Phew! I did it. Time to enjoy a week of R&R. How do I do that exactly? I'm trying to figure out how to scale back and recoup without just taking 1 week completely off. Anyhow, my shoulder and Achilles tendon (and knees) will thank me. My left shoulder has been complaining. Nothing serious but enough that I should consider listening. Apparently going from 1-2x/week in the pool of about 2000m/week total to 2-3x/week swimming of about 4000-5000m/week is too much, too soon, according to my shoulder. Fiiiine. Guess my shoulder is a bit of a wimp. In addition, my left Achilles has been complaining. Something about too many hills on the bike combined with bad technique followed by lots of running. Who prescribed that?--my Achilles wants to know. Oh, and my right knee is complaining that I'm running too many "long-distance" runs. My body loves to complain. So, clearly, it's time for an R&R. My body will thank me, although, personally, I think my body is a bit of wimp.
Sunday: Today, we got in our 7.5 mile run. I didn't want to go b/c it was cold and rainy outside but Jason talked me into it. It ended up being very nice. Once we warmed up, it wasn't cold, and there were very few people out and about. We ran on the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which is serene and beautiful. A creek runs alongside the trail the whole way, and it is lined with trees, giving it a forest-like feeling. It runs through several local parks. It's very peaceful. I felt good the whole way. My Achilles felt fine after the first 1 mile, although I've noticed it takes longer to warm up out of it (was 1/2 mile last week) and it hurts more during that "warm-up" period. On the way back, my right knee started aching. Good 'ole patellofemoral syndrome rearing its ugly head. I focused on squeezing my glutes and tightening my core with my foot falls, and the knee pain actually subsided a bit. It felt great to get the run in. I was able to maintain 9 min/miles without a problem and could have gone farther (except for the knee-ache thing). I followed this up with weights and am now enjoying the rainy day inside with family, football, and a fire. Does it get any better than that?
Saturday: Day off. My dad, sister, Jason, and I went to the Deep Cliff Golf Course for a short round of golf. Considering I have played 3x in my life, I convinced everyone we should only do 9 holes. Thankfully, they agreed. After some quick instruction from my dad and Jason at the driving range and putting green, we teed off. It was actually really fun. A bit chillier than previous days (upper 50s), the sun was out, and it was a gorgeous fall day, complete with lush green grass, babbling brook, pine trees, and lots of red, yellow, and orange leaves loosely adorned on half-naked deciduous trees. A nice change of pace from San Diego where the only trees around are palm trees. I was actually able to make contact with the ball and hit it fairly straight on almost every shot. On some of the tees I was able to loft it into the air a bit (on one hole, I got it over a ravine with a creek at the bottom, which I was ecstatic about), although not nearly as nicely as Jason, who hit the ball like a pro 90% of the time. We even golfed by a young mule deer, not more than 20 feet from us, who let us play through. It was surprisingly quite fun, and I would do it again, a statement that shocked my entire family. Afterwards, we had a great lunch, and I promptly took a long, deep nap upon returning home.
Friday: We woke up at 6:30 am to go swimming so that the workout wouldn't interfere with other family activities later in the day. My dad came along for a workout, and my sister joined us too. None of us wanted to do it, and we kept looking around to see whose idea it had been (mine), not that I wanted to do it either. I kept thinking about how good I would feel afterwards. It was F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G, especially compared to the day before. Mid-40s. Okay, I know that's very pleasant for the rest of the world but when you have to immerse yourself in an outdoor body of water in a two-piece Speedo (my one-piece was still damp), it's cold. Steam rose off the water of the pool, and I was delighted to realize that jumping in the pool felt warm and inviting since the water was warmer than the ambient temperature. One thing about cold temps--it makes you MOVE! I sprinted for the first few minutes just to warm up. We all had a very nice workout, mixing short sprints with longer build sets. My sister swam a solid mile, which is awesome. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice soak in the hot tub (with jets).
After running some errands, I wanted nothing more than to sink into the bed for a nap (what is it with me and naps lately? It's like my new addiction) but I convinced myself to get on the bike. My dad's steeds needed to be taken out of the stable so we pumped up the tires, put on warm clothes, and off we went. Jason atop my dad's Specialized Rock Hopper (a tank with really wide tires), and I rode my dad's red Specialized Allez. At 58 cm, the beast was several cm too big for me, which I noticed most in the top tube, and Jason really got a workout trying to keep up with the road bike on a mountain bike.
We cruised down the Los Gatos Creek Trail, laden with families out for a post-Thanksgiving Day jaunt--walking, roller blading, biking, you name it. It was a recovery ride for us anyway, but there were several close calls as I pulled off the path to avoid small swerving children on their trikes. At least I got some good balance and core work in negotiating the turns, curves, and kids. Ironically, it was the lone elderly man on the way back who ended up causing the closest call of the day. I pulled over to the left to pass him, and he decided to turn left at the last possible second. With my stomach in my throat, I didn't have a chance to cry out. I slammed on the breaks, causing the red Allez to buck violently. I jammed my left foot on the ground to prevent the beast from flipping us both over. The man turned around at the last second as the front tired collided with his leg, and he put his arms out to brace himself as the bike came to a stop. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, and, other than being shaken up, neither was I. He was quite apologetic, and, after making sure he was okay, I reassured him that everything was fine and we were all on our merry little ways. It was a very nice ride, nonetheless, especially for a recovery ride, and we still managed a not-too-shabby 17 miles. However, in the future, I've decided the Los Gatos Creek Trail is best suited for running while road bikes should stick to the roads.
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot (see previous post) 10K run.
Wednesday: 4 mi track run (mile repeats--ugh!) and weights (discussed in previous post).
Tuesday: 7 am spin class (yipee) and evening pool swim.
Monday: 30 mile am bike up the coast that was most awesome.
All in all--an excellent week. I got in all my workouts except 1 swim (but I'm still swimming a good amount at this point), which is excellent, considering the holiday and family interference. Plus, although I have a few aches and pains, it's nothing some R&R can't cure. In addition, the extreme fatigue I felt in Week 4 has subsided. Gotta love vacation!
Swim: 2x; 2.5 hrs; ~4000m
Bike: 3x; 4 hrs; 57 mi
Run: 3x; ~3 hrs; 17.5 mi
Weights: 2x (40 min each)
Total time (weights not included): 9.5