbor's apartment for about 20 minutes), I'm happy to be staying sane. I'm planning on continuing to pool run after I'm allowed to return to trails/roads, but I'm doubtful I'll keep up the 2 hour runs.