This week was a recovery week, even though it’s not like I have a whole ton to recover from in my first three weeks of training again. Still. You know it’s time when it’s time.
Recovery weeks work different for everyone. Hell, training works different for everyone. For me, recovery usually involves four to five days of very little activity, light workouts, and a rest day or two. Then, back at it. So, that’s what this week was. And, Friday, we were back at it.
We were really back at it over the weekend, when we (the USC tri team) did a mock race duathlon thing against UCLA at the Rose Bowl — after having ridden moderately hard on Saturday. The kids and I may have to have a talk about taking it easy when it’s time to go easy and hard when it’s time to go hard. And, not trying to win everything. Also, the discussion might include my belief that race mode is an extra mode above what you’re capable of in a workout, and you’ve only got so many times you can go into that place. Use those times wisely.
Nothing. Unless you count lying on the floor as a thing.
Ran four miles easy with Natalie in the morning. “Played” some underwater hockey in the evening — in quotes because I mostly kicked around on the surface and tried to remember how to snorkel.
Yoga. Or, part of a yoga class, because I was so bored. Bored, bored, bored. Oh my god, is this over yet?
Swam 1,600 meters between work and interviews. Pretty easy. Very tired from the talking.
Slept in, which meant I had to run in the afternoon. Usually, I avoid scheduling workouts on Friday afternoons/evenings, because I tend to come up with reasons not to do them. (This is also true for work. Basically, don’t expect much of me after about 3 p.m. on Fridays.) This time was no different. I was not excited about the run and delayed getting out the door. But, once I was going, it was fine. Actually, it was great. I ran about 7 1/2 miles with [5 x 5 minutes at goal marathon pace, 1 minute jog in between] and it wasn’t even hard. I ran all the efforts right around 7:00-7:05 pace — which, FYI, is faster than my goal marathon pace, but it just felt so easy. And, that’s why you take rest/recovery weeks.
Light core, PT, and stretching after I got home.
Also, I didn’t swim as a reward for being awesome.
Surprisingly, my legs were kind of feeling the run from the day before. Shock. But, I was meeting the kids in Malibu to ride the PCH. (Booooo, the PCH.) So, off I went. Before we even made the turn on to the road, though, everyone had taken off and was all spread out and blown apart. Silly triathletes; group rides are supposed to be in groups. I rode with a couple of girls at a perfectly fine pace for a totally enjoyable ride until we made the turnaround. Then, I realized I needed to haul to get back and get to Venice by noon. It stopped being enjoyable, then, and was a little bit exhausting instead. And, because of the wind, all my killing myself only got me back about two minutes faster than it’d taken to go out.
Fake duathlon around the Rose Bowl: four laps biking (a bit over 12 miles) and one lap running (about a 5K). I was 100 percent sure I was not “racing” this. I was prepared for a hard workout, but that’s it. And, when we started on our first little 3/4 mile run before jumping on our bikes, it was clear that I was not ready for anything resembling a race. My legs were beaten up and I was wheezing.
So, I got on my bike — not my nice race bike — and started riding moderately hard. I got passed by a UCLA girl. Then, I got passed by another USC girl. I felt like I was riding reasonably hard, but not hard hard. Also, I felt tired and like my bike is old. I was pretty unfocused and sort of thinking about the mental difference between “races” and races, and about how that’s exactly why I always do so badly in aerobic testing, and about what I was going to eat for lunch and if I need new tires on my bike, and about the fact that, man, that girl hella dropped me. Then, I was getting off my bike and talking to the people with the stopwatches and taking my time to brush the dirt off my socks and changing out of my bike jersey. Honesty, I don’t know what I was doing. I think I had checked out so much that I was creating reasons to not go fast. But, then, I started running.
I didn’t really intend to run hard. I just was focusing on turnover and breathing. It didn’t feel that hard at first; it just felt like very fast tempo and I figured it’d be good practice. Once I started to catch people, though, I definitely wasn’t going to slow down. And, it started to get faster and faster (and, then, oh, ouch, slower). It actually hurt for maybe five minutes in the middle, but not badly. It just felt like a hard, strong run. Only, it turns out I ran in the mid-19:00s for that 5K. Since my 5K PR is 18:58, that’s actually pretty fast for me. So, oops. Either I’m getting fitter and faster at running, or I accidentally ran really hard and am getting better at lying to myself. Both bode well.
Then, I cooled down with another lap running and swam 900 meters easy.
I fell asleep shortly after 9 p.m. both nights this weekend. But, the fatigue isn’t all from training. Mostly, I’m just counting down until I can turn off my brain, play with Tupac the Cat, and run on Marin trails. 32 hours.