So, it’s been awhile since I last posted! Eric got home from his summer in Hawaii two weeks ago (and coincidentally I have not blogged since…), and my time has pretty much been spent working, training, or binge-watching Breaking Bad with Eric in an attempt to catch up the current and final season in time to watch at least the last few episodes with the rest of the world. I have a few blog post ideas, but I haven’t made time to write. I should work on that… Anyway, here’s an update on my training the past two weeks.
Week of 8/19-8/25 (8 weeks to race day)
Monday: 2550 yards swimming a.m., 45 minutes biking p.m.
Swimming is swimming, but this was a great day because I got to pick Eric up from the airport after my workout! Unfortunately I still had to work all day, but we got to hang out in the evening. I was going to skip the cycling part or move it to a different day so we could make dinner together, but then I realized the food (baked ziti at Eric’s request) would need to bake for at least 30 minutes so I might as well bike on my trainer and hang out with Eric at the same time. Eric ended up doing most of the cooking for the meal while I set up the trainer and started riding, which is only slightly ironic because before he found out he’d be spending the summer in Hawaii, I was planning to step up and focus on making good healthy meals for us both all summer while he was deep in Ironman training.
Tuesday: 60 minute bike followed by 30 minute run
A pretty average workout. Honestly, I don’t really remember much about it at this point…
Wednesday: 30 minute run
This was supposed to be a rest day, but I wanted to go to running club for a friend’s last run before moving to NYC for grad school.
Thursday: 90 minute long run a.m., 60 minute walk p.m.
The long run went well enough. Starting in the pre-dawn darkness is never my favorite thing, but then when I’m sitting at my desk at work and remember I ran 11 miles this morning, I feel pretty good about it.
I was supposed to do 1200 yards of recovery swimming, but I swapped in a walk with a friend instead. Definitely a better use of my time.
Friday: 2800 yards swimming
Sometimes the warm-up for my swim workouts includes 200 or 300 yards of kicking, which I think I’ve said before is so no fun. I was complaining to Eric about it, and he suggested using the fins/flippers available to borrow at the pool. I used them for this first time during this workout and it made the 200 yards of kicking fly by. I also attempted to teach myself to do flip turns during the cooldown. I know they aren’t essential, and obviously I don’t need to know how to do them for open water swimming in triathlon. But I think I’ll begin to feel like just that much more of a “real” swimmer if I can do them. Let’s just say I still need some practice.
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: 30 minute swim, 2 hour bike, 30 minute run
A little practice triathlon. Eric and I swam at a pool on campus (yay alumni card), and then I started my bike ride from the pool while he drove the car home. It was not as hot as it could have been, and honestly, the 3 hours went by really quickly.
Week of 8/26 – 9/1 (7 weeks until race day)
Monday: 2900 yards swimming
I still enjoy swimming. I have not revisited the flip turn idea.
Tuesday: 30 minute run a.m., 30 minute swim followed by 45 minute bike p.m.
Running in the morning was pretty basic, though I realized I need to remind myself that Breaking Bad is not real life. I was running down a neighborhood street that passes a school, and I hear people shouting and walking around with their hands on top of their heads. In my mind, these people were clearly being attacked and taken as hostages. In reality, it was the school’s cross country team doing repeats and catching their breath. My bad.
For the swim and bike, I again went to campus to swim in the gym pool and then ride a stationary bike. Let me tell you, going from swimming to a stationary bike does not leave me at my most attractive. The helmet/sunglasses we put on for cycling outside goes a long way for covering wet hair and goggle eyes. At least I saved myself from getting hit on by any of the 18 year old boys at the gym (which is on the freshman campus). The tv in front of the bike was on ESPN, so I caught part of a Nine for IV episode that focused on the ‘99 women’s World Cup team, Anna Kournikova, and Mary Lou Retton, at least in the pieces I saw. Even just watching with closed captioning, I was riveted and just stood by my bike after my workout so I could see Brandy Chastain make the winning penalty kick.
Wednesday: 45 minute run
This was supposed to be a pretty easy run, but I ended up working later than I intended (so I missed going to Fullsteam), and by the time I started running it was almost dark. Because I am not rational, I basically sprinted out 22.5 minutes and then sprinted back home. Yes I realize a 45 minute run takes 45 minutes no matter how fast you’re running.
Thursday: 90 minute tempo run a.m., 75 minute ride p.m.
This run was terrible. I already don’t like to do tempo runs or speedwork in the morning because my legs haven’t had time to stretch out and wake up, so I didn’t know how this run would go. After 15 minutes of warm up, my workout was to run 26 minutes at tempo pace, recover for 4 minutes at easy pace, repeat, and then cool down for 15 minutes. I was aiming for a tempo pace of about 7:20. The first tempo section I was barely under 8 minute miles. I told myself this was fine, I’m still waking up, I’m running on a hilly trail, next round will be better. Three minutes into my second tempo section my heart rate and breathing were all over the place, so I stopped to eat a Gu, drink some water, and collect myself. I started running again and was barely under 9 minute miles. For 26 minutes’ worth of tempo running. Sure, the hills, the early morning, the heat, there are plenty of excuses. But man, it was awful. I felt like I was running hard but couldn’t get my legs to go any faster. When I complained to Eric, he said that’s just what happens when you are in heavy training and not focusing just on running. I was (and sort of still am) a little disheartened by how challenging that run was, but I hope the fact that I finished it will be enough.
I was supposed to ride for 45 minutes in the evening, but I wanted to go to the Luna Chix cycling group since I hadn’t gone in several weeks. It was hot and my legs were definitely still tired from the morning, but I made it.
Friday: 2700 yards swimming
The main set of this workout was 3 x 700 yards, increasing the effort level with each set. I’m proud of myself because I actually did try harder with each 700 and I got a bit faster with each one. Since this was the Friday before the long weekend, a lot of people from my office took the day off or worked from home, so I decided to also work from home. During the swim, I kept reminding myself of what a treat it would be to go home, eat a relaxed breakfast of whatever sounded good and sip on some coffee. The small things in life, right?
Saturday: Rest day
I spent the day tailgating and watching Duke win the first football game of the season. Apparently it was the first time we’d held a team to zero points since 1989. Ouch.
Sunday: 25 minutes running, 2 hour cycling, 25 minutes running
Again, a hot weekend workout that didn’t feel nearly as long as 3 hours probably should. My two hour cycling loop is a 50k route that is one loop of a figure 8 that becomes 100k when you add the second loop. Every time I don’t take the turn to add the second loop, my heart is happy.
And now, my legs are tired but I’m somehow feeling pretty energized and ready to go cross some other things of my to do list. Eric’s Ironman (Wisconsin) is next weekend, so this week I’ll be balancing my highest training volume ever AND trying to do whatever I can to help him feel more prepared for next Sunday. Any suggestions of last minute ways I can help him prepare for his first Ironman?