Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2300 yds)
I woke up to snow! That didn’t stop me from going to the pool which is only a few miles away. We did our workout based on heart rate. The main set was 100 sprints, and we were supposed to recover until our heart rate dipped back under 120.
4 x 50 (fast kick, easy swim)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
6 x 100 sprint (rest until HR <120)
4 x 75 (medium, hard, easy)
I had a hard time getting my heart rate back under 120. I’m not entirely sure why. I have a fairly low resting heart rate (often below 50 and always below 60), but it kept “catching” at 140 on the way down. I know next-to-nothing about heart rate training, and it would be interesting (and probably helpful) to know more. I would be interested in seeing if my heart rate drops faster after running intervals. When swimming, I have a hard time getting enough air when I’m sprinting. While running, I can have all the air I want. After the workout, I got stuck in the parking lot for about half an hour. I had to clear out the space behind my tires with my scraper. It was obnoxious and solidified my decision to work from home. Except I worked from Rob’s home instead because I’d much rather work from home with a cat than without one.
Tuesday: Run—884m, 7 x 800, 884m; 6-minute abs
I did my core work during lunch. I just switched my jeans out for shorts (already wearing a t-shirt—software company, FTW!) and went down to the office gym for a few minutes. I also had to figure out some way of getting my speed workout in, even though most of Salt Lake was covered in nearly a foot of snow. I don’t think the high schools here plow their tracks in the winter, so that was out of the question. And I wanted to avoid running on a treadmill if at all possible. So I decided to try out the indoor track at the old Olympic Oval (sometimes it’s really nice that your city once hosted the Olympics). The track is 442 meters long (hence, my 884 meter warmup and cool-down), and it’s the only indoor track I’ve ever heard of that is longer than the traditional 400 meter outdoor track. Instead of taking one minute breaks, I walked from the finish line to the start line. Thus, my recovery period got a little bit longer as the set went on. My times for the 800s were as follows:
3:19.5, 3:19.0, 3:18.2, 3:18.3, 3:19.0, 3:18.1, 3:21.0
As you can see, I fell off on my last 800. I was a bit disappointed, but I ran it hard, and that’s all I could do. Maybe my legs were still a bit tired from Saturday. Maybe it’s because I was so unbelievably thirsty. Maybe I just didn’t quite have the fitness. I was drained afterwards, and as I was walking back to my car, I decided it was probably time for me to quit running triathlon life. I felt low and burned out. But some days are like that.
Wednesday: Bike—35 minutes (9 miles)
I said goodbye to my bike with a short ride during my work day. Even though my preparation took longer than my actual ride, it was totally worth it. It was cold (around 30°), but I had plenty of layers, so the ride was very pleasant. I was pleased to find that the path by my work had been plowed and would be available for cycling and running. It was a beautiful day out, and my bike and I had a wonderful time. I promised it that I would be back after Christmas and assured it that I would miss it terribly. And I really will. I think cycling is my weakest leg in triathlons, but I also think it’s the type of exercise that I like the most.
Thursday: Run—8 miles (1:01:27)
It snowed on Wednesday night, so my exploratory probe on Wednesday to find out if the pathway was plowed ended up being useless because I didn’t know if they had gotten around to plowing it this time around. So I planned out another route that stayed on roads I knew would be cleared. Due to a little uncertainty surrounding my travel plans this weekend, I wasn’t sure if I’d be doing my 17 mile run on Friday or Saturday. In case it ended up happening on Friday, I wanted to be careful not to run this tempo too hard. Reader, I failed. In my defense, it wasn’t an exceptionally hard run. The pace felt easy on the way out, comfortably hard most of the way back, and hard the last mile or so. But my overall pace was 7:40/mile. It’s very cool to me that I can run that far and that fast. I know my times aren’t anything special, but I’m surprised I’m running so much faster than I was just a few months ago. But I do need to learn to hold myself back some. Because my tempo runs were all hard workouts when I first started my marathon training plan, I’ve continued treating them as such, even though my fitness has reached a point where the prescribed paces would be a solid workout but wouldn’t devastate me. Basically, I’ve been running based on effort, but I may need to readjust the effort at which I’m running in some cases. Especially when I’m probably running 17 miles the next day.
