First Specific Strength Workout

I went out with Nate last week to attempt my first specific strength workout. By the time we were home & ready to go out, it was pitch black out (so sad!). Not ideal, but I just strapped on a head lamp.

We skied partway down the long hill outside our house. There, Nate explained everything: 6x single stick reps, 6x double pole, 6x legs only. Different #s of strokes per type of repeat. We started the first single stick rep together. WOW. He goes at LEAST 2 times, if not 3 times, as far as me with each hit.

Next was double pole reps. I asked Nate at the end of these if I was doing them right. I wasn't completely exhausted -- was I supposed to be? He explained that I should be feeling like I had just gone to the gym & lifted for a while. Hmm. Guess that makes sense (and fits with the name of the workout - specific strength), but I was expecting some monster hard lung workout as well. I had always pictured it that way, I guess, so I was glad he was there to tell me that I wasn't doing something totally wrong.

Last was no pole skate. I felt completely awkward and uncoordinated on this one. I hate that feeling. I think that's why I like running -- I know exactly how to do it, how fast to go when, etc. I tried to focus on just pushing off as hard as I could (sounds easy, eh?), but I feel like I looked like I was trying to do 20 different things at once -- trying to do a lot and getting nothing done. Glad Nate did his in front of me so he wasn't able to watch! Each one I got a little farther, but I still have a lot to work on here.

Skiing home I actually felt like I had made significant strides in my skiing. Even though this workout is uncomfortable for me, I should get out once a week and make theis workout a priority. The no pole skate drills will especially help, since I tend not to use my legs like I should.

Exciting to have learned something new on skis!!


Lactate Testing

I was signed up to race an XC race for Run N Fun, but decided to follow Nate to do lactate testing instead w/ the Vakava team. I was excited to be able to do this! The goal was to run/ski up the coulee 3-6 times to try to find your threshold. Finger pricking happened up on top, compliments of Ben Popp.

The first few times up the hill I took pretty easy, trying to find out where my level 1 and 2s were at. I was expecting to find that what I thought were level 1 and 2 heart rates were actually too hard -- but I found that I actually have a pretty big range & had been doing them correctly. Wouldn't have guessed that, actually, since before I met Ahvo/Finn Sisu, I had been doing all of my training way too hard. Nice confirmation!!

After the third finger prick, though, I ran into trouble. I’ve never been good with needles. As a kid, I almost always passed out afterward a shot or drawing blood. My grandma actually had to take me in for my pre-college immunizations, to both make sure I did it & to hold me down. I’m better now with them, thanks to a good friend who knows how terrible I am & has had me get a flu shot with her every year. I’m actually to the point where I hardly tear up before & don’t get light headed afterwards. Quite the accomplishment, you should have seen me 4-5 years ago. Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have too much of an issue during testing. Just don’t look, right? I was doing just fine until the third prick. I think it was actually the sight of blood that did me in – that one bled a little more than the others, so my gauze I was holding was pretty soaked. I also looked at others afterwards & saw one skier whose hand was really bleeding. Hmmm, needless to say, I had to sit on the curb for a long while. I didn’t faint, but came close to. I hate that feeling – fainting is almost better – the chills, then breaking out in a cold sweat, and then feeling really warm and sick to your stomach. How embarrassing! All from a finger prick. 

The testing didn’t go great after that. I was determined to finish it, so tried to do a fourth. My legs were really weak though, and had a tougher time controlling my heart rate. The lactate reading on that one was really high, too, so that ruined my chance to find out where my true threshold was.

Bummer. I’m not unhappy with it, though – I actually got out of the test what I needed to. I know what my threshold feels like (at least I think I do!), so I was more interested in the level 1 and 2 analysis. I’m excited to know that I was doing what I was supposed to, and can even let my HR get a little higher on those. Yeah!! I’d actually think about doing it again, maybe next spring/summer, if I’m going to be able to chase that sub-2:50 goal.


Too much :(

Gee, it's been a while since I've written! Not good...

The last two weeks have been too busy. I see my last entry was two Mondays ago after a long day. The following Tuesday was another long day - 14.5 hours, Wednesday was 10 hours (seemed so short!) and Thursday was 16.5 hours. I was set to leave around 5:00 until I got a call from my boss to check to make sure we were reporting the same numbers (he manages the Work division, I manage Outdoor and Lifestyle). I wasn't. He hesitated, knowing that it was 5:00 on Thursday & the presentation was Friday mid-day. He said that we should really be on the same page... meaning that I needed to change all of my data/charts. I hung up the phone & called Nate. I wasn't going to make it to Vakava. Huge bummer, since that's why I had put in the longer hours earlier in the week. Plus, that's one of the few times we see each other during the week. I actually teared up, I was so overwhelmed. What I was being asked to do that evening was something I could probably spend 2 full days doing. Plus, I just felt so behind with EVERYTHING -- I hadn't had time to clean the house (& there are still boxes everywhere from the move), didn't feel like I was being thorough enough with the work I was doing at the Shoe, and very, very behind with my Finn Sisu work. Not to mention not having worked out much at all. I left at 12:30am & only finished 2 of my brands. The 3rd shift janitor looked at me funny when I left -- I startled him, pretty sure he was doing some sort of aerobic thing in the cafeteria when I walked by (although can't be sure, my brain wasn't working great then).

Something needs to change. I really like my job, but I can't have it be my life. Guess that's what everyone struggles with -- finding some sort of balance. Chasing a career, balancing family, etc. Hopefully it's something I can get better at very soon...



Work is getting to be too much.

I don't mind OT once in a while, but for the last 2.5 months I feel like I've been overloaded. Last night was another 14.5 hour day - and that's 14.5 hours of inputting/compiling/analyzing as quickly as I can. Exhausting, to say the least.

I got home around 10:30. I fully intended to go out for a run until I sat down, ate, and realized that it was nearly 11:00, dark, and cold outside :(. I didn't end up going for a run :(.

I felt really guilty about it. I also felt really lazy/out of shape. I know it's just been 2 weeks since the marathon, but I can definitely tell that I haven't done a lot since. My stomach protrudes a little more every day... I should really watch what I'm eating more. I really miss being FIT! :) (Is this the start of an addiction to working out/being fast/fit? I can't tell if it's normal to feel like this after just 2 weeks off/easy)

So, I went to bed, fully intending to run in the morning. Except that during the middle of the night I woke several times & could tell I'm coming down with something. Noooo!!!! Today I've been sniffling & my glands feel a little swollen. Great. I'm not an advocate of running while sick -- I think it just takes longer to recover from it. So, no running today for me :(.

It's probably good to have this "forced" time off. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I really, really dislike it, though...