Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Chronically Overtrained Age-Grouper

I'm still trying to find my rhythm. Thinking of changing my blog title to "Chronically Overtrained Age-Grouper." Find the volume that will build me up without tearing me down in the process. It's not even the weekend, and I already feel spent. How did that happen? I would like to try and get through this week and then back off a little next week. Allow myself to miss a swim or a bike or a run and give myself an extra rest day so I feel extra fresh on the weekend. What would that feel like? To feel fresh for a long ride or run? I don't even know!

It all started Tuesday evening. The morning swim really took it out of me but I didn't realize it. I cranked out a solid 20 miles on the coast on Torch. I didn't feel like I went too hard. It felt perfect. I've even been wearing my G*#&m! heart-rate monitor (my ball-and-chain) to make sure my heart-rate doesn't go too high. Started out just cruising heart rate around 130. Hit some small hills and felt my afternoon snack(s) (I was hungry, ok?) slosh around in my stomach. Yuck. Glanced at my heart-rate. 160. Crested the hill, got aero and found "the zone". I caught myself breathing a deep sigh of relief. Glanced at heart rate. 143. My 140-145 zone on the bike is now my "official" aerobic, base-training zone. 160 and above is anaerobic b/c that's when I feel pukey. Brilliant! Who needs LT testing? Ha!

On the return home, I really felt good. I even pushed it a bit, enjoying the small surge of power I felt at the downward portion of each pedal stroke. Where had that come from? By the time I got home, stretched, showered and changed, I was a different person entirely. Suddenly, that awesome ride I'd had suddenly left me wiped. I declared that I would be skipping dinner in favor of lying down. I was so tired. When Jason put dinner in front of me anyway, I scarfed it down within 10 minutes without even realizing it. He just looked at me with this astonished look on his face. Then, I promptly went to bed. It was 8:30 pm. I slept through the entire night, no problem. Guess I bonked. But how? On a little training ride? I am a weak, weak girl right now.

Wednesday, I ate ravenously all day. Anything I could get my hands on. I was starving all day. Nothing I ate satiated me. It was really irritating. That evening, I joined my friends for a little beach run. I went an easy 4 miles just to get it done. It was very hot and humid--something that doesn't help the overtrained athlete. Felt fine otherwise. Actually had some very nice moments where I found my rhythm and settled in. At one point, I was running over a stretch of sand, wet with a gloss from a recent wave. It looked like I was running on glass. Little specks of water and sand flicked up on my calves as I ran. I noticed when I was running smoothly and in good form, I almost felt like I was running in place. On the way back, when I tried to push a bit, I didn't feel so good. I realized I could slow down to ease up on the intensity, and it was like an epiphany. Slow down? Oh, right. What a concept! Ate a really healthy dinner of fruit, salad, sushi, and iced tea.

Thursday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and onto the trainer. Didn't want to do it but knew I should at least try. First 20 minutes sucked as Coach Troy went through a base training session. Wore the stupid heart rate monitor again. I could only get it around 130--don't know if it's b/c I hate the trainer (boring) or b/c I'm overtrained. I hope it's the former. After 60 minutes, I had enough.

I really want to do the club Aquathlon tonight. We'll see. I've been slogging all day. This sucks! Why can't I keep up with my workouts? Why are they so hard all of a sudden? This is ridiculous!


jameson said...

I am sure not having a "good" recovery week is one of the contributing factors. I would also look closely at your diet, especially post workout. When I find myself dragging ass it's usually due to lack of quality calories. I'll be down at the aquathlon tonight... I'm tired too... we'll see how it goes!

Rice said...

I love analogies.. so I got one.."three steps forward two steps back".. it will come around again you know that.. thats what this whole process is about tare it down, beat the hell out of it and rebuild it stronger then before.



Leah said...

I'm a big fan of trusting your gut. If you need to pull back a little, do it. Your body will perform better fully recovered.

Erika said...

When I feel crappy like that now I check my iron intake and calorie level. I've experieced lows in both and have to say it feels like crap even after a recovery week.

Hope you start feeling more energized soon.

Paul said...

Hey Rachel,

It was great to see you last night. I'm glad you made it out. Talk about an awesome swim with great visibility...

Lisa said...

I'm way too beginner to have any new or helpful input- but keep us posted! I've been having knee problems so I skipped my long run this week (I have a race next week, so it's not like my endurance can really be improved between now and then anyway).
But keep us updated- I always learn a lot from your blog!

qcmier said...

Sometimes change is good, and I mean more than just your blog title. By the way, I think you are waaaay past an amateur at this point.