Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hangin' Tough

I'm tired. I'm old. I'm beat up. I feel like Tina Turner, or Lil' Kim's pussy.

Seriously, I can't remember the last time I had a good run, and this isn't one of those stories that ends with "...until tonight, when I went out there, got after it and killed my run." In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if this wall that I've seemingly hit is I-T. I'm sure it's not, but man, I am dying out there.

To my body's credit, it's handled things quite well these past 6 weeks. No days off since December 1st, so I guess that is up to 42 days, and the past two weeks I have run 55 and 55.5 miles, respectively. I've barely run over 50 miles in a week once every few months, so stringing two 50+ back to back weeks is proving harder on my body than I thought. I remember just a few years ago when this would represent 3.5 days of running. Now those days seem to be just a fond memory of when my body wasn't as beat up.

The "things that are wrong with me list" is growing these days, and it's resulting in some negative thoughts. For one, I feel as if I'm running slower and it's taking a lot more out of me than it should. But the more optimistic side of me is looking up, realizing the mileage is coming up and I should expect to be knocked down a little at first. I think the harder thing to overcome is the mental breakdown. We seem to have had a lot of "middle days" lately - ones that are cold enough to not ride outside but warm enough to have to make the conscious decision not to.

That was the case this weekend, as both my planned rides were scrapped. I did my first running "workout" of the new training cycle on Saturday at Derwood (more to come on this). By the time I got home - way later than planned - at 2:30, I was wrecked. And then it started to icy rain a little, so no riding outside for me. I woke up today at 5:45, looked outside and saw the wet roads, and felt how cold it was. I texted OJ and Tom and said there would be no riding in Frederick. It's not worth the drive to ride on slick roads out in Hateville.

The end result was a week without riding. Believe it or not, I'm okay with bike hiatuses in the winter. I'm confident enough in my ability to ride a bike fast for a while and know what I have to do to catapult myself into racing shape before the season.

The pool was another story. I got in 3 times for 10,000 meters, which isn't a bad week, but it was one good swim and two crappy ones.

Running was weird. I ran by myself for 3 of my 5 runs, but only because I'm running so slow I don't want anyone to have to run with me. Saturday a couple of us headed down to the Ag Park in Derwood to do a workout on the USATF XC course. I was glad to see everyone else had a good workout, but I just dogged it. We did get introduced to our new friend, Julia, who we have decided is ridiculous, inappropriate and hilarious. A perfect fit for the group.

Weekly Totals: 9.75 hours (big drop from previous two weeks but no riding)

Swim - 10,000m
Bike - 0
Run - 55.5 miles

But what else is new? There is, after all, more to life than training sometimes. Especially this time of year. Actually, I'm lying. There's not much going on by way of fun times, and lately I've been staying in the house a lot more.

On the Boob Tube: A new season of The Real World, Wednesdays at 10pm. The 21st edition of the show makes its way to a sick pier warehouse in Brooklyn. It's actually quite a diverse cast. And by diverse, I mean there's a post-op tranny. Sweet. Tuesdays just got a whole lot better with the return of Scrubs. Now on ABC, the show also returned to being funny, after 1.5 seasons of unfunnyness. Following Scrubs on FX is the 6th season now of Nip/Tuck. The first season of this show was amazing. Then it's just gotten weirder and weirder. I still watch, usually to see the hot chicks that get banged, but whatever, it's still a decent show.

Returning soon will be Lost (1/21 - back to Wednesdays!), and I'm sure new seasons of Survivor and Amazing Race will pick up after the Superbowl. Also, I saw the cast for the new Celebrity Apprentice and I'm partially amazed at who agreed to do it, so I may watch that.

Speaking of football, all is good on the homefront as Baltimore is celebrating the Ravens' success. A trip next week to Pittsburgh is all that separates them from the Superbowl. Should be pretty fun. Unfortunately for the Giants, their season ended today at the hands of the lowly Eagles. Oh well.

