This weekend, my husband and I came to Maryland to visit friends. Trips initially throw me off because I know my weekend workouts are crucial for my Ironman training, as they involve my longest BRick sessions (bike & run) and long runs. But I try not to get myself stressed about missing anything, because there are generally many solutions. For this weekend, I knew a BRick was unlikely given no access to a gym with an indoor bike and treadmill, but a long run (!) was in fact very, very likely and actually pretty exciting considering I would have a new ground to explore. So with enthusiasm, I packed my winter running gear, sneakers, Garmin, water bottle, you name it. (I NEVER go on any trip without workout clothes and sneakers, because then I am prepared with no excuses!)
Fast forward to arriving in Maryland Saturday morning (V-Day), a treacherous snowstorm follows us and traps us inside all day and night. There were snow “squals” as the weather report called them, and winds are over 30mph, with temps under 9 degrees. We ventured out for gas and skidded across the roads at 15mph. Obviously, there was no going out for V-Day dinner. And any run was soon out of the question. Icy roads are not the safest to drive on, let alone run on. Heck, I’m still afraid of treadmills since I recently slipped off one of those!
But I’m not panicking. Or am I? Ok, I might be a little bit. I was having a conversation last night with our friends - everyone sitting at the table - and I am literally walking around the table in circles, just so I can keep moving. I had to apologize for my behavior, knowing I looked like I was going insane, but I kind of was. I was missing the movement, and couldn’t sit still for another moment. I found myself doing jumping jacks and push ups behind closed doors and feeling down on myself about the pizza and wine I was consuming. Everyone else was indulging happily but I couldn’t seem to stop thinking of bad calories and lack of exercise. These are the moments I realize I’ve become an extremely regimented person and I need to pocket more moments of letting go.
So I woke up today, Sunday, knowing that a long run - even a short run - was out of the question given the outdoor temps, winds and roads, but I still got up, got dressed, and opened my computer to exercise my thoughts and start the day on the right foot, even if that foot was getting no action today.
I had a successful week of training so I need to stay focused on that. I hit some highs that made me feel fantastic. Here’s what I have to be proud of so far:
Monday Feb. 9 - RECOVERY, lots of stretching/foam rolling (I cherish those mornings of sleeping in till 7:30am!)
Tuesday Feb. 10 - RUN -6 morning miles on the treadmill (2 incline, easy 9:15 pace)
Wednesday Feb. 11 - BIKE - flat but strong 75min computrainer ride with team at T2
Thursday Feb. 12 - RUN - 7 morning miles outside (steady HR, easy 9:10 pace)
Friday Feb. 13 - SWIM - 3400yds (5 x 13min straight swims, 2min RI rest intervals)
The focus has clearly been on long and steady workouts, even though the cycling intervals do have some hard pushes to test my power. My endurance is building up nicely and I’m noticing an increasing enjoyment in my longest workouts. Since I have to pass on this weekend’s training plan, I look to Monday’s holiday to get back in the game and switch up my routine. When I get a better feel of the weather in NYC, I’ll determine whether an indoor BRick or an outdoor long run is the right move for me.
So going out of town may not be the brightest idea for anyone at least 6 weeks out from their biggest race, but early in the season and with some proven accomplishment under my belt already, I think I should embrace and enjoy a little time off before the going gets really tough.
You’re starting to see my struggles despite my pretty regular highs, and it proves that we’re all human and get down on ourselves at times. When we get used to our elements and have to hit the road, it’s not always easy to stick to the plan. It actually takes quite some effort to make a new plan and try to stick with it. I will be away in Los Angeles for work March 6-16, and I am determined to get my exercises in order before I head out. I’m already doing my research on local gyms and swimming facilities to map out my training plan for those 10 days. What I’m really looking forward to is the SUN! I’ll be sure to take advantage of the warmer temps by throwing in some outdoor runs. Woohoo! Ok, now I just got myself really excited.