For the rest of you...
I’m not the hardest working athlete out there. Far from it. And I’m not here to convince you otherwise. Wouldn’t matter anyway. Endurance athletics – the running, the swimming, the biking, the hours, the miles … all of it, are personal. Incomparable to others on many levels, despite the numerous times we reveal our race finishes.
Anyway, I start this post with that caveat because I’m tired. Exhausted, actually. My hip is sore when I press on it. My legs don’t really want to run. And my brain is tired of staring at my Garmin.
Why? Because for the last eight days, I have pushed myself. “Crash Training” sort of. Not volume for me, but for pace. I’ve pushed my limits a bit this week with the aim of making pace/speed gains in the coming weeks. I don't have a defined goal in mind, but it would be nice to hold a 7:40/mile pace for 10 miles. Abstact maybe, but I think it is attainable.
It started with the Cool Breeze Century, and finishes with today’s run. Sure, I didn’t put in huge distances (no run over 13, no bike over 50 post-Century). But the little pushes, little forces, add up over the week’s end.
And at the end, I’m feeling it.
So I offer to you a peek at the past week’s work – a summary of the eight days that have brought on this mini-exhaustion. What my life is like outside of the moments you see me, work with me, or read my tweets. Emily-on-the-daily.
Granted, my day job (approx 10 hrs/day) has not been crazy. And our West Side Team in Training team has settled into a nice rhythm. So I’ve been able to fit this all in without sacrifice.
Saturday 8/21 – Cool Breeze Century
Bike: 101.3 mile / 6:10:20 /16.4 mph with about 5000ft gain
Sunday 8/22 – Long Training Day
Ran 12.2 miles / 1hr 55 mins
Walk 4.2 miles / 1hr 17 mins
Swim .9 miles/ 30mins
Monday 8/23 – Recovery Run
Ran 3.6 miles / 30 mins / 7.2 mph
Tuesday 8/24 – Brick Workout
Bike 22 miles / 77 mins / 18.1 mph / 4 hill repeats
Ran 2.5 miles/ 20 mins / 7.5 mph
Wednesday 8/25 – 800 Meter Repeats
Ran 5.1 miles / 44 mins / 7.5mph
Thursday 8/26 – Two-a-day Recovery Session (AM/PM)
Ran 3.25 miles / 30 mins / 6.5mph
Biked 11.1 miles / 40 mins / 16.6mph / two hills loops
Friday 8/27 – Tempo Run
Ran 8 miles / 1hr 3mins / 7.6mph
Saturday 8/28 – Long Training Workout
Bike 46.14miles/ 2.6hrs / 17.9mph with about 2500ft gain
Ran 8 miles / 1hr 6 mins / 7.2mph
Sunday 8/29 – Team in Training Practice and Lactic Acid Workout
Ran/Coached 2.5 miles / 25 mins / 6 mph
Ran 9.55 miles / 90 mins / 6.5 mph
Walked 3.3 miles / 56 mins / 3.5mph
Swim 2000 yard / 40 mins
Time: 22 hours
Distance: 244 miles
Calories: 5.6 lbs
Looking at these totals and at the summary of the week (by the way, I never analyze it in this form…), I think my sleep and nutrition are the culprits of my exhaustion. I haven’t tweaked my food or sleep in any meaningful way, and I should have. When you push more, you require more – more of everything.
My breakfast has been cereal, coffee and a bagel thin (those skinny bagels) since work has limited scrambled eggs to once a week. (Note: my work provides me free breakfast. It is where I make up a lot of my paycheck, usually in the eggy form.)
My lunch is the same every day, in a compulsive kind of way: Cucumber, tomato, cheese, mustard and arugula on two pieces of pretzel bread, and a Caesar salad.
My dinner varied, but mostly revolved around lettuce and Paul Newman’s delicious salad dressing.
I snack throughout the day, as our PA can tell you. I eat nuts, crackers, trail mix, fruit and the occassional piece of chocolate.
I sleep 5-6 hours a night, depending on the day. Sometimes 4 (if work is busy) and sometimes 7 if I miss my alarm.
Clearly I am no model of perfection-as-an-athlete. Maybe there isn't such a thing for us amateurs and age groupers. I'm not paid to compete. I do it for ... well, "fun" is not the right word. But I'm sure many of you know what the actually means.
But I also recognize that I’ve got work to do if I want to be a great athlete. So going into this upcoming week, it’s my goal to get some more protein into my diet. Drink more water. And when I return to CT for a 6-day vacation over labor day, sleep is a huge priority. As is spending time with my parents, of course.
Until the next lightning stroke of inspiration has me writing up a storm, may your workouts bring you happiness.
Final Thought:“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest” - Ashleigh Brilliant