In my half of A-side rugby on Saturday, I wasn't nearly as winded as usual. Granted, we only played 25-minute halves at this tournament, as opposed to the traditional 40-minute halves; but we played 25-minute halves in my first-ever game three weekends ago, and I was completely spent then.
Today I played hoops for the first time in two weeks, and I was surprised by my stamina. I ran down the court to position myself on offense or get back on defense on every single possession until the last fifteen minutes or so, when I took a few fast breaks off and didn't bother to get back on defense on other play. I had that extra burst of speed even towards the end. A few of the guys remarked on it. Of course, I still can't shoot for shit, but I was playing lights-out defense -- getting my body in position, blocking a shot, tipping passes away, grabbing rebounds. It was fun.
And the best thing about it all -- I'm able to do all this running in basketball because of all the running in rugby, and all this running in basketball will, in turn, improve my conditioning for rugby. The two feed off each other. There are two things I need to work on continuously to make me a better rugby player, conditioning and learning to get low enough to gain leverage, and everything is starting to come together for me. The running and all the other exercises aren't making me any thinner, IMO, but that's because I've abandoned the low-carb diet to make sure I'm properly fueled and replenished. Nonetheless, I feel so much more alive despite the weight simply because of improved cardiovascular fitness.