Today I had to send in my training update to my coach. Here are the additional comments I wrote. Thought it might be interesting to come back to read this a year from now. In case I’ve not already shared the link to her website, it is: Lisa Smith Batchen
Overall I would say I feel very good. I feel like I am definitely a smidge stronger in my legs. I like the variety and having things to look at and measure while I’m working out — better than just saying run 10 miles. I find the 3 minutes at this or 9 minutes at that kind of distracts me and also makes me work a little harder because I know a break is coming up. I think when I’m out on a long run I usually feel like I need to hold back because I never know how much energy I’m going to need later. I’m really big on saying to myself “9 minutes? You can do anything for 9 minutes.”
I’m using the gym a lot which is good because I never used it before for anything other than the pool. (I didn’t even know which was the stairmaster and which was the elliptical!) I felt today’s workout was not as hard as a stairmaster workout. The workouts so far that have really pushed my limits have been the stairmaster, climbing the stairs after the big gym brick on Saturday and also the standing climb on my bike. I see a pattern there — quad stuff. I thought I had strong quads but I guess not. Today’s treadmill workout was not as hard as any of those. I feel that my butt and hamstrings are very strong but my quads and hip flexors are not. Anything that requires me to push off my legs where I can use the back part of my leg, I seem to do well (like pedaling on the bike or powerwalking uphill). Anything that requires me to lift my legs quickly (like running or stairmaster quick steps or standing climbs) I am weaker.
I am learning that I really do have endurance, that seems to be not a problem. I think I also have potential to be pretty good on the bike. I think I can do anything for a long time but at a slow speed — the bike seems to be the only place where I find myself going faster than my some people and I don’t feel like am working that hard (except when hauling uphill or standing climbing).
I like that I’m starting to look at my heart rate. That’s something I have never done before. And I think a lot of time in the past I was not pushing but had nothing to remind me that “hey, you caught your breath about 10 minutes ago — get going.” I’m into gadgets and measurements and constantly trying to beat my last time. Right now I’m determined to work my way up to that level 5 on the stairmaster or die trying.
Overall, I look back over the winter and wish I had been doing bigger workouts all winter. I did what my coaches assigned, but I think they were just interested in getting me to cross the finish line (I was training with a charity group — TNT). Now I would like to cross it with dignity. I think I could have been better prepared for Disney. I wasn’t looking forward to doing NYC tri again this year (3rd year in a row — same old course). But now I have this little part of me thinking that ‘hey, I might really do well out there.’ I’m not nervous AT ALL about doing NYC tri or the 1/2 marathon — they are just going to be workouts. I am curious, however, to see how I do with them as a benchmark. I am a little nervous about Firmman in September — my family may come to watch and I don’t want to look lame.
Whatever you tell me to do, I’m going to do it. That’s just how I work. I need a coach, I need someone to make up the assignment and say do x,y and z. Then I do x, y and z. No more, no less. I know that is probably not that admirable in an endurance athlete but I’ve really only been doing this since May of 2003 so I’m still learning.
One thing I realized I was not good at was making up my own routine. I spent two hours looking through magazines and books and at old charts and notes I had to figure out what I should do. If you tell me to do 100 sit-ups, I will do 100 sit-ups. If you tell me to do some sit-ups, I’ll do 3. I used to work out with my trainer Rhonda and she would always laugh at me because no matter what exercise we were doing I would always say “how many?” If she told me to do as many as I could, I would do fewer than I was capable of doing (say 4 pushups). If she told me to do 10 pushups, I would do 10 pushups. I might need a break but I would kill myself to do 10 pushups. I don’t know why that is, but that’s the way I seem to tick.
Even last winter I remember running with the Nike training team. We were doing hill repeats. The coach said “Connie, are you doing one more repeat or stopping here?” I looked at him like he was nuts and said “I do whatever you tell me to do.” If you tell me to do 17 more hill repeats, that’s what I do. I’m not thinking out here; I’m just getting the work done. Maybe someday I’ll get to that level of knowing how hard or how long I should be working out, but right now I’m just a blank slate. You tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I’ve yet to fall down in a pool of exhaustion saying “I can’t go any further.” If I have to stop for 1 minute, regroup and then continue on, that’s what I do.
Let me know what you want me to do next, I’m ready to try.