I went into the start of last week (stupidly) optimistic, since I’d come off a good weekend of workouts fueled by Easter candy and figured a couple of rest days had made me all better.
Until I felt like this Monday night.
The only difference is that I definitely didn’t look that cute. Not even close. Ask anybody who saw me last week.
One workout into the week, and I knew my body was far from all healed up. I spent many, many, many hours napping, just laying around, and skipped a track workout entirely – didn’t make it up in any way, shape, or form. Two swims got cut short, and I spent every single workout questioning whether or not I was about to push myself right back into a big pit of exhaustion.
This is a much harder question to wrestle with than you might think. There’s the conservative approach, where you quit at the first sign of discomfort. But let’s be honest here – there are many uncomfortable things about training that bear no relation to your level of exhaustion or accumulated fatigue. There was a point during Saturday’s bike that I was cold and just plain sick of biking into the wind, and while I might have been mentally tired, my body was in perfectly fine condition to run after.
On the flip side, we clearly have data to demonstrate that I can ignore any and all signs that I actually DO need to rest or cut a workout short. That all said, I think that last week, I managed to stick with workouts when I should, and bug out when I should. My overall training volume was low, which makes me nervous about this half ironman that I may or may not be doing in 12 days, but given that I have months upon months upon months of solid training to stand on, one skipped track workout and two short swim workouts won’t deplete all my fitness immediately.
At least…I don’t think so.
Monday: Rest day, with a little walking around to decompress and get some sunlight and fresh air. Napped after work, went to bed early.
Tuesday: Woke up for a sad morning tempo run of 5.22 miles, with the tempo section at 8:59/mile. This is sad for several reasons, including the fact that this is 20 seconds per mile slower than my marathon pace and is a full minute per mile slower than I did the same tempo route a month ago. I felt heavy and miserable with a ridiculously high heart rate the whole time, but decided to just blow it off as one bad workout…until I started feeling very, very sick in the afternoon at work. After slogging through a few teleconferences, I went home in the middle of the afternoon and took 3 naps before consciously skipping my swim workout. Then I went to bed a little after 10 pm, sure that the next day would be better.
Wednesday: At 7 am, I woke up and realized there was no way I was making it into the office. It took me twenty minutes to gather the strength to reach for my phone to let my office know this (I wish I were being overdramatic). Eventually, I slept/laid around enough that I got my laptop, ran a few teleconferences, and sent some terse email before I decided to try 2500 meters of very easy swimming to loosen up and get some bloodflow going. While skipping track practice because, well, duh.
Thursday: After a solid 9 hours of sleep, I went into the office and managed a semi-productive and mostly-alert workday, followed by a real, legitimate workout – 3100 yards of swimming with DCRP Masters, including some 1:13/100 yard pace stuff. Ever fearful of falling back into crippling fatigue, I got out a little more than halfway through practice and declared success.
Friday: Nominally off work, I woke up early in the morning feeling sick and procrastinated by bike trainer workout, but managed to complete the full 1:15 workout, complete with Zone 3 and 4 intervals right in the middle of the prescribed power zones.
I still took a bunch of naps that day. Not declaring victory yet. Not even close.
Saturday: A 2:45 brick workout, starting with 37 miles of biking at the very top of my Z2 power zone, and finishing with 3.4 miles of running at 8:45 pace, which (at least temporarily) quieted my concerns about not being able to run anymore. Even more encouraging was the “race pace” section.
Of course, I don’t think that I can actually hold 8:26 pace for a half marathon after biking 56 miles. But…oh, nevermind.
Followed up the workout with more napping.
Sunday: A free day on my training schedule, met up with Rachel for 2000 meters of easy swimming in the morning. And no naps, just a lot of laying around and doing nothing, resting my muscles.