Monday, January 13, 2014

Crossroads Training: Week One

What I hoped would be the week I triumphantly returned to running was quickly derailed by Winter Storm Ion.
Slightly hard to see in this picture, but I'm standing in snow past my knees. (And I hadn't even sunk all the way!)
Normally inclement weather doesn't bother me: I've run through thunderstorms and bitter cold. However, there's not much I can do to overcome 6+ inches of fluffy snow. All my Yaxtrax did was make my feet feel funny while I was wading on top of what I thought might be a sidewalk. It was doubly hard being only two days in my new town. Deciding on a running route is infinitely harder when the roads are completely obliterated in snow and ice.

I hate to sound like I'm making excuses, but short of getting a pair of snowshoes (and believe me, I looked for local rentals), there wasn't anything I could do.

4.8 mi slog
Yoge for the Hips, Hamstrings, and Upper Back; 27 mins

I had planned to go an easy six miles and allowed what I thought was plenty of extra time before an appointment. I barely got above three miles per hour and spent almost all my time slowly wading, not even able to attempt a running motion. I thought about trying to complete the distance, but I got to a major intersection and couldn't decipher where the sidewalk went. I was mentally 100% done.

Another thing I couldn't beat despite trying: a severe windchill advisory.
What looks like a bruise on my cheek is actually terrible windburn.
At least my yoga video felt awesome and really released my hips.

NROLFW Stage Two Workout A1, 31 min
1800 yd swim

I tried out my new gym's fitness facilities and pool. They had an excellent selection of free weights and equipment, as well as miscellany, like mats, Swiss balls, and steps. It took a little extra time to find what I needed, but it was so much less stressful than going to a college gym. I also appreciated that they played top 40's music through a ceiling speaker system.

The pool was a little more interesting. Nothing good can ever come of having a four lane lap swim pool. This holds especially true when it's the only pool in the county. I camped the locker room and got in a lane right after swim team practice ended, and I would've still had to circle swim within five minutes if the other woman in my lane hadn't been doing backstroke. In 45 minutes I got hit six separate times by people on either side of me not paying attention. I'm hoping when I switch to mornings the pool will be less crowded, or at least have stronger swimmers that don't weave through the whole lane.
Not my pool, but it demonstrates the anarchy in which I must swim.
The pool also had this super creepy frog statue wearing an oversize t-shirt that watches you from an office chair. I forgot to take a picture, but it is incredibly disturbing. (And it's visible from the women's locker room entrance, so I have to see the creepy eyes every time I go.)

Rest day

I had been planning to get up early to run before going back to my old job for one last day, but I was worried about doing 3+ hours of tired driving if road conditions were still terrible. Luckily, the highways were clear, but I was still glad of the extra sleep.

7 mi tempo run
30 Minute Class for the Shoulders, 33 min

I went to the gym's indoor track for this run. At first I was overjoyed that it was 12 laps to a mile, meaning no crazy calculations if I want to check my pace. Then I was depressed when I realized how out of shape I am. (A month break will do that? Who knew?!) I averaged 12 min/mile for the five tempo miles with walking breaks. I didn't have a watch, so I had initially been planning to run on the treadmill, and it was very disorienting. I think the running sections were acceptably paced, but it's hard to say for sure.
At least I wore pants.
I could also tell during my yoga video how tight the return to exercise had made me. I'm pretty sure some of the stretches almost imploded my shoulders, though I felt amazing afterwards.

1800 yd swim
NROLFW Stage Two Workout B1, 47 mins

This swim was relatively uneventful. The workout was broken up into a bunch of different segments, which kept it mentally interesting. I also shared my lane with triathlete, which meant we could both handle not assaulting one another while sharing a lane. How novel.

I discovered this room at the gym while I lifting called the "Mind, Body, Spirit Studio." Here I found a lot of the equipment I was surprised "wasn't stocked". It was a nice quiet and empty environment to do my ab work without getting in anyone's way.

6 mi slog

Earlier in the day I had been out and about, and the sidewalks looked clear, following warmer temperatures and a heavy rain. It was with great joy I set out for a 12 mile long run. Unfortunately, it had gotten colder as the day went on, and almost all the sidewalks had re-frozen into complete sheets of ice. The "clear" sections were actually calf-deep pools of icy water. While I managed to break 4 mph (whoo!), I just couldn't handle the conditions any longer, and my feet were going numb. The gym had closed by that point, so I called it a day at six miles.

NROLFW Stage Two Workout A2, 36 mins

I had planned to do a run as well Sunday, but I opted to just hit the gym in order to spend time with the Eager Feet Parents. The gym had limited hours, so I couldn't go afterwards, nor were the sidewalks cleared.

Weekly Totals:
Run: 17.8 mi
Swim: 2 mi
Lift: 1 hour, 54 mins
Yoga: 1 hour

This week was especially hard for me to not meet my mileage. I'm used to running through whatever conditions no matter what. It was really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that not hitting all my planned workouts due to inclement weather and unfamiliarity with the area does not make me a bad person. It just means I have other life commitments. And that I can't bound through the snow like a yeti.
Maybe the real secret is to get a baller scarf.

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