Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ups And Downs

Yesterday I ended up swimming alone b/c Mark threw a rib out and couldn't effectively take a swim stroke. Getting old sucks. Main set was:

300 steady @5:00; 2x50's fast @:50
300 steady @5:00; 4x50's fast @:50
300 steady @5:00; 6x50's fast @:50
300 steady @5:00; 8x50's fast @:50

50's @:50 represent a big hole in my swim fitness. I suck at those. And yet, I can do strong 100's off 1:40 no issues at all. I wonder how much of that is psychological? Maybe a lot b/c I hate 50's off :50. Which means I should probably do them more.

I had a fairly stressful day yesterday. Big fight with the husband in the morning then some work related stress stuff the rest of the day. I procrastinated riding until the last possible moment and just as I was about to go it started raining and to be honest I was just at my limit for the day. So I bailed on the streak ride and cleaned the house instead. Weird choice on most days but yesterday I just felt the need to declutter my life and cleaning helped me feel slightly better.

There was a bright spot in my day and that was when I got an email from one of my athletes who told me that after 2 years of "being a gem" and patiently dealing with all of her training and racing related stuff, I deserved a raise. What? I mean, Wow! The timing of her email was simply perfect too (she wouldn't have known that) but it was like a beacon of hope for me on day when I really needed that. It was really nice to feel appreciated.

Anyway today was a new day and I got back in the saddle (literally). Was planning a longish ride b/c I had the time but after ~40min I could see that up ahead it was pissing rain and apparently I'm a fair weather rider these days (we have been so spoiled with perfect days I've gotten quite soft in this department!) so I turned around and head back to a hill I know (where it was dry!) and opted to do some big gear hill reps instead of the long steady ride. I was quite pleased with my power throughout the ride- 5x Mile long hill efforts were solid but not digging at 210-230w and my HR/power ratio continues to improve- on flat sections I was moving along at 165-175w and it felt not a bit harder than steady (HR 148-152). Those Girl Scout cookies I ate yesterday must have been magic. I got ~40 miles in for the day and I felt stronger than I have since October so quite happy with that. If it's not raining tomorrow maybe I'll go for the longer ride I was going to do today. I still believe those steady aerobic rides are the bread and butter (which, regardless of what some athletes might think, is not the devil) of a solid endurance training plan.

I'll finish this post with another bright spot- and this one is BIG. This afternoon while walking Maia I attempted a few jogging steps, just to see... and it didn't hurt!! First time in at least a month I didn't feel pain. I wouldn't say my hip feels perfect so I didn't want to push it, but I did 6x30 very gentle jogging steps (how's that for a conservative start back?!?) throughout the walk but left it at that. I've been doing this Happy Hip Sequence routine that focuses on hip extension and internal rotation and I think that has really helped. I've successfully managed to loosen up all the surrounding muscles in quads and glutes, and I've started back with some targeted core work. Combine all that with about a month off running and it seems that might have been the recipe for healing. Not sure what I'll do tomorrow but maybe a walk/jog of sorts with Maia. Fingers crossed!

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