Hurray for recovery! I feel much better after a week of relative rest.
This week, I began incorporating higher-intensity intervals, like short hill climbs, track speedwork, and fast 25s in the pool. I've never experienced such a dialed-in training plan; I feel like every interval workout challenges me the perfect amount--the first half are easy, the next quarter are tough, and the last few are almost unbearable. It's like I can feel my fitness increasing! I'm not sure if it's because I've got more room to improve, after two years of sporadic triathlon training, or if this is what it feels like to transition from the high-power, high-speed fitness that I associate with youth to the endurance peak in the mid- to late-thirties. I'm not even thirty yet, but I feel like my body is changing.
My training this past week wasn't perfect, unfortunately. I've mentioned previously that I got two jobs. One is full-time with Dick's Sporting Goods. The other is part-time with QuikTrip. Both companies hired me almost simultaneously, though, so both had my schedule as full availability. The result? Two fourteen-hour workdays in which I worked from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dick's, then from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at QT. I considered hitting the YMCA for a swim/run combo on Friday morning, but thought better of it. Twenty-eight hours of work in a 48-hour period stresses my body enough without adding two workouts, even of only moderate intensity. I missed three workouts this week--one in each discipline. I think I've got my availability tuned in for both jobs now, but it won't take affect until next week, which means that this week will be another bruiser. Still, at least I'm working and making money! I see a new bike, lots of races, and a trip to Switzerland in my future! Oh, and the opportunity to pay off some student loans.
I'm already experiencing one of the benefits of being a running specialist at Dick's: complimentary promotional shoes! I got a pair of Brooks Ghost 6 running shoes to evaluate! I'm liking this job more and more. If you live in the Kansas City area, come see me at the Zona Rosa Dick's sometime! We'll talk tri!
In other, somewhat-related news, I have a large, painful lump under my right armpit, with smaller lumps at my elbow. I think they're swollen lymph glands. The armpit one has been there for about a week, the elbow lumps for less than a week. This worries me. I speculate that the lymphatic pathway down my right arm is reacting to . . . something. No idea what. Something potentially serious, I fear. Or not. My roommate thinks it's just stress from too much work and exercise, not enough rest. I'm giving it another week or two, and if it doesn't go away, I'll get it checked out.
Additionally, my right shoulder, which I messed up in the business of being born, has slipped over into full-on shoulder impingement. Expect an article soon on how to deal with shoulder impingement. If I can get to it between two jobs and half-ironman training, that is.