Two months filled with way more work than I could handle in an effort to train WAY too many people in WAY too short a time, plus get ready for Club Nationals, create material for two major conferences, try desperately to make some sort of progress towards finishing my cabinet doors and, oh by the way, I still have a family (I think… If they haven’t disowned me by now… Or put my face on a milk carton…) have left me… hopefully understandably… tired.
So when, on one of the numerous travel dates I had in the last month, I noticed that my workmates were both sniffling and coughing, I knew it would only be a matter of time… I entered into the last weekend of this extended trip with a conference. I felt great for the first two days, but on the last day, I awoke to a tight chest and a scratchy throat. Nothing like topping off two solid months of working my ass off… with H1N1…
So. I took it home and gave it to my family. Thereby solidifying my place as BEST. DAD. NEVER…
All this meant that after piggy flu took its course on me for three days, I then had to make sure to take care of the family for another three days while they fought it. Blessedly, it has been mild for all of us (comparatively) and has actually been about the same as any other flu we have gotten. Still, the entire family getting the flu…. SUX!
As I started to mend I did manage to get out and run a bit this weekend and it gave me some time to plan. I know I need goals or I tend to wander so here is what I’ve got.
Currently, I have 72 miles logged in the water this year. I want to get to 100. I need to swim 28 miles. I have roughly 20 days to do this so I have to swim right at 2000 yards a session between now and December 31 to achieve this goal.
I want to run a sub 22 minute 5K at First Night on January 1.
I want to develop an offseason lifting program and use it from tonight until the end of February.
Research a new triathlon bike
Run trails and mountain bike for cross training as weather allows.
To that end I have come up with a weightlifting program that will require me to go to the gym a couple of times per week to use equipment I don’t have at home, but it is doable. It is triathlon specific and focuses on core strength and working the muscles you neglect in triathlon training.
AND… FINALLY… I went for a trail run on Sunday. The first one I have really been on. It was a blast!
There is a mountain biking trail about 2 miles from my house. It is awesome. All single track, steep little ups and downs but all ridable/runnable. Since I am still recovering from the flu, I decided to just go out for a little bit so I started on a trail that runs by the mountain biking course but is flat. That allowed me to warm up a bit and get ready for the trails. Once I hit the trail it was immediately apparent why people do trail runs.
The trail was narrow single track and it was almost completely obscured by leaves. It had opened up and begun POURING on me on the main trail, but once I got into the deep woods, it let up, with only the occasional drip getting through the canopy. The ground and leaves were wet and since the trail was obscured, the sum total made me SLOW DOWN. Careful foot placement and far more lateral movement than I am used to also made me pay far more attention to the run than I usually do. It was a conscious effort. I had to think about nearly every foot placement. Due to all the rain we have had, there were puddles, streams and mud in a lot of places. This also made me focus more. It was intense. I don’t remember ever running like this. I ran about two miles of trails and then came back home for a total of about 4 miles. The trail portion had to have been somewhere at or above 10 minute miles, but the workout was difficult. I got lost a couple of times in the woods when I took a wrong turn and missed the trail. Like I said, everything was covered in leaves. It was beautiful…!
I can’t overemphasize the importance of the words SLOW DOWN. I was NOT worried about time, form, or any technique other than just survival. Foot placement. Power. Effort. I found myself breathing easy on the flats and downs. No stress or strain at all. I know that will change as I get more comfortable but it really felt awesome to be working out easy.
The one thing I thought I could do that I found nearly impossible was sightsee. In order to place my feet confidently I had to give total attention to the 10 foot section of trail in front of me. I could only glance up briefly to orient myself to the trail. No watching wildlife, etc. Trail running really makes you focus.
So I guess you could say I really liked it. I am really slow and don’t really care. This is great cross training for a million reasons. Time to get dirty!