3 Weeks until Race Day! Training Recap

Ok this countdown is getting pretty stale. If I’ve learned one thing training for this race, it’s that I can’t train 20ish weeks for one race without some smaller races to get a little racing excitement going! I did the sprint triathlon back in July, but now that feels like forever ago. I’ve been getting in all my training, waking up early to run on the treadmill before it’s light out, doing plenty of exercise clothes laundry, and all that. But when someone asks if I feel ready, all I can say is, “I think I’ve done all the right training, but who knows?” Life has gotten busy – which is a good thing! – but it means the looming 6+ hour race is not at the forefront of my mind all the time. Other exciting things have been happening that for better or worse have dwarfed my excitement for this race. I’m still very excited! But I’m also impatient, so I’m ready for some new goals too. Plus I’ve been spending too much time looking at fall recipes and treats on Pinterest, and I keep telling myself that I should at least try to not wreck my eating habits two weeks out from my big fall race. Basically, my office should get ready, because come October 14th, I’ll be baking up a storm and have no one to eat it all. So let’s get down to business with this recap of my last big week of training before the two week taper.

Monday: Off

Really exciting way to kick off the week, right? Eric and I were working to catch up on Breaking Bad before the series finale, so we crammed in a few episodes each night. Admittedly I was little a short on sleep and long on TV-induced anxiety this week.

Tuesday: 2800 yards swimming a.m., bike 90 minutes p.m.

The main set for my swim was 3 X 750. I’m constantly amazed by how much I’m swimming. I know it’s not much compared to people who are real swimmers, but not long ago, I thought it was crazy to swim more than a mile. Pat on the back for me this Tuesday.

Perhaps the overdosing on Breaking Bad left me a little brain-dead – when I was planning my 90 minute ride, I thought to myself, “Ok that’s 3 segments of 15 miles, so 44 miles will be a little on the short side but ok.” (To explain, I think of hours of riding in 15 mile segments even though I actually cover closer to 16 or 17, so when I piece routes together, I think of how many sets of 15 miles I need to cover). So yeah. 44 miles was wayyy more than I needed for a 90 minute ride. Luckily I came to my senses before I grabbed my 44 mile route cue sheet, so this ride was closer to 26 or so miles.

Wednesday: 1550 yards swimming a.m., bike 30 minutes p.m.

Not surprisingly, staying up too late watching Walt and Jesse left me tired for my “speed workout” at the pool. Thankfully it was over quickly.

I was tempted to skip the bike ride, but really, how hard is it to ride on a trainer for 30 minutes? Not hard, is the answer. Especially when it’s during an episode of the Mindy Project in between Breaking Bads. Yeah, it was a TV-heavy week for me.

Thursday: 30 minute bike ride followed by 2 hour run

The first of two big workouts for the week. The night before this workout, Eric told me his worst Ironman training workout was an hour bike ride followed by a 2 hour run (or something like that), so I was concerned about how poorly this might go. I woke up early, rode the 30 minutes on my trainer, ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill at my apartment complex gym because it was still dark out, and then finally headed out for my 90 minute loop. The run was supposed to be at an effort level of 3 (out of 10), but I felt great, so I at least felt like I was moving pretty well. This run was one of those times I wished I were tracking my pace. It’s nice not to know how slow you’re running on a bad day, but I’d love to know how fast I’m running on these good days. Though I might be pretty disappointed, so perhaps it’s for the best.

Friday: 3 hour bike followed by 20 minute run

To be fair to the training plan, Friday was scheduled to be a rest day, and this workout should’ve been on Saturday. But I was traveling for the weekend and wouldn’t be able to fit it in. So, I got up early, did some work at home while it was still dark, headed out for my ride and run, and then was showered and back to work. Times like these I’m thankful for the flexibility of my office so I can work from home and make up hours at odd times when I need to.

Saturday and Sunday: Off

I spent the weekend with my sweet friend Laura in Norfolk, VA, while I attended a Road Runners Clubs of America coaching certification course in Newport News! Several months ago, my supervisor at work was asking me about running, as sometimes happens, and she asked if I had considered being a coach or trainer because whenever I talk about running my eyes light up (seriously, she said that!). I said yes, because my absolute favorite thing in the world is introducing someone to running or hearing someone recently took up running and enjoys it. Side note: my supervisor from when I worked in our DC office recently ran her first half marathon and “blames” me for getting her started running – so proud! And my current supervisor will be doing her first 5k this month – also so proud! Of course I’ve always made up a lot of excuses for why I wouldn’t be a good coach or shouldn’t bother looking into it. But here’s the thing: I DO love helping people learn to love running! Why wouldn’t I take steps towards doing that more often? And so, right after our discussion, I did some Google-ing, decided the RRCA was the right certification for me, and joined the email list to hear when new course locations are announced. Soon after, one was announced in Newport News. I knew from reading blogs that the courses fill up the day they open, so I shot a quick email to Laura asking if she’d be around and willing to host me, got her confirmation, and signed up! I’ll do a full post soon. It was a great class, and I recommend it if it fits what you’re looking for (I’ll provide more information on that later so you can decide for yourself). I’m still in the process of figuring out what exactly I’ll do with the fact that I’m a certified running coach, but it’s another building block!

And if you were wondering if Eric and I caught up on Breaking Bad, yes we did. But unfortunately we were both in-transit during the finale. Well, actually I was back from Virginia just before it aired at 9pm, but Eric was on a flight back from LA, so I waited and we watched it together on Monday night. I liked the ending, but I also kind of agree with this analysis (super spoilers, so don’t click if you don’t want to know what happens).

Now I’m tapering, waiting for a new pair of tri shorts with (hopefully) fewer poorly placed seams, and stressing about the fact that my backordered wetsuit that was supposed to ship in September is now scheduled to ship the Monday before my race. I’m not sure I have that much faith in UPS/FedEx/USPS, so I’ll probably reserve a rental as well.

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