Technology was not my friend last night. But of course, it was my own doing. I left my laptop at work and my back-up wasn't able to log-in to my blog site for some reason. Lucky for you, today is a two-for-one special!
As I may have mentioned, I tweaked my right inside knee slightly climbing all those hills at the Wildflower training camp. So yesterday, I took it pretty easy outside of the pool for my hour tempo intervals run. Inside the pool, well, that was another story. My friend and Fortius swim coach, Megan, pushed us hard during our 6 a.m. practice. Among several drills, we did 10, 100-yard sprints at race pace with 10 seconds to rest between each 100. My approximate pace was between 1:50-1:55, which if accurate, represents a 10-15-second improvement from my early 2:05 T-pace. Still, my stroke is a mess. When I'm not crossing my body on the follow-through, my arms are entering the water too early. If I'm doing those things correctly, then I'm not rotating enough or kicking from my hips and not my lower legs. Or keeping my head down. Or gliding enough.
I have so many things to think about during each stroke, it's amazing I don't drown under the weight and pressure of it all.
Now I know what it must feel like being a professional baseball player at the plate batting against a four-pitch hurler. Too many things to consider besides just swinging the bat.
Of course, like that baseball player who plays for the love of the game, I drag myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning because I've grown to love being in the water -- no matter how twisted my technique may be.
There would be no water for me today though. Instead, I had a brick session. This was made more complicated since my car is in my father's repair shop for normal maintenance, and my Colnago is in the shop for a tune-up. The compromise was to ride on the trainer at varying degrees of difficulty for 90 minutes and then immediately running hills for the next 45 minutes. All before 9 a.m., when I need to race the clock to make it in the office by 10.
The bike ride was largely uneventful, made more enjoyable by catching up on The Pacific on HBO. (Side note: I feel silly complaining about swim technique after watching a mini-series about the inexplicable hardships the Marines endured during WWII in brutally inhospitable jungles throughout the South Pacific.)
My only real concern is the soreness in my right inside knee. I've never had knee trouble in my life, but after all the climbing we did at Wildflower I think I strained a quad muscle or hamstring. The tightness in either muscle is pinching the convergence point of three muscle groups on my knee, reducing my flexibility. The more I pedaled, and climbed in a higher gear, the more my knee acted up.
What was strange though was that my knee didn't hurt as much when I ran perhaps my most challenging local hill not residing in Boney Mountain or Cheseboro Park. From my condo on Dickens Street in Sherman Oaks, I climbed Woodcliff Road at Valley Vista all the way to Mulholland Drive. This was literally 20 minutes straight of steep climbing, approximately 1,200 feet if Google Maps is correct. I don't even know why I chose that route this morning. Especially with my knee feeling a little funky. Guess I was bored of the usual 'round-the-block runs I've been doing for more than a year now. It's great to know that I can make it to Mulholland and back home within 45 minutes at a fairly relaxed pace, especially with Wildflower looming.
The only downside of my training today came not frm the workouts but from the recovery. I had Abby, our company massage therapist, work on my right leg for 30 minutes just after lunch. Surprisingly, it felt worse after, tighter, than it did immediately after the run and throughout the morning. Why is that? Over the past several hours, my knee has remained tight though it's a little more relaxed now that I'm on the couch typing.
Tomorrow is my training off day instead of Friday. I have a business trip in Northern California. Perhaps the extra day's rest is coming at the perfect time? I hope so. I really want to avoid another LA Marathon scenario where I can't perform to my potential at races due to circumstances beyond my control.
I'll remain positive, for now.
232 and 231 days and counting.