Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 9...Fight One More Round

Week 9 did not go quite as I planned. I had planned to back down the volume this week but focus more on quality workouts. I fill out weekly goals at the start of every week. For this week I put down a goal of 18,000 swim yards, 100 bike miles, and 40 running miles. I also have my checklist of weekly goals such as weight lifting, core work, running drills, strides, push-ups, lunges, and plymetrics. Most weeks I am able to check off every single goal. I take those goals seriously and try to accomplish them all every week. This week I swam 22,000 yards...check, I biked 120 miles...check, I ran 31 miles...crap! I also only lifted weights once and only got plyometrics in once. Everything else I hit. I struggled with motivation this week which I think is related to a lack of sleep. Owen was up sick twice in the middle of the night and that had an impact on my sleep. Wednesday I could not get myself to do my usual mid-week running interval workout. I missed 9 miles including the intervals and that was the difference on my running goals. I did have a great week of swimming once again. I'm realizing how much better I am than I was last year. On Thursday my swim workout called for 5,400 yards. I got to the pool tired and unmotivated. I did my warm up and drill set and my arms felt like logs. I had already logged two 5,000 yard workouts prior to this one. I had to decide what to do. Last summer when I felt tired like this I chose to get out of the pool. This happened nearly once a week. On Thursday I told myself to start the main set (the hard stuff) of the workout and stick with it as long as I could hit the times. If I ever missed my interval time I would switch to drill work or get out of the pool. I began with 10x50's on 50 and I was coming in at 41-42 seconds feeling terrible. This was slow swimming and I was just not feeling it. After the 50's I went right into 3x300's on 4:30. My first one I came in at 4:19 which would only give me 11 seconds rest. I knew things were not going well but I told myself to "fight one more round" to see if I could hit #2. It was especially hard knowing that I ended my main set with a 300 in 3:57 on Tuesday and I was swimming so much slower Thursday. I am very up and down in the pool. On #2 I came in at 4:18...still hanging in there but not to fight one more round. #3 I came in at 4:16 so I got 14 seconds rest...a little better and I was now going to shorter stuff. From the 300's I went right into the next part of the set (3x200's on 3:00). I knew if I didn't pick it up I'd be getting less than 10 seconds rest. I came in my first one in 2:46 which was about 5 seconds faster than I expected...maybe I am going to make it through this set. #2 I came in at more round. #3 I came in at 2:43 and I was starting to get excited because 2:43 was a time that I rarely hit 4 weeks ago. From the 200's I went right into 3x100's on 1:30. #1 I hit in 1:19 and I realized I was going to make the set. #2 I hit 1:18...and #3 I finished off the main set with a 1:16. It was a great learning experience for me. Although I felt tired throughout the entire workout I realized with the technique improvements I've made I could stay in the water...fight one more round and make it through the workout. It was a great feeling to know I overcame the self doubt that I had going into the workout.
Friday was my first day off in 9 weeks of training. Once again I was tired. I did do something active at least by shoveling the driveway, doing lunges, and jump rope. I still will count it as a complete day of rest. I went to bed early knowing I would be working out with Adam Bohach on Saturday morning. I was in Clinton by 8:00 am and we rode 2 hours together on the trainer. After the ride we did a 1 hour run in which we covered over 9 miles. My hamstrings were not feeling well for the first time in 6 or 7 weeks. They were super tight much like they were late in the summer. I couldn't decide if it was from taking Friday off or switching to new shoes this week. Either way I was frustrated when I woke up Sunday with extremely tight hamstrings. I was supposed to race a 4 mile Chili Chase in Davenport to get one hard running workout in this week. I was undecided if I should race. I warmed up and they were tight but I noticed it didn't seem to effect my stride at all and I really don't notice them once I get going. It's just the first few steps and when I bend over to touch my toes that I feel the extreme tightness. I decided I would run the first mile pretty hard and then assess the situation. I went through mile 1 in 5:20. I was in 4th with 3 studs well ahead up the road. The hamstings were not an issue at all so I picked up the pace in mile 2 going through 2 in 5:05 for a time of 10:25. I started thinking I could maybe break 21:00 but knew I was at the lowest point in the course and would have to climb back up a big hill in the last mile running into the wind. I went through mile 3 in 15:45 but started slowing down when with the last 1/2 mile being uphill. I finished up in 21:15. I was really pleased with this effort. I did a swim workout before the run and 2 years ago I ran this hard when I was 7 lbs. lighter and I was 16 seconds slower that year than this one. I keep reminding myself it is still February and it's okay to rest when I feel like my body needs it. My big races do not get going until July so I have over 5 months still to get ready for them. I should not be in a hurry right now. It was great seeing over 350 people out at the Chili Chase. I really think fitness and health are a growing priority in the Quad Cities. I think Live Uncommon has been a big reason for this. My wife Jen won the women's race today running 24:20. She treated it as a workout run and opted not to wear her race flats. She had a great week running more miles than I did at 40. She is really excited to race the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago next month where she'll get plenty of great competition. My brother Justin continued to drop time as fast as he drops weight by running just over 32:00 for the 4 mile course today.
This week I'll be back to high volume and I will make it a priority not to miss any of my goals since the idea is to pour on the volume as opposed to letting my body adapt as was the goal this week. We have our monthly swim clinic at Augustana next Sunday at 1:00. The clinic has grown at a tremendous rate. The cost of the monthly clinic is $30.00. At the clinic the coaches give immediate technique feedback, review old drills, show new ones, and guide us through a short hard set. They also provide a list of workouts you can complete over the next month if you are looking for some swim workout guidance. I have some exciting news about the clinic. Xterra Wetsuits has agreed to send some awesome prizes including a wetsuit that will be raffled away at the June clinic. From now until June every time someone attends the clinic they will be entered in the raffle. The more times someone attends, the more chances they have to win. In June we will draw winners of all the awesome products donated by Xterra. Have an awesome week of workouts...when you don't feel the greatest fight one more round. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

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