My plan, after my disastrous race in the Aon Center last month, was to take a breather from intensive exercise. I was due. That race was my seventh stair race in 2016 (so far). Tack on the four races I did in the fall of 2015, and I’ve had at least one major race every month for the past eight months. That’s a lot of racing… and a lot of training. I was feeling overtrained and exhausted, and the Aon Center race triggered some depression that hung around a little longer than I would have liked (although any depression is more than I would’ve liked, so that’s not saying much).
A few weeks ago, I looked at my calendar, and decided I would take it easy through the first week in May, and stick to mostly long walks with my dog (including a hike that was more challenging than anticipated) and without my dog (the urban stair hike in Redondo Beach).
Sidebar: I’m coming up on my three month anniversary of having Maude, and that little lady makes me smile every time I think about her. One of my favorite things is when she’s lounging or sleeping and her tongue is sticking out the tiniest bit, like in this picture:
Anyhoo, last weekend came, and I was supposed to start ramping up my workouts. I have two stair races in June to start preparing for (I’ll share the details later this week), and I signed up for a 5k later this month, too.
But I didn’t ramp up my workouts. I stuck to the mostly-walking plan. I did some recumbent bike – at a moderate setting – and squeezed in some light toning with my SelectTech dumbbells one day. One day I took a class at Slimmons, but I kept my exertion there on the moderate end of the spectrum.
Extending my exercise breather felt great. It was the right thing to do. My knee, which had been acting up lately, has continued to heal and hasn’t been bothering me. I figured out a good route in my neighborhood that’s exactly 2.5 miles – a good distance for me and Maude to do together, provided it’s not too hot.
Towards the end of last week, it felt like it was time to bring the exercise breather to an end. Friday was a planned rest day, so I started ramping it up on Thursday, during one of Anne’s classes at Slimmons, where I gave it my all and left feeling wiped out.
On Saturday, I hit the gym for some challenging cardio (30 minutes on the Arc Trainer; 15 minutes on a stationary bike at a higher level), and on Sunday, I pushed myself with my SelectTechs and followed it up with the Stairs program on my Bowflex MAX Trainer.
I expected, after nearly four weeks of mostly long walks, that cranking up the intensity during my workouts might not come easy, but I was wrong. I got my heart rate up into the 150s on both Saturday and Sunday, and I remember being surprised both days, and thinking, “man, I could go forever!”
Keep it up, David!