That's right - two weeks until the training plan starts. My plan aims once again for the Graham Beasley Half Iron in mid-July at Carleton Place, Ontario. What's funny is that I'm not really treating this race as an "A" race - don't know why, but I probably should. I don't want to have the same problems this year as last.
Not only do I have two weeks to get myself wrapped around routines and training again, but I've also got (at least) two weeks of tough, time-critical work at the office. And next week I've got to carry the 24x7 support phone - and I know I'll get called (I'm involved in the current project).
I've been a bit hard on myself lately with the lack of workouts. I keep thinking that I should be preparing for the season with some base or strength work, but it just doesn't get done lately. Holidays, work, overtime. But mostly there's been a strong desire to toss it all aside and spend quality time with my wife and daughter. Frankly, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately, and I've been missing these moments. My wife and daughter are Priority #1 for me all the time. I guess lately I don't feel like I've shown it much.
One of the side effects of all this is that I've gotten very comfortable sitting on my ass. I've also gotten very comfortable playing on the Wii (mainly NFS Nitro lately). And I've done it enough that doing physical activity ain't what it used to be.
It was tough before, but now it's damned tough. And tonight's swim was no exception.
Let's just say that my thoughts of puking weren't the only ones in the pool tonight. I started out very weak (mainly from stress, now that I look back at it) and fought like hell for 800m to find some decent form. It wasn't until the middle of our 8x100 set that I found some, and by then I was sucking air (and water) like crazy. Tonight was all about anaerobic threshold and form (yeah, again) - when you're tired, don't lose form. I tried to hold 1min40 pace in the 100s, but just couldn't do it for more than 3. Later, there was a similar set of 8x50 where I was actually holding the times, between 40sec and 45sec. The wrap-up was 8x50 ascending on 1min05 - which ended up being surprisingly challenging.
The big thing for me is that when I get tired, my elbows drop, and I end up "feathering" the water rather than catching it and having a solid pull. For me, over 25m, the difference in stroke count goes from 14 to 18 or 19. Being tired is hard enough, but adding strokes to that makes it even harder. Both the coach and I caught my elbows dropping in the middle of the 8x100 set, and I reverted my stroke to a "fingertip drag" drill stroke to get those elbows up and relax the recovering arm. A few lengths of that and I was back to good form, dropping my stroke count and burning up my triceps and shoulders in the process. Climbing out of the pool at the end was a big challenge, and I opted for the ladder tonight. Yeah, I was that wiped.
And now my day feels very complete. I had a good albeit tiring day at work (and the rest of the week will be the same). I had a lovely evening with my wife and daughter (we've made some "operational" changes in our evening routines which seem to be working out very well). I got a workout in (after bailing out on a morning spin - and feeling guilty all day over it). I kissed and hugged my wife. I played with my daughter. We both tucked our daughter into bed tonight. I prayed for our families - immediate and extended. When you get right down to it, life's good. Too bad we don't always see it that way.
Now I'm left thinking about the rest of the week. I'd love to get in two runs and two rides in yet, but with work on the cusp of becoming a red alert (project-wise) I'll have to see how things go. I'm currently planning a spin tomorrow and Wednesday, and a long run Thursday or Friday with Peter - we haven't been out in weeks. But it's all in the air now, until this project gets wrapped up.
But at least I've got two weeks still. ;)