Sunday, July 9, 2017

Summer Training

I'm three weeks into six weeks of teaching summer school. It makes for fairly busy days, but one thing I like about the schedule is that we have an hour and 45 minutes for lunch, which is a good amount of time to get to the gym, change, work out, shower, and get back for my next class (you may have noticed I didn't say "eat lunch"--no, there's not time for that, too). 

This spring, my training was (sometimes reluctantly) focused around preparing for a half marathon. This summer, I'm a little more up in the air. I'm playing in a summer tennis league, and since I didn't play at all from October until June, it hasn't been a surprise that I've been playing pretty poorly. So the last couple weeks I've worked in at least one day a week of hitting serves or groundstrokes from the ball machine. That's been Friday and/or Tuesday. 

One of the things I liked about being done with the half marathon was that I could get back into the gym and get back to weight lifting, so I have been. I think it was in May that I was introduced to the hex bar (or trap bar) dead lift. 
Image result for hex bar deadlift
This is pretty much what I look like doing these, except better dressed.
There are two things that are appealing about hex bar dead lifts: one, they're easier on the lower back and two, they're supposed to help develop speed better than any other lift. I'm lifting two days each week, with one day being dead lifts, bench press, 1-leg box jumps, and chin-ups, and the other day being squats, shoulder press, and lat pull-downs (or more chin-ups). 

This week, I finally brought some running back into my life. 

It's not that I haven't run at all since the half marathon, but I haven't run much. Twice? Or is that giving myself too much credit? I'm not sure.

On Friday I hit with the ball machine and hit some serves (that's tennis, not running, in case you weren't clear) and then did a 20-minute run up on the infamous wooden track (because the weather was lousy). I think I was going at a faster pace than usual, because I was pretty tuckered out after the 20 minutes, but I didn't keep track of distance, so I don't know.  

Then today (Sunday), I went for a long, slow run. I ended up just shy of 9 miles (8.93) and just shy of 90 minutes, which worked out to a 9:58 pace. Which, if my math is correct, is faster than a 10:00 paces, so I was pretty happy with that, all things considered. 

One of my friends invited me to run a half marathon in Chicago in October, and I'm considering it. Either way, it seems a shame to squander the endurance I built up this spring. We'll see how I feel about it as we get closer, but if I get back to running now, that at least keeps the door open.