Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week Recap, HRV and Bees

Today marks Two weeks till Vegas... Four weeks till Tahoe. Bring it!!!

I am trying to give you guys more consistent insight into my training ever since Vineman, in this buildup to 70.3 Worlds and my second Ironman. So this week. What went down? Well, I was forced to take somewhat of a recovery week this week -- my body was just not having it. We don't really schedule rest breaks, but rather we just take them when it's time. When the body is screaming for mercy. It requires the ability to really listen to the body well and know the difference between being "lazy" vs. literally being worn down to the ground.

I'm also using Heart Rate Variability (the Sweet Beat app) to monitor my stress levels daily- I do it when I wake up, while working, after workouts, etc. It's such a great, insightful tool. I'm obsessed! Quite frankly my HRV hasn't been that great at all the past couple weeks, and it's been extra low this week. (Fyi- You want a high HRV, not a low HRV number). There were a couple times this week when HRV even got as low as the 40s, while stress was on high alert/red. Ew. I know I'm doing well when HRV is in the 80s, and stress is low/blue. So that said, I am definitely using HRV to help guide my training, but at the same time I know the clock is ticking and sometimes I just have to suck it up and still do the work even if all signs are pointing to total rest. Below are a some screen shots from the app. Starting with very very bad, and ending on a positive note....

This is an example of a TERRIBLE
HRV/stress score. Worst I've ever had.
I recorded this one in Big Bear a couple weeks
ago after 5+hrs of swim/bike/run,
and a bad score was expected.
By AM it was back to the 70s at least.
This is summary of a session I did
while recording a podcast. Definitely not
that great, but could be worse. Wonder what
we were discussing when stress/HR spiked haha.
Here's a recap of one of my 10-min morning
sessions this week. Average HRV for
this was 76, which is borderline ok.
 But stress was pretty high. Can
you see how this stuff gets addicting??
UPDATE: Looks like a bit of an easier week paid off,
this was taken on Sunday after writing this post
and clearly HRV/stress are looking better!

I haven't been sleeping that well this week, either.
The day I went to BB, woke up at 4am - but much of that
was because I had to do work before escaping to mtns.
So anyway, All signs were leading to taking a "lighter" week this past week, relatively speaking; although, I still got in some fun/key workouts, including a hilly bike ride that definitely gave me confidence in my climbing skills as of late, plus my last trip (before the Sept races) to Big Bear for a lake swim and trail run. My mom played sherpa this time in BB, and she paddled next to me while I swam, which was rad. As a "reward" I then took her on a trail run at altitude. Good times, except for one hiccup. Perhaps it was a sign of being a little tired, or maybe it was just bad maneuvering past a ranger truck driving down the mountain, but I stupidly rolled my left ankle. I consider myself a strong trail runner especially on technical trails (which this was not; it was fire road with some rocks), so I was pissed that I made a dumb move like that. Right away I knew it wasn't that bad. I was wearing my 110 compression socks, and I think that helped to be honest. I
RICE-ing on the way home.
rolled it 2.5 miles into the run, took a break for a bit. Then went on to get in 8+ miles total, with more than 1k elevation gain, taking it easy on the downhills. It didn't hurt that much while running, but it was painful when I stopped and then got going again. I decided to take two days off of running after that and nurse it, and got back to it with a run Saturday.

If the ankle wasn't bad enough, how about this. Here's what happens
when yor swim cap breaks and you try to keep your hair in a tight bun
and out of your face during a choppy open water swim. Pure disaster haha!

Ok, so then there's Saturday's run. Geez, what a week of randomness for me. Comical really...

I had a 1:40 MAF/tempo session and at first I wasn't feelin it and questioned if I was going to be able to execute especially being that I chose a hilly route, but I decided it was a situation of mind over matter. It wasn't that long of a workout -- compared with my recent Saturday runs -- and I just needed to keep the right attitude. And wouldn't ya know, it ended up being a really enjoyable and quality run (at first, read on...). My ankle felt fine, and I ran up some hills at a pace/effort that made me feel optimistic for Vegas.

