Changing it up

My first week at work has been quite the eye opener. Prior to starting, I had been warned it would be a busy week, and whilst it certainly was, the flip side was that I never finished any later than 6pm. The days were certainly intense, and between 8:30 and 5:30 or so, it was heads down, brains on. Despite this, the pressure just didn’t seem to be the same, mainly due to reasonable budgeting and sufficient staffing.

That’s just the way I like to work. Hard, but just between the hours stated in my contract. While I’m more than happy to give a little extra here and there, when big overtime hours become the norm and start interfering with the rest of my life year-round, well, lets just say it only goes down from there.

Despite the shorter hours, surprise surprise, I didn’t run a single kilometer this week. My foot pulled up really sore after my little stint in the Blue Mountains last week, so I decided to take a solid week off and allow it to settle, hopefully once and for all. That doesn’t mean I skimped on the workouts though – the elliptical got a fair bit of use though the week, and I took the extra time to focus on some strengthening work.

DSCN5093

The highlight of my week, however, was Saturday. I met up with a couple of old friends from the church we attended a couple of years back, and we met at 0700h sharp for a bike ride down the Lilydale – Warburton rail trail. The trail itself is relatively flat – the only “major” climb rises around 150m, but this is spread out over a generous 6 or so kms and is really quite gentle.  End to end, it stretches 40 or so kilometers between the two towns it is named after. Weather was a cool 15 degrees or so, with some drizzles here and there. Perfect really, and we’d started out in a sweet spot – the few hours between 7am and 10am where all the real two wheeled nutters have finished their early morning workout and the hordes of families have yet to come out to play. So, the most part, we had the trail to ourselves.

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We didn’t quite make it all the way to Warburton – one of my friends wives had set him a bit of a curfew and a long list of chores to get through, and so we reluctantly turned the bikes around just 4 or so kms from the end. All up, 3.5 hours and 70kms of beautiful scenery, pleasant company and a lot of catching up!

Sunday’s workouts were a bit of left of centre for me as well – some bike commuting and a 1km swim split 50/50 between freestyle/breaststroke. It was my first decent swim in well over 10 years, and I had to take 1 min breaks in between 100m sets. The effort left me thoroughly exhausted – clearly hours and hours on the legs don’t do much for pool fitness!

I’m looking forward to the week ahead, where I’ll re-introduce some running into the workouts, but the main volume drivers will still be the bikes and the elliptical for now. It’s a bit of a risk, but I’d like the foot to fully mend. We head to NZ next week, and I certainly don’t want to miss out on some decent mountain running when we get there!

In the meantime, if anyone has any fun cross training workouts for ultra-runners that they can recommend, I’m all ears and brimming with gratitude. One thing to note – don’t forget, I don’t run to keep fit – I run because I love it. So, if a non-running workout is any more troublesome than picking up groceries at the nearby supermarket, or if it requires any gear I don’t already have (i.e. something other than my bike, running shoes or a pair of 5kg bells), it probably isn’t going to happen.

In the meantime, happy Monday and stay safe!

The week’s workouts:

  • Monday: Elliptical: 45min, eccentric heel raises and single leg squats
  • Tuesday: Elliptical: 55min, eccentric heel raises, single leg squats and planks
  • Wednesday: Elliptical: 15min, eccentric heel raises, single leg squats, crab squats
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: Bike: 71km
  • Sunday: Swim: 1000m, Bike: 9.5km
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