Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2075yds); 8-minute abs
It was a short day yard-wise, but the workout was still tough. We actually did a few full sprints in practice which was new and exciting:
4 x 50 10-beat kick
4 x 50 ¾ catchup
3 x 200 (streamline, pull, kick, fast)
3 x 100 (sprint)
We swam hard the entire time when doing the 200s, but we were focused on one part of our stroke during each 50 of the 200. And then we did three 100 yard sprints. We got to start from the blocks which is always a ton of fun. Last time I used the blocks, I had a lot of trouble keeping my goggles on. This time, I didn’t lose my goggles once. I did kind of belly flop once, though. I was pleased with my times, especially since I swam the first 200s hard. My times were 1:14, 1:18, and 1:18. The coach brought up my terrible form when coming off the walls. Apparently, I look like a limp fish but less streamlined. So that and flip-turns is going to be something I work on over the next few months. I have wanted to improve my flip-turns for a while, but I haven’t had much impetus until now. And, despite my understandable lapse last week, I was able to get right back into my core routine on Monday evening.
Tuesday: Run—800m, 7 x 800, 800m
I didn’t have much of a choice except to do this run on the treadmill. Being carless when you work 25 miles away and are also training for something is a pain. I got up bright and early (well, dark and early…) and hopped on the train down to my office. I got on the treadmill at the office gym around 7:00am and got to work. I noticed some residual pain in my knee after my long run on Saturday, and my left calf was still a little sore. Both felt fine as I warmed up, though. For these repeats, I ran for .5 miles, then hopped to the side of the treadmill for .2 miles which meant I had about 1:20 rest between reps. I ran my 800s at 9.1mph (6:3x/mile). This was a tough workout, but not nearly as hard as my speed workout last week. I’m starting to cut back for taper, so I would have been worried if this workout had felt as hard as last week’s. I noticed I recovered very well between reps which is nice because I’ve had some trouble with my recovery during 800 workouts in the past. During the final 400, I ratcheted up the speed gradually. For just the final 10 or 15 seconds, I hit 10.1 miles an hour, or a sub-6:00 pace. It was fun to hit a fast pace even though it didn’t really mean anything fitness-wise.
I took a rest day. I was going to go to the gym and ride the stationary bike after work, but I didn’t feel like it and was looking at a car later that evening. So I decided to take the day as my rest day instead. I’m glad I did. It was nice to just relax. Sometimes, when I’m going through something particularly stressful (like, say, a stolen car and bike and the subsequent financial trouble), I go-go-go until I just break down. It wasn’t until I gave myself permission to say “no” and have some unplanned respite that I realized just how much I needed it.
Thursday: Run—4 miles (28:40); 8-minute abs
This is the one four mile tempo run my marathon training plan calls for, and they just threw it in there right at the very end. I almost decided to do this run in the morning, but in line with my decision on Wednesday, I decided to give myself a break, sleep in, and do the run after work instead. That turned out to be a good decision. It was a cold day, and running during the coldest part would have been miserable. As it was, I ran in weather that was below 30° for the first time in a while. The run went well, and it was just what I needed. I did three loops in the park. I actually enjoyed the run despite the repetition because I knew exactly where I was and how far I had left. I finished with a 7:10/mile pace, which was a much-needed encouragement. In September, I ran a 5k at a 7:19/mile pace and was exhausted afterwards. On Thursday, I ran four miles at a 7:10/mile pace and felt pretty much fully recovered 30 minutes later. It’s always nice to have a run that highlights your improvements over a training cycle. I also did some core work later in the evening.
Friday: Swim—Masters swim team (2250 yards)
We did a hypoxic set today at practice which means working on swimming without much oxygen. Apparently, this is actually pretty dangerous and shouldn’t be done unless you are being properly supervised (as in, by a coach and not just by a 16 year old lifeguard). So, with that in mind, don’t try this at home:
8 x 50 kick, drill
5 x 25 @ :30 (5, 7, 9, 7, 5 strokes per breath)
5 x 50 @ 1:00 (5, 7, 9, 7, 5 strokes per breath)
5 x 75 @ 1:35 (5, 7, 9, 7, 5 strokes per breath)
4 x 25 @ :45 (one breath)
12 x 25 @ :35 (one breath, butterfly after you take first breath)
This was hard, but I did much better than I did the last time I did a hypoxic set. I managed to make it through until the final 25s without breathing more than the prescribed amount of times. I had pretty much reached my limit by the final 25s, though, and ended up having to do (a very poor version of) butterfly for the second half of most of them. I noticed that the dolphin kick actually hurt my achy knee, so I iced it some at work. Eh, it’s a good excuse to not do butterfly ever again for a while.
Saturday: Run—8 miles (1:05:41)
I was supposed to go out for 15 miles today, but my knee started hurting within the first couple miles and just didn’t stop. It hit the point where I could feel the pain radiating throughout the rest of my leg. I probably could have run the 15 miles on it, but at eight, I decided that just wasn’t a good idea. I don’t carry my phone with my on my long runs, so I had to borrow a phone and try to call my parents (one of the only phone numbers I know) so they could call Rob and have him come pick me up. They weren’t home, so I sat on the curb and cried until some nice family saw me in distress and asked if I needed a ride. After this week of stress, worrisome knee pain was pretty much the last thing I needed. I did buy a car, though. I think it’s a pretty cool car, but handing over that many $100 bills did not help my stress level.
After my crappy day week, I just took Sunday off. I didn’t worry about getting to the gym. I didn’t worry about doing core work. I just spent the morning helping Rob clean his place for the Superbowl and playing some ChronoTrigger.
Reflections: Again, I normally don’t reflect on a week as a whole, but this week calls for some reflections. This week, to put it bluntly, sucked. Getting my car stolen and buying a new car were both incredibly stressful, and I don’t deal all that well with stress. Trying to get in my workouts while borrowing cars and taking public transportation (which I’m not all that good at) was rough. The stress started to get to me, and my sleep and appetite both suffered this week because of it. And to top it all off, my knee really hurts. To be honest, I’m really frustrated right now, about life and training. I kind of want to just hide from it all (hence, spending my free time this weekend playing a video game). Some of the below-par performances were for good reasons. I cut my run short because my knee hurt, not because I felt like crap emotionally. But I gave myself the day off on Sunday for physical (knee) and emotional (just couldn’t even) reasons. So this week was the week for giving myself a break, but I need to get 100% back on the horse next week.