Weekly Recap (9/21-9/27)

Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2500 yds)
I learned something about the way I do swim workouts. I spend way too much time resting between sets. Usually, when I finish a set and am tired and out of breath, I’ll stop, drink some water, shake out my arms, sigh dramatically, look at the clock, groan, gather up all my motivation, and then start out of the next set. But standard swim workouts are often structured with a group of sets that look something like this: 8 x 50 on 1:00. This means that you will start another 50 every one minute. So if you get done with the 50 in fifty seconds, you rest ten seconds then go. If you get done with the 50 in fifty-five seconds, you rest five seconds then go. I’ve known this for a long time, but I’ve never done it. So, needless to say, it was a tough (in a good way!) workout today. I’ve been on a swimming plateau for a pretty long time now, and workout out with a masters team might be what knocks me off that. I’m feeling positive about my potential for improvement right now.

Tuesday: Run—5.1 miles (43:00)
I woke up this morning still feeling a little stiff. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loosened up quickly and felt smooth during my run. I was getting fatigued enough by the end of the run that I was having to focus on keeping my pace up, but it wasn’t to the level that it was a struggle to do so. Although my 8:26/mile pace wasn’t much faster than normal, the run felt smoother and more natural than most of my morning runs do.

Wednesday: Rest
This was an unplanned rest day due to an unanticipated dinner with Rob’s parents. It happens. Workouts this week were a little dicey in general because of an unplanned but necessary commitment on Friday afternoon which meant I needed to get to work at 6:30 during the latter half of the week so I could take Friday afternoon off.

Thursday: Run—800m, 4 x 400 (1:45), 800m
Another day of getting to work at 6:30 and being busy in the evening. So I improvised and did a speed workout on the treadmill during lunch. This workout was downright demoralizing. Do you remember how I ran a 7:00/mile at the end of a five mile run a few weeks ago and felt great? Well, I used that to predict how I would feel during this workout which was 400s at a 7:00/mile pace at 1.5% incline. I thought I would feel great and was planning on doing 6-8 of these. I stopped after four because I felt like crap, was having trouble breathing, and was getting dizzy. I’m glad I decided to try a speed workout early instead of just diving in because I’m less frustrated knowing that I have time to acclimate to speed work again before my workout plan demands them.

Friday: Bike—30 minutes
I was in a rough spot on Friday morning and did not feel like going on a bike ride. I really just wanted to sit on the couch (I was working from home) and feel sorry for myself. And I considered doing just that because I have been pushing myself in my workouts recently (see last week’s 54 mile ride) and have been dealing with a cold. But I knew I was only going out for 30 minutes, and I wasn’t balking because my body or mind was struggling with training. I was balking because I was struggling with life which meant that a short spin would make me feel better, even if getting out the door did take an abnormally large burst of determination. And I did feel somewhat better after getting back. Turns out that I can tell the difference between needing to rest for my physical and mental health and wanting to hide from the world. I’m thankful for that self-awareness.

Saturday: Bike—East Canyon (2:40:52)
I rode East Canyon today for the second time. I knew what to expect this time around which made the final, slow grind at the end feel more manageable. Even though I didn’t ride quite as fast as I did last time, I felt stronger. And, more importantly, the leaves are starting to change in the canyon which led to some fantastic views. Really, this was the kind of ride I live for—tough but not so hard it’s not enjoyable, great conditions, beautiful views, and a much needed escape from the real world. It was the kind of ride I do because I love cycling and not because I’m training for anything. In total, the ride was 37 miles.

Seriously... look at these colors!
Seriously… look at these colors!

Sunday: Run—7 miles (58:44)
I thought this would be a rough run. I was still feeling a bit stiff after Saturday’s ride, and I haven’t been feeling my best this week. I made sure to get an early start so that I was cool the entire run (I prefer chilly runs). And I felt pretty good. I was feeling tired at the end, but I was actually able to push it in faster than usual. The last part of my run is downhill, but the last few weeks I’ve been getting side cramps that have slowed me down and haven’t let me take advantage of that. But my side felt much better during this run, and I was able to cruise downhill at a good clip to finish off the run with an 8:23/mile pace. I’m thinking of either upping the mileage on this run next week or doing a tough interval workout in its place, just to start getting ready for the onset of marathon training.

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