Week 5 (July 21-27)
This week I had an orthopedist visit and x-rays on Monday, an MRI on Tuesday, and a podiatrist visit on Wednesday. The x-rays were negative (thank goodness!), but the MRI revealed a "Strain injury of the myotendinous junction of the lateral head of the gastocnemius muscle." I guess it's nothing I didn't already know, but it's good to know there are no other issues (no stress fracture, tendon or ligament damage, etc.). The bad news is that I have been told that if I want this strain to fully heal (which I obviously do) I will need to rest it for 5-6 weeks. Since my wife and daughters were away at the beach for the week, I had plenty of extra time for training (and preparing lots of whole-grain vegetarian meals and banana-strawberry-avocado smoothies). What does one do when training for a marathon but not allowed to run? Why cross-train, of course. I decided to make it my goal to complete a full week of two-a-day workouts. Here's how it went:
Monday - A 60-minute elliptical session and a 2500m swim. I started off my week with a solid elliptical workout before teaching. I maintained a decent pace throughout, but I had little left for any sort of "kick" at the end. After work I went to the pool for a swim. I didn't time it, but it usually takes me around an hour to complete 2500 meters. I'm not a good swimmer but I know that swimming can be a great workout. I took this one fairly easy.
Tuesday - A 50-minute reverse elliptical session (plus a 10-minute cool-down) and a 2500m swim. I was tired and struggled early on in my morning elliptical session. The afternoon swim went much better. My body seemed to be trying to figure out how to deal with double doses of exercise.
Wednesday - A 60-minute elliptical session and a 90-minute spin on my bike trainer. Wednesday is typically my tempo run so I tried to push my morning elliptical workout. Unfortunately, I started out much too hard during the first 20 minutes or so and by the final 20 minutes I had nothing left. It was probably a mistake to try and push any of these workouts. In the evening I put in a very easy spin on my bike trainer while watching the new version of "Planet of the Apes".
Thursday - A 50-minute reverse elliptical session (plus a 10-minute cool-down) and a 2500m swim. This day was very similar to Tuesday. I was finding myself pretty low on energy and motivation in the morning, but I managed to grind out a below average elliptical session. The afternoon's swim went a bit better, but I was defiantly starting to get bored of looking at the bottom of the pool (plus it's pretty gross when you're wearing goggles and you can see all the gunk that's floating around in there). At least I can wear my iPod when I'm on the elliptical.
Friday - A 60-minute elliptical session and a 90-minute spin on my bike trainer. I had another slow start on the elliptical as I continued to have a tough time getting going in the morning. I managed to put in a pretty decent workout all things considered, but I was certainly glad it was Friday and I wouldn't have to wake up early the next day. My shoulders had been feeling rather sore so I decided to hit the bike trainer rather than the pool, especially because I wanted to go for a long swim on Saturday. I put in a relaxed 90 minutes while watching "Coach Carter".
Saturday - A 5K swim and a 90-minute spin on my bike trainer. I got to sleep in a bit and I went to the pool around noon. Saturday is my usual long run day, so I decided to make it a long swim. Given my pace and a couple bathroom breaks, it took over two hours and my back got a pretty good tan. In the evening I did a bike spin while watching UFC. I ate pretty much anything that caught my eye that day.
Sunday - A 90-minute bike spin and a 2500m swim. I did my bike spin in the morning while watching Sports Center and body was feeling fairly rough from Saturday's swim and over-eating. In the afternoon I went to the pool before dinner. I thought I was swimming at a relatively decent pace until another swimmer got in next to me and kept passing me like I was doing doggie paddle. I became even more humbled when I noticed that she wasn't even using her legs! Still, it was a good swim for me and it marked the completion of my final workout of the week.
So, I was able to get in 14 workouts in a week! By the end I was pretty wiped out and was eating almost constantly, but I'm glad I did it. I'd better get used to all this cross-training because 5-6 more weeks recovery for my calf doesn't give me much time before I need to start my taper for the Baltimore Marathon. It looks like I'll be running the race to finish so that I can complete the Maryland Double rather than shooting for possible prize money as one of the top Maryland resident finishers. If I can maintain my fitness through cross-training, I plan to try and pace a couple of friends who are hoping to run BQs at the marathon. Six weeks of elliptical training, bike spinning, and lap swimming, however, may just drive me insane...