So the other day, when I rode 20ish miles and then got conned into a gym session that night, is catching up with me. I felt a little pain after the lunges and box-steps (both with 50 lbs extra), but that night it got to a noticeable point and now it’s a constant twinge in the left medial gluteus. This means no riding, running or lifting for 3 days (THREE WHOLE DAYS, SHIT) and ice packs four times a day, as well as acetaminophen, and some stretching after the first two days. I’ll need to take it easy for the next week after that as well (no hill reps, no speed intervals, just easy riding). The silver lining is, the weather is shit this week - patchy rain all week and moderately chilly temps. And I sort of rediscovered my love of swimming last night; I hadn’t been to the pool in a couple of months but after about 500m I started to get my form back. And it ended up being a solid workout, with no ill after-affects. As much as I’d rather be riding I can take 2 or 3 pool sessions as a substitute.
What is my deal? It’s the off-season. THERE IS NO OFF SEASON, XC SKIING STARTS IN 2 MONTHS.
I had my alarm set for 8:00 AM since I have class at 10:00, and I was planning to swim around 3000 yards and fit coffee & a bagel in there somewhere. But anyways I wake up at 7:45 all by myself, shut my alarm clock off before it wakes up my roommate, and shuffle to the shower. I’m in-and-out in like 5 minutes, and I skip the shave for now while I quietly rifle through my dresser for a swim cap, goggles, and Speedo suit. I found them and threw it all in a bag with a towel and energy gel and Q-Tips, and as I’m grabbing a water bottle from my desk it occurs to me that I should really check the university pool schedule one more time.
Gym facility: 8 AM to 11 PM (except for Sundays, when it’s not open until noon.)
So I figured I was all set! And then I scrolled down further:
Fall semester pool schedule-
Mondays: 11-2pm lap swim (during which time I have class), 2-5pm open swim, 6-8pm senior swim.
“Are you fucking kidding me.”
With that, I shut my computer… I should have known this by now, being a sophomore and a long-time victim of poor pool scheduling. I was slightly relieved, I’ll admit, to not have to ride my bike the mile to the pool building in the bitter morning cold. At least bitter for October- it’s flippin’ 32 F outside. And this is pre-coffee which makes it worse. But I stand up straight, stretch everything, try to chill, and start brewing coffee and toasting a bagel because I now have 2 hours to kill before my first class. I guess I expected a little too much out of this semester’s tuition when I thought I’d swim at 8:00 AM on a Monday, huh?
Jan Frodeno is a badass.
5 miles can go so quickly- I was running with this older triathlete Ryan and he was feeling pretty sacked so we ran slow. He had a hard weekend of training, he does all his long stuff on Saturdays and Sundays. I also raced Saturday, felt recovered but also sympathetic, so we just skimmed along at about 8:00 pace and talked. Talked and joked about all the divorced guys we knew training for Ironman races, talked about sunscreen, talked about hours per week of training vs. work vs. kids & wife, which I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about yet.. And all of the sudden we were back at his driveway. That was 5 miles.
I used to say that a 5-miler was my “over-distance” workout, back when I ran strictly 5k races and a lot of mile-repeats, and endurance wasn’t so much a factor as having a good strategy and some flat-out speed. Now 5 miles is an easy recovery run to get the juices flowing. I just love how the body adapts and grows and we achieve a higher level of endurance each time we pull our shoes off, exhausted. I love how I used to be a shapeless nobody, and now I’m a contender with occasionally impressive muscles and an abnormal tan from the variety of cut-off race shirts, unzipped bike jerseys, tri jerseys, helmets, and spandex shorts that hang out of my dresser. And I love being able to win a (slightly drunken) contest over who has the most ripped legs. Shit’s worth it.