Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Clear Skies Strong Legs

Today was my idea of a perfect day.

It started out like this. Get up do 30 minutes of Yoga. Eat (actually drink) breakfast. This would be fruit smoothie, a handful of almonds and a small 4-6 oz glass of fresh,organic fruit/veggie juice. At this meal, I probably meet or exceed the US daily allowance for fruits and vegetables. This is okay by me. Totally. I'm finding it is way easier for me to "drink" my daily allowance of these important foods than it was for me to physically chew my way through them. And what the hey, we have steel and electricity, why not let them do part of my digestive work for me. I am only embracing progress here to facilitate my health and training.

Then I went on to do about 30 min of Tai Chi. After that 15 min jump rope alternating legs every 25 reps. Well, after the rope jumping my day was perfect.

Then I went for a run. You know when I wasn't able to run that was all I thought about. Now that I'm running every day, about every fourth day or so, I'm not that excited. My legs feel a little heavy and I swear I'm not actually running and that I'm slogging all over the trail. But I have to count my blessings. I'm in Austin. Its February and the temperature today was around 65 (18 Celsius) with clear skies. The Town Lake trail is actually quite beautiful with the contrasting colors of spring and fall on display simultaneously.

So back to my run. It actually felt pretty good once I got about 2/3 of the way through it. I still felt as though my legs were running about knee deep in mud but my breathing was even and my heart rate was in the zone I had set for this type of run. My average HR was 153 for 5 miles in 38:00. That's about 7:40 pace which shows I'm not slowing down from running every day. When I started this experiment I did the 5 mile loop in about 43:00 or 44:00 -- so around 8:40 pace at approximately the same heart rate.

This also shows my legs are getting stronger. Even though I did the 10 mile loop the day before and had five pretty intense Yoga classes this week, I seem to be recovering from my workouts quickly and the accumulating fatigue isn't affecting my general leg speed. So we'll see how long I can keep this up and what I feel like in about 3 weeks.

After my run I went for an hour long bike ride.

With Du' Shun. I'll say it again. Riding with Du' Shun is like an out of body experience. Sometimes we go so fast, I swear in my effort to keep up I've actually died and see myself on the bike as my consciousness floats overhead. But for the most part considering my time off the bike from being sick, my legs felt pretty good. I was able to keep pace with our group up until the last 5 - 10 min or so of the ride when I decided to back off. Even though my perceived effort seemed pretty low, my heart rate monitor was reading 176 which is right about LT for me. I didn't want to push things since I'm not back at 100% just yet. I may have to spend some time doing some testing to check my numbers again to be sure. Like I said, I didn't feel any discomfort and I wasn't breathing hard. The day was pretty cool, and I wasn't experiencing distress. There is the possibility the heart rate strap I was using needed a new battery. I use a different strap when I run. I'll have to check that too. Other than that about the biggest thing I had to worry about on this ride was the fact that I appear to be wearing out my seat so, I'll have to decide on a new one soon.

One of my main reasons for riding at the Veloway and S. Mopac is afterward I can drop by Lifetime Fitness for a swim. I like doing my workouts in this order because swimming is sort of like a massage and acts as a recovery from the previous workouts. Today's swim workout was a 30 minute drill session. I wasn't really committed to swimming over the holidays and then I got sick so, now I'm having to ease back into it by focusing mostly on technique. Once I get my feel for the water back I'll start working on more triathlon specific stuff in the pool. But for now I'm just showing up and getting wet. By the time I got home I was relaxed and ready for dinner which was basically a veggie burger, a huge mixed green salad with red leaf lettuce, rainbow chard, apples, carrots, onions and spinach.


Marsha said...

HEY! I am doing a photostory on austin cyclists and i need people+their favorite bike(s). if you would like a polaroid snapped of you let me know!

ace said...

Coolio... I'm in.