Sunday, September 4, 2011

Month in Review - August by the Numbers

Swim - 25800 yards
Bike 616.45 miles
Run 120.8 miles
Weights/Core: 6 sessions
Total time: 63 hours 16 minutes

I had high hopes for this month. July was a very solid month and I planned to capitalize on it with even more endurance building plus some honing heading into my big A-race of the season (Sept 11). Looking back on the month I feel unsure of how it went.

My swimming had not been very good - maybe 2 or 3 good swims all month. My shoulder stopped nagging me but I've been feeling flat in the water. I also had to take an unexpected week off from swimming due to a neck strain in the third week of the month. I've had 2 swims since then and I can't find my pull. My endurance also seems to be falling apart - losing 1 or 2 strokes per length after only 1500 yards (usually doesn't happen til at least 2500 yards).

My riding was going very well in the beginning of the month. With my extra free time (and recovery time) I have been able to do 4 quality rides + 1 recovery ride each week. I love being on the bike. I should rephrase that. I love riding my bike on the trainer. I'm way more into the trainer than I should be. I have a good deal of trepidation about riding outdoors (flats, traffic, road debris, etc) so often only go out for my long ride and otherwise do the work on the trainer. I signed up for another century ride on August 20 (Blazing Saddles Century). Having really enjoyed my first one at the end of July, I was pretty excited for this day. I drove up to the North Shore by myself and found a nice group of women to ride with. Without going into detail, 40 miles into the ride, my riding partner (a wonderful woman who I had just met that morning and had been riding and talking with all day) had a pretty bad accident. She was thrown from her bike and had a bad concussion. I was the first responder. I held it together until the EMTs arrived but then was pretty shaken up. That night my neck went into spasm - a pretty classic stress response. It took over a week to fully resolve and for me to have full range of motion back. So eventhough I knew it was important to get back out on my bike (outdoors), I wasn't able to do it until this weekend. With all the time on the trainer though I have been pushing myself more than I have in the past. I think because (for me) the simple motion of riding is so enjoyable I often don't push as hard as I might/could. In the past few weeks I have made an effort to push into an uncomfortable zone sometimes and lo and behold, it gets easier to stay there. I'm not sure what all of this will mean for my bike leg at FirmMan next week. More endurance + more power + more fear = ???

My running this month has been good. Not fast. But good, I think. Only 3 proper long runs, one of which was an epic fail. However I ran 16 times in the month. 4 times per week. Consistently. This is still new for me and I'm glad its going well.  In my peak week, I hit 30 miles for the first time. This was my big goal for the training cycle. Feels good to know that I can do it. Beyond that, I am not remembering too many of my runs. I know I had two brick workouts that were extremely badass, in which I was flying along on the run (faster than my runs on straight run workouts) and didn't have the regular poop-out at 2-3miles in.

Although according to my log I have done core/kettle workouts at about the same frequency as in the previous months, I am feeling decidedly weaker. Most of those workouts were in the beginning of the month. Amazing how quickly I experience a sense of losing strength (or really, its this hard to explain tautness through my core when I am in motion). I remember feeling really weak by this time last year. I don't think its nearly as bad this year, but the weak of no swimming or weights and very tentative biking/running certainly didn't help things.

Lastly, as of August 31, I am back at work full time. Having 2 months of vacation was amazing. But truth be told, I don't think I am actualized enough to enjoy myself indefinitely without work to give contrast to my other "more enjoyable" activities. So although I'm not looking forward to my schedule tightening up and having to squeeze in workouts before the sun is up, its good to be back.

1 week til FirmMan!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a great month! You certainly put up some impressive numbers. As for the swimming being off, I think that is just part of the training cycle. At no point in my training did all 3 disciplines seem to be working - it was always 2 out of 3.

    Good luck at FirmMan! And more importantly, good luck at working full time again :)