Week 39: workouts

After a series of hard workouts and standing most of the days at work last week, I was unprepared to handle the tough schedule I had planned for this week.  I sometimes hate backing down, but taking care of my body and mental health it worth it.

I planned to lift on Monday morning, but I was exhausted when I woke up and my quads were killing my, so I opted to sleep an extra two hours to 7am.

Tuesday morning, though, I was up at 5am to swim with Adam.  I’m very grateful he was able to make the time despite his very busy schedule this week.  It was the coldest morning so far, and the pool was still open to the outdoors, but it turned out to be tolerable since the pool is heated.  I did 200m warm up, 100m kick, 50m one-arm drills, 50m catch-up drills, 2x100m, 4x50m, 8x25m, 100m kick, and 100m backstroke.  I was nice and warm by the end of it.  It was actually really cool to swim in the cold air since it created a thick fog over the pool.  I had trouble with the water coming up my nose, but was able to work through this.  Hopefully that particular issue will lessen as I become more acclimated to swimming.  I specifically focused on keeping my legs together while kicking and turning my body to breathe.  My quads still felt sore.  Overall, it was another good swim.

bike-gearWednesday morning I woke at 6:15 to be suited and ready to bike when the sun finally rose at 7am.  Adam joined me yet again for a bike ride around Baltimore, but this time we chose a different approach: we took a longer route to get out of town but did so on less-traveled roads.  It was my favorite route so far.  We rode for a total of about 15 miles through nearby neighborhoods then onto Charles Street.  To turn around on Charles we had to make a “Copenhagen left” by crossing at the crosswalk instead of making a left-hand turn like a car (which can be tricky with multiple lanes of traffic).  The temperature was below 50F so I bundled up warmer last week and the weather turned out to be perfect for my cold weather gear (though I could have gone warmer, too).  My legs were tired from the beginning of the run and my breathing was heavy but at no point did I feel it was too much.  At one point while we were stopped on a side street waiting to turn left, I lost focus for a moment and started to fall to the right with my foot clipped in.  I immediately realized what was happening, called out an expletive of impending doom, and somehow managed to unclip myself just in time to recover.  It was a close call.  Thankfully I managed to laugh it off, but if I was on my own it probably would have shaken my confidence instead.  It’s made a huge difference having someone who cares about me along for the ride.  In total we finished the 15 miles in about 1:30:00.  I enjoyed the ride, but felt like a zombie for most of the day at work.  I was just completely exhausted.

On Thursday I woke at 5am feeling more tired than usual.  I thought about going back to sleep, but Adam’s presence convinced me otherwise.  I knew I would appreciate the swim later in the day.  It was still a little chilly out but not so bad.  I did have a lot of trouble with water going up my nose, though, since I’ve been sniffling and sneezing for the past few days.  With a little effort I managed to avoid this by starting to breath out as I put my face into the water.  I swam 200m, 100m kick, 50m one-arm drills, 50m catch-up drills, 4x25m 4x100m, 4x25m, 100m kick, and 100m.  I was swimming the 25m in about 24 seconds at my fastest.  It was my best swim yet.  It’s going to be a little sad when this stops being the case!  I remember feeling limited by my pectoral strength during the second half of this workout.  When I got home I crawled back in bed and took an hour nap while Adam went out for a run.  I felt like I had a chest cold, but I didn’t feel as exhausted as I had been the day before.

Friday morning I purposefully slept in to avoid getting really sick.  I was sad to miss my lifting workout, but I felt better later in the day so the extra sleep was worth it.

On Saturday I took a rest day as usual.

My long run on Sunday was rough.  Adam and I woke at 5:50 to drive to the Gunpowder Falls trail where we planned to run.  I remember feeling very emotional on the car ride there, though I couldn’t pinpoint any one cause.  I tried to keep it to myself and let it pass.  The initial route we chose was an out-and-back on one of the longer loops for six miles total, but once we started running I knew we would have to cut it short.  The route was extremely hilly.  I found myself walking up the steepest parts about 2.5 miles into the run.  There weren’t any rocks like at Loch Raven – only tree roots – but these posed a problem on the steep descents.  Thanks to my emotions running high that morning, I also had trouble with my asthma.  After 3.5 miles I had to stop running and I just started crying out of frustration and a sense of helplessness.  I hate when emotions trigger my asthma – it frustrates me more than anything else.  I eventually decided to call it a day and jog the quarter mile back to the car.  Adam was very supportive, but I felt disappointed that we couldn’t have enjoyed the run more (especially since we went so far out of our way to get there).  It wasn’t a great run, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.  In total I ran the 3.75 miles in XX:XX minutes.  After I stretched at the car I took a few minutes to say hi to the three horses that were grazing next to the parking lot.