Monday, February 20, 2017

February mid-month training update

Checking in from the middle/back end of February (what?! when did that happen??) on my training update! This month has been a lot about managing my injury and working through resting/rehabing and also getting in as much work as I could. I still have had a fairly successful month so far but I miss working out with a lot of intensity and hope that we can begin to build that back in. My coach says that we can and I am very anxious for that. It's been frustrating to say the least to exercise "on eggshells" which is the analogy I have used. I have still been working out every day but I am afraid to push too hard in order to hurt myself. I have been spending time daily working on core work, hip flexibility and strengthening my glutes, hamstrings and low back -- which is tedious and annoying to do but something I have to do moving forward. I just want to finish a workout gasping for air and miss that feeling. Hopefully soon though!

Wednesday, February 1 - 3300 M Swim

After my tough run in the morning on Tuesday, I rested the rest of the day and then got up in the morning to try and swim. It went fine and wasn't anything notable, just a regular morning swim but I knew I wasn't pushing 100%.  The workout was longer in nature and less intense and also involved some pulling, so it really actually was a good workout to do this morning. Later in the afternoon I went to the chiropractor and he reinforced for me that I really needed to rest. I was supposed to do a trainer ride in the evening of about an hour, but I skipped that and iced/stretched/rested.

Thursday, February 2 - Strength training + bike ride

For this evening, I had planned to go with some friends to do a bike ride that was more a fun bike ride than an intense exercise.  We met at the bike shop and rode 9 miles from Atlanta Cycling in Vinings to Meehan's in Atlantic Station. We rode at a comfortable pace and all stayed together, stopping multiple times for lights, to let people catch up, and to change my flat tire - which was the first I ever got on a bike ride!

We had a beer at Meehan's then biked the 9 miles back to Atlanta Cycling in Vinings. It was a really fun night and I felt good getting in time on the saddle and in the bike but was not a training ride.

Before I met up for that bike ride, I went to the gym and did a number of squats, lunges and some core work in my effort to strengthen up this core of mine and get stronger!

Friday, February 3 - Strength training + 400 M swim

This was a crappy day. I skipped getting up in the morning to swim on account of staying out past my bedtime the night before after getting back from the bike ride. I told myself that I would go to the gym in the evening and do the swim workout on my own, as well as some strength training.  Well, that never works out well for me so I ended up doing some upper body strength training and core work, then went and changed to get in the pool and ended up doing about 10 minutes of swimming before calling it quits. My hip was even hurting while swimming and it was frustrating me to have pain even in the pool.

I'd had a frustrating afternoon and wanted nothing more than to workout and have a really tough workout to take my mind off of things and work out some aggression... but my body was not allowing it. I felt down and bummed as an understatement.

Saturday, February 4 - Nothing

After my crappy Friday, I texted my coach and told him that I needed Saturday as a complete day off. I slept in and did not have any intent of working out the entire day. I did some errands then went to a beer festival and literally drank beer all day and danced like nobody was watching on a Saturday afternoon. I ate tacos and crappy food and ordered a big piece of cake as dessert and ate it all by myself and didn't care.  I pretended I was not an athlete or a triathlete and just had a Saturday not thinking.

I texted Brick and told her that I spent my day pretending that I didn't have any goals and she replied back with the most perfect answer, "Well, unless your goal is being happy." which is exactly right and this was a day that I needed and I think that my friends I spent it with really needed too. Therapeutic!

Sunday, February 5 - Easy 2 hours biking + stretching

My coach has advised for 2.5 hours of biking on Sunday, but I cut back and told myself to just do what felt good. I went out very easy and with very little intensity but was able to get in 2 hours. I biked into the wind on the Silver Comet for an hour then it took me about 50 minutes to get back with the extra push so then went back and forth for a little to get myself to 2 hours. I went home and stretched and iced and did more of my core stuff.

Later in the day, I should mention, I went and watched the Super Bowl with some triathlon friends from the new group I am working out with. It was a lot of fun and a great turnout. Who brought the Patriots fan to the Falcons party though??!! This Super Bowl was one for the record books with the Patriots playing the Atlanta Falcons. I wore my Gronk jersey to the game but was a big incognito as it was a throwback red jersey and not a lot of people noticed. I wanted the win for the city of Atlanta and it was an exciting game to watch. Was bittersweet to be happy for my hometown team but heartbreaking for the city I live in!

Monday, February 6 - 1.5 hours yoga

It had been months since I had returned to my favorite yoga class ever but decided to make an appearance on Monday since I know how good it is for core strength and flexibility. My coach had originally suggested it be another day off but I wanted to try yoga. I was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt and how much I was able to do, despite not having been there in a while and being hurt.

Tuesday, February 7 - 1:10 spin + stretching

I miss running officially. It was a week without running and I wanted to get back and try it but continued to hold off. I did 70 minutes on the bike trainer at home, holding off on intensity. Boo!

Wednesday, February 8 - 3000 M swim + strength training + stretching

This morning I returned to the pool after Friday's struggle and was able to complete the workout and got in 3000M in the pool. I was a little nervous because when I woke up in the morning my hip hurt a bit but it actually felt fine once I was in the water and I stretched a bit before starting. I spent the evening doing  some strength training and then some more stretching since I had to go immediately from the pool to a phone call this morning.

