Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Welcome Reminder to Take Care of My Body

For the first time in years (yes, years) I am really truly pushing my body. Don't get me wrong, I trained hard for my half marathon this past spring, definitely a lot harder than I trained for my other running races. I did my share of hill repeats, tempo runs, track workouts and long runs and by no means did I skimp on them. There were times where my legs wanted nothing to do with running despite having a long run on schedule for the day. I had enough bad/sluggish runs to believe at the time that I was really pushing myself.

Yesterday I had a ride that reminded me of the feeling of exhaustion I would get about midway through the swim season. It would be during one of our 3.5 hour Saturday practices pushing 10,000 yards in one workout, and I would feel like all of my energy had been drained right out of me. No matter how hard I tried I wasn't moving very fast. I would have one of these practices sometime in December year after year and it was always the reminder I needed to take a little better care of my body.

After this past weekend's long ride I had an interval run to do on Sunday that was just plain miserable. Maybe it was this heat wave, maybe it was probably pushing it a little too hard on the ride or (most likely) it was some combination of the two. Despite running at paces I haven't seen in a really long time I still felt like crap out there. It felt like a bad run, the kind you get every so often that you plead with yourself to get through.

Knowing how rough that run was I made sure to recover well on Monday. I know that pushing myself so hard in one workout that it prevents me from doing the rest of the week's training is pointless and counterproductive. With my next race about 2.5 weeks away I wanted to be smart about my training. But then I got a little overexcited at Tuesday's track workout and probably ran too fast. It's somewhat rare for me to have runs where I feel great in the summer but on Tuesday I think I felt a little too good.

Going into Wednesday's ride I didn't feel particularly tired but that quickly changed once I started riding. I actually didn't even feel that bad during the ride, I just couldn't get up to the speeds I normally do. I wanted to do a hillier route and instead of focusing on the pace worried more about not dying on the hills. What surprised me most was normally when I don't hit the paces I want I kind of freak out. Although I wasn't happy about going so slow I was able to recognize that my body was tired and just didn't have the energy. I was also riding at 1:30 when it was 95 degrees with no shade, so there's that.

Apparently iPhone5 doesn't like these temps either

Yesterday's ride was the reminder I once again needed to take care of my body so I can continue to ask it to work hard. I know there are plenty of people who are putting in twice as many hours as me or more and handling it fine. Good for them. Sometimes I get frustrated that I used to be able to train close to twenty hours a week just fine and now I getting exhausted hitting 9-10. I have to constantly remind myself that swimming takes a lot less out of your body and is fairly quick to recover from, and also that it took years for me to build up to training that much. I'm not used to working my legs so hard and they are reminding me of it.

I am making sure to hydrate like crazy, get enough sleep, fuel properly and take my recovery workouts super easy, especially in this heat. Today I am heading up to a state park to get in some open water swimming and then to the gym for some shoulder stability exercises and core work. Between Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have a trail run, an interval run, a long ride and a swim to fit in. Hopefully the severe storms they are calling for on Saturday will pass. I'm hoping some time in the water will be exactly what my body needs to get ready for more training.


  1. This heat just makes it so hard to get a good workout in.

  2. I've never seen that come up on an iPhone. That's how you know it's hot haha

  3. The heat is a good reminder to slow down (with everything) and hydrate more. Pay attention to what our bodies need--

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