Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy to run!

After 2 months of healing my Achilles' tendon, I finally got the go ahead from the dr to run the upcoming half marathon with my friends in Wisconsin! Yay! I will probably not have a personal record time, but I will be happy just to run it. For the first time in 2 months, I met Mo to run circles at the Y for 60 min, supplementing with a 40 min pool run. In the next few weeks I hope to keep upping the real running and lowering the pool running until I no longer have to look like a weirdo upright in the pool. I hope all of this pool running has actually helped...I guess I'll find out in about 5 weeks...though it was hard for me to have to scale back running and spend so much extra time in the pool, I am so glad that I didn't over stress it. In the next few months, I will be super careful adding stairs, lunges, and hills back into my workouts so as not to re injure it.

In other news, London was amazing! It was so wonderful to see Lesley and Tommy, and we did so much touristy stuff and a lot of quality hanging out. Once we sort through the pictures I will have to share them... But because we were so busy, I only got one run in - but I ran through the streets of their neighborhood and saw some sights. It was fun, but chilly.

I was nervous about hopping back into a full workout week after being such a slacker, but it went pretty well- was just slightly more sore than in a usual week. I finally got some feedback on my swimming so I have some things to work on in the pool tomorrow. We did some new drills that I will have to incorporate to help with my form. The bike workouts were tough but felt great, and my pool runs were fine- except I got an awful charley horse during my long pool run, which has left behind a tight knot just below my knee. Oh well, I'll take that compared to my Achilles! Now if only it would warm up enough to run comfortably outside...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March update, and burning thighs

Now that March is almost half way over (where did the time go!) and I have yet to post, I figured it was about time. Maybe one day I'll be able to blog daily like so many of the people I follow do!

March has so far has been a fairly good month. Despite turning 30 (yikes) it hasn't been so bad and I still feel like I'm in my 20s! My sister visited, which was absolutely fantastic. We had a great time baking, cleaning, shopping, and eating tons of good food. I wish she lived closer so that we could hang out more often!

Workout wise, it has only been on the upswing.
Swimming: I have been dropping my times down to closer to where they were in the fall- not fast by any means, but I am feeling a lot less sluggish than I had been in Jan/early Feb, and I am feeling a lot better about it. I have been assigned a few scary drills lately though, that have been pretty difficult- partly because they are just hard, which I know will help me in the long run, but partly because I have no idea how to do them correctly. I had to swim one-armed a few weeks ago, and nearly drowned, and this past week I had to scull, which, despite watching youtube videos, I still couldn't figure out how to actually enact in the pool. So, my training buddies and I were hoping to get together with the coach and just have a drills session. I think that will be super helpful both so that we don't drown and so that we can use these drills to improve our strokes. Here's hoping!

Biking has gotten a lot better- mostly just this week. Mo said to me last weekend something along the lines of "I didn't think I was competitive, but I just didn't want to let Len get in front of me on the bike"...Len is some other dude we do computrainer classes with. This really made me think. So often the last few weeks on the bike, I have been struggling enough on my own to keep my wattages up and work hard on the hard sets, and to focus on keeping the recovery sections easy, that I have been pretty lazy and indifferent about people passing me. Sure, I don't want to be in last place EVERY time I do a bike workout, but I mean, truth be told, its only me I should be competing with- a sentiment that I discussed in my previous post. But I thought harder about what she said and how that could help me. I have resigned myself to not being one of the stronger bikers, but that doesn't mean I have to be in last place. My thighs hadn't been burning for the rest of the day or aching when I walked up and down stairs. Was I not working hard enough? Was I using my low FTP score as an excuse to just slack off? So this week, I was determined to make my thighs ache and give it my best shot. On Wednesday, I succeeded in pushing myself harder than I had ever done on the bike, and really felt like I got a super workout in. Friday, we just did a "fun" ride (simulating the Kona bike route), and I made it through 46 minutes (yes I kept track) in 3rd place (behind the speedy Mo and Len) and only at that point, waffled back and forth between 3-4 place with another guy. I pushed hard and kept within drafting distance of him until the end of the session. My average wattage was higher than I had seen it, and I had kept it up in a good zone 4 for the majority of the ride. I felt so good about it, and for the rest of the day, my thighs were in pain. Success!

Running has also seen some improvement. A few weeks ago I felt my ankle with 30 min of running, but the last two weeks I have progressed to 35 and 40 min runs without pain! I hope to hit up to an hour by the end of the month...keep fingers crossed! I may not get my fastest half marathon in, but I'm hoping when I see the doctor again at the end of the month, that he says I can at least run or run/walk it! It feels so good to be running and I cannot wait for when I can do my long runs outside with Mo again like last summer- we had a lot of fun, and I cannot wait to see scenery other than the pool and the track!

Pool running is getting boring. I have a 90 minute pool run today. Sigh. I am seriously hoping that I can graduate out of pool running soon. I love having social workouts, and I don't really love being upright in the pool and having people look at me like I have six heads or that I belong in the aqua-aerobics class (though I've found that if I pool run on Saturday mornings around the time of the class, the open lanes are a little less crowded and I feel a little less retarded!). I'm hoping after London, I have only 1-2 more of them before I can transition to only real running (or coach said maybe a combination of run/bike for my 'long' run time).

So, workout wise, I feel like things are getting back to normal! Mat and I are heading to London on Tuesday to visit some close friends, so I am really looking forward to seeing and catching up with them and doing a lot of sightseeing! Hopefully even if I don't hit the gym much while I am there, I can keep up the momentum that I've had the last couple of weeks!