WEEKLY WRAPUP AND LOOKING AHEAD.
Finally the back/hip issue is beginning to resolve. Its always hard being patient with an injury because we want it to be fixed NOW and when it isn't, it starts getting us frantic. I'm learning though to be patient with these things, and always learning how to do preventative work to avoid the same thing happening again.
Work has been particularly busy all month, and after spending all day on a computer, I rarely get in front of mine at home, so I've not been the best at blogging lately.
Also, with this injury thing, I've been doing different workouts--spinning 2 or 3 days a week, yoga/pilates twice a week, elliptical once or twice a week, strength training twice a week, and last week added running back in 3 days a week. Sounds like a lot, but the main thing I'm doing different is increasing the intensity of each workout, including running. More quality, less quantity. And I think that will be my theme for next year.
One thing I've missed by running fast is the hard workouts that then make everything else seem easy. Like once you've run a marathon, everything else seems easier. Or an Ironman (although I'm not an authority there.) I've resigned myself to realize that unless I was at least 10 years younger, didn't have to work, and had a dedicated coach, I will never run at the levels I used to. I miss it psychologically but also miss it physically.
The quality I am putting into my workouts now is to try to get at least half the workout in the 80% effort zone. My goals are twofold: one to get back some of the speed I have seriously lacked this past year and two to help trim the fat. High intensity workouts are fat burners, its as simple as that. Running or biking at 60-65%, as I've mostly been doing, doesn't do a whole lot for me. Not only does it not increase my endurance, but it does not help maintain a good body fat ratio. The body gets efficient at NOT burning fat when its not called upon to do so.
I think I can do better than I've been doing, I just have to put my mind to it. I think overall my fitness has improved over the last two years, but I have lost a lot of speed, and while my weight mainly is maintained, not doing much running this month I've seen those pesky few pounds creep back on and I want to nip that before it gets out of hand.
Today was another track day. Not just for speed, but mentally it helps me with workouts. I'm just rebuilding my distance, but now I want to start throwing in some faster running, so its easier for me to do that there. Four miles was the goal today: walk 1 lap, run 1 lap easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, repeat. It was cold, only 32 degrees, and snowing the whole time, more like white rain, because it was the big, wet sloppy flakes. But thankfully very little wind. And like treadmill running, its a great equalizer when you are running with someone else: you can each go your own pace and not lose each other in the process.
And I almost pulled off the entire workout as planned. On the third mile, I really had to work with my mind to do the fast laps, and had to mix it up some: one fast, one easy, one fast, one easy, walk one. But I got it done and when I finished, the snow stopped. That was weird. The whole time I circled the track, I was getting hypnotized by the big white flakes falling on the black surface. And the end result was I felt relaxed and good. Putting some hard effort into my running makes me feel that way. And that's what I've been missing.
Goals for next year then are to try to get a little faster (within reason) but not obsess over it either. It will not be a disappointment if I don't make a certain goal pace, only a triumph if I do. Another goal will be to do only one event a month, so I can focus on quality. I love going to races, but going frequently I do not train properly, relying on past performances to get me through it, which doesn't always work. Also hoping for a few blogger meetups as well. No events have been decided on yet. I'm still deciding...