FORGING IRON | WEEK 13

This week I somehow managed to work out 10 times in 7 days, totaling almost 9.5 hours of training. Also, I actually got to swim this week. No lightning strikes, no puke in the pool, just me flailing around and choking on public pool water like an idiot.

MONDAY

Rest day / Meal Prep

I didn't originally intend to take today off, but the alarm went off and I was really uninterested in getting up. Then my session with David got pushed back to tomorrow, and I had forgotten that I needed to make my meals for the week. Because, you know, it's good to eat things.

Sooo off to Sam's Club I went, to get the usual base ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts (8+ lbs) 
  • Snap peas (2 lbs)
  • Asparagus (2 lbs)
  • Green beans (2 lbs)

And then I made a marinade for the chicken:

  • Curry powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

After the chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces and marinated for at least 30 minutes, I put the oven on 425 and bake for 15 minutes. When that's done, I divide the chicken and vegetables evenly between 14 tupperware containers. That ends up being my lunches and dinners for a week or so.

Yes, I eat the same thing for lunch and dinner every week, consistently. It's easy, cheap, and I'm a decent cook so it's also good.

TUESDAY

Running

Since my lazy ass took yesterday off, it was time to hit the pavement and run this morning. My goal was to average 9:00/mi and I did better, finishing 6.2 miles with an average pace of 8:52/mi. The big increase in running volume has naturally improved my endurance with every run, and this one felt great. I was able to control my breathing and heart rate much more effectively, and I also was able to conserve more of the electrolyte drink that I carry with me.

It's nice to get done with a run and actually still have some of that stuff left in the bottle, instead of finishing it with 2 miles left to go.

Strength - Upper Body

Spent this afternoon with David, working on chest and biceps:

Superset #1

  • Cable bicep curls
  • Push-Ups

Superset #2

  • Hammer curls
  • Barbell curl (5 low, 5 high, 5 full)

Superset #3

  • Cable tricep extensions
  • Cable skullcrushers

WEDNESDAY

Swimming

FINALLY GOT TO SWIM TODAY.

Hell. Yes.

Met my swim coach this evening and we managed to do a full hour of training. Now this was ridiculously difficult because I haven't swam since my race 3 weeks ago. To say I was out of swimming shape would be a bit of an understatement. There were more than a few times that I didn't time my breathing right somehow and ended up taking on a mouthful of water, which would make me cough and choke violently WHILE still trying to swim.

But hey, I still got to swim about 1,900 yards, and there was no lightning, and no kids puking in the pool.

I'll chalk that up as a win.

THURSDAY

Running

I totally fucking crushed my run today.

I am definitely getting back to my old running shape, because I knocked off the first 3 miles of my 6 mile run by averaging 7:37/mi. After that, even with a couple walking breaks to catch my breath, I never got slower than 9:28/mi.

Boom. On to the next workout of the day.

Strength Training - Full Body

Worked out with Jahmale today, and this week we switched it up to be a full body workout instead of just legs. This is probably for the best for now, because I can't tell you how much it sucks to need to run (because, you know, there's a damn marathon coming up) and barely being able to walk because your trainer loves to kick your ass and takes pleasure in you being nearly handicapped a couple days per week.

Two-a-days are awesome.

FRIDAY

Strength Training - Core

Ah, core day.

The one day every week where I am reminded of how physically weak and pathetic of a person I am because I can't do 1,284,617,198 situps with a 25lb weight on my chest. Or maybe it's because I can't do something as simple as hold a plank for 5 minutes while I touch my knees to my elbows, or something equally as ridiculous.

The only consolation I get is the fact that my abs get a little more noticeable every week, so I'll keep subjecting myself to the wrath of Deano.

I didn't curse at her this week, but I did let "fuck" slip a couple times in response to her telling me how many reps I had left.

Running

After being punished by Deano, I needed to go run. But like every other damn day in Florida, I had to try to avoid being both struck by lightning and caught in the dark. Because now on top of freak storms, hurricanes, deadly snakes, and huge spiders, we also get to worry about mosquitos carrying the Zika virus.

Thanks, Florida.

I took it easy on this run, working more on my pace and not needing to take any breaks. I only stopped once (not including crosswalks), which happened after I had ran 3.5 miles nonstop, and averaged 7:55/mi. Overall, I averaged 8:26/mi for the 6 mile training session, which is just under my goal race pace of 8:30/mi. Granted, this was 6 miles and the actual marathon is 26.2, but I know running in Chicago in October will be a helluva lot easier than Florida in August.

SATURDAY

Strength Training - Upper Body

I need to go for a long run, but I also know what happens when you overtrain for running: every major joint below your waist will hate you.

Instead I decided to spend a couple hours in the gym. The first hour was spent on upper body weightlifting, using one of the Power days from my PHAT bodybuilding program. Instead of the high rep routines that I've been doing with David (and now Jahmale), I cut down the reps and increased the weight. This is geared more towards building a strong muscle base and less towards aesthetic appeal. Both types of workouts are hugely important if you want to have that "fitness model" look, because if you don't have a good muscle base then there is nothing to tone. But that's also why the best powerlifters in the world are just big and not "ripped", they think anything past 5 reps is cardio.

Swimming

After the upper body session, I did... more upper body. 45 minutes of swimming, working through various drills to improve my technique. I started and ended the session with 200 yards of easy freestyle, and the majority of the rest of the time was spent using the pull buoy and kick board.

This swim went much better than the one I had with my coach earlier in the week. I really focused on a full extension of my arms when breathing, and making myself as long as possible in the water. I also practiced swimming on my side and breathing, because I would consider that to be my weakest area. I mean, I can breathe, but I'm talking about breathing in such a way that it doesn't interrupt my momentum in the water.

In other news, I just finished my third consecutive day of working out twice in a day.

SUNDAY

Running

I told myself that today's run would be at least 10 miles.

I only managed 6.

I think I was partly fatigued from a 6th consecutive day of working out without a break (plus the fact that the past 3 days had 6 workouts), not to mention the fact that I decided to wear a LONG SLEEVE Nike pro combat shirt that was designed to help keep me warm in the winter. In 100+ degree heat, that technology turns into a cruel form of torture.

My overall pace slowed to 9:12/mi, but I don't really care. I got some more miles in, and I know what I'm capable of now with proper rest.

WEEK 13 SUMMARY

All in all, a pretty awesome week of training. I managed a total of 10 training sessions in the span of 7 days, totaling almost 9.5 hours of exercise.