Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sometimes The Girl Is Actually Right... Just Don't Tell Her I Said That

Sometimes you have to listen to someone despite not wanting to beleive a word they say even when you know its true.  Last week I decided I was ok to start training again just two weeks after the Goofy Challenge.  Just to be sure though I figured I'd start with a visit to the Sports Medicine folk.  They cleared me to swim and bike.  So that night I put my bike in the trainer and went for a sixty minute spin.  I felt good and it felt great to get on the bike again after a bit of a layoff.  I decided I'd get back in the pool the very next morning and get the 2011 season kicked off right.

That morning I woke up feeling exhausted.  I struggled to get out of bed despite going to bed early (a pattern lately) and missed my window to swim at the Y.  Thats ok though...  I figured I'd hit the lunchtime lap times at the Y in Providence as I was headed up there that day anyway.  So at lunch I dragged myself to the Y.  I was a bit hesitant getting in the pool as I always am after a lay off but I went for it anyway and told myself to suck it up.  I know once I get back in my pool groove I'll start to like the pool again.  So I got in the pool and went about my workout.  It started with a 200 Warmup.  No big deal.  Got through that.  I didn't feel great, but I got it in.  Then started an 8x50's on 1:15s.  Which means I get about 25 seconds rest after each 50 which is great.  Plenty of time to recooperate between 50s.  I have to say though that I didn't feel great and I was getting cumalitively more tired with each 50.  From there it was on to 3x100's done as 75 easy, ten second rest, 25 Sprint, fifteen second rest, and repeat.  I made it through that set and got out of the pool.  I was done.  Exhausted.  I simply ran out of energy.  I bonked for no reason.  I had plenty of calories in my body but I just didn't have any energy left.  I was confused and angry and annoyed but I got out of the pool and decided I'd just have to swim better the next day.

That night when the girl got home from work we talked about my swim workout.  And then the conversation broadened.  The girl suggested that two weeks wasn't enough time off of the cumulative effect of the goofy challenge starting up right after a very busy tri season that started right after the DC marathon.  Looking back I realized I never took any time off last year into this year.  So maybe she was right?  She suggested I had many of the symptoms of overtraining.  So we went online and looked those up.  According to Wikipedia they are...

Overtraining may be accompanied by one or more concomitant symptoms:


So which of those do I have?

Muscle soreness - Yep.
Persistent Fatigue - Yep (Apparently I've been telling the girl "I'm tired" for the last three months)
Elevated resting heart rate - I don't know...   which reminds me.  I need to measure that soon and regularly.
Reduced heart rate variability - not sure, but don't think so.
Increased Susceptibility to infections - fortunately no
Increased incidence of injuries - yep.  Lots of nagging ones going on now
Irritability - yep
Depression - somewhat, but it comes and goes.  Currently mostly at the fact I'm not training.
Mental Breakdown - I have had a lot of trouble focusing lately.  So maybe?

Anyway...  thats roughly 50-60% of the key symptoms which is enough to make me admit that perhaps I'm on a dangerous road if I don't sit back and take some time off.  So I decided that the botched swim session and me still feeling really tired means I need to take two more weeks off.  So thats the new plan and why I've been quiet.  I have been doing absolutely nothing training wise.  Just resting up and waiting....    although I did do one other spin workout that night with the girl.  I just did an easy hour on the bike.  Mostly as I needed to think and I think well when training.  So on the spin bike is when I decided to knock it off for another two weeks.  That will make my time off about 4 weeks off since the Disney and I'll start back up with some biking and swimming.  I will also give a shot at casually running the marathon in Jacksonville if I feel up to it.  But only at an easy pace and for fun.  Not for time or anything.  I'd say the odds of me doing the full are slim, the half 50/50 and just standing there cheering is what will probably happen.  I'll give a shot at running in another week and see how I do.

So what else have I been up to?  Well I was supposed to be getting a sports massage from my friend, training partner and gifted sports massage therapist Nancy today.  But a nasty winter storm had other ideas...  so now I'll do that on Friday.  I was also supposed to go to Phsyical therapy on Wednesday to learn some new stretches but that had to move to next monday due to the same storm.  So I think today I'll do ten easy minutes on the bike to warm up my legs later and then do some streches and thats it.  My hamstring still feels tight and I don't think its going to heal itself unless I start stretching it.  So thats the plan...   just some light stretches and a brief slow yoga session and we'll call it good for the day.

So how else do I know the girl was right?  well I generally can't sleep more than about 6-7hours.  This weekend I went to New Jersey to visit my folks and on both days I slept between 9-10 hours.  So clearly there is some cumulative exhaustion going on here and my body needed to rest and catch up.  So hopefully this down time and easy ramp up will go a long way to having a great season in 2011.  I'm a little dissapointed that my cycling and swimming have not made more progress this offseason as thats what I was really hoping for, but lesson learned in that you can't go and run a winter marathon and make great progress in the offseason as well as go into the new season feeling rested.

So as well as learning some lessons I've also been continueing to gear up for the 2011 season.  The bike is just about done now.  The second to last addition came in the other day in the form of a Garmin 800 bike computer that I'm really excited to play with as it has much better power monitoring than the Garmin 310xt as well as a nice built in navigation feature so I wont get lost on long training rides and my SRAM S60 wheel is having a power tap installed in it as we speak.  So soon I'll be training with power.  As well as that a couple more training books came in to teach me about how to train with power and more thoughts on ironman training plans.  So were almost there.

So at least we're on the path to a great season.  I just hope I can get moving forwards again soon and get things off to a great start.

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