Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taper? What taper? And giving up on a secret goal

Not much of a taper for Saturday's race.
My first race of the season is this Saturday already! And, um, I'm definitely not tapering.

It was a gorgeous evening for a run yesterday and I had skipped my long run last weekend, so I did 9 miles after work. My legs felt fine and I only got hissed at by one goose.

I found this Triathlete magazine pre-race swim workout, and was planning on doing a short set today, but..... if I'm getting up at 4:40 a.m. and getting into the pool, I'm going to swim my full 3500 yards. I took it relatively easy, at least.

It's a short and easy run tonight -- and I promise it will be short and easy -- and some soft-pedaling on the trainer tomorrow morning and I'll be as ready as I can be for the race. Right now my main concern is that Fishing Notes puts the water temperature at 59 degrees. The race organizers have 67 degrees on their website. I hope they're right.

And... I had to give up on a secret goal this week. I wanted to qualify for Age Group Nationals at this race. I THOUGHT the Olympic-distance race was Sunday, but it's on Saturday. In Milwaukee. My sister-in-law's wedding is that Friday. Far away from Milwaukee. And I'm a bridesmaid. Even if I were to leave immediately after the ceremony, we wouldn't make it in time.

Super bummer!

(This is the second time a wedding has interfered with my race schedule. How dare my friends and family plan their weddings without consulting me first?)

After my 70.3 last summer, I felt like my tri season was over too quickly and I had one more in me for the season. So what I'll probably do is try to qualify at a race later in the summer for the 2016 race. There's no telling where it will be and if I'll be able to attend, but at least it will be a goal, right?

But let's take it one race at a time. Starting this Saturday. In hopefully not-too-cold water.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week in review May 11-17: Unintentional deload

The volume just wasn't there this week.
I haven't written much this week because there hasn't been much to write about. This week was a prime example of life getting in the way of my training. But, we all need a deload week once in a while, so I am hoping it will be beneficial in the long run.

I was feeling good about getting in a Monday evening bike trainer ride, since I've been skipping that about half the time. I made it through all my scheduled workouts until Thursday morning. That evening, I had a commitment, which turned into "as long as we're out and about let's take care of this other errand." That ended up going later than expected, and combined with my dog needing to, ahem, urgently go outside very early Friday morning, led to a skipped workout in favor of an extra hour of sleep.

Saturday was also filled with commitments all morning and evening, so I decided to just take time for myself in the afternoon rather than try to cram something into the few free hours I had. It worked out OK, and I got a bunch of tasks and errands done, but I still felt guilty about missing my workouts. Ugh.

Swim: Twice in the pool and once in the lake, my second open-water swim this season, for a total of about 8500 yards in about 3 hours, 15 minutes. My lake swim was less distance per my Garmin compared to last week, so I guess that means I went a little straighter this time.

Bike: Two trainer rides and one nice outdoor ride of 35 miles, for a total of 4 hours, 10 minutes. I held an average of faster than 16 mph again on my road ride, which is a big deal for me. I'm getting there, bit by bit.

Run: I ended up missing both an easy run Thursday for my commitment -- which I was OK with, considering -- but also my long run this weekend. Saturday ended up being a rest day, and I thought I'd get more bang for my buck getting in the lake swimming and road riding on Sunday, what I usually do on Saturday, and just skipping my long run.

My speed run Friday evening was... interesting. It was hot and muggy and I planned to do quarter-mile repeats. But my math was off and I ended up not doing my last one, instead ending with a 1.25-mile cool down. BUT, I wasn't feeling great anyway because of the humidity, so maybe that was the wiser course of action anyway.

The week shook out to one easy run, a medium-distance run, a speed run and a quick brick, for a total of 22 miles in about 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Other: 50 minutes of self-guided yoga stretching while watching Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley.

Total: 11 sessions in just longer than 11.5 hours.

Eh -- I'm not going to stress too much about it. 11.5 hours is still a decent week, and it's still early in the season. The workouts I did do felt good and I feel like I'm making progress.

