Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Day. For Real.

We finally got our snow day.  We were predicted to get at least 8", and on Wednesday school was canceled preemptively.  And then. . . nothing really happened.  It flurried.  It was cold.  That was it.  Sam and I walked to Pilates, had fun, flittered about.  But no real snow.  I got cranky.  I walked around declaring "This storm is a DUD!"  And then. . . natured payed me back.  It *really* started to snow.  (Well, for Asheville, which doesn't generally get much.)  By Thursday morning we had at least 8".  I was supposed to be working, but instead I tried to just enjoy it.  It's beginning to occur to me that, at age 11, my time is getting shorter rather than longer for Sam to want to play with his parents, and I better soak it all in and have fun.  And that's what we did.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HRV - The Truth Teller

Continuing with recent trends, yesterday was a run in the snow.  If you can call what I've been doing with the MAF Training running (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't), and if you can call what was on the ground snow.  It was more like a mud run with lovely scenery.

The MAF training, though, is pretty fascinating, and the HRV analysis is even more interesting.  Basically, to analyze HRV (and thus how recovered your body is), you strap on a heart rate monitor every morning and use an iPhone app to give you a reading.  So far I've decided to do whatever it says - train more - yes!  Take it easy - whatever you say.  And what's kind of interesting is that it's always right, and I often wouldn't have figured it out on my own.  I kind of always feel like crap in the morning - I'm not a morning person!  So when I stumble out of bed with the intention of running first thing in the morning, I'm not all that good at analyzing whether I'm ready to go run.  Instead it's more like - of course I feel terrible, it's morning!  But the HRV has said not to go and then I've ended up feeling like a zombie all day, thus proving it right.  And it's said to go when I really wanted to just curl up and read trashy novels all day, and it was right again and I had a good run.  So, as I told Kelly, I'm now outsourcing all decision making.  My new training plan is no training plan.  If the HRV says go, then I go, and if it says don't then I don't.

This is not very much like me, but then the things that are very much like me haven't actually served me all that well over the years, so I've decided to embrace it.  And. . . I feel better than I have in months. Nothing hurts. At all.  Which is big news.

The tiny white blob up the trail - that's Moose, my training partner. 

 I think the best thing about the HRV app is that it forces me to prioritize and make some choices.  Left to my own devices, I'll do Chisel twice a week, and a tempo run, and a track workout, and meet friends to hammer on the bike.  But with HRV telling the truth about what's going on, I know that I have to pick and choose - because if I go hard too often then I'm going to keep getting a big red NO, and have to do nothing for a few days.  Basically, I'm learning the lesson in my sporting life that I learned in my real life a long time ago:  You can do anything you want, but you can't do everything at the same time.  41 years later, I'm still taking this in.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snow Day on the Bike

Kelly and I met at 8 this morning at Bent Creek to ride.  We have a new winter rule - anything above 20 degrees is fair game.  It's fortuitous that we revised our previous rule (which was flexible but definitely did not include temperatures below freezing), for two reasons: (1) it's been a crazy cold winter so far, so we'd NEVER make it out on the bike if we waited for it to warm up, and (2) it's also been a very wet winter, and it's sooo much nicer to ride frozen trails than boggy trails.  Or to not ride at all because it's too much of a mess.  So off we went this morning, but with a twist - in keeping with the MAF training, my heart rate was not to exceed 134.  Kelly is not normally the type that wants to ride slowly, but she seems somewhat interested/somewhat bemused by my low heart rate idea, so she came along for the ride.

We weren't expecting a ton of snow - it's all melted outside of the woods.  But not so much in the woods.

Which meant that not only were we CRAWLING up the hills to stay in my MAF zone, we were also creeping on the downhills because there were a lot of icy patches.  Which meant this was not exactly our fastest ride ever.

In fact, when we finished we simultaneously remarked that it was the slowest we'd ever ridden a bike in our life.  I'm kind of really banking on the MAF theory that you can get faster at the lower heart rate if you improve your aerobic conditioning.  Because honest to God, we couldn't get much slower.

But in the category of "there's always a silver lining", we did take a lot more time to stop and smell the roses - hence the pictures.  And we had a great time chatting, and now I'm back home and not sacked out for the rest of the day, which is convenient since I have a fair bit of work to do.

And, in our smelling the roses, we also found some cool ice climbing possibilities.  Not that I engage in such activities, but if one did (and Kelly does), this was apparently a pretty interesting find.