Last night's Vestry meeting ran late - about 9:30. I was already really tired from waking up before 4 Monday morning and then not being able to get back to sleep. I had about an hour to myself before the meeting; I laid on the floor with my legs up to relax my back. The Empress Dowager (our oldest cat) took advantage of my horizontal state and took a nap on my belly. Not sure how much sleep I got, but it was delightfully relaxing.
After trying in vain for an hour to get back to sleep yesterday morning, I went for a run at about 5 a.m. It was too dark to run along the canal (a nice dirt road, but no street lights), so I ran on the asphalt streets of my neighborhood. I took a meandering route through the neighborhood - I was hoping to run for close to an hour, so it didn't matter where I went. I ended up running 6 km.
Bloomsday is in about 6 weeks, and that's a 12K. I still have plenty of time to build up my mileage. I figure I can add a half km to each of my weekly "long" runs and not burn out my legs. My glutes were beginning to feel tired during the run, but I kept up my 2-3 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking throughout the run (except for the five minutes at the beginning and end). My back has been kinda touchy, so I was a little worried about running on the asphalt, but it hasn't bothered me.
I wore my compression shorts while I ran, and I decided to try an experiment: I left them on. I didn't take them off until this morning. No muscle soreness at all. I laid on the floor with my feet up on the wall for about five minutes when I got home (that's my sure-fire shinsplints avoidance plan) and I stretched pretty good as well, but I think the compression made a difference. (It's not that different than wearing a girdle, which I do when I'm in business attire.)
Because I got home late from the meeting, I decided to take an hour of sick time this morning to let myself sleep in. I still only got 7 hours of sleep, but I was unwilling to take on today's challenges with just six hours of sleep.
No one got arrested last night, so I didn't have to go to court this afternoon. But I was hoping to get over to the gym at lunch time to do some swim drills. My legal assistant told me I should just go anyway. So I did. I logged it as a half-hour of leave, rather than just skipping a half-hour of work (not that my boss would have noticed or cared, but I prefer to not skip work if I'm being paid to be here).
I'm really glad I went to the club. I am still struggling, but I made some progress. When I first get in the pool, I practice just breathing in and out while submerging my face. The I do a few laps with a kick board, again just practicing breathing. Then I try a few laps with my arms out in front, only stroking when I'm rolling up to breathe. And only then do I try to put it all together.
I suck at the "putting it all together" part.
Once I'm swimming, I try to keep going even if it's not going well. If I have to do a few strokes keeping my face out of the water, so be it. Just keep moving forward. I have this goofy side-stroke I can do if I need to. It's not as efficient, but it works.
I'd been in the pool for a while when I started to get frustrated. I was about to get out of the pool when I decided to try one more thing: with my heart rate elevated, I went back to step one - just breathing. It still works the same, even with my heart rate up. So I then tried a lap. The first length was good (breathing to my right side), the second length was not-so-great but still passable. I got out of the pool happy. That was nice.
Tonight is a new challenge: I will ride to the gym to strength train, then ride home. I've ridden to the gym just to make sure I could do the distance; this will be my first ride to the gym with the express intent to work out. Yeah, I think I should get some uber-serious props for being a dedicated-enough bike commuter to ride my bike to the gym.
So I'm hopeful it will be a good day.
I've also started scheduling my workouts. I've never done that before, but trying to get in two runs per week, two strength training workouts per week, and at least two swims while commuting by bike is more than I can handle without some structure. Tomorrow I will drive home so that I can use the pool before court on Thursday morning; that leaves Wednesday evening open for a run (and some much-needed work around the house!).
The one thing I've learned I CANNOT do is strength training after swimming. It will be interesting to see if I can strength train after riding the 8 miles to the club. I have to climb a hill to get to the club, which means I'll be in an more upright position. My upper back & neck shouldn't be stressed when I get there (that's the issue with swimming - I wear out my neck & trapezeus muscles keeping my head up near the surface of the water).
So, I'm thinking lots of happy, positive thoughts for a nice ride to the club, a challenging but productive workout, and then a peaceful ride home as the sun sets.
Not a bad day!