Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The first two weeks of the semester seem to have hit me extraordinarily hard this year . . . or maybe it's always like this, but I self-protectively forget?!?

In any case I have taken the evening off from exercise, due to exhaustion and poor meal timing--I had an overwhelmingly long day, and it belatedly dawned on me that not just because I was sick, this is perhaps best thought of as a recovery week.

(Or, more aptly, a survival week!)

I have consoled myself by putting the finishing touches on an (over-?)elaborate training schedule, posted below.

(I've drafted weeks 8-16 also, week 16 concluding with Florida 70.3, but it seems to me certain that I will have a better sense of what will and won't work with the shape of the week once I make it through weeks 1-7. (A lot of it has to do with my teaching schedule this semester--so that the 30-minute gym bike preceding the Tuesday swim derives from the fact that my office hours are over at 5, the swim workout starts at six and it's either wasted downtime in my office or else an alluring opportunity to overschedule myself with additional student appointments that tip me over the edge into exhaustion at the end of a teaching day, especially given that I teach again at nine the next morning. If I go straight to the gym, change and bike for a bit to warm up, that's a nice and actually fairly relaxing use of a bit of otherwise dead time.)

Weeks 1-7 are problematic because I have a book manuscript I'm desperately hoping/needing to finish by Feb. 18 (if humanly possible! still not sure that this is the case, but the one other thing I will do before bed is block in the hours for book work in HUGE AND LURIDLY COLORED WRITING in my appointment book, IT MUST BE DONE!) and two talks to sort out--partly written and thought through, partly not--for the California trip in March. Will have to use common sense balancing work and training, in other words.

Week 8 is spring break, but rather than loading it heavily with training it will be best used as a recovery week--I will need to get as well-rested as possible and regroup for the last part of the semester...

I've followed some fairly standard training principles, pulling back every third or fourth week based partly on travel and other considerations, but I haven't written in a regular day off. I will take them as needed, particularly based on unpredictable work-related contingencies that just require some flexibility.

(Hmmm, I am not terribly inflexible, but I cannot say that flexibility is one of my main virtues!)

I've also set it up so as to have some redundancy, as this seems to me the only way to reliably skip workouts that should genuinely be skipped. The next three weeks are a bit of a strain, because of the book completion issue and various other matters pending--I will certainly be skipping a couple of those swims, that's my prediction, and I will consider the bike as top priority because it's a huge weakness.

(I will allow myself to be relatively weak-willed and do most or all bike workouts indoors till after the book thing is sorted out and I can spare a bit more attention and energy for the problem! Spinervals Endurance DVDs en route from Amazon as per Al's recommendation...)

(Hmmm, I already see some room for improvement based on book issues, probably those two Monday-night swims that I've paid for and want to make up should wait till the book is done, will ponder that one as it comes up...)

A long enough preamble, I am in ridiculously wordy vein this week due perhaps in part to the fact that I'm teaching what is commonly referred to as the longest novel in the English language! (It's going to take us the whole semester--it's almost a million words long!)


Becca said...

Oh my god, I am exhausted just looking at it!

Jenny Davidson said...

Yes, it is funny how when one is very tired the only appealing thing is to contemplate EVEN MORE TIRING prospects of future work and exhaustion?!? I really am going to skip a bunch of those, I have written my book-work hours into the schedule also and have crossed off swims on 2/11 and 2/18 and gym bike on 2/19 (conflict with precisely the kind of student appointment that I was mentioning, only it is an important and valuable one that only conveniently slotted in at that time!). And now I really must try to sleep...

Spokane Al said...

The pressure is on me concerning your opinion on the Spinervals DVDs. We will shortly see if I steered you wrong.

1536 pages - that is one robust book. I was just checking the number of pages in Atlas Shrugged, one of my favorite books. It clocks in at 1192 pages in the hard cover version.

Good luck on your training. I tend to gravitate towards plans and precision and consistency and it sounds like those traits appeal to you a bit as well.

Wendy said...

I like the Sunday bike build!

Brent Buckner said...

Clearly, you *really* want to swim.

Short times on bike before swimming might work well for one legged drills and spin-ups.

Chart shapes up nicely, but needs heart rate zones!

Brent Buckner said...

Longest novel in the English language - subjectively or by word count?

Jenny Davidson said...

Al: Full report on Spinervals will follow... yes, consistency and precision, two things I like very much!

Wendy: Periodization! (The full beauty of it only comes clear in the next part of the plan--but I love that word, because it sort of makes me think of Cold War-era Soviet exercise science!)

Brent: Good suggestion on the one-legged drills (is it commonly pronounced leggED or just leg'd?!? on the three-legged race, I believe it is two syllables, but that may not be generalizable...); hmmmm, we will canvas my students at the end of the semester concerning the subjective experience of reading long novels.

Also, we're blogging it! Because I need another outlet for literary musings...