Saturday, February 6, 2016

Two cars and foot cramps

We're a two-car couple again. Yes! My husband doesn't have to waste two hours of his day every day driving me to and from work, and I don't have to be abandoned at the Y waiting for a ride (bringing me back to the days I was waiting for my mom, oh, everywhere).
Lots of room for bikes in the bed.
Hopefully this will be good for my training, as I won't be working his errands and truck shopping into my schedule anymore. I lost Thursday's workout to signing all the paperwork, and that should all be behind me now.

Last night's swim was another comedy of errors. I had a heck of a time finding a parking spot and took a risk with a spot marked for one hour but in a two-hour zone. I did my warmup and drills, and 5 x 200 at a decent-for-me pace. I started on the first of 10 x 100 and was 75 meters in when... foot cramp! A bad, one, too. I hung out in the deep end for a while (which I never do) trying to stretch it out, but it was no use. I got out and limped around the pool to my stuff and headed out while I could still get out on my own power.

On the plus side, I didn't have a parking ticket waiting for me. I headed home, ate some chocolate, and went to bed early.

Hopefully today I can do a nice, long trainer ride and maybe some weights before the weekend commitments start kicking in. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow so I see another outdoor run in my future.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January’s swimming time trial: A day late but a big improvement

Still slow, but less slow than last month!
I have proof that I’m making improvements in the pool. Hooray! OK, OK. The bar was set pretty low. But still, it’s nice to see I’m moving even a little bit faster in the water.

I missed my planned last swim of the month last week, so did my 1,000 meters Monday instead. Eh, technically it was only 21 hours late, so I’m not too worried. After my warm-up and drill set and a few descending 200s, I hit my watch at 22:04, for a 2:13/100 meter pace.

This is a big improvement from the trial I did in December, 25:00 flat for a 2:30/100 meter pace. So although I have a long way to go before I hit fast, I’ll take “not quite as slow” for the time being.

I’m also ahead of where I was last January, when I did 1,000 meters in 25:32 for a 2:33/100 meter pace. I did last February’s in 21:27 (2:09) and last March’s in 21:53 (2:11), so I have my work cut out for me if I want to keep improving.

But, I feel like I’m off to a good start. I just have to be consistent getting in the pool and keep chipping away at it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January in review: Hey, it wasn’t that terrible!

Hours this month. I wish there had been more running. =(
In many ways, January was a comedy of errors with fighting a cold, temporarily being a one-car couple, family in town, late nights – you name it. But looking at my training totals for the month, I don’t think it was actually THAT bad, considering.

I swam a bunch, I biked a bunch, and I even started running short distances very slowly again. My yoga practice still leaves a lot to be desired, but I did do some pre-hab and lift some weights, so the supplemental training wasn’t a total wash.

My monthly totals were:

Swim: 6 times, all in the pool, for 18,800 meters (11.75 miles, thanks Daily Mile) in just a smidgen less than 8 hours. I lost one swim to a sick day and one to a car-shopping day, but I still got some decent pool time in for this early in the pre-season. That 18,800 meters works out to 3200 meters (2 miles) 5 out of the 6 times, and having to cut one swim 400 meters short because I derped around and got to the pool too late. I would have swam an extra 400 somewhere in there, but… eh. Once I start racing and lake swimming again I won’t have an even number anyway.
Week on, week off.
Compared to last January: I also swam 6 times last year, but did less distance each time and overall, so I'm about 1.5 hours and 4,400 meters ahead of this time last year. Yay!

Bike: 10 times, all on the trainer, for a total of 15 hours, 20 minutes. While I’m time crunched in the morning, I can go a bit longer in the evenings, and have been trying to make each trainer ride at least 1:15. Plus, I have been adding to my “long” weekend rides a bit at a time, working up to 2 hours this past Saturday. It all adds up, and I feel good about where I am at this point in the season. I feel like I’m a stronger rider since getting my fluid trainer. I guess riding the hills in the spring will tell.

Compared to last January: I rode three more times and for 5 more hours last year. So I'm a bit behind, but feeling stronger.

Run: My biggest headache. I managed 7 runs, 4 on the treadmill and 3 on the road, for 16.5 total miles in a hair less than 3 hours. I am trying to be positive about being able to run again after my IT bands left me in so much pain this fall. I get the odd twinge but haven’t felt actual pain in a while, knock wood, so that’s something. I’m going to keep going cautiously and slowly, and keep trying to strengthen those glute and hip muscles, so I can be back to my normal running self as soon as possible.
Week by week.
Compared to last January: This really isn’t apples to apples, but last January I managed 105 miles. Without any IT band pain. But I'm NOT going to get discouraged. 16.5 miles this month is still about 14.5 more than I have been doing. I'll get there.

Pre-hab: I logged 11 sessions. Assuming that’s divided equally between hips, glutes and ankles/arches/feet, that’s almost a full rotation a week. Which is better than the nothing I was doing!

Yoga: Only once. ONCE! I am better than this and I know better than to skimp on the yoga. I HAVE to make this a priority this month.

Weights/plyo: Three weights sessions and two supplementary plyo sessions. Not terrible, but I’d like to double that for February.

