Friday, June 27, 2008

Recovery Week

Well, I did at least allow myself a 'recovery day' after the Harbour Capital half. The rest of my week hasn't exactly been a holiday, but it's been nice to mix things up a bit. On Wednesday my workmate, M, an Impact instructor at Les Mills, picked me up from the end of my street at 6.30am and took me off to the gym. He helped me glove up and then it was straight into some work with the pads. It was hard but incredibly fun and I had to think far too much for that time of the morning. What, you want me to move around in circles around you, you expect me to be able to respond appropriately when you yell out 'jab, hook, uppercut or cross, AND you expect me to be able to count? All before 7am?

As I continually failed to throw the correct punch, paused to make sure I was doing the right thing, failed to move in close enough or get out of the way in time, I kept apologising. Every time I apologised I would get thumped. Did I mention this guy's probably the size of Sylvester Stallone? Just when I thought it was difficult enough to have him screaming 'faster' or 'harder' at me every other second, we then moved into a combo that involved me having to duck under his swinging arm. Trust me, when there's a huge tree trunk aiming straight at your head you want to be able to drop, quickly!

In between the work with the pads we did some bench press, some core work and a few pull-ups. Afterwards M commented that my strength was quite good but that I wasn't as co-ordinated as he'd expected and my balance wasn't that great. Of course he doesn't know my whole 'sickly child, not allowed to be very active, in and out of hospital most of my life' history, so he has every right to be surprised. However being told that I wasn't that good at something was a bit of a red flag to my bullish nature. You wait - I'm going to be the fastest, meanest boxing pupil he's ever had. Of course it didn't help that he compared me unfavourably to one of my team-members. Talking to her afterwards she pointed out that she did Karate for four years, so the comparison was hardly fair!

I was really keen to run that day but I was too busy at lunchtime and by the time work was over it was freezing cold and dark. Gale-force winds were blowing sheets of rain across the Tinakori hills. Given that I was no longer training for anything specific I reasoned that running in that kind of weather would consititute a kind of punishment. Instead I struggled my way to H's office for a glass of wine.

Thursday morning saw the storm blown out. I put in a hard half an hour on an exercycle before doing more rope work with Duck. My strength is increasing quickly and I can already see the added definition in my arms. We also did a few reps of walking lunges, box squats, single leg squats and leg press, which led to my glutes and quads not liking me very much today.

I wasn't able to run on Thursday night either, choosing instead to attend H's office's wine and cheese night. I did, however, have a run planned with the Weekday Runners (as I'm going to refer to Emma and Dave's lunchtime runs from now on). A small hardy group of us set off from the Terrace. Dave, J and I all agreed that we were keen on a very short, slow run. Poor Dave's legs were still recovering from the marathon and mine were recovering from Duck. We picked up another runner at Freyberg, by which point we were nearly ready to turn round and head back to the gym. Instead we continued to run around the Bays for a distance. Past the point and we were carried by a gale Northerly the whole way to Balaena Bay, where we agreed it would be more pleasant to run back via Maida Vale. A hill was preferable to that wind!

I was feeling surprised by how good I was feeling. My quads were sore but weren't really stopping me from putting in some effort and I was holding a good pace. J held back with the girl we'd picked up at Freyberg, but I couldn't bring myself to slow so Dave and I ran out together, chatting about triathlon and learning to swim. I told him that I may be tapping him on the shoulder for a programme if I started to run out of ideas once Duck has gone.

Back round to Te Papa and we hit the worst of the Northerly. I'm so glad it wasn't that bad on Sunday. Running against that wind would have been soul destroying. J and I ran all the way back to the Terrace together. I even made a point of running under the Terrace and up the steps at the end of the tunnel. Back at the gym I stopped and chatted to M as the sweat dripped off my face. I must have looked an absolute sight. I'd left my running tights at home so was wearing a daggy pair of old baggy trackies, and I was wearing a polyprop under my old Jog Squad t-shirt. As a result I was feeling very overheated. I hadn't counted on the sun coming out halfway through our run. In the end I could no longer stand the sweat running down my chest to escaped to the showers.

All up it was a surprisingly pacey and good run given it was the first post-race run, and around 7km with a hill was a bit more than I'd been planning. My quads have totally locked up this afternoon though and I've been hobbling around the office. I want to get up in the morning and run for at least an hour but I don't have anything firm planned and the weather's not that great. Not having a firm plan for my run means I'm highly likely to simply roll over and stay in bed. I have a date with some kittens in Titahi Bay at 11 so I can't meet up with the Gearshifters types for a ride. I am, however, contemplating the 90 minute RPM on Sunday. Given that it starts at 7.30am I'm even MORE likely to roll over and stay in bed tomorrow morning. I need at least one lie-in each weekend or I start to go a little insane. Of course I can run tomorrow afternoon instead. It will all depend on how motivated I feel and how sore I am. A rest day probably won't hurt me, and I can always long-run on Monday night instead.


Bruce said...

Nice race on the weekend, sounds like you were pushing hard for the sub 2. Not bad result given your limited build up. You call this a recovery week? looks like you've been pretty active!

Sass said...

You're so hard core! You must be getting some mean arm/shoulder muscles. Almost time for the reemergence of the little halter neck dress? Temperature of venue permitting of course;p