Weekly Recap (3/21-3/27)

Monday: Swim—2750 yards
I set my alarm wrong (5:50am instead of 4:50am), but I ended up waking up around 5:30am on my own.  Things were a little dicey, but I made it to the pool by 6:00am.  Despite my hurried morning, I felt strong in the pool, and I nailed the tough workout:
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
4 x 50 closed fist
4 x 50 10-kick roll
*4 x 200 @ 3:30
50 easy
*4 x 200 @ 3:30
50 easy
*50 fast
We were supposed to hold a hard pace for the 200s and, in the end, add up all the starred times to get a 1650 seed time.  I am less-than-good about remembering previous paces for intervals, so I often just kind of go for it on the first interval and choose my time based on that.  My first interval was just under three minutes, but I knew I had swum it a bit too fast, so I decided to aim for under 3:05.  Most of my 200s were hovering around three minutes, but the last couple were just under 3:05.  I managed to swim that final 50 in a surprisingly quick 36 seconds for a total time of 24:44.  Could I really swim a straight 1650 that fast in a race setting?  Well… I don’t think so, but I’ve surprised myself before, so who knows?

Tuesday: Strength—30 minutes; Run—30 minutes (3.85 miles); Bike—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
Of all things that can be frustrating, I was surprised that on Tuesday, it was my strength training.  I had not gotten enough sleep the past couple of nights, so I was tired and cranky.  Add to that the fact that my calves were cripplingly sore from the elliptical on Sunday and thus did not help much with stabilization, and I kept tipping over during my dead lifts and squats.  Because it was sleeting/snowing/raining and windy as all get out, I ended up doing both my run and my ride inside.  I did my run during lunch.  After a short walk as a warmup, I set the treadmill to 7.7mph and went for thirty minutes.  My knee started hurting a tiny bit early on and I was prepared to stop if it got worse.  However, instead of getting worse, it actually got better as I warmed up.  I kept my cadence high, and I noticed as I started to get tired, my tendency was to lengthen my stride and drop my cadence.  That’s a habit I need to break.  Additionally, I still need to adapt to a faster cadence.  While a quicker cadence is typically more efficient, it’s still something I’m not used to which means it’s not as efficient for me yet.  I’ll get there.  I stopped by the other gym after work and did an easy thirty minute spin while finishing up the This American Life episode I started on the treadmill.  I also did some core work.

Wednesday: Swim—1900 yards; Strength—15 minutes
On Wednesday at Masters, we work on various strokes besides freestyle.  I typically avoid Wednesdays for that reason, but it worked best for my schedule this week.  So, I bit the bullet and went, knowing the workout would include more than just freestyle.  When I got there, we actually had the option to do either open turns or the workout.  I was tempted to just work on open turns, but I knew a workout was the better option for me that day.
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
10 x 50 drill, swim (at least two for each stroke)
12 x 75 kick, drill, swim (rotate through all four strokes)
100 easy
Because other strokes are hard and I am slow, I only made it through 9 ⅓ of the 75s before I ran out of time and needed to cool down.  It was a great workout, though, and I was tired by the time I was done.  With the possible exception of the butterfly, I’ve also made improvements in the other strokes (backstroke and breaststroke) since starting masters, despite my desperate attempts to avoid them.  I can’t imagine ever needing to use these other strokes, but if nothing else, they serve as a good way to mix things up, work slightly different muscles, and improve my overall comfort-level in the water.  After work, I did my short strength routine.

Thursday: Run—2 x 30 minutes (3.55 and 3.78 miles); Strength—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
I tried to run for an hour in the morning.  Like my last hour run, I stopped and stretched at 15 minutes which got rid of the beginnings of knee pain for another few minutes.  However, after I stopped and stretched at 30 minutes, the knee pain was back after a few strides.  Rather than push it like I could have (the pain was minimal), I decided to just stop.  The last time I ran an hour, I felt I overdid it, so I decided I’d stop and try to run an additional 30 minutes in the evening.  Instead of finishing my run, I got to work early and did some strength work (which went much more smoothly when my calves weren’t so sore I couldn’t stand up straight).  My second run actually felt a little better.  I didn’t feel like I needed to stop to stretch at 15 minutes, and while there was a little pain throughout the run, it didn’t seem to get any worse once it started.  I did some ab work in the evening as well.

Friday: Bike—1:02:46 (16.18 miles)
I tried to take this ride a little easier than I did last week because I wanted to feel strong on my long ride the next day.  It was a bit chilly–48° and breezy—so I wore tights, toe warmers, knit gloves, and a base layer.  I was a little warm when I was climbing at the start of the ride and my hands were starting to get a little uncomfortably cold by the end of the ride, but other than that, I felt perfect in regards to temperature.  I could feel myself missing the rest day I normally take near the end of the work week, though.  I felt a bit sluggish, and I couldn’t help but think as I was finishing up on my bike, “I’m going to do this for over twice as long tomorrow?!”

Saturday: Bike—2:04:19 (32.39 miles); Strength—15 minutes
Shortly after breakfast, I did my abridged strength routine.  I would have preferred to do this a few hours after my bike ride, but I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have in the afternoon and evening, so I decided to play it safe and get it done in the morning.  I did this over at Rob’s place and he joined in with the last few exercises for fun.  He commented on how hard they were which was validating!  It took a while to get out on the bike, and once we did get out, it was pretty chilly.  I didn’t go out for as long this week as I did last week.  It was a little too cold to try Emigration, and I ended up basically doing an out-and-back twice, which isn’t necessarily the most interesting ride.  Still, it felt nice to get out on the bike, and it was nice to have Rob for company for part of it.  My legs felt stronger than they did Friday, though not quite as good as they did last week.  I ended up eating one Honey Stinger waffle on the ride, as well as drinking a bottle of Skratch hydration mix.  Skratch is pretty good.  When added to a bottle of water, it makes a lightly sweetened beverage that is made with real fruit and contains important electrolytes.  Mine was raspberry flavored, and it really did actually taste like raspberries.  I noticed I really just wanted water at the beginning of the ride, but the Skratch started to taste better as the ride went on.

Our bikes are friends. 🙂

Sunday: REST; 8-minute abs
After I did my core work in the morning, it was a complete (and needed!) rest day.  I had a lot going on in the rest of my life on Sunday… it was Easter, so I had church and family stuff.  Plus, it was Rob’s and my third anniversary, so we had dinner plans.  This rest day welcomes in in a more restful week.  I’m taking a recovery week next week because it’s my last chance to do so before official Ironman training starts.  Sleep, rest, and food will be the name of the game.  I’ll still be working out some, but I’m cutting back on everything except my strength training.


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