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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Week 26 Update: December 12th, 2013 - right in the middle of a rest week; a recap of last week

Week 26 Update: Dec 12, 2013


Last week (I'm writing this during my rest week) was a slog - no other way to put it. I was ready for a week off. Every day seemed to give me a bit more relief because I knew a full week off was near. Here are a few thoughts during last week:


  • Life stress has a delayed effect on me. I do not feel the full effects of general life stress until at least a week afterwards. Thanksgiving was great but the week was full of work-related deadliness and unnecessary stress. The past week was when I really felt that stress via elevated resting heart rate, greater difficulty getting my heart rate up while training, and longer bouts of feeling exhausted. To make matters worse, I seem to be losing my appetite for any food. Time for a break.
  • Skipping one day on a high workload week pretty much sabotages the entire week. I decided to take Sunday off or at least rest a bit while taking care of boat stuff. The time off was very difficult to shift to other days - especially since it was the last week of classes. My free time tends to be very limited but last week that “free” time was even more scarce. Spreading the workouts over the week just didn't work and I ended up about 3 hours short of my projected 22.5 hours. More on that later. The point here is that I need to make sure that days off are really scheduled days off or just throw-away days in training.
  • Did I mention I can't wait until next week? Well, here I am and in my next blog post I intend to detail why rest is not always restful. For now, I focus on last week (the 26th week and last week of phase 2).

Workout Progress


Last week - at least the tail end of the week - was devoted to being a dad. I love being a dad but a swimmer's dad is a bit taxing. My son had a 4-day swim meet at the University of Maryland (30 minutes away without traffic, 3 hours away with traffic). We got up at 5am Thursday through Sunday to get him to the U of MD on time for warm-ups. After waking up that early, I was less than excited to train. I was so tired on Friday (2nd day of the meet and 2nd 5am wakeup day) that I skipped my lifting day and put it off for Saturday. Last week started out OK but then fell apart due to sleep deprivation and general fatigue.


plot of chunk WeekEx


Like the previous week, I put in a fair number of hours on Friday and Saturday but nowhere near the time I did the previous week. From this point forward, I plan to do substantial weekend workouts because I will have the available time. Weekdays might be a bit more limited starting in late January because of my teaching and research projects. More on those details later in my subsequent post.


plot of chunk DailyWL


Last week….last week. Well, I can say I am done right now. I was ready for a rest week. Phase 2 is in the books.


plot of chunk CumWL


Weekly Summary


My week was rather spotty. I felt tired all week and not terribly excited about training. Reminds me of the last few steps before summiting a mountain. Those steps are slow and tiring.


Mood


Fatigue makes cowards of us all. I was tired and grumpy last week - not sure I was cowardly. The figure below does not do justice to my true functioning; it was way worse than depicted below.


plot of chunk Mood


Hypoxic Training


It was a great week for IHT and some hypoxic training. Kathy was not feeling great so we took a few days off from hypoxic sleeping. Nevertheless, I still got in a few naps along with some long workout sessions with the hypoxic mask. I felt great and saw little workload impact at altitude. Specifically, I maintained about 200 Watts at 120 HR at 12,000 feet - about the same I observe at normoxia (sea-level). I guess all the hypoxic sleep and IHT is really paying off.


plot of chunk Hypoxia


Updates for the week


I have several people to thank this week. First, I want to thank all the students enrolled in my classes this semester. They are too numerous but if you are out there and reading this blog post, come celebrate the end of the semester and my rest week at the Auld Shebeen (3pm-??? on 12/13/13 - yes, Friday the 13th). I hope you can make it so I can thank you in person.


I also want to thank Alan Arnette again for his gracious response to my email. He not only contributes back to the climbing community but he tirelessly promotes Alzheimer's research, support groups, and policy makers. My grandmother had Alzheimer's and many in my family devoted countless hours to support her and her needs. If you care to contribute to the cause, please consult Alan's blog. All the money donated goes to the groups and none to Alan himself; he states that clearly on his blog.


Thank you for reading and thanks for following my (mis)adventures.