I could, for example, be cleaning this house, which is so dirty and disorganized that I don't even feel I can employ a cleaning person to clean it.
- Or I could be spending quality time with my children, playing Parcheesi or Sorry or whatever it is that quality parents do with their quality children when they spend quality time together.
- Or I could be changing the sheets on the beds.
- Or I could be making a nutritious meal for my loved ones to eat tonight.
- Or going to the grocery store with my little terrors in tow.
- Or I could be doing laundry.
- Or I could be giving the dogs a bath.
- Or I could be sorting through my "to be sorted" pile of papers hat now reaches several feet from the office floor.
But, my friends, I'm not doing any of these things.
Instead I'm on the computer--hoping that something interesting and exciting will present itself-- something that will, even if momentarily, allow me to escape this feeling that I should be doing something of worth.
It's not working.
The internet is failing me.
One thing that's not failing me these days, however, is training.
Training is going swimmingly for the most part.
Yesterday I went on a 90 mile ride with Andy, the hub. This was only possible because it was Good Friday, and although both Andy and I didn't have to work and the kids didn't have school, the kids had the option of going to the home daycare they attend when they're not at school and I'm still at work. Naturally we decided daycare was the appropriate choice. We are thoughtful parents, and daycare is oh-so-much more fun than spending a full day with grouchy parents who really want to spend the day riding their bikes in the sun alone. (Really we love those little cherubs. Really we do.)
It was a gorgeous day, and the forecast for today (as I write) was for rain, sleet and cold. How great that I was getting in this long-ass ride with Andy and in the sun--when normally I would have to start alone at the crack of dawn on a Saturday--and a Saturday with rain and cold to boot?
I was psyched.
I ride almost exclusively alone, so it was, I admit, a tad weird to have Andy there at first. He would zoom ahead, and I would begin to feel guilty that I was seriously holding him back. Then he'd slow up and I'd be irritated that he wouldn't get his butt moving because he was ruining our pace. Eventually we got into a rhythm, though, and I led for chunks of the ride too, so it got better.
I've been working on several things on the bike lately: higher cadence, more steady pace, no grinding up hills unless prescribed, and riding in all weather, inclement and butt cold or not.
I'm also working on the mental piece. For me, being on the bike for five hours is a long time. Physically it's not really problematic--but mentally? At about 3.5 hours yesterday I just wanted to scream, Get me off this fucking bike! I was sick of Gu, sick of the headwind, sick of cars, sick of simply being perched on my bike. To make things worse, I had it in my head that we needed to do 90 miles. Don't ask me why. The workout just called for riding for 5 hours and doing a T run. But I wanted to do 90, and no less, so 90 we did. For the last 10 miles we were close to home and kept having to do loops to get up to 90. It was so, so painful, and again, not physically, but mentally--oh. I just wanted it to end. I tried to remember that I was psyched--that it was sunny and cool and that Andy was doing this with me. I tried wicked hard to remember that. Still, I repeat, five++ hours is a long time to be on the bike.
And Ironman is longer.....
When we finally got home I laced up my sneaks and headed out to run. My quads felt shot, but T-runs are the weirdest things. You think you won't be able to run a step, and the next thing you know you're cruising along faster than you usually do on your quicker runs. I felt truly awesome. Now, I didn't feel awesome like Hey let's go do a marathon now awesome, but I did feel awesome for the 4.5 miles I did.
oh fuck. I shiver when I think about it.
In the last few weeks I've started running much faster while still staying in zone 2 in terms of HR. I believe this is for a few reasons. First, I shed a couple pounds. Not tons, but a little, and that seems to be making running feel lighter too. Second, Jen has me running really hard (like zone 25) for major chunks of time, and relatively frequently. I think my body now knows that it can pull out 7's when it's working hard, and so 8's are just easy in comparison. My HR seems to agree. This leads me to believe that there are many ways to achieve a lower HR at a faster pace. You can go the route of always staying in zone 2 and waiting for your fitness to allow you to run with a lower HR in zone 2, or you can work your ass off, make higher your ceiling, and hence make higher your floor too. Worked for me.
There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Who the hell came up with that expression?
Here's a picture of a part of our glorious 90 mile route which took us through Grafton, MA, far west of where we actually live.