Sunday, February 06, 2011

The ups and downs of testing

Well I am still dreamin of spring. It was wrong but i had a touch of jealousy for those getting a blizzard earlier this week. Of course when its snowing its fun, then after it stops and you realize your city is paralyzed, and you can barely drive down a 2 way street bc of the poor plowing, then you realize that staying inside for 24 hours wasnt really worth the headache you now have.
We still have that in the city, the snow just paralyzed us and so for those that got hit last week my sympathies. At least it wasnt in Dec and hopefully it will all melt quickly:)

Ok enough weather talk.

Things are moving along well here, training wise, work wise, family wise. I can actually say that as much as i have been tippy toeing around some injury issues since the fall, that i "Think" I am past the injury phase and into the "muscle recruitment" phase where things are just getting used to working how they should. This is a good thing and overall I feel pretty happy that despite being very afraid at times, I have gotten ALL my wko's in! I am learning as i did last year to not take it all apart and overanalyze each step and each stroke and each pedal stroke, just to get it done to the best of my ability and to the guidelines that the workout outlines.
Some days ya got it, other days you dont, but I do believe the consistency is the key.

That being said, gulp, next week has some testing in it. In the past the bike test in particular has had my undies in a bundle. This time I know that it is going to hurt like a Mother. It isnt fun and i will procrastinate a bit before i get on to warm up:) But I think it is what it is. Last year at this time ( dont worry, not comparing my fitness) I had been riding outside mulitple times. You just cant simulate an outdoor 3 hour ride on the cross bike on your trainer. So even though I know its gonna hurt I Am not settling for anything less and I wont take NO for an answer if my body says NO. And trust me at about 9 minutes in my body will be shaking it's head "NO."

Sometimes as i get into that 2nd 10 minutes it helps me to put my head down and visualize Time Trial courses I have done over and over, or stretches of road that i know challenge me.
It helps me also to think about my cadence and to use that as the Governor, not trying too hard to control the Power and obviously just letting the Heart rate go where it has to go. Gotta have some good warmup and and for me, as i get older the warmup is far more impt to the cool down.

As for the swim test, well...I sorta hoped i would get a "get out of jail" free card since i did a swim meet last weekend. But no such luck. I dont mind the swim test. Really I Would do that twice over the bike test. Our pool is hot so what I dread more is the 84 deg heat. Last week i wore the two piece swimsuit. Ya winter white at its best. But ya do what ya gotta do.

And last but not least, the run test. Not sure when this will happen, and to be honest I am fine with that. I have been running consistently and with a bit of speed but i am not ready mentally to do a threshold test on the TM. The Road wouldbe fine but with iffy temps and iffy footing I think we may wait a week or more for this. No use in messing with this just for some numbers this early in the season. And really, its not even the season despite what Phil says. And he was likely covered in snow so that is why he had no shadow.

This post is really saying nothing i dont know, or you dont know, so maybe i am writing it for my own good. I just know that testing is testing. And it is more than just data, its about wrapping my head around hurting and not being afraid to fail. And If i do fail, then getting back up and continuing to be consistent.

My 8 yo nephew played in a tennis tournament this weekend. He played in the boys 12 and under. Yesterday he won 2 matches, including beating the 1st seed. Today he lost 6-1, 6-2 and he was so upset with himself. He cares SO much. I know my brother is so proud of him and realizes he has to let him be upset for a bit, and then tells him to snap out of it. I told him I am proud of him bc everytime you step on the court you put yourself out there and more so in tennis, ME versus YOU....somebody wins, somebody loses. With Triathlon you can hide a bit in your own goals but deep down inside you know if you won or you lost, no matter what your placement was overall. And that is up to you and your coach to decide how you are going to define winning and losing.

In other fun less introspective news, I tried the Newton Lady Issacs. Liked them.

IF you have any comments on them, let me know. I am not a chronic heel striker, but i did feel that i was heading there after this injury. As i scan back to some race pics from last summer they look solidly like i am a midfoot runner, and the newtons run very similar to the Kinvara's which have a very similar profile. But unlike the Newton's I found the Kinvaras to be a bit flimsy after a few wears.

Have a good week and hope your team wins:)


Steve said...

