Thursday, December 02, 2010

Week 3: Are We There Yet?

Week 3 of working out again has been going very well. I'm getting used to the daily workouts mentally. However, physically, this week, the fatigue is taking its toll. My muscle memory can get me through the workout, albeit at a slower pace, but boy, do I pay for it the next day! I'm trying hard to stay positive. I know this is normal but it sure is humbling. I feel like I have such a long way to go. Will I ever regain my fitness? How long is this going to take? I sound like an impatient child: "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" That's okay. It's all about the journey, right?

After Saturday's run in the rain, Greg and I went out for a hilly 30-mile ride in San Diego. The sun was out but the temps were still brisk after the evening rainfall. With arm warmers, gloves and a vest, I was uncomfortably cold. To make matters worse, we left in the afternoon. As the shadows grew long, the temperatures began to fall. At least we had lots of hills to climb! We toiled up Del Dios Highway. I had been prepared for this one. I was very proud of myself; I kept a consistent pace and didn't try to push it, knowing there would be more hills to follow. Unfortunately, my legs thought otherwise. Shortly after Del Dios, exhaustion set in. I ate, ate, and ate some more, which helped a little. But when you're out of shape, all the Cliff Bloks in the world won't save you. I fell silent for a long stretch, turning my focus inward, allowing my mind to quiet. The hilly ride had turned into a quiet, chilling hell, one I had brought on all by myself. Afterall, I had planned the route. That 30-miler felt like 50. I used to ride 80 miles of hills every weekend. How the hell did I do that? I had no IDEA what fantastic shape I used to be in. Too bad I had to lose it all to appreciate it. I'll keep plugging away at it. Soon, I hope my 50-mile rides feel like 30.

Monday, I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. Accordingly, I took a rest day. Tuesday, I wearily dragged myself out for a sluggish 4-mile run with the dogs, followed by a solid session of weights. Wednesday, miracle of all miracles, I woke up early. Maybe it was the sun shining so brightly through the large east window of my bedroom. Regardless, can I do that more often? Greg and I bundled up in as many biking clothes as we could find and braved the cold for a brisk, 18-mile am bike ride. It was exhilarating and exhausting. I still felt pretty sluggish and was ready to get off at mile 12. I can't believe how tough these bike rides are! Nonetheless, I keep getting back in the saddle; I have faith that they WILL get easier if I keep doing it.

I felt so gung-ho Wednesday evening that I doubled-down with a rad pool session, pumping out 2,000 yards. Unfortunately, it's waaaay too early in my training to be doubling down, let alone with 2,000 yards in the pool when my last swim was 2 weeks ago. Whoops. The swim felt amazing; it's just that I didn't. Especially this morning. I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by a train. Today's Thursday, and, yup, I'm forcing myself to take a rest day.

I'm wondering when my recovery week was. I'm sad to say I'm going to need a recovery week next week, even though this month has been all "Prep" work. But, I have to listen to my body. And it's screaming for recovery. On the other hand, I'm hoping to maintain my workouts during the recovery week at a lower volume (with one extra rest day) so I don't lose my momentum. Maybe by listening to my body, I'll be able to take a recovery week the way it should be taken: a 50% reduction in volume (as opposed to my normal 80% decrease or in other words, veg on the couch all week).

9 comments:

Diana said...

It's truly amazing how fast one's body can turn to mush. Being sidelined from running since mid October has been a drag, especially with my first full marathon scheduled for May 15th! However, keeping up doing the kettlebells has kept my cardio in great shape. I've just started back to running and only am allowed 1/4 mile at a time. UGH, but it's a start and I hope to quickly get back to some long runs! I have to keep the feet stress-fracture free! At least for the next 6 months!
Sounds like your training is shaping up nicely! Don't be so hard on yourself! I know, easier to say than do.....

Christi said...

You are making great progress! And you are right listen to your body. If it says rest then rest please!

I don't listen well to my body and I regret it every time!

MissFancyPants said...

Your doing awesome - think of the accomplishment you will feel when you LATER ride 80 miles hills!!

Sharon said...

I'm pulling for you, Rachel!

Bron said...

Continuing to motivate yourself, especially when it's cold, is just so hard. Keep at it! (from a newbie tri girl!)

Heidi Austin said...

keep up the good work! sometimes it's better to go on how the body feels vs what's on the schedule.... but cold weather sux!

Spin Surfer said...

When I had CFS, cold was horrible. It brought all the symptoms of a bad flu. On very rare occasions, if tired, I can get chilled to the bone, and the same thing happens. A good nap in a warm bed heals me right up.

Fortunately, I am barrel-chested and make a lot of core heat, and am totally recovered now for 20+ yrs, but it still throws a scare into me when it happens.

Difficult for me to see you this way, as I know how much you are suffering. Keep plugging. You'll get past it.

speedvegan.com said...

I've had mandatory periods of down time and I've always found it hard to bounce back afterwards, so I know how hard this must be. Just take it easy. The most important part of a comeback is consistency. Pushing yourself too hard or focusing on performance might discourage you. It's the time to fall back in love with the sport ! Like Sin Surfer said, keep plugging away. Eventually the fog will clear ! Best wishes !

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