Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Not Easier but I'm Stronger

It's been almost a month since the Best in the West triathlon.  It was some time for rest and not worrying about a schedule or anything structured as far as working out went.  I could do whatever I felt like, however I wanted.

Work was crazy busy so it was nice to not have to worry about feeling like I had to do a workout.  At the same time it felt weird to not have the structure of a plan to keep me focused.  Without a plan it is way to easy to not do anything.  At least for me it is.

Then I got frustrated.  This sounds weird because I wasn't doing any workouts and so I wasn't frustrated because I wasn't doing well.  I was frustrated because I was tired.

My tired thing is a pain in the ass.  I had an appointment with my doctor right before school started.  Good news, my A1C number has gone down a little.  Yay!  Bad news, tried another test to see if he could figure out why I'm so tired.  All tests came back normal.

Last January I made a conscious decision to just learn to manage the tired since it's obviously not going away.  Especially since we can't figure out what causes it.  Overall I think I did a better job this past year not letting the tired keep me from doing what I wanted to do.  I have done better balancing and looking at my week and making sure that I include what I need to get the down time or rest I need.  Sometimes that means saying no to fun things with friends, which is hard.  But I have a limited tank of energy and I'm learning to conserve it better.

I thought with the break in my workouts that I would not be so tired since I wouldn't be getting up to workout at 5:00 a.m. a couple times a week and then working out again after school.


I was actually MORE tired!  What!!?

I got pissed off.

I'm driving home from work and butt dragging and then getting up in the morning and driving back to work feeling exactly like I did the night before.  It sucks!!  One weekend I was supposed to go out with friends and I took a nap that was so long that by the time I woke up they had already gone.  Ugh!!  Then later when they were going somewhere new and I could meet them I couldn't muster up the energy to go.  That pissed me off too!

I had a few days of having an internal pity party.  Then it was time to get over it.

I got to go to the OSU football game and take my coach and his family along with me.  The weather was awesome and we had a great time.  I asked Jon when he was going to start me back on a routine. He said he thought I could have one more week without structure unless I wanted to get going.  I told him if I was going to be tired I would rather have something to be tired about.  At least when I'm working out there is a justification for being tired.

So I'm still butt dragging big time.  But at least I'm working out and getting something done even though I'm tired.

The goal this fall is to work on getting stronger so there has been lots of strength training and interval work.  I had to do some track interval work a few weeks ago.  I headed to the track to get it done.  I had to run for five minutes and then do 10 intervals followed by a 5 minute walk or jog.  Each interval was walk for one minute, run for three minutes at a 11:15-11:25 pace, run for one minute at a 9:50 or under pace.  That is much faster than what has been my normal pace.  I had to go faster than normal for three minutes and then go even faster.  Those one minute walk sessions went by way too fast!  I had to do a lot of self talk to do the last few intervals.  I wanted to just call it good after interval seven, eight and nine.  I was happy when I finished interval number 10.  I had to work hard to get that workout done.  I made the goal for almost every interval and the few I didn't were within a few seconds so a that was a good thing.

Then the next Tuesday I had a swim lesson with Bri.  I go in a little early so that I can get a warm up in before we get started.  I had done about 500 yards before my lesson starts.  Which is rather cool all in itself because just a little over a year ago doing 500 without stopping would have been amazing.  Now it's a warm up.  ;-)  Bri talks to me about my form and some things she wants me to work on.  Then she tells me that I will be doing 10 sets of 50 yards with a 30 second rest in between.  I am supposed to do the first one as fast as I can and then try and do the next nine as close to that speed as I can.  What!?  Ummmmm, okay, I don't think so.  It must have been on my face because she gave me the look that said, "Do NOT argue with me!" She also told me that I was not to do any of the 50's slower than 1:05.  

I took off for my first one.  Got back and she asked me my time.  57 seconds.  

Dang it!  It's like typing class.  Where the first class you take a typing test and then you have to improve and get faster than that score.  If you had friends that had been in the class ahead of you then you knew to go really slow on that first test.  That way you didn't have to work quite so hard to show improvement.  

I should have gone slower for that first 50 yards.  lol  

Except that I'm too competitive with myself to do that.  

Nine more times I would be gasping for breath at the wall, tell Bri my time and take off again. 

After the first couple of intervals she informed me that I couldn't go slower than 1:02 since I was doing so well.  


