Me and Pre: On Surviving the Hard Days
Yesterday I pulled a Triple.
Not three different types of exercises fit into one workout – not moving from a machine in the gym over to the free-weights and then out for a run. Three individual, completely separate, massively intense workouts.
I’ve never done this before, but I’m testing out theories given to me by people certified to give them. I’m trusting in a plan that is larger and smarter than me.
I’ve never done a true triple before because, frankly, I never thought I could. This path I’m on now is asking me to do all kinds of things that I have not, before, been able to imagine or envision – and I have an imagination to rival most.
A 7.25 mile run at 163bpm average heart rate, a 40 minute trainer interval session (10x1min max effort with 1 min recovery), and the complete P90X plyometrics workout.
The run was fine.
The intervals were even fine. Hard, but manageable.
It was the plyometrics that tested my mettle. I dragged my leaden legs through an hour long series of jump-squats, split-stance squats, jump knee-tucks, jump knee raises, lateral leap frogs, gas jumps, squat-jacks, rock-star hops, and more.
I’ll tell you – I usually kill this workout dead. But there has never been a sadder, more pathetic plyometrics performance than the one that I gave last night in front of a larger-than-life projection of Tony Horton on my wall.
I’d been watching "Without Limits" during my trainer intervals so my heart was in my throat, because I’m just a sucker for Prefontaine like that. When I finished plyo I popped the DVD in the player in the TV room and curled up with a comforter and a Double Chocolate Pecan Protein Shake.
Pre was a madman. Crazy and driven. A perfectionist. Relentless and brash. He was too much, he was over the top. He bordered on insanity.
But the way he ran… the beauty in his relentlessness… his unwillingness to compromise – astounding.
Last night Pre was everything I needed. The movie was mediocre, the casting, in my opinion, questionable. But it didn’t matter. It was Pre.
I laid in bed under flannel sheets later and waited as my legs warmed up. I stayed very still and could feel them healing and growing. They were thrashed, demolished, worked, and spent.
But they’ll be back. And they’ll be back stronger.
The magic is in the rest days, people. The magic is in those reconstructing days when the healing happens under the surface of your skin, and your heart begins to process the enormity of your effort. With every hard day, your will grows and changes along with your body. Your determination grows memory and files moments away for future use.
I sat still today and did other things. I sat still and waited. It’s starting to happen. I can feel it.
To aid the recovery process a little, I employ the following methods:
- Hot baths to soak muscles
- L-Glutamine fortified protein shakes (speeds muscle recovery – I use 5g per shake, but you should start with 1 or 2g to see how your body reacts)
- Sleep. At least 8 hours, usually 9. This is a priority for me. If it means I go to bed at 8pm, then I go to bed at 8:00pm, goddamit. I recommend a lifestyle low in babies in order to make that one work. :)
- Food. Eat well, eat often!
- Foam roll!
I’m back tomorrow for another crusher and, truth be told, I can’t wait.