I've got my first race of the season, an Olympic-distance triathlon, on Saturday. I'm already nervous about cold lake water and my sub-par bike skills. I had to remind myself this morning, "You know, you do this for fun." It will be a challenge but hopefully it will also be a good time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Weekend warrior

Nearly half of my training last week was over the weekend.
In case you missed it, or don’t memorize every word of my blog for potential dramatic readings, I had my first big, three-sport training day of the season on Saturday.

The temperature had hit 70s and 80s during the week previous, and I knew the small lake I swim in would be tolerable. And, oh yeah, I have a race in two weeks, so I should do a brick run or two before then. So, a three-sport day it was.

My husband and I had various commitments Sunday and had to shuffle our schedule, which ultimately led to an earlier start to the day. I started my long run when it was still early afternoon, and he was still busy doing whatever he was doing into the evening. So what else does one do when they have time to kill? Clean the house? Bah! She does a weights video, her plyo moves, and some yoga, of course!

When I added it up, I’d spent 3 full hours training on Saturday and nearly 4 on Sunday. Wow! Considering my week’s total was about 14.25 hours, that’s nearly a full half of my training done on Saturday and Sunday.

I don’t think I do a BAD job of training during the week. Ideally, I put in about an hour before work and about an hour after work most days of the week. I don’t have kids, I don’t work very many long days anymore (yay!), and I plan and prep meals ahead as much as possible. This all helps. But, realistically, I just don’t think I can do a 3-hour bike ride after work. Those long sessions just have to be done on weekends and the odd day off.

Sadly, as long as my full-time job is not triathlon, weekend warrior-ing will have to do. Or until they invent one of those time-turner devices from Harry Potter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week in review May 4-10: That's what I'm talking about

Good numbers across the board.
Not a perfect week -- does anyone really have any of those? -- but still pretty darn good. Three times in the water including once in the lake, a decent bike ride, a decent brick run, and even some "other" thrown in there.

The runs were hot but still runnable, the lake water was cold but still swimmable, and the weights were heavier than I remember. (Aren't they always after a few weeks off?) The mugginess and my allergies slowed me down a bit but overall I'm happy with how it shook out.

Swim: Three times, twice in the pool and once in the lake for my first open-water swim of the season, for a total of about 8,600 yards in about 3 hours, 11 minutes.

Bike: Three times, twice on the trainer and one 35-mile ride on the road, for a total of about 4 hours, 10 minutes.

Run: Five times, once on the treadmill and four times on the road, for 31 miles in just less than 5 hours. That works out to two easy runs, one MSD, one LSD, and my first brick run of the year.

I ran fewer mileage in more runs this week as compared to last week's 33.25 miles in four runs; I added a 2-mile brick run and skipped my Friday evening speed session (which have been going about 7 miles). My allergies got the best of me that day and I took some medication, so by the end of the day I was an exhausted, crabby, congested mess that could barely get home to take a nap before meeting friends for dinner.

Also, yesterday was probably the muggiest day we've had this season so far. I swung by the house to get my crazy lab mix with about 3 miles to go on my run, but I should have done another 1 or so before I picked her up because she was struggling by the end. So, an even 12 it was.

Other: Not a bad week for this, either. One weights video for 55 minutes, plyo moves afterward for about 20 minutes, and 45 minutes of self-guided yoga while watching Game of Thrones.

Total: 14 sessions in about 14 hours, 15 minutes.

For this coming week, I really need to get back into a four-times-a-week bike schedule. I would love to work in another road ride during the week, but I'm scratching my head as to where I can squeeze it in without 1. affecting my other workouts or 2. getting home too late to prep dinner and my next day's meals.

I would swap a morning trainer ride with an afternoon run, but then I'd have to run at 5 a.m. when it's dark and muggy. I could take my bike to work and then hit the state park or trail afterward, but I'd have to cut out a run or work it into a brick and get home at 9 p.m. I actually could try to ride Mondays after work when it's my scheduled day of rest from running, but today is not going to be that day:

It might rain today.
I'm going to have to think about that one.

