When you decide not to do the race and just take a much-needed break.
A few thoughts on that. And, Bill, Uwharrie race report still to come!
The final decision to sit on the sidelines today and watch as competitors tackle the Ironman Cozumel course has been made. It was a difficult decision for me, an internal debate that went of for days. I weighed the pros and cons, often coming to a decision, then changing my mind a few hours later. There was no external pressure to do the race, and no coach or sponsor to let down. I can't explain what it was driving me to compete despite knowing I was undertrained and injured. Maybe a sense of pride? Maybe it was the financial commitment I had already put into the race? Or maybe it was just wanting the satisfaction of completing a hard event? But when it came down to it, I just couldn't give you a good reason why I wanted to do the race.
The window to train for Ironman Cozumel had been short having done the Uwharrie 100 (or at least most of it) just 6 weeks before and this timeframe was made even shorter by a knee injury that set me back another 3 weeks. By the time I was ready to start training, it was time to start tapering. I didn't appreciate how undertrained I was until we picked up our bikes in town and took them for a loop around the island. The Ironman Cozumel bike course consists of 3 of these loops, but after only one 40 mile loop I was ready to get off my bike. The start of the loop is pretty comfortable with a decent tailwind that pushes you along for the first 9 miles or so. But that tailwind quickly becomes a ferocious headwind as you hit the backstretch of the island. An average pace of 18 mph (not fast, but comfortable for a 112 mile bike) quickly dropped to 14.8 mph as I squished deeper into aero position and battled with the wind to maintain a measly 12-13 mph pace. It was exhausting. And this was only lap one. And, we stopped at a cute beachside bar to drink coconut water out of freshly cut coconuts.
Could I have done another two laps on the bike followed by a marathon and preceded by a 2.4 mile swim? Absolutely. I've done races on less training. Would it be smart? No, probably not. Hence my internal debate- to do or not to do a challenging race that would likely leave me more injured and out of commission for another month. The final decision came down to wanting to do more than just finish another race. I've done enough "challenging" races (IM Arizona, IM World Championships, Beach2Battleship IM, Umstead 100 x 2, Uwharrie 100, Escape from Alcatraz, UROC 100k, Blood, Sweat and Gears Century, etc) to know that I can "dig deep and gut out a race". But I'm hungry for more than that this year. I don't want to just show up to finish, starting an event with high expectations and watching those expectations fizzle out to "please, just let this be over" as the event wears on. Although that has gotten me through plenty of events that I am proud to have finished I want to go into my next event confident that I have what it takes for a podium finish. And with that, let the training begin!
Event plans for 2015: Qualify for the USA Powerlifting National Championships (becoming the first BKA to do so), qualify for the Boston marathon and qualify for the ITU World Paratriathlon Championships
This is what usually happens after I start trying to post my regular routine. I go back to work at the hospital and lose all grasp of time (or maybe I just run out of time). Regardless, the result is that I don't post my workouts for awhile. So just to catch you up the last week has involved about 35 miles of running and 4 lifting workouts covering upper body and lower body ME and DE days.
Today I'm starting another week of shooting for PRs and putting in the miles for Ellerbe marathon in 6 weeks. I will start backing off on the lifting slightly to focus on the marathon in a few weeks, but for now I am really enjoying pushing the limits of both. Today was a heavy squat day followed by a run...and I loved every minute of it. Except for my foot (the Kayanos are totally not working for me so my foot screamed throughout the run). Otherwise I loved every minute of it.
bar x 10
85 x 8
105 x 6
125 x 4
135 x 2
155 x 1
165 x 1
170 x 1
75 x 4 x 4
95 x 6 x 4
115 x 10 x 6
65 x 30 x 2
70 x 24
7 mile run in 62 minutes
I definitely like to lift heavy every time I go to the gym, which is usually what I end up doing, for better or for worse. So far my results have been adequate, hence the continuation of a mildly progressive routine.
95x3x4 (right arm keeps giving out first)
95x3+1 w/ a little help!
Squat (testing a new leg which is why this lift got thrown in on an upper body day!)
155x1 (put this up no sweat even though it's been my max for the past few months, affirms my theory that my lifts are being held back by equipment, can't wait for a powerlifting leg!)
Shoulder press machine
*right arm kept giving out first, usually 2 reps before my left arm did just like it does on my max bench, looks like it might not be from lack of drive from my right side holding that arm back; just weakness
Followed by a 3 mile run
1.5 mile 7:30 pace out and
Usually the weekend is when I get in my long runs. Typically it's when I have the most free time, even during weekends that I work so I'll spend one of my 2 weekend days out on the road or a local trail covering mileage to prepare for an upcoming race...in this case, the Ellerbe marathon. Unfortunately my legs did not agree with this well laid-out plan this weekend. Damn legs. What was supposed to be a 22 mile run on Friday turned into an 11.5 mile run with 1/2 mile hill repeats at the end (in an attempt to salvage the run). OF course at the end of that run I told myself I'd just take it easy on Sat and try for a long run again on Sun. Ha. Right, taking it easy on Sat meant going for a max squat attempt not just once or twice, but three times. Got 160, which is a new PR. I was not so fortunate with 165. On either attempt. Proud of my new max, but of course still yearning for more I told myself I would try again next week and save what I had left for my long run on Sunday. Apparently there wasn't much left to save as evidence by my long run on Sunday which turned into an 11.5 mile run with my dog (she joined me for the second half). All in all, not what I had planned on at all, but sometimes you just have to be flexible. When you get lemons, make lemonade. Let's just say I "made a lot of lemonade" this weekend.
