Monday: Swim—2800 yards
I slept pretty terribly on Sunday night, so it was a rough morning for me. However, I still swam pretty well, though I think I would have had a little more in my tank at the end if I were a little more rested. It was another workout with slightly longer sets (which are good for me):
4 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
6 x 200 (3rd 50 fastest)
500 (negative split)
I started the 200s too fast. I think I swam the first one in about 2:50. The rest were between 3:00 and 3:05. Swimming too hard for the first interval is pretty common for me, and it’s something I need to work on. I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my 50 yard splits during intervals (and to my interval times in general). I’m hoping a better awareness of pace and effort will help me get more out of my workouts. I didn’t destroy myself during the final 500, and I didn’t quite catch my time, but I’m pretty sure I managed a decent negative split which was the point of the exercise anyway. I was going to do either some core work, my short strength routine, or both after work. However, I left work to discover a flat tire on my car and had to deal with that. Fortunately, it was only a slow leak, so I was able to fill the air at a gas station and drive to a tire place near my home. Double fortunately, it was a super quick fix and they didn’t even charge me for it. However, the whole ordeal meant I didn’t get home until 6:00pm (which I realize is pretty normal, but it’s late for me!). I was exhausted and wanted to be in bed winding down by 8:00pm. The time got away from me, so rather than getting my heart rate up right before bed, I decided to prioritize rest over obsessively following a plan.
Tuesday: Strength—30 minutes; Run—5 miles (38:45); 8-minute abs
I woke up on Tuesday feeling much better and quite rested. It was another early morning, and I was at the office gym by 5:50am. I started with some stretching and then did my strength work, incorporating the nifty new resistance band I got from the physical therapist. I did my core work and stretching at lunch. It took just as much time to change as it did to actually do the work, but it’s always nice to get away from my computer during the day. After work, I got dinner started at Rob’s place. I turned the dinner duties over to Rob when he got there and prepared for my run. I stretched well and rolled my IT band with a tennis ball before heading out for my run. The stretching felt like it took forever. But I diligently completed it anyway. And then, I ran. I worked on maintaining a quick cadence and a mid-foot strike. And… I ran five miles without pain! I was going to go out for thirty minutes, but when that time hit, I knew if I completed my lap around the park and ran back to Rob’s place, it would be exactly five miles, so I just kept going. Oh, and another crazy thing that happened on this run? I met a local “celebrity”! I’ve been reading Eli’s blog It Just Gets Stranger periodically since I lived in Idaho (and since he lived in another hemisphere, I believe). When I moved to Salt Lake City, I started reading it more regularly because I knew he also lived in Salt Lake. He actually lives near-ish to Rob. (And, no, I’m not a creeper… I can just tell from what he posts!) Anyway. I thought I recognized him on the first loop (he was walking the opposite direction), so I almost stopped but then chickened out and looked like an idiot. So the second time around, I introduced myself. He was very nice… I’d actually met him before in a local bike shop which I didn’t expect him to remember because being recognized on the street is not entirely uncommon for him. Anyway, I met a celebrity. I ran five miles without pain. It was a good day!
Wednesday: Strength—30 minutes; Bike—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
The good news: I’m doing a great job getting to bed early. The bad news: I’m already sick of getting up so early every day. Still, I was rested and at my office gym before 6:00am again. My strength routine was a bit tough because I was a little tired from Tuesday’s strength work and run. However, I could feel the burn exactly where I was supposed to, so I was pleased with how it went. I did my core work during lunch again and my bike ride after work. It was overcast and a bit chilly, but I was fine with a base layer and tights. I’m a big fan of short, post-work rides. They help me perk up from my post-drive exhaustion (how I get so tired from basically sitting for eight hours, I’ll never know). But they aren’t long enough to eat into my evening too much.
Thursday: REST; Physical therapy
Is it still a rest day if I do physical therapy? I’m going to go ahead and say yes. Physical therapy (not surprisingly) includes exercise, but it’s more like trying things out and learning exercises to do on my own than a real workout. I did some fun ones, too. I bounced a medicine ball off a trampoline and caught it while standing on one foot on a Bosu ball. I was a pro at that one! And then I did single leg squats with a laser on my knee to see if I could keep my knee straight. I was bad at that one. The physical therapist seemed to think that I was in a good place and was on the road to recovery. I’ve got one appointment scheduled this coming week, and I’m hopeful that it’s my last one.
Friday: Strength—15 minutes; Run—45 minutes (5.6 miles)
I did my short strength routine in the morning and focused on trying to keep my knee in alignment. I can tell I’m getting more coordinated and am gaining strength, which is nice to see. I had only planned on one run this week to try to give my knee a rest, but because my knee felt so good on Tuesday, I decided to give it a test on Friday as well. I headed out with the plan to do at least 30 minutes and at most 45 minutes. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon and was the perfect temperature for shorts and a tank top. Just like last time, I tried not to get too optimistic until I had been running for about 15 minutes. After 15 pain free minutes passed, I felt much more confident. I can feel the different muscles at work when I focus on maintaining a shorter stride and a mid-foot strike. I definitely use my calves more, and I can also feel my hip flexors tiring more rapidly. I suspect that some of this additional tiredness in the muscles around my midsection is due to the fact that they are doing double-duty—strength work and the actual running. However, I know some of it is because I’m using the right muscles more when I run. However, even though the first half of the run felt tough, when I hit 45 minutes, I felt like I was warming up instead of tiring out and that I could have easily run farther.
Saturday: Strength—15 minutes; Bike—1:20:01 (21.1 miles); 8-minute abs
I did my strength routine in the morning, including one of the exercises I learned in physical therapy on Thursday. Rob and I waited a while to get out on the bike, and by the time we made it out, it was warm and sunny—probably the warmest ride I’ve been on all year. In fact, it was warm enough to wear my new sleeveless tri kit I got from Salt Lake Triathlon Club (of which I’m a member). Because I took a recovery week, Rob and I didn’t go out for a very long ride, nor did we try to push the pace. Basically, we went out for a nice, weekend ride. I felt strong throughout the entire ride (which is good, considering it was only twenty miles or so!). Plus, it’s always nice to go for a ride with Rob. It’s a really fun hobby for us to share. I also managed to do some core work in the evening instead of putting it off until it was too late. Success!
Sunday was my last hurrah of rest before Ironman training officially begins! Obviously, I didn’t work out, but I still tried to prepare for the start of training. Rob and I watched the Tour of Flanders in the morning (it’s one of his favorite one day cycling races). One of his favorites won in commanding fashion, so we were a happy household. After that, I did laundry, cleaned, went grocery shopping, and did some meal prep for next week. If I’m going to keep my sanity and train long hours, I need the rest of my life to be in order as well.