I'm currently watching the Golden Globes, which is the start to the televised awards season. I love these stupid things. Again, mostly for the hot chicks, but also because television and film are two staples in my life. I always wish I could be there and hobknob/politic with these folks.

I'm also trying to make some dietary changes by way of reducing the sugary cereals. Once I'm done with my current stock of Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks and Cocoa Krispies, I'm going to avoid them for a while. Maybe eat more eggs or oatmeal. Oatmeal with tons of brown sugar and maple syrup. Booyah.

The week ahead appears to be getting cold. This means the inevitable - I will, in fact, have to ride my bike inside. As much as my body will fight it, I'll have to do it. I might try and stack the front half of the week before it gets too cold. My goals are to get in the pool 4 times, run 57-58 miles and shoot, if the weather on the weekend isn't bad maybe finally get out to Frederick. Or at least do a real long ride.


Senior_Slug said...

Ryan you were in Derwood and didn't stop off and see the Terps?

///MM said...

a) you mean the MIGHTY Eagles
b) in my completely unqualified opinion based on infrequent observations of your training regimen, i think you need to vary your workouts more- daily, weekly and seasonally. you seem to very consistently train at the same level, (volume, intensity, etc.) which leads to plateauing and boredom. pretty much everything i read stresses making your easy days EASY and having a focused goal for the hard days PLUS doing everything cyclically. when workouts start falling to the middle nothing good happens. remind me about it and i'll get you the books/articles i allude to.

RM said...

To Larry: If the Terps are going to disrespect me by losing to Morgan State, they do not deserve respect back. Plus the game was at noon, way too early on a Saturday. I'm going to the Miami game though.

To Mike: in my base training phases everything I do is easy. What you are saying is exactly what I've done for a number of years. Every few weeks I'll do a super hard bike week, then a week chill, then a super hard run week, and kind of repeat through that. I have also made known my distaste for middle of the road efforts, which is why I would rather just run very easy right now.

I was just saying that on Saturday's workout, which was supposed to be hard, I had nothing, and as a result wound up dogging it. It happens.

It's also different when you try and make it through an 11 month racing season. I've resigned myself to the fact that there are races that you need to do just to do them, but I always try and put my best racing foot forward if I'm taking the time to show up to a race. Much easier for me on the triathlon scale because I can almost always pull a decent overall place.

In a few weeks, when I've adjusted to the volume increase, then I'll be able to handle some workouts. Then it will be some weeks of hard volume, then it will be some weeks of hard workouts less volume, leading up to Eagleman, which, of course, is the goal for the first half of the year.

Senior_Slug said...

Ryan -- I have been to about 400 Maryland home games. Most of them have been victories. There are two games that stand out as absolutely freakish events: losing the 10 point lead to Duke and the Morgan State game. This team deserves your respect and before the year is out they will prove it on the court. Geez I'm hoping my Tempe number will be 2121 -- a double shot of Greivis

alyssa said...

Nip/Tuck is back in full force this season. Still not as good as season 1, but def better than the season of the midge and the lobster claw-hand.

RM said...

Larry, I wish I could agree with you, but I am really struggling these days. I thought the worst was a 3 game losing streak, ending in the February 14, 2001 loss at home to Florida State - but that season culminated in a first ever trip to the Final Four. There was nothing that team couldn't do on the shoulders of a GREAT leader.

Greivis Vasquez is an inconsistent non-leader. The rest of the team is scrub-like. It's okay to lose games, just not the way they've been losing.

And for Gary, he obviously brought them out of the dark despair of NCAA violations, and led them to a title. But that should have led to a more consistent team, like Michigan State or a Duke. People should have been knocking down our door to come to MD. Why is this not the case?

You can recruit idiots that win, or smart kids that lose, but you can't have idiots that lose. A 0% graduation rate AND another trip to the NIT will lose GW his job this year.