Yesterday, I busted my butt to get up to Encinitas, fighting traffic the whole way. It took me an hour to drive 15 miles. Ridiculous. Needless to say, I was a good 10 minutes late for the tri club bike workout. The adrenaline was pumping b/c I really didn't want to miss the group. I decided, worst-case scenario, I would go it alone, using the directions the coach had e-mailed us beforehand. However, when I got there, the group was lined up, listening to the pre-ride talk. They were ultra-nice. I felt really bad about making them wait, and I told them to go ahead but they said they didn't mind and waited anyway while I put on my bike shoes and helmet and got my bike off the car.
We took off, and I felt totally disoriented. I already felt like I had been racing to get there so I was kind of frazzled. Plus, I didn't quite know what the gameplan was since I had missed most of the pre-ride talk. Also, no warm-up. Also, everyone else was super-fast...faster than me anyway so I went from 0 to sprint right away. 3 miles later, I was huffing and puffing and my legs were screaming. I let the group pull ahead and just settled into my own pace, deciding I could figure it out. Again, worst-case scenario, I would fudge the ride and figure out something. As long as I knew how to get back, it would be fine.
Mentally, I started to settle down but my body had a hard time since I had been going, going, going. In addition, I felt tired. My legs were sore, and I had no power. I knew it was from lack of recovery since I had a long, hard bike on Sunday and a hilly, hard bike on Tuesday. Now, Wednesday, I'm back on the bike, sprinting. Despite all these setbacks, I didn't mind. I accepted where I was and just focused on having a good workout.
The group was super-nice. I missed the first turn, and they all made sure I knew where it was as they passed me going back. I turned back and got back on track. The coach stayed behind at the second turn and waited for me so he could make sure I knew where to go. I didn't expect that at all. Very, very considerate.
I made it back to the car/transition area, changed into my running shoes, and the coach gave me course directions for a 5K run. I had been looking forward to the run all week. My foot has been feeling better, and I've been aching to run more since it's my favorite activity. My legs had the familiar heavy, dead feeling you get when running off the bike. However, I noticed it went away much faster than previous bricks. Only 3 minutes into my run, I found a very comfortable pace. I went into a zone and floated down the street. My form felt smooth and easy. I relaxed and started to really settle down. I had a lot of fun looking at all the shops I passed around town. After the first loop, I checked my watch and realized I needed a 2nd loop for 3 miles. This would have been an easy time to quit; I could see the car. Normally, I would have to push myself. This time, I didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep going. It was awesome. The second loop was even better than the first. I came back to the car, feeling fresher than when I had started. I even felt like I could go farther but I didn't want to push it. Best thing? No foot pain!!! Unbelievable. Also, I didn't have any knee pain on the bike. Yea!!!
The coach asked how I felt and was surprised when I told him I felt better after the run than the bike. He also was surprised when I told him I had done two loops. Guess he figured after my performance on the bike that I would be a slow runner. He was very nice though and never made me feel bad about being sapped on the bike. I think I probably just needed more recovery from biking but since I hadn't been running in a few days, was fresh for running.
Ending on a good note was a great thing. I also met some new, friendly people. I am so sore today. Good sore. I stretched a lot last night. It felt great. Obviously, I chose to sleep in this morning rather than weight lift. Sore, tired muscles don't make for good weight lifting. I feel I'm training smart and hard so I'm happy. However, I haven't been able to make room for weight training, which is important for me since I lack strength and power. Normally, I do it twice a week. It's not that I don't have the time, my body just can't handle it this week. I'm training as hard as my body can safely handle right now, and there's just no more room for anything else. How do you reconcile this?
Question of the Day:
How do you balance weight training with running, swimming, and biking plus recovery time when the triathlon stuff tires your body out?