Monday, March 5, 2012

February 27-March 4: Exhaustion with a side of PR

With an impending half marathon yesterday, last week’s training volume was appreciably reduced. Two rest days. Some shorter workouts. And still, with just 7 hours in the books, including the race, I spent most of the week looking like this.

Looking half dead, that is, not lying on the ground in running clothes.

While that might be reasonable after racing to a 7-minute half marathon PR, is isn’t reasonable for, say, Tuesday night after a short 45-minute morning swim. But I was wiped anyway. And was I wiped almost all week for no good reason. That is, if you ignore the continued onslaught of work that comes into our office between January 1 and March 15 of each year, coupled with preparations for the major championship meet that the team I coach has this weekend, there was no good reason.

Tired or not, I wanted to make sure I executed the workouts I had on the schedule well, because failing at a bunch of workouts right before a target race is just not good for your mental preparation for said race. It meant being focused on the workouts at hand.

It also meant napping. Which is basically the same thing as training, since it prepares you for race day. I think. Here’s the napping, er, training recap of the week.

Monday: Rest day. 30 minutes of dozing in the evening after a very early morning meeting and a long afternoon/evening at the office.

Tuesday: 45 minutes of pretty easy swimming with a bit of speed work, followed by lower back dry needling midday. Evening nap of unknown length while heating my lower back, which was revolting against the dry needling.

Wednesday: Short 4.5 mile evening run with 2.5 miles at half marathon goal pace, which I wrapped up at an average pace of 9:01 – right on target for a sub 2 hour half marathon.

Thursday: One hour spin with intervals early in the morning, followed by a 70 minute elliptical/stretching/lifting session in the afternoon – promptly followed by a nap.

Friday: Another rest day. I was off work (nominally) which meant I got to stay home, catch up on work, and get on top of things that would make Sunday’s race less stressful – like losing and finding, and then losing and refinding, my favorite running shorts.

And napping.

Saturday: A 1 hour swim-run session. The swim included some sub 1:20/100 yard pace stuff, which is a nice change from the slow-swim-zone I was stuck in a few weeks ago, the run was just a quick 15 minute race warm up, which turned into 20 minutes when I got lost around Yorktown High School.

Then I napped for 2 hours.

Sunday: B&A Trail Half Marathon. Details Thursday. But doesn’t this say enough?

(Official time was 1:59:04 - I don't stop my Garmin until well after I cross the finish line because I'm busy trying to...well...finish.)

After the sub 2 hour half marathon victory, I took recovery on full force.

By coaching 20 synchronized swimmers for over 2.5 hours in the afternoon. By myself.

Yeah, not really ideal, is it? But 15 minutes of easy pool running and kicking after practice did help.


  1. You had such an anwesome race! But yeah not jealous that you had to coach afterwards. I took the nap approach :)

  2. I hear the ironman is adding competitive napping between the bike and run this year, so you are going to be SET!

    Congrats on the PR!!!

  3. Congrats! 1:55 this fall? Let's do it

  4. Sweet, awesome job.Gotta love the Garmin that thing.

  5. Fantastic job in those conditions!

    We'll just call the coaching "active recovery"

  6. WOO HOO PR!!! Congrats!! With the amount of training you do, I don't blame you for being exhausted. Even your rest week sounds tiring.

  7. Congrats again on the sub 2!

  8. HUGE Congrats!!!
    This one has been on my list for awhile but I always forget about it. Can't wait to read the full report.

  9. Congrats on the sub-2!!!! Huge milestone!!!

  10. Congrats on the big PR! And the napping.

  11. Not to pry - but what exactly are they dry needling in your back? I just started dry needling (calves last week). In addition to my calves, I'm having issues with my hips, lower back and piriformis. Not looking forward to having any part of that dry needled. Curious what your experience has been like.