In other news, I liked doing two pool swims and one lake swim this week. I'll always want to refine my swim, but I feel it's in a good place right now, and my time and effort could be better spent on the bike or run.

And this week marked my FIFTH 30+ running miles week! Yay! I am feeling good about my effort and paces. My running base is much, much stronger this time around and it shows.

Also, it's less than two weeks until my first race of the season. How did that happen? The next two weeks will be about consistency and refinement, so (hopefully) I can throw down a good time on race day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A day of this season's firsts

Triple the fun.
Yesterday was my first really big triathlon training day of the year. It was the first three-sport day of the year, fitting in swim, bike and run.

It was also my first lake swim of the year and my first brick run of the year, too. The brick felt OK -- tired legs at first that picked up steam over the quick two miles. (That 17:03 works out to about an 8:32 pace -- not bad.) My bike was a pretty good pace for me, too. It's not very fast for you serious cyclists out there, but I've hit an average faster than 16 miles per hour the last two times I was on the bike, which is great for me.

Also, a good laugh for you today:

Do you think I need to work on my sighting? In my defense, not all the trees are in full leaf yet, so the shores don't look quite like how I remember them from last summer. Yeah, that's the excuse I'll use.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Two triathlon coincidences

While logging this morning's swim, I was stoked to see I had done my two miles in significantly less than an hour twenty, which has been about my baseline lately (including drills and everything). The official time was 1:17:45.

While all that was uploading to Garmin Connect, I remembered I hadn't yet logged last night's workout -- 8 hot, muggy and tired miles. I wrote the time in my log book... 1:17:45.


I don't really believe that there is some kind of otherworldly significance to that, but it was kind of weird, you have to admit!

The other coincidence started this morning: While driving to the pool at 5:15 this morning, the song "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant came on. (Link so I don't get sued.) I laughed, because it was very early and I was still fully waking up.

I got more and more sniffly as my work day went on. It's spring here, and the trees, flowers and grasses are in full bloom. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and headed out to my car so I could drive to the pharmacy for some allergy medicine.

Guess what was playing on the radio when I got in?


Maybe it is the universe telling me I need more sleep!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week in review 27 April to 3 May: Nothin' to see here

More of the same.
A real quick weekly review since I'm two days late anyway.

Swim: Twice in the pool for 3,500 yards in about 1:20 each time, for about 2:40 total, including my monthly 1000 meter (or in this case 1100 yard) time trial. Nothing remarkable here, just steady swimming. Hopefully it'll be warm enough by this weekend where I can hit the lake for the first time this year.

Bike: Three times, twice on the trainer and one 40-mile road ride, for about 4:30 total. It was a great outdoor ride, since I pushed the pace and had my highest mph average for that route in, I think, forever. I ended up with a weird neck strain from clenching as I powered up the hills, but that was gone by the next day so it was totally worth it.

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 33.25 miles in about 5:10 total. This included some half-mile repeats in which I was able to throw down some sub-8:00 paces. It was also my fourth 30+ mile week in a row. I've run at least 25 miles every week this year except for one when I was sick. This is a LOT more mileage than I am usually pulling this time of year and it is paying off with my faster, easier paces.

Other: Just one quick, self-guided yoga session to stretch out the hips, mostly.

Total: Ten sessions in just less than 13 hours.

This is about what I can handle right now. I'm doing two-a-days most weekdays, swimming or biking before work and running after; doing a long ride on Saturday; and doing a long run on Sunday. If I start adding in anything else I'm going to have to lose more sleep than I already am, or what little social life I've managed to sustain, or my marriage, or my sanity. I am going to make an effort to do a swim before my ride Saturday and maybe a run afterward, now that it is a bit warmer, but I don't expect to increase my volume any more than that simply because my time is limited.

Still, I am feeing good about the effort I've put in this winter and spring. I feel like I am swimming smoother, biking stronger, and running faster. And I'm still having fun -- for now -- and looking forward to improving even more. Hopefully.