Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Measuring Progress

In a time based sport, it's relatively easy to measure your progress over time. With proper training, your times should decrease in all 3 phases of triathlon. But how about in between races, during the day to day grind that is the most difficult part of the effort it takes to make that progress? When you don't have anything immediately on the line, how do you realize the differences in your training? For me, yesterday, it was about seeing what i was capable of on a day I felt like crap.

I woke up yesterday feeling just awful. Occasionally, I deal with bouts of insomnia, and the past couple nights I've had it in spades. Up til 2 am, sleeping poorly, and up at 7 to talk about software testing with people who are in Sri Lanka. Not an ideal time to be not feeling well, especially just a week before the honeymoon. Fortunately I started feeling better as the day went on, so when it was time for Rach to head to the pool, I joined her for a 2100 yard workout. Plus I figured if the workout didn't go well, I could always just go sit in the hot tub.

I was surprised by how much energy I had when I got in the pool, and I got through the 400 yd freestyle warm up pretty quick. Evidently, that burnt up a lot of my reserves, as the next 800 using a pull buoy felt like it took forever. The pull buoy was followed by 800 freestyle, during which I started to feel better. So much better in fact that I finished only 150 yards behind Rach. The last 100 was breaststroke, and when I was done with that, and got out, I saw that I had completed the full workout in just under an hour.

I didn't feel strong or fast, and yet I managed to do a similar distance to the Timberman swim and had more than 10 minutes left prior to the time cutoff. Sure it was in a pool, in a non-pressure, non-hectic situation, but balancing that out with how my body felt, and I think it was quite the accomplishment for just some random Monday.  (note to self: why do I always find ways to caveat when I have a really good workout? Answer: probably because I'm afraid to raise the bar for myself in regards to what my expectations and goals should be).

Anyways, it felt good to see such a strong result. It doesn't always work that way but it's nice when it does.


- A week from today this blog will become a travelogue of our honeymoon. We fly out on July 5th and back on the 12th. Hopefully lots of great pictures of our adventures. Plus, it gives me a way to capture what i was thinking and feeling so years from now I'll be able to look back on the trip and remember factually the details in comparison to what my swiss cheese like brain remembers.

- My wife rocks. She sent me the training plan for July and even remembered to think about the limitations of the smallish workout rooms at our hotels. We're alternating biking and running and making sure we both aren't trying to use the same machines at the same time.

- Consider this fair warning: I'll be talking a lot about the Tour de France during the honeymoon, especially once we reach Paris. If you're planning on watching delayed coverage in the states, you might want to be careful when you read the blog. I won't be holding back, but I will warn you when I'm about to pop into talk about the best bike race in the world.

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