Hello, friends! Yes, yes, I know I skipped a week of writing. Over the last couple of weeks, I can tell you that I’ve *gradually* been getting back into the swing of things and that last week’s training was as close to perfect as I’ve gotten in quite some time. Even though I know the goal is not perfect, my coach actually challenged me to get through the week without missing a workout. I was totally on track to do that until the weekend, which I’ll tell you about below.
Anyway, what I mostly wanted to talk about this week is books. That’s probably not what you expected to read on my training recap. However, I’ve got a number of books on the go right now that are each adding something to my training and I’m contemplating adding another important one to the mix after my work trip, so I thought it might be worth me gathering my thoughts on them.
Roar by Stacy Sims – If you are a female endurance athlete, you have almost certainly heard of and/or read this one. It’s quickly becoming a Bible-like reference for women who train for endurance sports. I have to confess that I read it quite a while back and could not see what all the hype was about. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn’t as engaged with my nutrition as I should/could have been. I’m at a point now where I am getting frustrated enough with my fatigue levels that I expect my nutrition has at least something to do with that. My biggest problem is, of course, sugar. I have a raging sweet tooth and although I have been trying hard not to eat my feelings over the last few months, that has proven more difficult than anticipated for a whole variety of reasons that are a bit too personal for me to talk about. At least right now. All of that to say, I ordered myself a copy of Roar and plan to pack it for some plane/train reading. Working with a professional on my nutrition is just not in my financial plan right now, so I have to do the best I possibly can on my own. Step one: read a book (again).
Believe training journal – You all know by now that I am sucker for a handwritten training log. While I don’t consider myself to be particularly artistic, I use stickers and coloured pens to make the process a little more fun. This doesn’t take the place of my online Training Peaks account that I use to communicate with my coach. I find that I’m much more reflective and intentional with my training when I’m physically writing about it too. One of my night-before rituals before a goal race is to look back over my handwritten training log and reflect on the training cycle, focusing in on the workouts that were particularly challenging as a testament to how far I’ve come and a reminder that I can make it through difficult things. I’ve tried out a number of training journals and the Believe journal will always be my favourite!
My personal journal – Prior to the end of last year, I don’t think I had kept a personal journal since a summer semester in Germany in 2006. There is no reason why I didn’t keep up that practice; I just didn’t. While I still don’t have what I would call a regular journaling practice, if I’m having an especially tough time, I try to take a few minutes (even 5 minutes helps) and write down what it is that I’m worrying about at the time. Even though it doesn’t solve my problems per se, it definitely gives the negativity and worry a lot less power and space to occupy my thoughts. As of right now, I don’t plan to put any pressure on myself to write in a more structured way, though I think I will continue to use it as I have over the last few months.
My e-reader – Okay, let’s just get this one out of the way. I’m a librarian who loves to read. No, my job is not to sit around and read books all day, although that would be nice. I also have developed a preference for my e-reader since I replaced it at Christmas and, no, that doesn’t make me a hypocrite to my profession. I digress. What does this have to do with my training, you ask? It’s like anything, really – having other things to focus on and enjoy outside of training is crucial to being able to give a lot of yourself to something so physically and mentally demanding. I use my commute (and sometimes my lunch breaks) to read and I try to make at least 5 minutes to read before I go to sleep at night, and I think it adds to my overall well-being enough to be worthy of a mention. I belong to a book club that meets once a month (we actually talk about the books!) and I read pretty widely, including lots of triathlon and running books.
The post-trip important book – Some time ago, I wrote about my struggles with nutrition and how I wanted to focus on improving my approach to it. I believe I also mentioned at the time how critical a food journal was to helping me lose a lot of weight a number of years ago. Since then, keeping a food journal has started to give me quite a bit of anxiety. I haven’t really worked through where all of that is coming from. I suspect it might be a combination of not being ready to fully commit to eating better and also a fear of failure knowing how things look on paper. I know I’m going to have to let go of that perfectionist attitude if I’m going to make improvements to my nutrition, so I’m hoping to be in a better headspace after my trip to make it a priority.