I typically tell my clients to do their strength training before any cardiovascular work on any given day. And I generally adhere to the same rule, especially when the lift and CV work targets the same general muscle groups. For instance, if I have a swim and an upper body workout planned on the same day then I'll make sure I get my upper body lift in before the swim. The reason is fairly simple. Although the energy systems utilized are generally not the same, the overlap is enough that you will deplete the easily utilized glucose and muscle glycogen during the lower intensity swim so by the time you head into the gym to hit a max on bench press, you're body just doesn't have the stores. On the other hand, if you hit the gym first, yes you will likely deplete a percentage of the muscle glycogen stored in your arms, but you're body will need to find a whole lot more fuel than that anyways for the swim so you'll just have to jump to that pathway sooner.
Anyway, that's a long way of saying that I did not adhere to my own advice today, mainly because it gets cold and dark by 6pm these days and I just didn't want to suffer through another cold, dark run this week. And since I can't get into the gym until 4pm on weekdays, chances were good that that's what would end up happening. Again.
So instead I opted for am easy run during the heat of the day (I think it hit 45 degrees) and then an upper body lift, different enough muscle groups that I felt okay doing both!
Run was a 6 mile loop at 50 min
Lift was an upper body DE day (except for a little max attempt with a new grip- oops!)
Speed bench (finally got the hang of these so the bar doesn't bounce around like a ping pong ball)
70x3 (lost some of the speed here)
85x1 (lost all of the speed here)
Bicep curls (wow, haven't done these in a while)
Abs with dips
All in all a good day.
Another workout went well. Felt like I could lift the world. Until I got to a 270 lb deadlift. And was defeated by gravity. Of course I wasn't going to give up that easily. So I tried again. And it ended up Kelly 0. Gravity 2. Of course that won't stop me from coming back again next week and trying again :). Although it may be 2 or 3 weeks before I try 270 again. I hit a new PR today at 265 so I have no complaints, but I am working towards 300 so I think I'll back off for a few weeks and do some heavy weight volume work and see where takes me. It's worked so far for my bench press. I can only imagine it'll help with my deadlift!
270x almost (then fail)
270x flat out fail
Rack pulls (at knee high- which is my sticking point)
Barbell rows (overhand grip)
Kroc rows (definitely need wrist straps!)
55x8x2 (my back is definitely stronger than my one handed grip!)
And then a 3 mile run in 25:00. My legs had many curse words for me today during that run!
Q2 runs are my weekly mid distance speed run for the week which usually consists of intervals prefaced and followed by a few miles of easy running. It is probably one of my hardest workouts of the week since it's all about maintaing speed over distance, a crucial component of any marathon training.
Today was supposed to look something like this:
2 mile easy
20 min threshold pace
10 min easy
20 min threshold pace
2 mile easy
Although it ended up looking more like this:
5.5 miles running with a friend
2.5 miles threshold pace
0.5 miles easy
2.5 miles threshold pace
So I feel like I got the gist of it at least!
Another good day considering I hit a new bench PR...finally. I've been going for 105 for a few months now. I have been able to push 100 up like it barely weighs anything, but add 5 pounds and it's like I'm trying to push a mountain. I'm not sure if it's a mental block or a physical weakness, so I've been working on both with visualization techniques and ancillary work- paused presses, rack press, incline press, close grip press, doubles at 90 and 95 and then shoulder and tricep work. And finally it paid off as 105 soared through the back to the pins. Now on to 110.
bar x 8
55 x 8
65 x 6
75 x 4
85 x 2
95 x 1
100 x 1
105 x 1
95 x 2 x 5
Mid rack press
115 x 1 x 5
High rack press
135 x 3 x 3
Close grip bench press
70 x 8 x 4
Seated DB shoulder press
15 x 10
17.5 x 10
20 x 10
25 x 6
Bentover lateral raises
15 x 8 x 3
35 x 10 x 3
Good day overall. Took a lot of videos to identify weaknesses that I can specifically address. I lift with a belt and one knee wrap on my sound leg, which has been working well for the last few months. My goal this week was to identify weaknesses and work on "feeling" depth (ie: depth at which my knee is parallel to my hip so I can hit that depth without a mirror for a meet in Feb).
bar x 8
65 x 8
85 x 8
95 x 6
115 x 6
135 x 2
145 x 1
155 x fail (leaned too far forward and had to unload weight on safety rack)
155 x 1
165 x fail
Overweight Squats (not to depth, but to get used to the heavier load)
165 x 2
175 x 2
115 x 5 x 5
115 x 10 x 3
Right leg Leg Press (to isolate glute, quad on weaker side)
30 x 10
25 x 10
20 x 10
Recovery run: 4 miles in 39 min
Review: nice and easy run to get the blood moving in my legs to help with recovery after my 20 miler yesterday and to work in my new shoes some more. All in all a good run with Riley and a few more miles for the week.