Recovery Day?

I thought Mondays were supposed to be recovery days. Guess that's in the past now.

After a weekend consisting of a 15-mile trail run, 45-minute swim, 53-mile bike ride and a 15-minute transition run, I was back at it again this morning.  Hard.

First, I swam 2,500 yards, highlighted by 15 100s at 2:10 pace.  Slow for many, but after this weekend, it was just fine. Though I did most of the sets between my normal T-pace, 2:05, and 2:10.  Somehow. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

The toughest part of the swim wasn't even physical.  It came in the form of an impromptu lesson from my lane-mate, a very fast swimmer I met named John.  He said I wasn't gliding enough at the end of my stroke, meaning I wasn't leaving my arm extended for long enough.  In addition, though John said I had a strong upper body and my legs were good (really?, Coach Gerardo thinks my kicking sucks), he mentioned my arms were entering the water much sooner than they should be.  And that I was bending my elbows too much. This runs counter to what Gerardo was trying to get me to do, entering the water with my pinkie fingers touching the plane first in order to more effectively engage my hip rotation.

Swimming is such a technical sport, and I honestly have no idea what I'm doing sometimes in the water.  Just when I think I'm improving, I find that I have more bad habits.  I'm a little frustrated, to be honest. Am I getting better, or getting worse?

Fortunately, the second half of my workout, a 45-minute "recovery" run completed this evening on the treadmill, went smoother.  That was actually part of the problem though.  With my elevated heart-rate zone settings, it's more difficult to reach a speed that gives me the workout I need.  For example, when I was really out of shape (2007), I could run at 5 mph and my heart-rate would probably have been around 150 bpm.  Now, I can run at 6.4 on the treadmill and my HR is firm at 140.  So, a recovery run doesn't feel like much of a relaxing recovery at all when I'm dripping with sweat and the treadmill is making that high-pitched whiny noise that sounds like how I typically feel at the end of a workout:"Whhhhyyyyyyy????"

I suppose it's a good problem to have though -- feeling like you're in such good shape that what used to be a full-fledged workout is now considered a "recovery."

Wow.  That was an eye-opening moment for me tonight.

What's next, a 50-mile "recovery" spin?  A "recovery" two-mile swim?

At this point in my Ironman training, nothing surprises me.

274 days and counting.