Saturday, March 10, 2012

Science Experiments, Training Plans, and Budweiser...

This week has been  mentally challenging, physically challenging and mentally draining.  Along with the challenges I have a learned a lot, refocused my training and reignited the fire that drives me.  Sometimes it takes a tough week, some time off, and horrible training sessions to push me in the right direction.  I use my body as my own little science experiment - how far can I go, how fast can I get there, what fuel is best, what training and recovery scheme help me peak on time?

Last Friday I began to feel very fatigued with a sore throat and headache while at work in the morning.  I recently was told I don't have to be in the office on Friday afternoons (yippee - I don't get a paycheck anyways) so I was thrilled to have time to get a good swim session in before catching a plane back to Michigan.  Well, I ate lunch and just felt worse and worse so I decided to nap until it was time to leave for the airport.  I woke up - feeling even worse.  As soon as I got home I started pounding Zicam, Airborne, Cold-eeze, Halls Defense, orange juice, etc.  I slept in on Saturday before meeting some friends for an early lunch.  I had planned on putting in some quality time on the trainer with my IM Louisville Spinervals.  Sadly, I felt worse after lunch.  And so the story continued through Sunday and Monday...

On Monday after having chills and worsening symptoms I was so frustrated I knew I needed to go to the doctor.  Normally I am able to work out through colds, allergies, etc.  Not this one, this was kicking my butt. Any attempt at movement and I needed to lay down and rest for an hour.  The doc hooked me up with some meds to knock out a nasty bacterial sinus infection.  I was still growing increasingly frustrated - I wasn't able to workout at all - let alone hit my 26 hours for the week.  Deep breaths it was going to be ok - Louisville is still 168 days away, I still have 5 weeks before my first important race, and look at how far I've come this year.  Use the rest to reinvigorate your mind and body, let the body heal.

How often do you schedule rest or active recovery days into your plan?

I returned to work on Wednesday and promptly drove to the park after to get in what I though would be an each 3 mile run.  It was anything but easy - my pace was about 45 seconds slower than where it should have been and my perceived exertion was through the roof!  First run back, still feeling a little sick, I tried to tell myself it was good I was out there but my thoughts went to - "there's no way you can PR you HM next weekend?"  "You have no shot at hitting a 10k PR at USAT Coll. Nationals in April"", etc.  I pushed through workouts on Thursday and Friday - they still felt tough, but I do believe I made some small improvements.

Has your pace dropped with a sickness?  How long did it take you to get it back?

Start of 15, 41, 45, 66, and 105 mile routes through Cartersville!
I was very excited to have some nice weather for the weekend and headed out to the Budweiser Plant in Cartersville for a good long ride.  I've been told the courses around Cartersville are similar to what I'll see in Louisville with the rolling hills.  I figured I'd give it a try.  To my surprise the routes were pretty nicely marked on the road and there were plenty of cyclists out and about.  I even made a friend - a he rode 50 miles less than me, but pushed me through the last 15 miles hard.  I always ride better with other people.  This workout was a great mental pick me up to the challenging week I had coming back from being sick.  I got in 86 miles on the bike and 4 miles on the run in beautiful sunny weather - I couldn't ask for more.

It was about time I found a good training ground in Georgia.  The Silver Comet is good, but boring and can get quite crowded.  I drove the whole way home smiling and happy about the great workout.  Not that this makes me want to stay in Georgia, but it is an added bonus - it can go on the pro side of my pro and con list :)

Taking a few days off let me take some time to think about my training plan.  In general it's still a good plan in terms of base, build, peak, race, and recovery but the hours were a bit, crazy.  I found myself completing my '2 hour workouts' in 1.5 hours and then just filling in the other 30 minutes with "stuff".  Also with the addition of Collegiate Nationals to my schedule it's important for me to be fast in April.  I will refocus my running to more high intensity efforts starting this week :).  I am excited for this.  I do believe I can still PR my HM, perhaps not by as much as I would have hoped but definitely possible.  Seeing my pace fall by so much with the sickness was almost devastating.  Tomorrow I will do a high intensity effort of 2 x 5000m on the track to get a bit of a base point.  I'm excited to be adding intensity and dropping duration a bit - written in the plan to begin in a couple weeks but as I mentioned when I created the plan "I have to be open to change".

"I never said it would be easy, I promised it would be worth it."


  1. I LOVE YOU! Glad you smiled and were happy driving back and gained some great insight!

  2. The Budweiser people didn't offer you a free Bud Light after all that work?