Time. It is measured many different ways even though there is only one true measurement of the passage of time. Since I last posted I have not had much free time, I have been rushing around to be on time, and in my training I have done two more time trials. Oh, and now I have developed a sinus cold, for which I really do not have time. Alas, more lessons in what I have control over – managing my training and time, and what I do not have control over – the passage of time and everything else.
I have been keeping up with my training well – Saturday we had a break in the spring snow and I was able to run my long run outside. It really felt good to run in the fresh air and sunshine. Sunday I met with my triathlon coach for a time trial on my bike set up on his CompuTrainer. I learned a lot in 30 minutes time. The trial was to ride as hard as I could for thirty minutes on a flat course. I went just over 9.1 miles (18.2 miles per hour). Even though I gave it all I had, my average power, or watts, was only 150 and my heart rate never went over 140 – even though I felt like I was hauling bricks up a hill on a tricycle. My coach wants to see me get my power over 200 watts and in order to do this I have to work on my leg strength – consistent weight training and pushing it on the bike. As soon as the weather improves, he wants we riding up every hill I can find. I have 13 weeks until my half iron triathlon – enough time to build the strength I need.
This morning I met with a trainer at my gym to update my metabolic assessment. This test I do running on a treadmill wearing a mask that measures VO2 (volume of oxygen used by my cells) along with fat and carbohydrate burn rate in my various heart rate zones. Lifetime Fitness, my gym, recently revised how this is measured. Previously the test started without a warm up and went for 12 minutes running the same pace and increasing the incline on the treadmill. Today I did a 10 minute warmup and then went into the test which stayed at a 1% incline but increased in pace every two minutes by four tenths of a mile. This goes on for up to 20 minutes. The results were much different than before and also showed I have improved considerably. The warm up basically burns the energy I have easily stored from eating. When I get into the test, the true ability for my body to burn fat is easier to measure. All of my zones have shifted up – a lot. My zone two, where I should be doing my easy runs has gone from a range of 118-139 all the way up to 158-162. That was the upper range of my zone 3 in the old testing. When I shared this with my running coach, her first reply was that I was merely jogging the half marathon race! My zone 3 is now 163-167 and zone 4 (where I go anaerobic) is 168-177. The assessment today taught me it is time to pick up my pace. The proof is in the numbers – I am able to run much faster than I have in the past.
Yesterday was my rest day which gave me time to spend with my father and sister. My father is Jewish, my sister and I were raised Christian since our mother was Catholic, and we celebrate all of the holidays. Last night we celebrated the first night of Passover together. It was wonderful time spent together. At 92, my father has far more time behind him than ahead, so the time shared is special.
Time lately has been filled with many activities – but none wasted. My little sinus cold is reminding me to take time to rest, which I plan to go to bed early tonight. I have taken time to assess my progress in all three sports within the past week and I have learned how to make improvements in each one. I have spent time with loved ones and friends that enrich my life. All ways to pass time while I seize the day.