Friday: Run—17 miles (2:20:53)
My parents came into town for the weekend, and my dad and I did our long run together. We had dinner reservations at 6:00pm, and they drove up just a few minutes after 2:30. That didn’t leave much wiggle room, so my dad threw on his running clothes, and we headed out the door. We were generally aiming for an 8:30/mile pace, but because my dad wasn’t sure how the elevation would treat him, we weren’t going to be too obsessive over it. The first three (uphill) miles averaged out to an 8:40/mile pace, but as the terrain got easier and we warmed up, we sped up considerably. I felt good pretty much the entire run. I can’t speak for my dad 100%, but when I checked up on him, he always said he was doing fine as well. We had two water stops (which should have been four, but the double-duty water bottle was MIA) and both fueled with some sports gummies. There were a few longer, very gradual climbs, and I know those wore on both of us, and there were several areas where we had to run over packed snow because the plows hadn’t hit that path or sidewalk. However, even near the end of the run, my legs felt tired from duration and repetitive motion and not the standard running fatigue, if that makes sense. The downhill at the end of the run made it easy to finish strong, and we managed to finish with an 8:17/mile pace, make it to dinner (just ten minutes late), and have a great night eating and then seeing the Christmas lights that the LDS church puts up in Temple Square every winter. However, I noticed a slight discomfort/almost pain when I started walking around after recovering from the run a bit. It was on the lower outside of my left leg—not a fleshy area. The second I felt it, I was also worried. It wasn’t a normal ache or pain for me. And it was in a similar place as the stress fracture that I had in college. So I was flooded with anxiety about it pretty quickly. I’m not sure if my immediate worry was due to remembering a similar pain (my past stress fracture) or just a product of being an anxious hypochondriac. My current plan is to reassess on Tuesday when I am supposed to do my next running workout. I’ll take it easy until then and opt for a swim instead of a bike ride over the weekend. Fingers crossed that this is an anxiety-driven overreaction on my part!
Saturday: REST; 6-minute abs
I had already scheduled Saturday as my rest day, and I’m glad I had it. In addition to driving with my parents up to Idaho, I spent some time online looking at information about fibular stress fractures. What I read was mostly encouraging. They are somewhat rare because the fibula isn’t a weight-bearing bone (or, at least, not a major one). Obviously, they happen sometimes because I had one in college. What I read suggested that most fibular stress fractures start out as a tendon issue. When you don’t take care of the tendon, it stretches and pulls on the bone until it causes a stress fracture. Because my previous stress fracture wasn’t diagnosed for a long time, I wouldn’t be surprised if it started out as a tendon issue and progressed. So it gives me hope that the familiar discomfort/pain I felt is just a sore tendon after a run that included much more snow and much more hopping and navigating around puddles and snow piles than usual. I’m also using my dad’s cure-all solution for any sort of leg/foot pain—a piece of athletic tape wrapped once around the arch of the foot. Who knows if it will actually help, but it won’t hurt anything. Oh, and I did core work as well.
Sunday: Swim—2500 yards; 6-minute abs
My dad got his hands on a few passes to the Nampa Rec Center for me while I’m in town, so I headed over there for a swim. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do, but I ended up getting a pretty solid workout:
4 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
2 x 100
2 x 50
I was interrupted during my 1000 and had to switch lanes which was frustrating, but I was pleased with my time. I know it’s my best 1000 time, although I can’t quite remember what my previous best was… I think it was either 16:40 or 16:20. I also wasn’t completely gassed after my 1000. I was tired, but I didn’t go 100% all-out. Adding a few faster sets in after the longer, hard 1000 pushed me. The 100s and 50s at the end of the set were tough and felt like they were good practice for finishing hard at the end of a long swim which is what I’ll be doing in eight months. I also did some core work right after swimming, meaning that I just barely managed to squeak in my core work three times this week. My questionable leg is feeling better, so I have high hopes that my fears were just an overactive imagination.