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Disappointed in my Fitness.

12 August 2016

I have had two horrible runs this week, and one halfway decent one. I did better last week, but not by much. It’s hot. Really hot, and that’s part of the deal, no question. But I’m not feeling right, and it’s visible in my performance. Additionally, my right knee and left hamstring are injured. The knee has been slowly getting better. The hamstring is new as of the last few days, and getting worse.

As fun as the triathlon was, and as rewarding to finish and test myself, riding a bike this past year and replacing some of my running with miles on two wheels instead of two feet has been awful for my fitness. Running is just so much more work. For me, a mile run is work at least three or four miles ridden. There may just not be any way to get the fitness on a bike as there is on my feet. My heart rate won’t spike on the bike like it does on my feet or at the gym.

And so, even though I’ve been getting the hours in, exercise-wise, I haven’t maintained the cardiovascular fitness I had this time last year. I’m heavier, slower, and laboring in the heat. I’m injured more. I really enjoy riding, which makes me sad, because I can’t justify it if I want to maintain a high (for me) level of fitness. It just doesn’t sustain me.

I suspect a biking enthusiast would tell me: well just ride harder! Lovely idea, but I don’t have long rural roads on which to do that. I have city streets or I have public paths. Both are crowded and require regular slowing to share with cars, other bikes, or joggers. I simply can’t get the exercise on my bike that I can running, and I’m feeling the couple-hundred miles I haven’t run now.

Tomorrow I need to run 12 miles. It’s going to be in the mid-80s. And humid. And I don’t know if I have the legs. Between my injuries and my poor fitness, I don’t know if I can do it. This time last year I was putting down 15 and 16 mile runs at a 10:40 pace. None of those days were quite as bad as tomorrow will be. Morning temperatures were in the high 60s or low 70s. The low temp tomorrow will be 81. It’s going to be hard.

BB and I are going to shift to a spring marathon this coming year. The long training runs in the winter will be far better. A marathon in April, and training from January on, will be much easier to manage. Then the fall can be about half marathons and maybe my traithlon again. We’ll see. Right now, I’m disappointed in myself. I don’t have the fitness or the grit I feel like I should.

Tomorrow will be a test. I don’t know, right now, if I can meet it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 August 2016 08:04

    You sound over-trained and burned out. Do you have a fall marathon? Is there any way you can back off for a week or two?

    My phone led coach used to say it was better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained. My experience bears that out.

  2. Aimee permalink
    12 August 2016 11:26

    It makes me really sad to hear you say that you are thinking of giving up something you truly enjoy (biking) because of abstract goals about your fitness. What is the point of fitness if not to allow you do stuff you enjoy? I don’t get it. But then of course I don’t get it – I don’t do any of this stuff.

    • 12 August 2016 11:26

      No, certainly not giving it up. Just not using it as a replacement for what I need to reach my very concrete goals: finishing marathons and half marathons.

    • 12 August 2016 11:28

      But, the biking seems to cause injury that running doesn’t, and injuries are a perfectly good reason to give up (or cut way back) on something you enjoy.

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