Too Much Jumping Rope

A couple of weeks ago I broke my jump-rope “doubles” record of 130. Somebody noted this on the gym’s tiny whiteboard. Last night Cappy (the coach) came up to me and said, “Rumor has it that you don’t get tired.” This was at one of those moments when I was punching a bag, feeling like my gloves were made of lead, and reminding myself to accept the fact that getting up early and working all day makes me tired for the workout. But somebody had apparently been joking that the only way I could do that many doubles is if I just don’t get tired.
I told Cappy that when I did 130 doubles in July, I didn’t know what I was doing any differently than I ever had before, but the other day when I did more than that, I realized what I was doing to save energy: relaxing my legs in the air. As I started to get tired at around 70, I knew I wouldn’t make it to 130 again, let alone beyond, unless I changed something. I didn’t want to go any slower or I’d lose the rhythm and step on the rope. If I went faster I’d tire out faster. So I continued to spring up at the same height and speed, but as I left the ground I let my legs dangle. In the mirror I could see the muscle go slack. I had a tiny rest with each jump, lasted longer than I expected to, and exceeded my record by 20.
It helped that it was a Saturday morning when I had only been up for an hour. At the evening classes, I wear myself out jumping rope as quickly as ever, and if I do doubles, I get fatigued and discouraged after 30 or 40 at the most. I know somebody will do way more doubles than I did sometime soon, but I hope it’s some athletic person half my age so that I can still feel like the winner of my age group. Silly, huh! Some of us started imagining new, achievable Olympic sports for the regular person: jumping rope; waterslide pool splashes; riding a bike with no hands.
I’m still having problems with a painful ache in my ankles and lower legs at the gym, less so on Saturday mornings and more so on weeknights. It’s even and steady, and it feels a bit like using cold muscles that need to warm up before performing the demand that’s being put on it. But they still ache after four or more rounds of cardio. Sometimes I have to stop and rest.
I bought some new flat sneakers to wear instead of running shoes, in order to get my heels all the way down to the floor, and tonight was my second time wearing them. I hope my lower legs will stop hurting when I get used to the new flat shoes. It all started when we did more exercises than usual with the elastic band around the ankles, especially jumping rope with it on. But that time coincided with the start of my job in mid-July, when I started being more tired in the evenings.