Week five (!?) was a funny one. It came after one race and ended with another, but because neither was a race I cared much about independently, it was hard to know how to position what I was doing. Was I recovering? Tapering? Just normal training?
For most of the week, I felt great — endorphin-high from racing, so darn happy to be swim-bike-running. A couple of friends warned me to make sure I wasn’t getting too tired or burned out, and I’d just chirp back, “Nope! I’m awesome! I want to run! I feel great!” And then Thursday night’s swim rolled around. The thing with me and swimming is, swimming never lies. I can push through a run or a bike ride; the sheer joy of being outside and going places is usually enough to overwhelm whatever sluggishness I feel. But swimming is a true barometer, and Thursday’s was a slog. Friday’s rest day helped, but I definitely learned a thing or two about the effort racing takes, whether I’m capital-R Racing or not.
Monday: Rest. Sleep. Not enough stretching.
Tuesday: In the morning, 1760 yards of swimming, including a main set of repeats of 6 40s and a 200. (It was supposed to be 5 50s and a 200, but: 20-yard pool). Feeling good! Recovered! Awesome! At night, my second computrainer class, which I liked much more than the first (positioned myself in the corner away from the mirrors; brought food). Brought shoes for a transition run after, but my coach made me sit down and watch the “I am injured; I am an Ironman” video instead. Point taken.
Wednesday: I went to track and — surprise! — it was 2-mile time trial night. I thought seriously about ditching, and waited for the typical “taper/recovery/new runner” option to appear…but it never did, and I ultimately decided that as long as I was there, I’d give it a shot (and quit if I felt terrible). I ran 16:29 (8:14/8:15), the middle of my three times this season, which left me itching to run a 5K once all this craziness is over. 4 miles total for the night.
Thursday: Biked to/from work — still feeling awesome! — then went to swim, at which point I just could not work hard enough to get my “tempo” 3×600 anywhere near my base pace. My closest was 12:22 (I was shooting for 12:18 or under) — and that’s only because I was circling with a fast collegiate swimmer who was rightfully none too pleased to have ended up with Breaststroking Lady and Flailing Freestyler (<–me) for the last few minutes of her own workout.
Friday: Easy biking — a few minutes on the trainer at a bike fit follow-up (swapped for a narrower saddle; we’ll see…) and then a few miles around town to get my packet at the SF Marathon expo and make a return at REI.
Saturday: Awesome, endorphin-full day. Started with ~35 minutes of swimming including my first trip around the perimeter at Aquatic Park (no sea lions but a decent view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the gap at the end of the pier). Then solo-biked 45 miles over the bridge and to Fairfax. I still hate the bridge, and I absolutely gave up and walked around the pylons on the way back, but the rest of the ride was a blast, and to be able to ride through all of West Marin by myself, without even needing directions? I’ve come a long way.
Sunday: San Francisco Second Half Marathon, which I ran mostly easy but wish I’d taken even easier, in retrospect. I disobeyed the first rule of “run easy,” which is that I judged my pace and picked it up beyond where “easy” probably should have been for the second half of the race. Finished in 2:07:16, which is I think #3 of my 8 half-marathon finishing times. Paid for it by being stupidly sore. But, I did run the whole race without music, which accomplished one of my goals.
Week Five Stats
Swimming: 6020 yards
Biking: 90 miles (21 commute miles + 45 “real miles” + 24 computrainer miles)
Running: 18 miles
Other stuff: no yoga, a little core, a little stretching
Most proud of: Going back to the computrainer class and hating it less
Need to work on: Being smarter about recovery this week