Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time to Slow Down. Literally.

Today was one of those days where Sam was SO HOPING for no school - but alas only got a 2 hour delay, which is sort of funny since the roads were completely dry.  It is freezing, though (8 degrees, which for around here is COLD), so probably that alone was worth a 2 hour delay - otherwise there would have been kidcicles at the bus stops.

The 2 hour delay always gets my morning off to a wonky start - this morning I was going to swim Masters at the Y at 5:30, but I have a rule (learned the hard way), that I don't set my alarm for 5am if there's a chance of snow and ice in the forecast - because getting up at 5 to discover the roads are bad or the pool is closed is a quick recipe to bitterness and resentment.  Strong emotions, yes, but 5 is an early and cranky hour.

The timing was also good because I'm doing a bit of evaluating on the training front (exercise front?  I'm not sure what I've been doing lately could actually be called training.)  Last year, coming of a 2 year  (2 YEAR) foot injury, I eased myself back into it, and then started doing the FIRST training - and I will say it seemed to be working well for a while.  But I've had a few niggles here and there, and then in November I cramped up my calf in a track workout, and just haven't seemed able to get over it.  No doubt aided by the fact that when my leg didn't want to run I just rode my uni, and rode my uni and rode my uni - and when it got sort of boring I went to the woods with the uni, which for me means a lot of off and on, and I mount the uni off of my left leg (the one with the bum calf.)  The mount didn't seem to hurt the calf at all, so I didn't think much of it, but now the my whole lower left leg seems kind of tired and strained.  Bummer.  Which made me think, maybe what I really need to do is take a big step back and start at the beginning.  I like training hard, so that's what I gravitate towards - but I think I keep doing the stuff that should be the icing on the cake, when I have no cake.  I think the solution should probably be to take a big step back and build a base - which is something, in truth, I've probably *never* had.  Speed and strength have never been my limiter - I mean, I went to college running hurdles for heaven's sake, which is pretty much the most speed + strength event out there.  But I have no endurance base at all - which is evident in lots of ways, most particularly  my struggle with nutrition/reliance on a million gels in longer rides/runs, and my ability to hold a crazy high heart rate for a long time - which probably, if I was aerobically efficient, wouldn't really be so necessary.

Sooooo, I think I'm about to take a big step back and commit to MAF training for a block -MAF being a system in which you calculate your ideal aerobic heart rate and stay under it, no matter what.  According to the formula, and my recent injury status, my heart range will be 125-135.  I foresee a lot of walking on hills.  But what the hell, I've tried most everything else with frustrating results.  Of course, I finally found my heart rate monitor strap today and discovered that it's dead - not even a new battery revived it.  I'm trying not to take that as an omen.

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