Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just a little bit of rest

Most of us hate to admit when we're tired. When our legs are fried. Toast. Burnt.
I've been working really hard for a few weeks. I've loved it. Many of my workouts have been challenging and pushed me beyond that comfort zone I spoke of a few weeks ago. Ironman training has been pushed under the rug and I'm now a short course athlete again. For now. Yes, I have a few half ironmans on the race schedule this season but honestly, those seem like short course to me.
So I'm working on some speed. I'm relearning how to turn that pace from long and steady to strong, powerful and fast. It hurts a bit.
Friday morning I was up and on the trainer before 5 a.m. By the time my husband left for work at 7, I had logged 2 solid hours of riding with some tough main sets. I was standing and pushing big gears and after the week prior, my quads were shaking. Truly shaking.
I shifted gears (yes, pun intended here) and ran upstairs to take over with breakfast for the kids. I packed 3 lunch boxes, helped the guys choose their clothes, and continued to scurry around for another hour before we drove off to school. Ithink I ate a bowl of oatmeal while I did that. I am sure I had some coffee. And of course, a lot of water. I rushed home, worked on training plans for my athletes, and then hopped in the car for the drive to the pool. I had a rice cake with some peanut butter on it for the ride. That's my favorite snack. I was distracted with thoughts and plans that are in the works right now. I was thinking about this workout I was heading for...it was challenging. I wasn't thinking about, or counting, calories.
Time to swim. The workout was short but it was hard. I had 30x100 on the agenda. The first 10 were IM. I started out feeling great. I had plenty of rest. I was working on a steady pace...determined not to work these too hard. I really wanted to make the tough intervals that lie ahead. But when I got to #5 or 6, something was wrong. I had trouble focusing. I was almost dizzy. Mostly it felt like my brain was scattered. I couldn't control my arms...
I was bonking.
That hard 2 hour workout + oh, about 350 calories was NOT enough! Foolish. I know better than that. I was out of energy and really needed some help before I swam the final Fast 23 x 100.
And then I rememered I had a gel in my bag! It's been floating around in the bottom of my swim bag for times like this. Or maybe it was just forgotten one day. Regardless, I had seen it! I jumped out of hte water and ran to the bag. I pawed through it getting everything in it wet.. but where was the gel?? Oh no. I remembered. I had it during my 5000 yd swim the week before.
LUNA! I had a luna in my purse. I can't remember the last time I Ate during a swim. But I was desperate. I unwrapped that little stick of energy and jumped back in the water. I missed my interval by a bit but I made up for it. I ate that bar in pieces over the next few 100s and prayed it wouldn't sit in my stomach like a brick. Remember this girl...Eat next time!
The rest were free. The send off interval got faster and faster. I was feeling much much better and focused on the workout once again. If I swam the same pace, my Threshold pace, for every single 100, I would make them all. The final 3 were on that Tpace. But the trick is to Hold that pace with less and less rest. Yes, that was the trick.
Did I do it? Yes. I made them all. Check...nailed that one. But it was close. I nearly fell apart. Luckily I recognized what I needed and I fixed the problem. Lesson learned. I Must fuel my body or I can't get the job done.
The next morning I ran for 80 minutes. It was a nice solid run. On my hills. I ran strong and solid. And when I walked in the door, all I wanted to do was go to bed. I was trashed.
But instead, I ran around the house getting myself and the boys ready for our ski day. The sun was shining, it was warm, and a full day of spring skiing was headed our way.
Deep breath.
I was really really tired. The fatigue from the past few weeks of tough workouts was building.
The ski day was great. It was warm and we had a blast. But all I wanted to do, all day, was sleep. I did not feel well. It was an overwhelming feeling and I really almost left Mark and the kids so I could go recline in the car. But I didn't. I held on.
Should I cry Uncle? Ask for a break? Not yet. Let's see what I can do.
I ate a healthy meal full of protein for the next few days. I went to bed about 45 minutes earlier.
While Sunday was a moderately hard bike, Monday was just a swim and some lifting. Again, last night I went to bed nice and early. Today was an easy day too. I had an easy ride with high cadence work. And this afternoon, a run. An easy-moderate run.
It was as if 10 lbs were off my body. ( and trust me, they aren't) But I felt so light and relaxed. With a little extra sleep, a few days of workouts that weren't quite so tough, and a serious focus on healthy foods, I made it through. I didn't have to give up and stop. It just took me listening carefully to my body and smart planning by Coach Jen.
And now, I'm ready to finish up this week with strong workouts.
Listen to your body, it knows what it needs. Train smart.


Meg said...

Listen to your body...we do already know what we need but it's so hard to trust that! Awesome post, I needed it today, thanks!

Jennifer Harrison said...

This is rule #1, Listen to your body! AND EAT. LOL. I just kinda bonked the other day too - I don't do that too often, but it is like you - mixed up w/ the kids' stuff and at the doctors, school stuff....and then thinking I can swim after that on not enough fuel. I always carry gels/bars in my bags - in my car- so i am ready to eat that food if I need it! :)

Good work Ange - see you in Tucson soon! YAYYY

Mary IronMatron said...

Good lesson here! Yes! What's hard to do is listen to your body when it needs more than two days of active rest... I really struggle with that. It happens when I have taken it too far--so it's a cumulative not listening, you know?
That fueling piece is so key. I have trouble with my a.m. workouts for that reason. I'm always underfueled. Good job with those 30 x 100!! I did that this morning--but not the same way! Your workout was WAYYYY harder.

Swimming for ME said...

The change in seasons is hard for our bodies to get used to... our circadian rhythms have to readjust and recalibrate to the extra light and time change. So rest! and of course EAT!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Glad you made it thru that workout, I can only imagine your trying to eat watered down pieces of Luna by the side of the pool! I think many of us forget that 1 day of good recovery is worth 3 quality days of training, glad it all came back!

Marni said...

You are wearing me out just reading about your week! Those boys must just think they have the coolest mom ever!
I always carry extra bags of powder with me in my car, in addition to the occasional bar and gel that seems to lay around from weekend cycling events. Having Hammer single serving packets always come in handy :)
have a great rest of the week!

Melissa said...

Yes, learning to listen to my inner needs has been a huge leson for me. I think that triathletes MUST eat AND sleep well in order to get in the 12+ hours per week. If I don't (I have learned) I am exhausted and unable to get in the entire weeks workouts. I have come a long ways in this catagory. Thanks for reminding me!!! I love how you worked through it.

GoBigGreen said...

Ange, I cant wait to swim with you and see how the real swimmers do it. You and Cheryl. :) ok likely offended someone out there that is also a "real" swimmer but for those of us that dicked around in the pool swimming in the 8 and under sans goggles and all that its fun to swim with real fish.
We are gonna have a blast!!! Last year the weather was so-so, coolish so lets hope it heats up!