1:00  At this point she's telling me I'm half way there.
1:01  She says this one is the hardest.  The next two will be easier.
1:00  I don't think so!
1:01  Ugh!!

Then I had to do 25 yards with a 30 second break.  She said I had to stay under 32 seconds.  

I was SO tired!


I had to stop because the Masters swim group was going to start and we ran out of time for lessons.  Oh darn!  Bri had me do a 200 yard cool down.  When I got out the pool I was talking with Bri and she said she had to tell me something about my workout.  Turns out that the way these intervals work is that I'm supposed to keep doing them until I can't maintain the time/speed anymore and then she would have had me move on to something else.  Except that I kept hitting the mark so I got to keep going.  So if I had given up or slowed down then we would have been done.  But because I kept fighting I did the entire set of intervals.  lol  I was partly grumpy about doing more than I necessarily had to and partly proud that I was able to keep going like I did.  

This last Saturday I was supposed to do a trail run.  My last long trail run before my event next week.  I was supposed to walk the first five minutes and then run four minutes, walk one minute for one hour and 20 minutes, then walk the last five minutes. Which meant that it didn't matter if I was going uphill or down, if it was time to run, I had to run.  I did one of my favorite routes, the Nettleton/Davies loop in the Mac Forest.  I have run the entire thing before, which was work but I did it.  Taylor and I had done this route the week before and walked up the hills and ran on the downhills.  Ended up with a time that was just about the same as the time I had run the whole thing.  I was curious to see how I would do with this run/walk method.  

The direction I started is uphill for about 1.5 miles.  Not horribly steep but steep enough.  I was not breaking any speed records but I worked at just plugging away.  

The first half of the run was in the fog.  Quiet and still in the forest.  I couldn't see far.  Was glad I had the puppy to keep me company.  ;-)  When I turned to come back on the lower road I started to come out of the fog.  I turned a corner and suddenly there was sunshine and blue sky.  So beautiful!!  I had to stop and take a few pictures.  

I got to the end of the running portion and had my five minute walk left and I realized that I was almost back at the gate.  I didn't know what my average pace would be but I knew that I had just done this route faster than I had ever done before.  I was a very happy trail runner....and a very tired trail runner.  

While I was running there were times I didn't want to keep at it.  I didn't want to push hard to go faster.  I wanted to walk more and run less.  I wanted to slow the run way down and settle for my old normal pace.  

Why does it always have to be so hard?

I have been told this quote before.  I even have various versions pinned on my Health Motivation board on Pinterest.  The last couple of months have been showing me that this is indeed true.  I keep pushing and working.  Which means I keep struggling.  Sometimes it goes epically bad.  Other days I feel like I kicked my own ass.  

Just like when I started running. 

As long as I'm trying to be a better, healthier me then it will never be easy.  But the hard will be in a different place then it used to be.  

I have to remember that and keep things in perspective because I'm my own worst enemy at times when it comes to being frustrated and having self-doubt.  

I have come a long way in six years.  

I have come a long way in just the past year.  

But if I'm always setting new goals and trying new adventures then there always should be an aspect of hard and challenging.  Otherwise I'm just stagnant.  Which really isn't much better than when I was a couch potato, the stagnant is just disguised better.   I don't want to be someone who settles for where I am now.  That applies to all aspects of my life, mental and physical.  
This is the fog I had been running in at the start of my trail run.
Change in the weather when I got on the other side!  So beautiful!!
My running buddy.  She's getting used to mom being faster.  ;-)  
Never thought I'd go this fast on a run with this kind of elevation.
A few years ago getting an average pace of 13:34 on a flat run would have been amazing.  Doing it with 719 feet of elevation is freaking awesome.  Good for me to remember that!!!!  

Sunday Joe and I did a short walk at a place in Albany we hadn't been before.  It's called the Talking Water Gardens.  It was very pretty with nice trails.  It will be a great place for runs that aren't super long but we don't want to do on the roads.  I loved all the fall color and I loved hanging out with my favorite guy!  

I'm doing the Silver Falls 7 Miler race on Saturday.  I had a huge PR last year (because I basically walked it the year before.)  I'm excited to see what I can do this year.  I'm more excited about spending the weekend with people that are fun, caring and are challenging themselves as well.  So much better being a part of all the fun instead of just being on the sidelines.  

Glad I'm getting stronger. 

1 comment:

  1. As always Lisa, so well put. The photos are a bit symbolic to your understanding of challenges. So honored to be your coach.