Saturday, July 4, 2015

Long weekend training: A good swim, a deteriorating run, a great bike, and a race tomorrow!

This weather should not have kicked my butt.
It's a three-day weekend, hooray! Happy Independence Day to my American readers. And happy belated Canada Day to my northern (southern from Detroit!) friends.

I had plans to get up early Friday morning and hit the state park for a swim and run as soon as it opened at 8 a.m. Can I just say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That did not happen. To be fair, though, I did run several errands after work Thursday, going for my run, then hitting the grocery store, then watering my garden before heading home for a late dinner and relaxation time. On Friday, I slept in and lounged around a bit before heading out to the park at the more reasonable hour of 10 a.m.-ish.

It hadn't really warmed up yet and it was a perfect swim across the lake and back without any holiday crowds. The water was right on the cusp of wetsuit temperature and I did wear mine, although I've never worn one for the open-water mile I'm doing tomorrow and I have yet to do a lake swim without one this year. Well, I'll just have to get in the water early and splash around a bit. Yesterday's swim was the fastest I've gone across the lake and back yet this year by about 10 seconds, so I'll take that as a success!

After my swim I ate a Gu and a banana and changed into my run clothes before heading out for an easy-ish 12. It was starting to warm up a bit but was still a clear and beautiful day. The first half felt great. Then I started feeling crappier and crappier. Every step hurt, I was getting tired, and I seriously considered cutting it short. I ended up taking a break in the shade at about mile 9.5 and refilled my water bottle. I finished the run, but I kept squirting myself with water so I'd stay cooler. Ugh -- I was dying!

I checked the weather and saw it was only 76 degrees with 48% humidity, which is practically nothing this time of year. The dew point was at 55 degrees, which is high-ish, but I've run in higher with fewer problems. Not to be gross, but after a trip to the bathroom I realized I was pretty dehydrated. Aha! After more water and an iced latte I felt like myself again.

Note to self: 12 miles is nothing to sneeze at, so make sure you are prepared ahead of time! I hadn't had much to drink that day other than coffee, and I sure paid the price. Luckily, I learned that the easy way. I'll be better about my water intake before long training days for the rest of the season.

Today I wanted to get in a decent bike ride so I headed out to a local route that is closed to traffic for a few hours on Saturdays during the summer. I was later than I would have liked (story of my life), but I did have a nice breakfast and make it to the market beforehand. I ended up doing 52 miles at an average speed that I don't think I've ever seen before. Now, this route is much flatter than the state park, but it still felt good to be putting in some solid work. Proof positive that my bike is improving, ever so slightly.

Tomorrow I'm signed up to race an open-water mile and run-swim-run Aquathon, which I did and wrote about last year, too. Honestly, I'm not expecting great things. My swim hasn't really been on point, especially recently, and the run parts of the race aren't really long enough for me to make up time for a bad swim. But, more importantly, this is a very relaxed, very fun race, and a friend and former coworker will be doing it with me. Plus, the open-water mile will help gauge where I need to improve for my upcoming 70.3.

Here's to three-day weekends and that extra day of solid training!

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