Apparently, I am to live out the next 4 months of my life in a perpetual state of soreness. First, it was the stadium stairs. I went through a good 2-3 days of not being able to walk. Next, the marathon, which brought the same. Just when I had recovered from that: Sunday’s tire flips, which not only left me with skinless fingers, but also burning hams and forearms (which, 3 days later, are still pretty tight). And I have this itsy feeling that when this finally passes, Sunday will have rolled around again and Laurel will wreak havoc on these poor things I call muscles. Such is the life of a Death Racer.
Yesterday was an endurance day for me. After work, I spent 50 mins in the pool doing drills. 5 laps of warm up; 5 laps at a difficult pace; 5 laps of sprint down, easy back; 5 at difficult pace; 5 sprints; and 3 cool down laps. If you don’t know me, then let me say that swimming is my worst leg of the tri and the workout I look forward to least (which is an understatement considering I don’t look forward to it at all and find myself making any excuse to avoid the pool). Therefore, going into the workout I was dejected but also determined. Thankfully, breaking up the distance into smaller sets helped to pass the time in a surprising way. I was able to stay focused on my stroke (usually about halfway through, I begin to swim to get it over with and to hell with my stroke) and all in all feel like it was a productive session. Yay!
After that, it was my 75-min RealRyde with Shannon. I always have mixed feelings about this one. I dread it at the start but love the way I feel at the end. Shannon had just gotten back from a trip and was riding on fresh legs (what? She kills me on her other legs!) so we did lots of out-of-the-saddle work. The first 30-mins were tough. I felt like I would never make it through the remaining 45 minutes. Eventually my legs did warm up and I was able to pedal hard and finish strong. At this point I had a sort of epiphany. I remembered having a conversation with Dawn about running and how it takes me about 3 miles to warm up. Those first few miles are always my hardest: hard to breathe, hard to get my legs going, hard to stay motivated… But, once I’m over that hill, I can go and go and go. Such is the bike! And, I’m hoping, such will be the Death Race! It was so with the stadium stairs, it was so with last week’s overhead holds…see me beginning to connect the dots here? Of course, I know that there is a limit to my capabilities, as I was humbly shown at the marathon, but if I can convince myself that I just need to wait it out because there will be a downhill at some point, then I think I’ll have another very useful weapon in my arsenal. (Kids, take note of the mental tools that you are honing during training as well as the physical ones.)
Today, I have to admit that I made many excuses to get out of my swim. It was only to be a short 20-30 minute swim too. I know, I know. I did get out of bed at 5am. I did drive to pool. But then I saw that they had the 50-meter lanes open. Not only does this intimidate me because it means longer laps to swim, but also because there are less lanes than when the 25’s are open. So you have to insert yourself into a group of swimmers, swim in a counter-clockwise direction (I think…see, I don’t even know the correct etiquette!), try not to bump into them as they are coming back, let them pass because you are too slow (read: I am too slow), and freak out every now and then because you run into the lane dividers. It’s just a perfect storm of reasons not to swim. So I went into work early and told myself I would leave 30 minutes early to get in the swim before PT. By the time I got out of work, there was really only 15 minutes for a swim between allowing time to drive there and change and all that. Darn.
Maybe it was divine punishment for skipping the swim, but PT was hard. Not that the tasks were any more difficult than normal, or maybe they were, but everything just felt like it took more effort than usual and I didn’t feel as strong. I did: ropes, push-up/supermans, abs and this thing called the Burn Machine. Let me tell you a little about the Burn Machine. It’s a metal contraption made to mimic the motion of using a speed bag. That’s what the designers will tell you. What it really is is a torture device hidden in a little shiny package. Here’s the website: The Burn Machine. Ricky loves to pull it out during PT and see my face fall because, in his words, “it’s the only thing you cry about.” Yes, I cry! It burns! Like fire.
Afterwards, we ran 8 miles on the trails at Tom Brown and though we both felt a little dusty starting out after my 2 weeks of taper/recovery, by the end I think we felt oiled and confident enough to tackle our 18-miler on Friday. Lots planned for this weekend, so stay tuned…if I live to tell.