So here's my first pass at a video blog. Please excuse the loud gusts of wind, I'm not sure exactly what to do about that outside of telling The Man Upstairs to keep things quiet when I'm trying to record! I tried capture the emotion of the bike ride while it was happening, instead of writing about it after the fact. I think I failed miserably but the bright side is I will get better. Hope you enjoy it, if you can get through watching it! The scenery is gorgeous, when I'm not screwing it up.
Today's training made me realize just how much more I bit off than I could chew this weekend. I ran nearly eight miles and climbed about 900 feet in around 1:25:00 today in 75-degree weather. The good news is that my knees felt fine the entire run, and I was able to remain (mostly) on my forefoot in my strides. I think the key to forefoot striking that has really helped me is not the avoidance of heel striking, but rather placing more of an emphasis on the forefoot than usual. This is allowing me to find an acceptable middle ground (no pun intended) while running instead of potentially shredding my knees and Achilles.
Yet, by the time the run was over, I was totally exhausted. My run called for activity between zones 1-4 on the heart-rate monitor. I took that to mean I could run for extended periods in zone 4 while climbing. Having the UCLA men's and women's cross country team out on the course with me didn't help me keep my pace in check, nor did the Spanish female marathoner who ran a 2:09 at Big Sur. Are you kidding me??? Well, I kept up with her on a few uphill climbs, but she revealed at the top that she had turned her ankle and was taking it easy.
Following the run, my day wasn't close to over. I had promised Stephanie that we'd spend more time this year exercising together, which manifested itself in our first tennis outing in more than a year. Surprisingly, it went well for both of us! We had a few rallies, nobody pulled anything, and all tennis balls stayed on the court. Win!
Then, following lunch together and a nap (in the middle of the Jets-Patriots game!) I tried to fit in yesterday's swim that I flaked on yesterday.
This time, instead of sitting in the parking lot I actually made it into the water. What a mistake. I was terrible! I felt like a boulder in the water, and couldn't even complete the full workout (10 minutes easy laps, 5x150 drills and 4x300 moderate pace). After my second 300, I saw my scheduled workout time had come and gone and decided enough was enough.
So far, that's a big difference between this year and last year's training. When I'm done, I'm done. I'm not forcing things perhaps the way I did last year.
Except when I overdo it for hours on end beforehand.
Still, whether it's a video blog that didn't quite turn out as planned, a bike ride gone slightly awry, a run that got derailed by my own competitiveness, or a swim that didn't meet expectations due to exhaustion, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Isn't it great to overextend every once in a while? To push beyond our comfort zones? To try and fail? It's weird, but I think there's pleasure in that. Stagnation is boring. Following the plan all the time gets stale.
I hope you've been able to bite off more than you can chew a little bit too.
156 days and counting.