All was going well, I was ~7.75 miles into it with ~4-5 miles left to go, and BAM. A bee to the face!!!! @$%&*#$^&!!!! As soon as I felt that little stinger ass slam into the right side of my forehead I swiped it away, as well as launching my water bottle, sunglasses and hat in the process. I was alone and nobody was around. I felt like I got the stinger out and had to trust that I did but still get to a mirror fast! I was only a quarter mile from my apartment (THANK GOD), so I just booked it home, all while freaking out and crying in the process. Trust me, my fear of bees runs deep, and I let the anxiety run high- not smart, but I'm getting better at controlling it. I can only imagine what my HRV was during this episode hahaha. I was afraid that running home would spread the venom throughout my body more quickly, but I really had no choice. I got home, investigated the sting site noticing a little puncture and even a spot of blood but no stinger, whew. I then called John and my mom, and tried to then relax with a cold towel on my face.

Long story short I survived this one. My cat-like reflexes apparently got the stinger out and away fast enough to avoid a full on allergic reaction. No epi pen required, but I was armed and ready to do it!!! For the rest of the day, however, my head/forehead was in excruciating pain -- like a migraine sort of pain -- and the stress of the event left me totally wiped out tired. But if that was all? I consider myself lucky.

I hate bees.

So that's the gist of this week in a nutshell. Before Sunday's training (aka right now- as I write this post and procrastinate starting my workouts), I only had 2 bikes and 2 runs, which is pretty light for me, but I did have 6 days of swimming (with a 7th on tap)! Woo hoo! I'm not that much faster in the pool, but I am feeling stronger and way more efficient.

Last but not least a few food pics because.... well, no reason, just because...
A Farmers Market favorite. This is a Japanese stand that has excellent sweet potatoes, kabocha squash and many other unique finds. Their spaghetti squash and ginger is also a staple. And they have the best bok choy I've ever tasted.

I am honestly obssessed with Brussels sprouts. Could eat them daily (and sometimes I do)! This was a great Asian-y dish
with kelp noodles, Brussels, red cabbage, green onion, fresh ginger sauteed in coconut oil and coconut aminos,
with some wild salmon on top. I had seconds ;)

I mentioned cheesecake recently. Earth Cafe Living Foods Cheesecake.Well here is a glimpse of one of their pies. This is pretty much my standard sweet treat these days when I so choose to partake. I never feel guilty having a sliver of this.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you survived the bee! (my mom was also xtremely allergic & I am afraid, only stung once yrs ago, by a wasp no reaction, but have more allergies now)

    Too funny - I just cut up 2 kabocha my DH grilled (all did not make it into container...have kabocha food belly!) Saved 1 to grill next wk. They are finally available again here after a couple months without. (but the garnet yams have been great lately) Had been doing spaghetti & butternut squash but kabocha fave. Also LOVE Brussels sprouts! (grilled some today) Had some great ones, caramelized w/bacon when I was on travel. Hadn't thought of putting coco aminos on them tho I put it on lots of stuff now (esp steamed chix/veg, w/ a dollop of Maranatha sunflower seed butter...awesome). I'm going through bottles pretty fast. Haven't tried kelp noodles, have tried the glucomannan/Japanese yam ones (won't eat the tofu ones).

    That's a great pic of the cheesecake, gives me something to look forward to! Good for you for not feeling guilty. I can feel guilty about eating too many veggies! Just the calorie thing. I am in constant irritation over how little calories I CAN eat given how much it seems like I SHOULD be able to eat. But I'm only running - tho 80 miles this past week! - not doing tri training, you burn way more.

    Looking forward to getting an iphone (finally) when they come out, am definitely going to have to look into SweetBeat then. Other recs for good apps?

    Good call on taking it easier. It's about the race, not any one training day, right? (I keep telling myself...I am not fond of taking time off) Have a great training week this week!