Week 2 was a great one for me. As always seems to be the case when I begin training, I noticed a huge difference by the end of this second week in how I feel. I can tell my body is beginning to adapt to the training. The amount of time it is taking me to recover between workouts has begun to drop way down. For example, on Sunday morning I did my longest run of the week at 9.5 miles (about 67 minutes). My legs were pretty tired over the last 3 miles. I could tell it was my longest run in months (since before my achilles tendon surgery in April). After the run I drove to the fitness center for a short 50 minute swim workout consisting of mostly drill and technique work before enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with my family. By about 3 p.m. I could no longer tell I had done a long run. My legs had fully recovered and I felt like I could have done the run again. A week ago my long run left me feeling stiff and tired for about a full 24 hours. The quicker recovery is one of many signs that the training is beginning to take effect. I also felt the benfits of getting in to Dr. Kaminski from Kaminski Pain and Performance Care for an ART session on Tuesday. That really helped loosen me up for the rest of the week.
For week 2 my total training time was up a bit from last week to 16.5 hours. I ran 36 miles, biked 75, swam 9,200 yards, lifted weights three times, did speed drills, strides, push-ups, and lunges all three times, and core work 10 times. I'll update my current body weight in my mid-week post that centers around the book Racing Weight which addresses that very topic. I can tell that I am losing as I have been very strict about applying the things I'm learning from the book to my diet.
I had two favorite workouts this week. The first was a swim on Thursday with our high school swim team. The new coach is a former swimmer at the University of Iowa. He has really been stressing form and technique to the team. This was their first week of practice and nearly all the time was spent on dryland/core exercises and swimming technique. Although the yardage was not high and the swims were not hard the emphasis on technique is exactly what I need right now. I've spent the last few years trying to correct my technique knowing that swimming speed is more directly influenced by how you swim than what kind of shape you are in. Being 6 months from an Ironman I know this is the perfect time for me to really focus on improving my technique. I had so much fun and felt I learned so much that I switched my workout schedule around a bit so that I can swim with them 3 days instead of the 2 I had originally planned.
My other favorite workout was a tempo run on Friday. The reason it was my favorite was because I did the workout with a student of mine. All the teachers at our school pick one student through the year that we want to help in whatever particular aspect we decide on. It is basically a mentoring program although our school chooses to call it an intervention plan. The student I selected is a great athlete and I targeted his fall fitness testing scores from PE and set a goal of helping him improve all of them by the spring testing period. We work out together about twice a week during the last period of the day when I don't have class. He has been working really hard. Friday I was planning to do a tempo run alone not thinking he would come down. I had planned to do 3/4 of a mile warm up, 3.5 miles of tempo running at 6 min./mile pace followed by a 3/4th mile cool down. Just before I headed out the door to begin my student showed up ready to work out. I told him I was going to do a tempo run. He had no idea what that consisted of so I told him he should try it with me. I said I would cut the tempo period from 3.5 to 2.5 miles. We warmed up the first bit and then started into the tempo period. We went through the first mile in 6:12. I could tell we were slowly increasing the pace and mile 2 was 6:05. He continued speeding up over the last 1/2 mile to the tune of 2:49 for the last 800 meters! His total time was 15:06 which I was completely in awe of! He ran 6:02 pace! I knew he was a great runner as he showed with his fall mile test where he ran 5:24 but to do a tempo run at 6:02 blew me away. I could tell afterwards he surprised the heck out of himself. He proved something to himself on Friday afternoon. He did something he didn't think he was capable of doing. That is what working out and setting goals is all about. Set a big goal for something you didn't think could ever be done. Gain confidence through workouts leading up to it and by the time the goal date arrives you'll have no doubts that this thing you once thought was impossible now isn't. That is what I'm planning to do leading up to Ironman St. George on May 7. Gain confidence through workouts each and every week and have no doubts when that date comes.
I saw my oldest brother Jason today at our family Thanksgiving for the 1st time since visiting him in the hospital after his accident. He looks great and his attitude about losing an arm is even better! Jason wanted to go with me to Healthy Habits to see what accommodations they could make for him on a bike. Moon was awesome in helping explain they would be able to put all the shifters and brakes on the right side so he can still ride. He is expecting to swim this week and met a prosthetic doctor last week and was given great news that they can make him a prosthetic arm. He said he has adjusted well to life with one arm and you can tell by his attitude that is the case. He's set on competing in the Hy-Vee Triathlon next September as well as a couple others leading up to that. I can't wait to see it! Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!