Calm Before the Storm

Forget all this triathlon stuff for a second.

I'd like to point out that I correctly predicted the Super Bowl match-ups. That doesn't happen often, even though I listen to sports talk radio during my morning commute and my TV should have the SportsCenter logo burned into the screen by now. So, when I actually get something right like sports picks, I gotta gloat just a little!
OK, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
I had a "leisurely" brick workout today. Leisurely because there were no Fortius group runs or bike sessions, meaning I could actually try to sleep in a little (which I needed after a fun night out last night at my new favorite local hangout, the Blue Dog Tavern). Today's scheduled included a one-hour running time-trial, followed by a one-hour swim featuring two sets of six 100-yard intervals with descending finish times.
This time, like my Super Bowl picks (last time, I promise), I got the time-trial right. My lactate threshold for the latter 20 minutes of the 30-minute run was 168 bpm, which was 13 beats faster than my TT earlier this week. This time, I ran harder while staying within the limits of zone 4 instead of zone 3.
My reward? New HR zones, courtesy of Coach Gerardo. Not by much, but a couple minor adjustments.
My pace was somewhat troublesome. I ran 9:05-minute miles. I know I'm faster than that and I've run much faster in actual races (anywhere from 7:30-8-minute miles). But, I guess I need to keep trusting this "slower is faster" mantra and believe that in the Surf City Half Marathon in a few weeks I'll be faster. It should be a good test.
The swim was terrific. I didn't feel winded except for the two final 100s at the end of each interval set, when I was trying to reach my 2:05 threshold-pace. I hit them each time, but I was pushing a little to get there. At the end of the workout though, I felt relaxed and refreshed -- comfortable knowing I could go for longer if I needed to.
That's probably the biggest difference my training has made over the past two months. I can tackle more training and not feel nearly as tired, sore or winded the next day.
The rest of the day has been relaxing and leisurely. Though as I lay in bed typing, it seems like I spent a good portion of it racing around town trying to get chores done before for the next series of storms hits Los Angeles on Tuesday. I did laundry, got gas, picked up groceries, paid bills, cleaned my bike... and even managed to watch an entire NFL football game. Believe it or not, I've rarely done that this entire summer, fall and winter, thanks to the training schedule.
Surprisingly, that last part hasn't bothered me really at all. I've noticed something different this year about myself. As I grow older, I've realized that I can either sit at home watching other people do amazing things on television, or I can go out and try to do amazing things myself. And when you realize what amazing feats your body is capable of -- which I firmly believe is true for all of us, watching TV becomes less and less appealing.
Maybe that's why in marketing the coveted 18-34 year-old demographic ends at 34 and not 35.
And with that, I kill the lights and call it a weekend.
304 days and counting.