Thursday, February 9 - 30 minute treadmill test run + 45 minute spin

I started the morning with a trial run on the treadmill. I usually do not like to ever run on the treadmill and don't allow the weather to cause me to chicken out from running (Coach Jess taught me that's not allowed - a run day is a run day!) but I was up 1/2 the night with the wind waking me up whipping around outside. Since this was supposed to be an easy run, I didn't want to have to fight the wind, soI did it on the treadmill in my apartment building. I ran at a sub-10 minute pace except for the last 5 minutes and had no pain. I was happy at the lack of pain but got off the treadmill feeling frustrated because I am sick of exercising on eggshells and want to be pushing hard.

In the evening, I got back on my bike trainer for the first of 3 days in a row of riding the trainer. I had 45 minutes scheduled which felt like it went by so fast and I pushed hard during it because I wanted to see how it felt and because I needed to feel a burn and because it was only 45 minutes so I mentally felt like I could.

Friday, February 10 - 2800 M swim + 1:20 spin + stretching

I returned to the pool on Friday and we had a short workout with some good pickups in there that I was able to do without any pain. The workout actually was a bit shorter than what we usually do so at the end I added some extra kicking and easy cool down laps to get to 2800.

In the afternoon I did 1:20 on the bike trainer before heading out to meet friends for a wedding celebration thingy. I was a little stressed trying to fit in the afternoon ride and the stretching and everything but was proud I got it all in.  Mentally, I don't think I put a lot into the bike ride because I knew I had to do it again in the morning and because I was stressed with timing and work and couldn't really focus. But I got the time in and I didn't have pain.  When I got dressed to go out afterwards I felt cute too, so this day was a win for me.

Saturday, February 11 - 1:20 spin + stretching

We left on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to go out to Birmingham for the Mercedes Marathon Relay, which meant that I was up early to get in time on the bike and doing my strength and stretching before leaving. Luckily we were all meeting at my house and heading out so it wasn't too difficult to roll out of bed, hop on the bike, shower afterwards and then be ready to go at 10:00 a.m.

There was no specific workout or intervals for this ride, which was different than what I had been doing. Usually I struggle to watch a new TV show or movie when I am on the bike trainer as I get distracted trying to do intervals and push hard and follow along with a plot. But since this was just an easy spin, I put on the movie Selma, to watch before heading to Alabama for the first time.

Sunday, February 12 - 8.14 mile run (in 1:19:12 at 9:43 average pace) at Mercedes

This was 8 of the happiest miles I have ever run. I felt like I was coasting and had a huge smile on my face the whole time. I will write a whole recap on it but I ran 8 miles this day as the last leg of the Mercedes Marathon Relay team with my friends.

Monday, February 13 - 40 minutes strength + 1:30 yoga

The morning after Mercedes I went to the gym to do 40 minutes of strength training that my coach put together for me. It included some lunges, burpees, jumping rope, and hip exercises. It was harder than I thought and got me sweating! In the evening I returned to yoga for the second week in a row and it was a lot of core work this day so I was really happy about that.

My hip hadn't hurt at all while I was running on Sunday, but it did hurt some on Sunday afternoon, so I had iced and rested it in the evening. Monday morning I woke up to no pain and had no pain throughout the day with these workouts so I was really happy.

Tuesday, February 14 - 5 mile run (in 48:48 at 9:44 pace) + stretching

Unfortunately, I woke up to pain on Tuesday and was super frustrated by that. How did it go from feeling good to bad again?!  It really pissed me off to be honest and it was sore even just walking around throughout the day on Tuesday. I had a 45 minute run scheduled for the evening and I thought about not doing it but I really needed the run on this evening for my soul, forget about my body. I just wanted to run and it was beautiful, warm evening.

I went out and did the 45 minutes, plus a little extra to get to 5 miles. I felt good the first couple of miles and then it started to flare up a bit so I tried to focus on core strength while I was running and also hopped off the pavement and ran on the side of the road on the dirt a bit to make it easier on the impact. Both of those things seemed to help and I finished the run feeling okay. Timing wise, it was actually a decent run for me as well with my mile splits being 9:31/9:44/9:47/9:28/10:02.

Wednesday, February 15 - 2500 M swim (left early) + 1:10 spin

This week was a bit of a crazy week at work and I had 7:00 a.m. calls all week. I did my best to get to swim practice on time and started in the water a little before 6:00 a.m. but then had to jump out to leave right at 7:00 a.m. for a call. I was happy I was able to get in 2500M and also pushed the pace a bit here for some 100s which felt good. I have been feeling sluggish in the water lately but today was a good day.

In the evening, I jumped back on the trainer for 1:10 of riding, which I started a bit later than I usually do. It was an uneventful spin but did 8:00 minute intervals which felt good!

Thursday, February 16 - 1:00 spin + stretching

There wasn't a ton of time in between my later evening spin and a rare morning spin for me. I had plans on Thursday evening to go to happy hour so I got up and did my ride and stretching in the morning. I was not a fan of the back-to-back rides and definitely didn't feel great on the bike this morning but I got it done!

