Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Progress" report

Happy Leap Year day!
Last week, apparently, whatever I wrote about my so-called progress for the month or year went into a black hole.  This wouldn't be such a terrible thing, except that since then, I've turned into a major sloth.  I probably would have given myself a B last week, but would now say that my monthly average is more like a C.  And, while in some circles a C is perfectly respectful, I still remember the one or two C's that I rightfully earned/deserved, and it does not make me feel better about myself.
As an adult, however, I think that I'll take a more laissez-faire attitude about grading myself.  After all, who really gives himself/herself "life" grades?!  Obviously I'm weird.  Or a teacher (which equals weird).

I also should have anticipated a bit of a slump at this point.  I went away for a three-day weekend which was fun (sort of?) but very exhausting, and the piles of papers (essays, quizzes and tests, oh my!) have overwhelmed me.  So, most physical activity has taken the back seat to the impulse that I really need to get my life shit together.  Now that I feel somewhat more in control of the piles of grading, I should be able to refocus and think about this whole 'training' thing.  This is particularly true because I just took five days totally off exercise, except for walking and standing and pacing, and my body feels pretty rested and not sore for the first time since January!  So, the goal for March - crank up the training!

But, back to February...  The month pretty much kicked my ass which I anticipated, but somehow the knowledge that it was going to be hard did not help me too much.  I took on another class for the semester, our life has been busy and I like to make excuses.  So, I missed plenty of scheduled workouts and my double workout days are probably still in the single digits for the month.  However, I would like to focus on the positive, and there were quite a few of those moments, fortunately.

First of all, I did manage a few 'bricks' for the month - one bike-to-run that kicked my ass but felt great when I had finished, and a few swim-to-run.  The swim-to-run really means nothing because that is not a common transition, but at the very least it makes me feel that I'm focusing on different skills and not just one or the other.  Also, I hoped to get in at least one 'long' run, anything over 7 miles or so for me, and the Mt. Wilson practice run definitely fulfilled that goal.  While my biking enthusiasm wanes on a regular basis and I often forgo the weekday ride for a spinning class, I did get in the saddle a few times on the weekends.  My last weekend ride, 2 Saturdays past, was pretty great - I did, for myself, a fairly serious climb, hitting almost 3,000 feet within 8 miles or so as I rode a very small portion of the Angeles Crest Highway. I'm slowly inching my way up that road - maybe one day I'll be able to bike the entire length?!  Finally, my last goal for the month was to volunteer at an event, and I dutifully handed out water at the Pasadena "Rock 'n Roll" Half Marathon.  It was quite fun to be a volunteer and gave me a new perspective on races.

I did fall short in plenty of ways, but I'm excited that March begins tomorrow!  I do hope that I can sharpen my focus and put in more miles on the bike and complete 2-4 (nice range) bike-run bricks.  Also, I'll be taking swim lessons for a few weeks which should force me to push myself more in the pool and work on technique and speed, hopefully!

At this point, my first race of the year isn't until April - I just signed up for a duathlon.  I admit that I am missing the monthly road or trail race, but there is some reasoning behind the lack of racing.  First of all, our lives are kind of crazy these days, and throwing in a race or two would just amp up the craziness to a level that would not be helpful or healthy.  It isn't just my life that I'm considering, but two adults who are trying to juggle different priorities.  The second reason that I've put off signing up for lots of running races is that I do want to focus on the Wildflower Tri.  I've enjoyed good health this year, unlike the two months last year when I couldn't run at all because of a weird foot injury, and I consider myself fortunate.  With that in mind, I don't want to overdo it (whatever "it" is) as I train for a tri but also run to my heart's content.  So, the running to my heart's content has been pretty much shut down as I try to amp up other skills (at which I pretty much suck).

It has definitely put into question my so-called runner's "identity" as I'm not running very much these days.  My hope is, however, that I'll be healthy for Wildflower and for the big prize this summer, the Boulder race (which I'm not thinking about, not at all, no, no, no!).

Shew, that was a lot of navel-contemplating for me, but hopefully it will help me kick things into gear tomorrow!


mindful mule said...

Angeles Crest! Yes! I was up there on Sunday. My dream ride (one of them) is to ride to that little tavern tucked away back there called Newcomb’s Ranch. That would be an awesome day…

Kalli said...

it sounds like it has been a busy month for you but you still got in some good workouts and are making strides as a cyclist! listen i saw how you effortlessly kicked my booty at that half-you are a runner!

Kristina said...

Rob - I must admit that the descent terrifies me a bit! Not that I'm going at fast speeds, and I'd definitely feel more comfortable if cars and motorcycles were banned. But it's such a great road. Your dream ride sounds awesome!

Kalli - Thanks for the 'lift-my-runner's-spirit' talk! It is good for me to work on my less than "mad" bike skills. Maybe one of these I'll consider myself a true cyclist. Sounds like you are doing awesome with the running these days - way to go!