Friday, April 27, 2012

Performance from crankiness

Just a quickie post today, since it's my wonderful husband and best friend's birthday! Love you sweetheart!

He really does rawk my world.

Something I've noticed in the last few years is that, like anyone else, I'll have days where I simply don't want to do the work. I'll have a session planned, start procrastinating and thinking of reasons I can't/shouldn't do it, and generally turn into a crankypants about the whole thing.

Last night was like that. My trusty Timex Ironman Race Trainer watch band snapped on me, traffic was awful on the way out of town, we had a ton of errands to run (including sending the watch back to Timex, since the band isn't replaceable), and we ended up getting home quite late. It was cold and windy for the run (which was supposed to be super easy, but I tend to run faster than I should when pressed for time), and I was going to be late getting to the pool.

Consternation - it's not replaceable.

I was tempted to bag the whole business and just sit on the couch, but the next day being both Friday and Tanker's birthday meant there was no way I'd be doing any training, so rather than take two days off I rolled off to the pool. Got there just after the time I'm usually in the water and discovered the hot tub is operational, but cold - they'd been doing repair work earlier in the day and had shut the heater off. Oh well, at least I wouldn't be tempted to jump out of the pool 5mins early to hit the tub!

Finally started my workout at 9:10pm, when I'm usually leaving the wall by 8:55. I had something I wanted to try: 3 x (300m, 200m, 100m), descending all intervals. That meant the 200s and 100s had to be faster paced than the 300s, and the third 300 would be faster than the second, which would in turn be faster than the first. Lots of changing gears!

I set to it, and felt like crap; halfway through my 4th length, I just wanted to give up and go home. I wasn't sure I could even do the first 300m, let alone complete the workout. I pushed on, though, since I had already used up a swim on my 20 pass and I'm too damned cheap to waste that!

As has happened so many other times in the past, despite feeling lousy and wanting to quit, I not only made it through the workout but I did so almost flawlessly. Let X represent the pace per 100m of the first, painful 300, and my splits were:

Set 1:  300 @ X minus :00/100m, 200 @ X minus :03/100m, 100 @ X minus :10/100m

Set 2: 300 @ X minus :02/100m, 200 @ X minus :06/100m, 100 @ X minus :14/100m

Set 3: 300 @ X minus :04/100m, 200 @ X minus :05/100m, 100 @ X minus :15/100m.

So I cracked myself a bit with that last 300 and swam the last 200 a little slower than the second, but everything else was properly executed. I swam a nice easy cool-down and reflected on how often it happens that the workouts I want to do the least end up being ones in which I surprise myself. I've had it happen with swim, bike and run, and it never ceases to amaze me. 

The best part of all is that afterward, instead of the guilt of having bagged a workout (which would only add to the negativity that made me want to skive off in the first place), I usually feel better than I have all day! Next time your brain is trying to talk you out of training for no good reason, let your body do the talking instead*.

(*Note: missing training due to illness, injury, work or family obligations is necessary and healthy. This post refers only to skipping training due to lack of motivation and the gravitational pull of your comfiest piece of furniture.)

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