Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2600 yds); 6-minute abs
I thought it was going to be a terrible swim on Monday. I slept like crap on Sunday night, woke up to sore and tired legs from my big weekend, and felt sick by the time we started our main set. Why did I feel sick? Check out the workout.
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x 50 (dreidel kicks)
2 x 10 minute swim
2 x 100 pull
It was the dreidel kicks. The dreidel kick was a drill where we were all in the streamlined position and we (tried to) kick while rotating 360° from our backs to our fronts to our backs again, and so forth. I got motion sickness from the drill, so I started the two 10-minute swims tired, sore, and sick. We were supposed to swim hard for both sets but hit the same yardage during the second as the first. And somehow, I seriously outperformed what I thought I could do. I swam 650 yard for both sets, and during the second swim, I came in for the 500 at 7:50, which is my fastest 500 to date. So what set today off from other days? I ate a banana and had some water before going to the pool which I never do. Usually I just go on an empty stomach because I don’t usually feel like eating until I’ve been up a couple of hours. I don’t think that a single banana was 100% responsible for such a good day. I’m also better at distance and was probably better rested than I felt. But I’m sure it helped, so I’m going to make a habit of eating before swimming. And about two hours after initially attempting the dreidel kicks, after sitting at work and sipping some coffee and water, I was almost completely over my nausea. A tendency towards motion sickness is one of the genetic curses passed down to me by my father. Thanks, Dad. Oh, and after work, I managed to motivate myself to do some core work.
Tuesday: Run—800m, 5 x 1200, 800m
Another Tuesday, another speed workout. The last time I ran 1200s, it was a very hard workout. So I wasn’t necessarily feeling prepared to do it again, plus another 1200. I hoped the track not being covered in snow like it was during my last set of 1200s might help, but I still spent the whole day dreading it and reminding myself, “It’s only 25 minutes and 30 seconds of hard running.” It was a hard workout, but I felt good about my performance, even if I wasn’t as consistent as I am when doing shorter intervals:
4:59.5, 5:00.6, 5:04.3, 5:05.4, 5:05.8
I was aiming to hit 5:03 for these intervals, but I knew that was a stretch. Obviously, the last three felt much tougher for me. I was counting down each 200 as I worked my way through them. These longer reps take a lot of guts for me. It’s hard to keep up the pace for a 1200 when you are already feeling the burn in your quads after the first 100. One criticism I’ve read about this particular training plan is that the longer intervals don’t scale well. I’m inclined to agree. I haven’t had any issues hitting my paces on the tempo runs, long runs, and shorter intervals, but these longer intervals are much harder for me to hit. I’m pleased with the mental fortitude I showed during this workout. Even the third repeat in the set was hard for me, so I spent the majority of the workout really pushing myself. These are the workouts that bring about improvement. I’m not sure I’ll get around to racing another 5k before my Ironman training starts up, and I’m kind of bummed. I’d like to see if I can run a 5k in a sub-7:00/mile pace.
It was a really warm day, and it would have made a good day for a bike ride. But I took a rest day instead because my bike looked like this:
I’m Rob is replacing the cables and housing, so it’s out of commission for now. However, the rest day was welcome. I had an emotionally trying evening on Tuesday (I think I was really hungry but was too lazy to make food), so I woke up pretty drained on Wednesday. Plus, my legs were shot from my speed workout the evening before. A rest day is what I needed.
Thursday: Run—5.2 miles (39:04); 6-minute abs
I still had some “use it or lose it” vacation time, so I took a day off work. I took advantage of the day off work to get my oil changed, and I took advantage of the time it took to change my oil to get in my 5 mile tempo run for the day. I mapped out my run prior to driving to the shop and made notes on my hands to avoid getting lost, but while I know the area fairly well, I apparently don’t quite know it “running” well yet. So, mistakes were made. This left me uncertain as to how long exactly my run had been (I started the run too far up the street, missed the turn-around by a few houses, and then turned down the wrong street for a few hundred feet on the way back). I’ve very good at mapping out routes I’ve run, and less good at running routes I’ve only mapped, so I was able to re-map my actual course when I got home. I saw that it ended up being 5.2 miles, which put my pace at 7:30/mile. That was too fast for this run (which should have been around 7:45/mile), and I felt it. The last half mile was downhill, but the half mile or so before that point was a struggle. I’m excusing myself because, due to my little detours, I wasn’t sure how long far/fast I was running. I also did some core work in the evening. I’m well on my way to actually making core work a part of my routine.
Friday: Swim—Masters swim team (2800 yds)
I tried the magic banana trick again today before swimming, and, lo and behold, I had another good day. Eating before a hard workout. Who knew? Anyway, today was indeed a hard workout:
6 x 50 dreidel kicks, easy swim
200 at any pace
6 x 200 at above-ish pace (:45 rest between)
200 (faster than first)
We could choose any pace for the first 200, so I treated it like an 800 in the pool in regards to effort. I swam it in 3:04 which meant I was aiming to go no more than ten seconds slower for each of the six following 200s. To my surprise, I nailed it. My slowest 200 was only a 3:05, and most of my 200s were a few seconds faster. I even had a surprising 2:50 on my fifth 200. I’ve thought about all ways that time could have been wrong (Was it really a 3:50? Did I forget to do the last 50?), but nothing else works with the time I got. I just had to chalk it up to strong form and good flip turns (which are a rarity for me). My final 200 (the one sandwiched between the easy swims) was a 2:54. This workout was far from easy, and I was impressed with my ability to hold a pace. I tend to hold paces well during intervals on the track, but I’m more familiar with running and I have the benefit of looking at my watch whenever I need to. The fact that I did a similarly good job in the pool gave me confidence that I am learning to judge my physical exertion, not just aiming to hit a time on a watch.
Saturday: Run—15 miles (2:01:44)
This was actually the longest run I have ever done, so I will be writing up a more detailed blog post about it later this week. But overall, the run went very well. Before I left, I ate a banana, two little sandwiches made from little rolls, a bowl of cereal, and a glass of chocolate milk. During my run, I ate three Shot Blocks and followed each one by water. I think I was pushing the “not enough fuel” line, so I’ll make sure to start taking more on my runs. Like last week, I ran faster than I should have and hit an 8:07/mile pace. I guess I need to stop that, but it’s hard to do when you are running by feel, especially when very little of the run is truly flat. My pace was constantly changing because the incline on which I was running was constantly changing. But when I saw I was significantly ahead of my pace with 13 miles, I didn’t try to pick it up like I sometimes do at the end of a long run. Baby steps?
Sunday: Bike—30 minutes (7 miles); 6-minute abs
I was not feeling a bike ride. I was sore and sleepy and kind of just wanted a nap. But I wanted to try out my new bike setup, and I had no excuse not to go. I’m glad I did. I only went out for a quick half hour spin, but the mountains were gorgeous and (finally!) snow-covered. Plus, it was good for my legs. They felt awful for the first mile or so but warmed up and felt pretty good by the time I got back. I also did some core work which brought my total for the week up to three. Success!