This very second I am in my sleeping shorts. It’s 12pm, I have a 2pm client appointment way the heck out in the Hollywood hills, and I totally pushed off swimming 4500 meters this morning. Why? Because I didn’t feel like it, that’s why. I’ve told myself that I’ll swim those 3 miles and change this afternoon after I finish at my client. Will it happen? No idea. That’s something for afternoon Max to figure out. Morning Max needed to sit in his shorts and do nothing for a few hours. That’s right. Absolutely nothing. I spent the weekend with friends in the Bay area and I desperately needed just a few hours that were mine, alone, and not spent working out.
The weekend was lovely, and our friends are pretty spectacular. On Saturday I thought I was going to get in a 4500 meter swim at the municipal pool, but the local high school showed up for time trials and I was ejected from the pool after only getting in 3,000 meters. Sunday I got in a 90 minute run with some nice rolling hills, so I managed to stay on track those days. But Monday’s plan completely changed when I-5 was closed due to snow and ice and we were forced to take 101 home. Combined with heavy rain it took us 8.5hrs to get home, at which point we pretty much collapsed on the couch and turned into turnips.
Which means today was going to be my long swim, given that it was supposed to rain all day. Well, it only rained until this morning and now it’s beautiful outside. But I’m sitting at home writing instead of swimming because what I needed this morning was the ability to do nothing. Not engage. Not speak to anyone. Even people I like. I got an email from my cousin who has been sick along with feeling fat from eating valentine’s day candy. He wanted to know if I trained when I feel sick. The answer is no – I don’t. I don’t train when I’m sick because I will get sicker. I don’t train if I’m mentally fatigued because I will fatigue faster. I don’t train if going out and training will make me hate training.
There is a difference between getting up and out when you don’t feel like it versus knowing when it is time to take care of yourself physically or emotionally. It was five years of Yoga practice that taught me to give myself permission to sit in child’s pose for 90 minutes if that is what I needed that day. I also know what it is like to push myself to train and find the joy and energy that kicks in late in the act. I’ve also had days where going out and training pisses me off so much it sullies my taste for it the rest of the day.
The key is in knowing when I’m being a petulant child in knee socks and girl shoes and when I’m actually fatigued (mentally or physically). I am entering the period where I’m getting worried about Oceanside 70.3 being less than six weeks away, and at the same time feeling like I’m seeing the benefit of being coached and putting in the hard work. Going to Core Performance twice a week for just two weeks definitely had a positive impact on my body and mind, though after my introductory package is done I’m going to take a break from them and train on my own for a while.
To address this point briefly, Core Performance is an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility for goal-oriented athletes looking for a structured, guided workout plan. But because the Core Performance model is always 30 minutes of strength training followed by 30 minutes of ESD (cardio/aerobic) work, it doesn’t allow for those of us who are doing 60-90 minutes per day of primary endurance or speed training. They don’t work with outside coaches to adapt their plan to the needs of the coached athlete, they lock the client into the Core Performance system. My needs are specific: 1 hour of strength training 3x per week. This will help build power, prevent injury, and enhance my structured triathlon workout. The coaches and assistant coaches at Core Performance are outstanding, and in the last session I was really struck by the personal attention given to helping me with my form and getting me to realize the effect of the work. I need that, desperately, having never been a gym rat. But I need it for an hour, not 30 minutes, and I certainly don’t need 30 minutes on their treadmill or stationary bike if I already spent 90 minutes that morning doing the same thing. I’ll stay in touch with Core Performance because I see the benefit in what they are doing. Ideally they will allow some changes to their model to fit coached athletes. For the price, they are supremely better than any gym or personal trainer in town.
As I thought about that this morning I popped in the DVD for the Triathlon Training Series and watched their structured strength training video. That plan looks very straightforward, and I can do their exercises with resistance bands and free weights. There are some metrics to determine before I start that plan, but I’ll save that for another post.
For now, it’s time to eat lunch, get dressed, and engage with others. I hope to get at that swim this afternoon because I want to stay on track. Getting back to posting on this blog, organizing my mind and my schedule, and finding focus are all part of that.