So my January was on track in some areas and a bit behind in other areas, but I feel good about the month as a whole. Now to keep chugging away for February.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week in review Jan. 25-31: Life, uhhhh, got in the way

Meh.
It was really difficult to get any training in last week. I had personal commitments, I wasn't feeling 100%, and my husband and I are still sharing one car. All of that doesn't bode well for a lot of time swimming, biking and/or running.

Part of me is bummed I didn't get more training in, but the other part of me is amazed I managed as much as I did:

Monday: A swim and my hip exercises. Hooray!
Tuesday: A personal meeting that ran late.
Wednesday: A trainer ride. Hooray!
Thursday: Working late, followed by truck shopping. (Ugh.)
Friday: My cousin was in town for her last weekend of a clinical rotation, so we went out to dinner.
Saturday: A trainer ride. Hooray! But that was all I had time for before my mom came into town to spend time with my cousin, and we all went out again.
Sunday: A very easy run and my glute pre-hab after a friend's birthday party. Hooray!

And by discipline:

Swim: Once in the pool for 3200 meters in about 1:22.

Bike: Twice on the trainer for about 3:15.

Run: One very easy run around the neighborhood for 3 miles in about 34 minutes. Overall, this felt good; my knee didn't have any twinges until past mile 2, so that is progress. But it is hard not to get discouraged about a 11:something pace when just a few months ago I was cranking out 8:08 miles that felt good.

Pre-hab: Hip and glute exercises for about 1 hour total.

Total: Six sessions in about 6 hours, 11 minutes.

The good news is I don't have any evening commitments yet this week and my cousin is done with her rotation, so I get my Friday and Saturday evenings back. The one-car thing should be resolved this week. I just have to hang in there and get the training in wherever I can.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Warning: It's going to be a low-volume week

Healthy dinner.
I barely made it through this past week. So far, it's been five days of craziness with working late, personal meetings, guests in town, fighting off a cold, finishing up some financial processes that took WAY TOO FRICKING LONG, truck shopping, etc. etc. etc. (Am I the only one who didn't realize pickups were so expensive? Sheesh!)

The other night "dinner" was a 9:45 p.m. trip to Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Their million-flavor pop machines will always be my weakness: half lime, half cherry Fanta, please. But I've actually had a salad for lunch four days this week, so that's something.

I've logged three workouts this week so far, and that includes one session each on the bike and in the pool. Oops. On the plus side, I got 8 hours of sleep last night for the first time in about two weeks.

I plan on putting in a good bike session today and maybe some weight lifting afterward before family starts coming into town for dinner. Tomorrow is a bit of a wild card, although the predicted high temperature is 48, so there's a 99% chance a run will be squeezed in.

I'm preparing to call this week a step back and take whatever I can get. But next week -- watch out!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week in review Jan. 18-24: Busy bee

A bit of everything.
It was a busy week last week, but I was able to get in a decent amount of training, entertain a houseguest, work late one evening and even eat and sleep occasionally. Whew!

(Side note: How on earth is it February next week? Seriously?)

I swam, biked and ran twice each, did a decent amount of pre-hab, and even lifted. Sadly, my yoga was MIA this week. I really need to work that back in the schedule this week and every week.

By the numbers:

Swim: Twice, both in the pool, for 6000 meters total in about 2.5 hours. I got to the pool a few minutes later than I would have liked one day, so I had to cut my swim a bit short. I had one of my best swims in a while the other day, with consistent, fast-for-me 100s on only 7 seconds rest. Reaching through and pulling the water seems to be making a difference.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for a bit longer than 3 hours total. Eh, nothing special here: A shorter session of big-ring intervals, and longer session of small-ring intervals to change it up a bit.

Run: Twice, once on the treadmill and once on the road, for 5 miles in about 55 minutes. I am still taking it very slow to get back into the swing of things. My treadmill run was OK; my IT band still bothered me close to the end. My road run was a lot more fun since it was a family outing with my husband and my crazy lab mix. She literally bark-screamed when she realized she was going for a run with both of us – best dog day ever. It was brisk but not too cold and although I got a few twinges in my IT band, they went away shortly afterward and I was able to finish 3 miles with no problem.

Pre-hab: One cycle all the way through – hips, glutes, and ankles-arches-toes – in about 1.5 hours spread through the week.

Weights/plyo: One heavy/body weight lifting session for about an hour, and one session of my plyo moves for about 20 minutes.

Total: 11 sessions in about 9 hours, 17 minutes. Not bad!

It was a decent week, especially considering I took two days completely off training. I love my cousin dearly, and I’m happy to host her for the occasional weekend, but I will be happy to have my Friday nights back. I have a couple evening events scheduled for this week, so I’m not expecting major volume. I just want to do the work so I have a nice base come spring.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Santa brought a bunch of swim stuff!

Goodies for me!
Santa was almost a month late, but he just dropped off a box of new swim stuff!

A new cap, a couple new swimsuits (so I don't have to risk a wardrobe malfunction with every trip to the pool), ear plugs, conditioner and, what I am most excited about, new flip flops. My old flip flops broke and, surprise surprise, they're hard to find in Michigan in January. So I've been wearing my husband's giant flip flops and getting some strange looks.

I'm off to the pool in a few minutes to try some of this stuff out. Yay!