All done with this training cycle. Now for a bit of active recovery this coming week.
But first, I need to give credit where credit is due. I’m married to a true Goddess. The one who asks me what I want to do during my holiday break, to which I answer “sleep and run”, and she gives me that “Are you serious?” look, to which she already knows the answer.
So that’s what I did over the past two weeks, which was my last Base period before racing at the end of January.
All told, 110.97 miles of running in the past two weeks; 50.43 miles last week, 60.54 miles this week. Snow, rain, well below freezing, well above freezing. The whole stinkin’ gamut. And it was all good.
I did get a few commutes to/from work on the bike, but swapped one ride home for a run, which served two purposes. And instead of 35 minutes to get home, it took 1:20. So it really didn’t impact the home life too much.
And the runs were a mix of short hill runs, medium tempo runs and long steady runs. In other words, a normal training plan. But it wasn’t all normal.
- A 10-mile tempo+ run last Monday, which started out slow thanks to the 50 miles of the previous week. The first three miles were OK, but nothing to get excited about. Then the gears switched and I was rolling through the forest at a comfortable clip, finding my groove. The (+) portion of the tempo was when I decided to go visit an old friend, the pain cave, whose threshold I hadn’t crossed in quite a while. I didn’t want to get too deep in, but decided to head over, open the door, look around the make sure that the drapes hadn’t been stolen. Nothing was disturbed, but there was definitely a layer of dust from lack of use. I’ll have to get back there soon. So even after the slow opening miles, I finished the 10 miles just a few minutes off my 10-mile PR. But I did feel it the next day.
- The 20-miler on New Year’s Eve was a mixed bag of weather. It was a steady 45F, rapidly changing from sun to pouring rain and back again. Since the rain was going to be intermittent, I left the shell at home, which made for a few borderline hypothermic moments. Luckily it cleared out just before sunset, which let it cool down quickly into the upper 30’s(F). So soaking wet, cold. I couldn’t get into a warm shower fast enough. But that worked out well, since it was New Year’s Eve.
- New Year’s Eve detraining – lots of resveratrol was consumed, which my doc (“drink early, drink often”) swears is good for my heart. And let me tell you, the German’s know how to greet a new year. I swear every family up and down the street bought hundreds of euro of fireworks. It looked like a war zone out there. It did my teenaged-boy heart good. And though I was perfectly fine the next day, I just didn’t get out the door to run.
- Today’s 15-miler through the ice/snow was great, especially considering the amount of miles these legs have endured in the past 14 days. Although after a poor night of sleep, I wasn’t too motivated. Goddess got me through that (something about “get out now”). The legs were heavy and tired, but found their rhythm after a few miles. Then a nice negative split. Nothing too drastic, but considering the abuse that I’ve put myself through, I can’t be anything but pleased with that. It was a great way to close out the cycle.
So now it’s a recovery week, which will include some thigh-busting skiing in the Alps. And if that doesn’t teach the quads who’s boss, I don’t know what will.
Year in Review – 2009
Lots of thoughts during these long runs about posting a year in review. Some discussion with other folks on their year’s in review. For me, the review is only meaningful to the one posting it, unless the numbers posted are compared to the year’s goals and/or previous year’s totals. Otherwise they’re just numbers.
So for those of you who want numbers, you won’t find them here (unless you read above). I look through my numbers fairly often in both Training Peaks and SportTracks. Matter of fact, I keep a rolling 10- and 28-day chart in my SportTracks to make sure I’m not doing anything too crazy. With the move to Germany this year, there wasn’t any sense in setting annual goals, since there were way too many variables. All of my short-term goals were early in the year (March’s LBL 60K and April’s Country Music Marathon) and were resounding successes, even if I didn’t meet certain time goals. I learned quite a bit, including how much I enjoy a good trail run.
But thanks to the commute to/from work, my bike mileage jumped considerably over last year, which had a six-month chunk taken out thanks to a deployment to Iraq. No cycling during that time.
And what will 2010 bring? Who knows. A 50K at the end of January, then I’ll start searching for something to do later in the year. The Antwerp 70.3 looks fun (I love that distance triathlon), but finding a swimming pool with good hours is a trick. The local pool is open 10am-10pm, but is too far from work for a lunchtime swim. After work I’m usually too knackered to do anything. Plus, that’s Goddess’ time. So unless I think I can pull off a 70.3 without any lap time…
So here’s to a great year for each and every one of you. If you’re one that makes resolutions, I hope that the resolve you currently have lasts through the year.