Rest. Glorious, glorious (scheduled) rest day.
55 minute VO2 max ride (25.7km): I got up before work to get my ride in, and holy Hannah, it was a burner! It took an interval for me to realize how important it is to spin faster during my recovery and once I made that adjustment, I found that I recovered much better!
45 minute hilly run (6.81km): YAY! Some structured running! I ran home from work and ran uptown and west a bit from work. I finished at the bus stop and just took the bus home. It was a pretty challenging run and hella windy, so I definitely felt the work on that one. I loved it, though!
45 minutes strength (lower body): I’m not gonna lie – getting up early last week was less than pleasant. I did get up and do my lifting before work, though. It went pretty well and I was happy to check another workout off my list.
1 hour Flexibility Fusion: With lunch yoga finished until the fall, my coworkers and I have been on the hunt for a suitable summer replacement. I’m the only one with a full work gym membership right now, so I’ve been it in terms of scoping out classes. I went to a class called Flexibility Fusion at lunch and it was a nice, deep stretch. It was a combination of yoga and Pilates stretching, although there wasn’t much yoga involved.
2100m swim: Midnight swimming was another rough workout for me. I was just so damn tired and felt like I could hardly keep up. We had a whole bunch of 100s on the schedule and, with some coaching from Eric, I was trying to focus in on particular parts of my technique. After 13 or 14 sets of 100, I was pretty wiped and my form fell apart.
50 minutes yoga: The search continued for a lunch yoga option. This class was quite different from the other one. It was *very* busy (maybe just that day, though?) and quite challenging. At least for me. I’m pretty much only interested in stretchy, light yoga. I just need something to supplement my training once or twice a week. I don’t need pulsy, intense yoga or single-leg squats from Warrior 3 (oh, yes. That happened. Why I even attempted it, I don’t know!). Even though the instructor was a delight, I likely won’t go back for that particular class.
40 minute Z2 run (5.91km): Lunch yoga usually perks me up and helps me avoid the afternoon slump. It didn’t quite work its magic last Thursday and I was less than enthused for my run home.
1:13 VO2 max interval ride (31km): Before I could settle down, I fired up Zwift and did a ride that was a bit longer than usual for me during the week. It ended up being just fine and I gave myself a little pat on the back for getting it done.
45 minutes strength (upper body): I spent most of the day in Mississauga on Friday getting my bike fit. Honestly, I had the *best* experience at Via Ciclante and will continue to go there for my bike fittings. I had the day off work and was back with a bit of time to spare before the evening gym rush hit, so I went downstairs and got it done before dinner. I was able to complete all of my pull-ups on the TRX machine that day, so it was nice to see that little bit of progress, no matter how small it seemed.
1:06 Z2 long run (10.5km): Gah. Saturday, you were not my friend this week. Long story short, it turns out that I’m missing a crucial adapter to make my new bike compatible with my trainer. I spent a little bit of time on Saturday changing everything back to my old bike and starting my long brick before an afternoon appointment and evening plans. I was about half an hour into my ride when Zwift suddenly crashed. To say I was annoyed was an understatement. After stewing for a few minutes, I decided to just go out and get my Sunday long run done. While the run didn’t make me feel completely better, the weather was beautiful and I ran over 10km, so all was not lost. I resigned myself to the fact that I just had a shitty day with some bad luck and quite trying to force myself to see the upside of it when I was clearly in no mood to do so. Onwards.
1:50 endurance & sweet spot ride 15 minute run off the bike
Sunday ended up being a bit hectic. My aunt was visiting from Newfoundland and I ended up spending the day with her after my dog’s morning vet appointment. Since she lives in Newfoundland and I almost never see her, I don’t regret spending that time with her. My cousin and her boyfriend then joined us for dinner (I hosted and cooked), followed by the Game of Thrones season premiere. I recognize that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a super long ride and we’re getting into build time for my spring race. My main goal for this week is to do my long brick before I get on a plane this Friday for my work trip. I’m getting back to that consistency a little bit at a time; it’s just taking a little longer than I hoped.
Total Time: 8:50