Somewhere in the past year I’ve gained stamina.
Today, in between Home Depot trips, I went to the gym for some cross-training. 20 minutes on the stationary bike, then I hopped on the elliptical for 10 minutes. I wasn’t able to get my heart rate over 135, and I tried. I pushed all the buttons on the elliptical until it was at maximum ‘cross-ramp’ and ‘resistance’. I was sweating, but it didn’t max out my HR the way running does.
Then I remembered a trip to the gym about two years ago with my friends Mark and Diana. Diana ran, a lot, and had already done 4 miles that morning or something that I thought was crazy at the time. She got on the elliptical with a magazine while Mark and I lifted. When we finished, about an hour later, we walked over to where she was still ‘running’ on the elliptical while casually reading a magazine and barely sweating. We asked her if she was ready to go, and she said ‘yeah, I guess so’. It was all very casual.
In my head I was thinking “you are a machine - you ran this morning and just spent an hour on the elliptical in high gear and you barely look tired”.
I may not be super fast, or super strong, but my endurance is a lot better than it used to be.