Guess this is another reason I'm not exactly what you'd call normal.
Today marked the four-week mark of my training with Valley Coach, which means it's a test week to re-calibrate heart rate zones. I checked off running and swimming earlier, so today was about the bike. My favorite.
The assignment was to work my heart-rate up to 153 bpm and then maintain a 90-100 pedal stroke per minute cadence for 20 minutes. Distance, cadence, heart-rate and average speed would all factor into the equation. Of course, the equation became muddied since my ever-finicky speedometer wasn't working. This required using some dreaded (and dreadful) math and my car's odometer to figure out my average speed. I wasn't thrilled with the result, not because of my performance but precisely the opposite...I could've sworn I was moving faster! At least the average 154 bpm was encouraging.
Once I posted my results, Coach Gerardo changed my HR settings ever so slightly lower. I'm curious to see how much of a difference this makes in my training. He reassured me that this isn't a "bad or a good thing", it's more of a statement on where I'm at fitness-wise. I suppose only the next four weeks will tell if I'm making real progress. It's too soon to say right now. With all this training, I really hope so. I'm not quite sure what I'd do if I didn't see any progress for all this time, training and money invested.
Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
The highlight of the morning was once again discovering a new part of SoCal. This time, I explored the nature trails at the Sepulveda Dam in Balboa Park. This was part of a very slow and leisurely 45-minute jog prior to the cycling test. I saw all sorts of birds throughout the run, usually nestled together on small man-made islands on the lake. It almost looked like they, too, were celebrating the holidays in their own quiet way. Peaceful. Calm. Happy. Graceful.
Tomorrow I have the day off from training. I'm not sure how I'll spend the holiday just yet. But there are five NBA games on (including Lakers-Cavs) TV so I'll start there. I also bought groceries to cook myself breakfast, which I haven't done in a long time.
To the people who actually read this blog (and have read this far), I hope you have a terrific holiday. I hope it's filled with family, happiness and harmony. My personal gift will be a day off from training!
335 days and counting.
Merry Christmas to all.