Let me preface this entire blog post by saying I am extremely thankful for being healthy. I know that my little injuries could be far worse, and the truth be told, this isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I know, I get it and I am lucky to be healthy.
But, I’ve also been dealt this hand of cards and it’s been trying on my mental state. The main reason being that the race is a little over two months away are there is so much that I fear.
My endurance isn’t to the Ironman level yet. My training isn’t perfect. My knee still isn’t in working condition so how am I supposed to complete the last final months of training? You get where I’m going here.
This past week has been what I’m calling “the emotional roller coaster week.” One day, I’m running and have no knee pain. The next day I’m back on my bike to test it out on a 40-mile ride and it’s getting tight again. Then I run on the track and feel better than ever, leading me to conclude that I think it’s the cycling. The next day, I hop on the treadmill to do 30 minutes and the muscles right above the back of my butt are stinging and I can’t run. F!
I spared everyone in my path and instead had a virtual breakdown via email to my coach. Some of the contents of said email included the following:
I know you’re not a therapist, but I’m still freaking out. I literally had to do everything not to cry as you were riding next to me on Saturday. And what the hell is wrong with the top of my butt when I ran today? It was 100% ok yesterday at the track. I’ve never had that before. And the bruise! I think it’s from cycling. Needless to say, it’s September, the race is in November and I’m nowhere near ready…I’m going to the chiro, I’m getting massages, I’m rolling, stretching and icing twice a day. I’m on this stupid emotional roller coaster and I want to get off.
Coach Paul is a saint as he’s been putting up with so many of my neurotic emails and texts that it would probably behoove him to not check his phone for at least 24 hours. But the good news is he’s a smart guy and helped put me at ease.
So, let’s pretend for a minute like I actually have something of value to blog about – genius! Here’s a look at weeks 37, 38 and 39 (woops! I’ll try to keep it brief):
Mon., 8/13: Masters Swim & Strength
About 1,950 meters at Masters, followed by 40 minutes of strength training.
Tues., 8/14: Masters Swim, Aqua Jog & Strength
2,500 meters at Masters followed by aqua jogging for 20 minutes (no knee pain!). 40 minutes of strength training later that evening.
I’m a really amazing swimming and whack my elbows on the lane line with my super efficient stroke.
Wed., 8/15: Rest
Thurs., 8/16: Masters Swim
2,550 meters at Masters where I looked like a drowned caterpillar as I attempted a butterfly drill. Yeah, it was that awesome.
Fri., 8/17: Masters Swim & Aqua Jog
Last free Masters swim of the week and 15 minutes of aqua jogging.
Sat., 8/18: Yoga
Dragged Chicken Face to yoga for my birthday.
Sun., 8/19: Indoor Cycling & Strength
30 minutes on the trainer to test the knee. 40 minutes of strength training later that evening.
Mon., 8/20: Swim & Strength
2,400 meter swim and 40 minute strength training
Tues., 8/21: Indoor Cycling
Nice and easy for 45 minutes on the trainer to test the knee.
Wed., 8/22: Yoga
Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown – it’s not necessarily relaxing, but a good one to get a good stretch and a good workout.
All taped up from the chiro and ready to heal.
Thurs., 8/23: Masters Swim, Elliptical & Strength
2,000 meters at Masters, 20 minutes on the elliptical machine and 30 minutes of strength training.
I. Hate. The. Elliptical.
Fri., 8/24: Indoor cycling
Another 45 minutes on the indoor trainer to test the knee.
Sat., 8/25: Swim
2.1 mile swim – my longest swim yet!
Sun., 8/26: Elliptical & Strength
35 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes strength training.
Mon., 8/27: Swim & Strength
2,800 meters swimming and 40 minutes strength training.
All hail princess Lola.
Tues., 8/28: Swim & Cycle
2,550 meters at Masters swim in the morning and an hour indoor cycling test in the evening.
Wed., 8/29: Rest
Thurs., 8/30: Elliptical, Run, Strength
15 minutes on the elliptical followed by my first pain-free run! 40 minutes of strength training to finish off a good day.
Fri., 8/31: Elliptical, Run, Strength
Round two! Elliptical, followed by a short treadmill run and strength training. Things were looking up!
Sat., 9/1: Cycle & Run
Time to get back out on the open road – I went for my first outdoor ride in a long time! 40 miles and my knee didn’t give me any grief during the ride, but rather would tighten up when I stopped. After the ride, I quickly made my way to the track to run for 20 minutes. After the 20 minute run, my knees felt like they were walking on clouds! It was almost as if they welcome the old running stride and the cycling is what’s causing them grief.
I brought my yoga mat to the track and did 30 minutes worth of yoga and stretching.
Later that day, I took Lola on a date to the park. She even bought me some ice cream.
Sun., 9/2: Elliptical & Swimming (Swim stroke analysis)
I started off with what was going to be 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill, but when I got on the treadmill, it was as if the top of my butt was on fire! Of course, I freaked out. Coach Paul thinks it might be because due to riding and all the therapy.
Apparently, massage and rolling break up adhesions between muscles and/or connective tissues, which limit a muscle’s free range of motion. When those adhesions are broken up, your muscles can then function within their normal, full range, which in turn allows proper use of the muscle groups. So, if you were bound up previously, your muscles could not do the job they were designed to do, relying on other muscles to perform their task (or at least help out). Now they are freed up, and can again perform their function, but they are not used to doing their designed function. (I totally copied that from Coach Paul’s calm-the-freak-down email.)
All the cool kids are doing it.
I then went to meet the rest of the team for a swim stroke analysis at the amazing Club Sport (Chicken Face – can we please get a membership here?). Coach Paul videotaped our strokes from different angles while doing a 3,100 meter workout. Once he edits the tapes, we’ll get an in-depth analysis on our stroke.
I lived up my guest pass at Club Sport by hanging at the adult pool and dreaming about the day we’ll get a membership here.
8 hours and 10 minutes of training:
10,440 yards swimming
30 minutes cycling
35 minutes aqua jogging
1 hour yoga
2 hours strength training
7 hours and 33 minutes of training:
8,530.2 yards swimming
20 miles cycling
55 minutes elliptical
35 minutes yoga
1 hour and 50 minutes strength training
8 hours and 33 minutes of training:
8,950.8 yards swimming
54 miles cycling
2.5 miles running
15 miles elliptical/running
2 hours strength training
I’m going to cut the world’s longest blog post short as I’m sure I’ve lost everyone by this point. Long story short, I’m doing whatever Coach Paul tells me and will likely loose it at the drop of a dime, but you know, C’est la vie.