Interesting you mentioned Tennis putting yourself out there. It is true. You win or lose. I was never good at losing. AFRAID actually. It takes a tough person to put themselves out there. What I once was bad at...Fear...I am now good at! Not so much fear of losing, but throwing all my stuff out there for all to see!! :)

p.s. I like you!! :)

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

Testing is good. It helps build confidence. I love the bike, but mentally it owns me sometimes. I feel ya. You got this though!

Damie said...

Good luck on your testing, missy! I too dread the 84 degree pool. Too bad Jen just can't count your swim meet times! ;)))) Have a great week and kill it! xxxooo

Running and living said...

Good luck with the testing. I can't believe you were jealous of our blizzard - take it anytime, please! It's still a mess over here.
I love the Brooks Launch and the Nike Frees. I won't get the Newtons bc of the price, just too much for a shoe IMHO. I will try the Kinvaras, though.

Molly said...

Testing is good but it's hard and it hurts and it messes with our heads! The bike test in particular always haunts me, but I'm going to try to go at my next one (in 2 weeks) with a balls to the wall attitude and prove what my work is paying off.

Jennifer Harrison said...

YOU got this Julia! More than you know now living under the 4,000 feet of snow and's in there! HAVE a super week! Sorry the meet doens't really count for the test...we could use it..but I want you to suffer solo in that swim test. (sorry. :))!!!!

Dr. TriRunner said...

I'm glad you're liking the Newtons, but BUMMED I wasn't there when you came to get them! I'll send back that email with my $.02... which is probably more like $1.02 but that's OK. :D

Ohhhh testing. I'll be VO2 maxin' next week, and lactate testing the week later!! Ayyye. Hahha sorry I can't offer any good words - it stresses me the $@%& out!

Teresa said...

Oh the dreaded tests....

Good luck with those ;)


ADC said...

Hey, hope the tests go well. Just like you I am always dreading that bike test. So glad it is done.

Anonymous said...

GOOD LUCK with your tests :) hehe. those suckers hurt! And now that I think about it, I think in two years of training with JH I only did 1 bike test and 1 swim test - weird.

For as much as I know and talk shoes all. the. time. I don't really have much to say about the Newton Isaacs. I like the company, I like the people that work for the company, I don't wear the shoes, but I won't knock em' (except for price) either.

Let me know what you think after a few more runs! And glad you are getting over the injury issues :)

Betsy said...

The anticipation of tests always drives me crazy too! Especially knowing it's going to hurt! It's the same reason that I always say I'm nervous for the run before a race even though running is my strongest of the 3...knowing you're gonna hurt is kinda scary!

Angela and David said...

Oh I hate that bike test. Give me the run test or the swim test any day over that bike test. I guess that's one upside to taking this year off. No stupid bike test. I hope you were pleasantly surprised and it was more pleasant than you were fearing - although that probably means you didn't do it right!

Trigirlpink said...

You mean like a Mother Flucker? Ha ha. Pain on a trainer is god-awful. Good luck! Pedal for me as I am NOT putting myself (yet) even near that discomfort. What am I saying??? I'm being COMPLETELY TORTURED with TRX. No joke.
The whole snow thing? Right here baby. The snow won't melt, the road are narrow the traffic is INSANE. UGH.
I made a little video concerning the whole natural running thing. I read Danny's book and I'm headed out to Boulder to the Newton Lab in March. I AM a heavy heel striker yet I never used to be. I need to make lots of changes in order to stay injury free. I'm hoping this works! I also purchased the Lady Issacs but I have not worn them yet. Still in Nike Free's and waiting until I go out to Boulder to get into the Issacs. I'm so afraid of getting injured!

Libby said...

hope the testing is going well. I will have to try the good ol'newtons one of these days :) I know the trainer doesn't seem the same but I'm sure you are still super fit and strong :) I have to admit, I've definitely been having snow day envy (yes I know I'm nuts and ridiculously spoiled for riding outside every weekend).
remind me to tell you about my epic fail on my TM test. will have to blog about it. it was SO epic dirk doesn't even know what to think about it. awesome. nice pile of confidence right before my half mary this weekend lol...

gsimpson said...

I wore Newtons from mid August up to the beginning of December. I loved them. But...then a stress fracture came on in my 4th metatarsal (6 wks in a boot) and its a good bet it was from the shoes. I wore them for my outdoor running in the snow. I did not realize how much our running form changes when we are outside in the snow. I think the combo of the shoe and the winter running did it.
But...I may try them again in the spring.
Good luck!