Well, post-teaching and office hours I collapsed into bed this afternoon with considerable relief and exhaustion, slept for a few sorely needed hours, then got up and sorted out a few domestic matters (really it would be better if I lived in a purely monastic cell, I do not find my attention very interestingly engaged with the living environment, the food arrangements, etc.!) and ate some food that I must slightly more thoroughly digest before I undertake any sort of workout...
But I have just made my training plan for the nine (gulp!) weeks remaining between now and the big race in May, and it seems to me good...
It has taken some weeks for various things to dawn on me, I had too many other things on my mind at the beginning of the semester.
-- Tuesdays are my most stressful and tiring day of the week, and it is unrealistic to do anything other than the mentally refreshing (palate-cleansing!) 6-7pm masters swim (assuming no schedule conflict--this week I unfortunately had to go to a lecture instead). Rather than sticking doggedly with a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday run schedule, I should move the first run of the three to Monday afternoon or evening, when my time is considerably more flexible and I am less knackered.
-- I really like that FIRST half-marathon training program, but it requires more mental attention than I have to spare this semester, given work- and triathlon-related priorities for this spring. I am contemplating their marathon training program for the fall, though! Because I've committed to this May 70.3 race, I need to modify ambitious speed goals for Brooklyn half-marathon at end of April. Assuming things continue as expected, I am confident I will make a 1:58 goal for that half (it is supposed to be fast and flat), and it might well be that I can do 1:56 or even a little faster if things go well and I don't get sick again. But this isn't the time to train for speed and try and get down under 1:54--I need mental and physical attention for the wretched bicycle! I will set pace goals the week of that race based on how training has gone, but I should expect my time in that race to be very similar to my winter races.
-- The main 'give' on this schedule involves potentially shortening workouts rather than skipping them altogether. I need to run three times a week and bike at least three times a week, with the long run and the long bike as priorities. The Wednesday workout can be turned into a straight bike workout or a shorter bike-run workout as needed.
-- The other main 'give' is that the recommended half-iron-distance training certainly does not include four weekly swims! Some of those I will need to skip in any case for schedule-related reasons. But it dawned on me very clearly the other day that though I want this race in May to be as enjoyable as possible, which means serious bike time, there is no time goal that is as important to me as continuing to work on becoming a better swimmer. I'm just in love with swimming, that's the fact of the matter, and the intrinsic value to me of these swim workouts is very high! Insofar as the 70.3 is a highly aerobic race distance, I think that swimming's incremental and relatively non-injury-producing contribution to cardiovascular fitness is probably worth a fair bit--but I should skip the Friday swim, for instance, rather than losing the Friday bike time.
-- It is important for both mental and physical training to keep these weekends of good long endurance workouts where I do longish sessions in all three sports over the two-day period. In future training seasons, I will be able to set up more intense and race-specific workouts that for instance involve doing all three in the same day, but for now it is not worth the logistical hassle and the extra stress on the body.