Rachel Hickey Speaks: Senior Year Journal 3.0

Senior Journal #3: Where "Student" Comes Before "Athlete"

This week was filled with schoolwork and recovery. I still managed to squeeze in quite a few "double-days", but by the end of the week I was noticeably tired. Not exhausted by any means, but I realized that it was becoming harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings. My body was tired, and it was trying to tell me that. So, I sacrificed my mileage day for a recovery day on Friday instead.

Monday also brought about the first official track practice here at LaSalle-Peru. It was exciting to see what new faces came out this season that can hopefully help our team win another sectional title in May. There seems to be plenty of potential talent out there, especially with many of our key returners still participating in basketball, so I am looking forward to witnessing this team's progression throughout the season.

Another factor that played a role in my training week was my schoolwork. This week was certainly my heaviest homework week since the start of the new semester. It was also littered with tests in nearly every class, so I spent many hours studying and completing (what seemed like endless) statistics problems. The workload of the week reminded me that I am a "student-athlete", a role that I will continue to have after high school at Illinois State University (go birds!!). As a "student-athlete", I am a student first, athlete second. I never like to sacrifice my training for anything; however, my parents have raised me to know when and how to prioritize. I wound up having a few late nights and missed workout opportunities this week to focus on succeeding in school.

All that being said, my week looked like this:

Pre-Season Training: Week of 1/22-1/28:

Monday January 22, 2018

Since I included last Sunday's swim meet in my previous blog, I will start my week with Monday. How appropriate, since this Monday happened to kick off the LaSalle-Peru girl's track season! The whole team came together for an introductory workout:

·         10-minute warmup

·         Agility drills

·         8 hallway sprints w/ exercises in between each one (push-ups, crunches, burpees, or mountain climbers)

·         5-minute cool-down

·         3x10 bench @ 75% max

·         3x10 curls

Now that track practices are right after school, it is easier for me to complete double days while still being able to do some homework and eat a meal in between. 5,000-yard swim practice tonight: it happened to be the monthly "Mile Monday".

When I arrived home that night, I made some protein recovery shakes and made sure to get in a quality roll-out session before hitting the books, doing some core, and finally getting some sleep.  Daily Mileage/Yardage: approx. 4-miles + 5,000yrds. Swim

Tuesday January 23, 2018

Met with my speed trainer and relay teammates tonight and did a slightly lighter workout to recover from a tough double yesterday:

·         1-mile warm-up @ 7:30 "comfy" pace

·         Agility drills

·         Ladder footwork drills (30 minutes' worth)

·         Lunges w/ weights and balance

I noticed that my hamstrings were feeling extremely tight tonight and did a couple extra dynamic stretches before doing some core and calling it a day.

Daily Mileage/Yardage: 1 mile (warm-up)

Wednesday January 24, 2018

 After school today, I met up with some friends for a 3-hour study session. The following day I was scheduled to have three tests and I had multiple due dates approaching. As a result, I only went to swim practice that night instead of attempting to run/lift beforehand. Another 5,000-yard practice with an emphasis on I. M's (Individual Medleys) and kicking. One of our coaches took over practice with about a half an hour left to focus on diving with more power and aerodynamics. Did some core and hip exercises before bed.

Daily Mileage/Yardage: 5,000yds. in the pool

Thursday January 25, 2018

Double Day #2! Our team only meets on a Monday-Thursday basis until halfway through February since we really don't participate in many early indoor meets. Practice today consisted of 8x300m "hallway relays". My training partner and I had some solid handoffs, which is a very good sign for our 4x400m relay! In the weight room we primarily had a leg day: 3x10 squats @ 90lbs., walking lunges w/ weights (6 times up and down hallway), 3x10 speed box jumps, and 3x10 arm curls.

 Only had 3,500-yards at swim today with some more emphasis on I. M's. I hit "the wall" about halfway through practice and struggled to make some of the intervals. After persevering through the workout, I made a mental note to take a rest day tomorrow and recover. Finished the day with a delicious protein smoothie and some core.

 Daily Mileage/Yardage: approx. 4.5 miles + 3,500yds at swim

Friday January 26, 2018

 As much as it pained me (since it was 45 degrees and sunny outside) I took a day to physically recover from the past week and a half. I made sure to take some time to work ahead on some upcoming projects and roll out/stretch plenty. I did a longer core workout than usual and went to bed a bit earlier for my swim meet the next morning.

Daily Mileage/Yardage: N/A

Saturday January 27, 2018

Swim meet day!! My event lineup was fairly straightforward and not horribly difficult: 200yd. freestyle, 200yd. Medley relay (butterfly leg), 100yd. freestyle, and the 100yd. back. Surprisingly enough, I set a new personal best in the 200yd. free and set season records in the rest of my events. My body still felt sore and tired in places, so the fact that I am swimming so well under these circumstances is a great sign to me! With districts in about 5 weeks, I am looking forward to seeing how well I can compete this year in the pool before moving on to track!

Daily Mileage/Yardage: 1,500yds.

Sunday January 28, 2018

Met again with some teammates and the good ole' trainer today. Fairly light work again today:

·         2-mile warm-up @ 7:20 pace

·         Agility drills

·         3x10 speed box jumps

·         2x15 bench press @ 75% max

Daily Mileage/Yardage: 2.25 miles

This week was both eye-opening and somewhat tiring. I have learned the value of rest days and figured out ways to better manage my time between school and sport. While I view this week as a bit of an "off" week as far as quality training, I am thankful for every day of it. I will take the lessons learned and utilize them to better the rest of my season!