When I started training four weeks ago (How is the time flying by so fast?), Coach Mike asked that we run/walk three times a week for 30 minutes. In week three, he asked that we add a bike ride and a swim, and increase our running time to 45 minutes. Last week, my schedule looked like this:

• Saturday, 9:00 a.m. — 4-mile outdoor team run
• Sunday, 5:00 p.m. — 15-mile indoor bike ride
• Monday, 5:30 a.m. — 4-mile indoor run/walk
• Tuesday, 5:00 a.m. — 15-mile indoor bike ride
• Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. — 1+ mile team swim
• Thursday, 5:30 a.m. — 4-mile indoor run/walk
• Friday, 5:30 a.m. — 1-mile swim

Ideally, I would have taken a one-day break in that seven-day period. But I have conflicts this coming week, so wanted to load up last week. It’s hard to fit in two workouts of each activity every week!

The schedule increase Coach Mike asked for feels significant. At the end of that seven-day, straight-run of workouts, my body was tired. It was saying to me, “What the heck is going on here? Why all of this activity all of a sudden?”

But I am learning what my body needs to keep up this pace.

First off, I need more and consistent sleep. Before, I could get away with a little less sleep than is ideal. Now, I’m really, really tired if I don’t sleep enough.

Second, I need to eat more, and sometimes before I’m even hungry. I need something before a workout, and after. If I wait until I’m actually hungry after the workout, it’s too late, and I’m shaky and famished.

All of this is more and different than I imagined it would be. It’s fascinating, and I’m learning a lot about my body. And I’m already wondering what will happen when we up the schedule again!