Friday, February 17 - 1700 M swim (left early) + 50 minutes strength

The 7:00 a.m. calls really cramped my style this week. I had to hop out of the water right at 7:00 a.m. for another call this morning and I also didn't get there early enough to do any extra laps before the regular practice started so I only got in 1700M before I had to leave. On Wednesday when I swam there were only 2 people there whereas on Friday there were 12 people! I had to share a lane which is rare at my pool and it stopped me from being able to just do my own thing and keep going through the workout back-to-back without a lot of rest. We had to stay together so I didn't get as much done.

In the evening, I went down to my apartment complex's gym and did my strength workout exercises from the chiropractor and some core work for 50 minutes. It of course wasn't back-to-back nonstop exercise for 50 minutes but that's how long I was down there!

Saturday, February 18 - 1:00 hour running (6.11 miles at 9:50 pace)

I switched up my bike and run for the weekend and on Saturday afternoon I did a 1 hour run. I set off on the beltline but didn't really have any expectation of where I wanted to go.  I ended up feeling a little bored with the beltline and wanted some more hills in my run so I took a different route back and hills I got!  I was happy to not have any pain during the run and somehow it seemed to almost feel better on the hills?  Not sure if that is weird or not but I went with it and didn't question.

Sunday, February 19 - 2:04:32 hours biking (35.43 miles at 17.1 mph)

This Sunday was one of the best bike rides I have had to date! Since Saturday morning was forecast for rain, the whole group I train with decided to switch the bike ride to Sunday.  We went out to a place called "Silk Sheets" which I have only ever ridden at 2x before. Both times I have not had the best experiences so I wasn't thrilled about going there. However, once I arrived, there was a HUGE group and the weather was amazing. I biked in triathlon shorts and a short sleeved bike jersey in February!

There were a lot of people that I knew at the ride that I've been meeting throughout the past month through other group workouts, my swim program at my gym, the Super Bowl party, and other events. My coach was there riding, which would be my first time on the bike with him, and a few other friends who also just recently started training with this group! It was fun to know so many familiar faces and have the majority of the crowd be people I knew vs. new people. It also felt a bit intimidating if I am being honest as well. Now these people KNOW me and they will see how slow I am on the bike!

I could tell by checking my watch throughout the ride that I was going a faster pace than I normally did. I think the intimidation and the people built up a little adrenaline in me and I was pushing harder with my HR higher than usually is on the bike. I felt good though so I decided to just hang with it. My schedule said to do 2 hours, which ended up being one loop and it was almost exact at 2:04. The majority of the people riding were doing longer rides at 2:45 or 3:00 hours so I finished up with just a few others, including my coach, who had to head out to catch a flight.  He really pushed me the last big hill where I was dropping back and fading, but he challenged me to stick with him and it really got me to push myself through to the finish.

When I finished and looked at my watch it said my average pace was 17.1 mph!!! That is only my 2nd time EVER seeing an average pace in the 17s on a ride. I knew I was going faster than usual but I felt like that had to be a mistake or something. My coach told me no, that was right, and that I was biking strong.

I felt really, really good about that pace! He noticed that I am weaker on the hills so said that's what we'll have to work on and that I did a good job hanging with the pack when we were on the flats and downhills. I lose steam going uphill on the bike so that's a good objective to get better at. I honestly still feel in a little disbelief about the ride - that it must have been a fluke or something. Maybe it was the really nice weather? Did I have wind pushing me both ways?  Was this all a downhill route?  Was I just drafting more?

My coach told me that we had some crosswinds and that this route is actually harder than where I usually bike with the hills and the wind. So I felt really good about this ride! I want to get outdoors more and recreate this as much as possible. Bring on the 17s!!!

And as a side note, Sunday was an extra amazing day because I got to see my Syracuse Orange play in Atlanta. Unfortunately, they couldn't quite keep it together and they lost to Georgia Tech which was super disappointing... a) because it's Georgia Tech and b) because we really need to get some victories in the next 2 weeks to hopefully give us a chance of making it into the March Madness NCAA tournament. Regardless of the loss, I had fun at the game and enjoyed getting to see so much Orange pride in Atlanta!

Monday, February 20 - 45 minutes strength training

Today was going to be an off day but I opted to do some strength work instead. I spent about 45 minutes to an hour at the gym and went through some exercises recommended to me by my coach and by my former trainer to help build strength. After a 1 mile warmup, I did some burpees, lunges with a kick, spider planks, leg circles, bicep curls, rows, and tested out some new exercises using the power plate and this stair climber thing. We had a super warm day in Atlanta today, and I actually earlier in the day went on a 4 mile walk just for the heck of it. Temps were in the 70s and sunny and I don't think the gym turned their heat down in prep. It was SO HOT inside the gym today and I was sweating way more than usual as a result! Never hurts I guess, but I was dripping!

So there you have it! Only another week or so left in the month, but here's where I am workout wise for this month. I can't believeeeeeeeee we are going to be in March soon!!!

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