Life was filled with many highs and lows this week. While I met many milestones in my training, I also took more time off than I would have liked. It wasn’t the type of week that I expected it to be, but sometimes life gets in the way, momentum shifts, and you do what you can. I’ll just hopefully have to pick it back up next week. At least I was able to gauge the progress I have made these past months and do a check-in of my current fitness levels. I felt it was an important week for me to reflect, celebrate little victories, and contemplate what changes need to be made moving forward.
Monday: A much needed and PLANNED rest day. I spent the entire day grading and getting work done. I also got my hair cut and colored! Looking good is important too, right?
Tuesday: Speed work on the track. It was a windy and rainy day, so that made it all the more fun (cue sarcasm). I’m fortunate to live about a mile away from the track at our local community college, which is almost always empty with the exception of students walking to and from class. The only catch is, you have to run up a really steep hill to get there (but then you get to run down)!
Wednesday: 2800m swim with the gang (I call myself the caboose, because someone has to be the slowest) followed by 22 miles on the trainer with some quick bursts of speed/power. Today was prep for Thursday’s FTP test.
Thursday: I asked my coach if I could do a FTP test to celebrate 34 glorious trips around the sun. My last FTP test was mid December when I was still getting back into the swing of things. During the last few weeks, I have felt like my rides have been on the easy side from an effort/exertion standpoint, even though I was still meeting my zones and maxing out my power. I had a good sense that my power had increased significantly.
I met my coach at his house and got in a good warm-up before starting the 5-minute test and 20-minute test. The goal was to maintain the hardest effort I could for 20 minutes. I started the test conservatively, but finished the last 10 minutes without holding back. You know, if I were a coach I would probably take pictures of myself next to my clients as they are suffering in pain too. This guy will definitely motivate you to get the work done!
After the test was finished, my coach noted a 15% gain in power (taking into account my weight loss as well). I haven’t been this fit on a bike since I did Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens in 2014. It felt really good to see those gains in a short period of time and so early in the season, and it was a great way to celebrate my birthday!
I also celebrated with a lovely margarita and some yummy Mexican food later that evening. Nothing like refueling with a little lime juice and salt.. and maybe some tequila. 🙂
Friday: We were supposed to celebrate my birthday today as a family, but unfortunately it did not happen due to personal issues. Neither did the run that was on my schedule. Life.
Saturday: I raced my second 10K in 2016 and set a new PR of 42:33 at the Grin & Bear It run. Everything must have aligned perfectly for me that day, because I felt great during the entire run and never bonked like a normally do during high intensity races.
The real surprise was finishing first woman overall and taking home the blue ribbon (and a really cool mug and gift card). I never thought I would be running this fast so soon after pregnancy and am really excited to see what I can do in a couple months when I run the Eugene Half Marathon!
Sunday: Sadly, today was another unexpected off day. Justin was sick and spent the morning at urgent care to make sure he didn’t have the flu, while I watched Axel. He had a fussy morning so it was mentally draining. I barely had motivation to get off the couch, which is really unlike me. I was probably feeling a bit fatigued as well from the race. My mother-in-law was in town for a couple days, so it was nice to catch up with her.
Week 1 Totals:
Swim: 50mins, 2,800 meters
Bike: 2hrs 38mins, 50 miles
Run: 1hr 35mins, 12 miles
Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
As I mentioned, there were many highs and lows this week. When I had realized on Sunday that I had taken three rest days this week, I texted my coach letting him know I hadn’t met my training goals for the week. He quickly called me out on my bad attitude (which was justified) and reminded me that I had just exceeded expectations with both the bike test and 10K race and it’s not the end of the world if I miss a workout or two. He also said something that really resonated with me:
“Rest is hard to do sometimes and that’s why “forced” rest due to life getting in the way is secretly good.”
I think myself and many other athletes can relate to this. Sometimes we underestimate the value of rest – and we could all probably use a little more of it every once in a while. Thank goodness for life!
Are you a fan of rest days? What do you like to do on your rest days?