Friday, June 23, 2006
Major pre-race anxiety
This week has not been going as planned. I've missed a lot of workouts I was planning on. Okay, I know I have a big race on Sunday and I need to taper but this is ridiculous.
How do you taper?
Ideally, I like to do my biggest workouts in the beginning of the week and wind down towards the end of the week. I don't do any weight-lifting and I scratch one of my runs since it's so hard on my knees. I don't run for 3 days before race day, and I do a short bike 2-3 days before. The day before, I either do a relaxing swim or take off completely. Sometimes I take 2 days off beforehand. Basically, it ends up being a 3-day taper with 1-2 days off. This has worked well for me so far in sprint to mid-distance races.
How's it's really been: I've taken Mon., Tues., Wed., and Thurs. completely off!!! Ack! I'm having a nervous breakdown right now. I know that a workout takes 10 days for your body to appreciate and that you can only hurt yourself (not help) by working out too much during race week. But I feel that maintaining a consistent but reduced volume of training the week of a race really helps in keeping the blood flowing, muscles limber, mind at ease, as well as getting the muscle memory going. So it's a good thing.
Monday, okay, I was tired from the 8-mile race the day before. Plus, I had a deep tissue massage, which always makes me sore afterwards. Fine. Legitimate day off. Tuesday, I was going to bike especially since I've been slacking in this area and wanted to give myself confidence. But one thing led to another, and then it was bedtime. How many times has this happened to you? Wed. I was going to meet with the club after work to preview the bike course and do a brick workout. I was raring to go when my stomach started bothering me around 4:30 p.m. I popped an antacid and tried eating some gentle foods--yogurt and a granola bar. Nothing. My stomach churned and burned for hours, forcing me to give up and go home. I ended up taking an early evening nap, waking up to eat and sloth on the couch, and going back to bed for a good night's rest. Okay, not so bad since a good night's sleep is valuable, and I can't help being sick. Plus, the club workouts are usually too intense for me, and I may have done more harm than good by doing a hard brick. I have resolved to do my own bike at a lower mileage and preview the course by driving it Friday or Saturday. And tonight? No excuse, whatsoever. I came home with good intentions and promptly fell asleep for 2 hours before I could get on the bike. The rest of the night has been a complete waste.
I feel like complete sh*t right now but I need to focus on salvaging the rest of the week and gearing up for this race on Sunday. Tomorrow, I plan on doing a short brick, focused on the bike. A simple up-and-back coastal ride for 45 minutes followed by an easy, flat 3-mile run. I'll ride to work so I have no temptations to skip. I should feel refreshed afterwards. Must remember to stretch. Saturday, I will hop in the pool and swim for 45 minutes, focusing on drills, technique, and form. This will also help me get to sleep Sunday night since swimming always makes me tired. Then, I will have gone through the motions before Sunday but should still feel fresh. That's the new and not-so-improved plan. Ugh.
Meanhwhile, in addition to feeling like a sloth, I haven't been eating as well. I feel like a pig. I need to start making healthier choices, eating small frequent meals througout the day, and planning what I'm going to eat the day before so it's easy to make the right choices. I'm starting to feel bad about my weight again because I've gained a few pounds but I know I'm at a healthy weight. I think if I just start eating healthier and sticking to my workout plan, I'll feel better.