Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Are you training for anything?"

I don't know about you, but during the winter I get asked on a pretty regular basis,

"Are you training for anything?"

My answer is, "always."

I'm always training for races whether they are in days or months, but I'm also just training for life, training for me. I'm training to know myself better, to improve my skills, to work out my mental game, and to get a respite from my computer work and the day-to-day of mom life.

February training for a lot of us is not very blog-worthy. It's not glamorous. It's just heads-down training but in its own way it's rewarding to just make it work despite things like snowstorms, short hours of daylight, and cold temperatures.

I've been on the treadmill and bike trainer quite a bit. Cold is not an issue, but each year I am less willing to take a chance on black ice nor do I want the distraction of the worry.

 Some of our recent weather

This morning I finished my fourth workout in a 21 hour span from Tuesday noon to Wednesday morning and felt pretty pleased with myself for that! Due to road conditions, I did not even attempt to get to Tuesday's 6:30 am swim group, and as I looked at my daily training schedule later that morning, and saw that it included the swim, a 45-minute run with strides, and the gym, I thought there was NO way. No way. This would be one of those very rare days something would be skipped. I was justified, right? With a big case of cabin fever I had no motivation for at-home strength training or at-home swim Erg.

So I did what I thought I could. I started with the treadmill. After my warmup I did my "strides" by alternating between 5 mph and 10 mph every 30 seconds. The upside was some great neuromuscular training as there was no way I could have convinced my legs to turn over that fast without the threat of a treadmill face-plant!

Then the roads became passable and I saw a small time window to get to the gym. I very quickly changed, headed out for what turned out to be a very satisfying workout, and got back in time to drive kid 1 to cello and kid 2 to Japanese. Yay!

I was 2 for 3!

I thought maybe I could still get a swim in, but lap swim didn't start till 8:15 at the community pool and that would be too late. But then the Aquatic Center director Lynne messaged to let me know due to a group cancellation lap swim would start at 6:30 pm. It was destiny! I arrived at 6:30 and got in the most quiet, peaceful, soul-restoring 4000y swim. It was just what I needed. Thank you bad morning roads!

I was 3 for 3!

I was asleep before 10...and then up at 1:30 am to feed my ravenous hunger, and back asleep until a late-for-me 6 am.

At 7 am I was on Zwift Island for a 90 minute ride, where I was rewarded with a Queen of the Mountain Jersey and a Sprint Jersey. (My virtual bike got a wheel upgrade recently, so fun!)

QoM on my new Zipp 808s.

My lazy audience

So, 4 workouts in 21 hours.

(If you were wondering about work, I've spent most of my non-training, non-family time for many many days glued to my computer working on projects including a new athlete website. I was overdue for a break.)

This time of year more than any it can be extra challenging to get the training in. Having the accountability of Coach Jim, his structured training plan, and his feedback on how each workout is contributing to race-readiness is vital.

"Are you training for anything?"

Yes, I'm training my commitment, I'm training my time management, and I'm training my adaptability.

Winter is for building up those little caterpillars to become strong and beautiful spring butterflies :-) Just do your best and have faith in the efforts of your little caterpillar!