Monday: Swim—3000 yards; Run—45 minutes (5.53 miles); 8-minute abs
I had another weird night of sleep. Lately, I’ve had random nights where I wake up in the early morning (anywhere from 2am-4am) and can’t go back to sleep until about thirty minutes before I need to leave the house. Fortunately, this time I didn’t wake up until around 4am, so I didn’t get a terrible night’s sleep. Still, it’s always a bummer to go into a Monday feeling tired. I was pleasantly surprised at masters that we were doing a 500 set somewhat similar to one that my training plan actually calls for this week:
4 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
5 x 100 pace (rest :20)
10 x 50 (whitewater kick) @ :50
500 negative split
This workout was harder than I expected. I knew the ten 50s would be tough, but I didn’t expect the rest of it to be as tough as it was. I swam the 100s “comfortably hard” because I knew that I had those 50s coming up. I managed to do decently well on the 500 build. I always struggle to start slow enough that I can increase the pace, but while I may not have gone faster every single 50 or 100, I did get faster at the end than I was at the beginning. Though I didn’t catch my exact time, I think I came in around 7:40 for this 500 as well which is a good time for me. I swam it hard, and I only took a minute or so of rest before I started in on the 50s which left me exhausted. In the past, I’ve done this set on :55 instead of :50, so this was a step forward for me. And then I started on my final 500. I honestly thought I was sandbagging it for the first half (which I swam in 4:15). And then I sped up for the second half and realized about 50 yards into that half that I hadn’t been sandbagging it at all. I did negative split (swam the second half in 3:59), but I didn’t negative split by all that much, so I was grateful that I had decided to start at a pace that felt ridiculously slow. My run in the evening went well—no pain, although I certainly didn’t have much pep in my legs. After a ten minute warm-up, I did 20 second strides every five minutes where I picked up the pace. These aren’t supposed to be hard, but they felt pretty hard for me. I just didn’t have much speed in my legs. But I couldn’t complain about a pain-free run! I did some core work in the evening and called it a night.
Tuesday: Run—46:26 (5 miles); Strength—30 minutes; Bike—1:01:14 (15.7 miles)
Oh. My. By 7:00am, I was ready to quit Ironman training. I got up at 4:10am so that I could get in a run and strength training before work. (An aside: I get cranky when I have to get up before 4:30am. It just seems unfair.) I would be trying my first morning run in a while. I just didn’t have the time to give myself a relaxing morning and allow my legs to wake up naturally. So I did my typical stretching routine and headed out the door just around 4:40am. I have never been fast in the mornings, and I know to expect that. This run was discouraging, though, as my pace was over a minute per mile slower than my eleven miler over the weekend… and it didn’t feel much easier, either! Additionally, my knee started hurting a bit partway through. This was the first knee pain I’ve had in a week, and it told me that I’m not quite ready for early morning runs yet. So then, I drove to the office gym and did my strength workout. Usually, my strength workouts aren’t hard. They leave me tired, but they aren’t hard in the same way that a masters practice or a tempo run is hard. This time, my strength work was hard. My legs were pretty fatigued from two runs within the past 12ish hours, and every exercise was a struggle. I had to give myself a little pep talk to do the next set of exercises several times. But I finished the workout, even if I was certain by the end of it that I was going to fail Ironman training before it even really began. After a cup of coffee and a banana with peanut butter, I started to feel much better. In the evening, I headed out for an hour on the bike. I was feeling my early morning again at that point and wanted nothing more than to put on a movie and cuddle the cat. But I forced myself out on my bike. And, after I climbed the nasty hill at the beginning of most of my rides, I felt great! Not “wow, I’m going so fast” great but rather “hey, I’m out on the bike having an awesome time” great. The ride actually rejuvenated me and made me feel less tired, not more tired.
Wednesday: Swim—2500 yards; Bike—1:00:31 (16.84 miles); 8-minute abs
I thrilled that I didn’t have to get up until 5:10am on Wednesday morning. I got to the pool right when it opened at got started on my workout, which was basically two 1000s with a brief warmup and cool down:
2 x 1000 @ RPE 4, RPE 6 (17:55, 17:07)
Neither of my 1000s were supposed to be swum at a very high effort, but the second was supposed to be a little harder (RPE 6) than the first (RPE 4). I feel like I hit the intent of this workout perfectly. I cruised through the first 1000 and then pushed a little harder during the second one. However, at the end of the workout, I didn’t feel all that tired. I used this swim as a recovery/aerobic workout, which is exactly how it was intended to be used. I’m trying to learn to do easy workouts this training cycle, and I think I’m making progress! In the evening, I had a cycling workout that actually contained intervals, which was a little exciting:
10 minute warmup
4 x (8:00 @ RPE 4-5, 2:00 @ RPE 2)
10 minute cooldown
When I got home from work, the sky was ominous. There would be rain. The only questions were when and how much. The plus side of the stormy sky was that one of the local parks was almost empty, so I was able to do my intervals around it because there weren’t many pedestrians or cars around. I pushed the workout pretty hard and felt good about it. My Garmin clocks 5 mile laps, and for the lap where I was in the park the whole time (and thus unaffected by any stop signs), I averaged 18.75 mph. That’s really solid for me, especially since the road around the park isn’t entirely flat and has a couple of hills that can wear you down. While I was sprinkled on some throughout the workout, the majority of the rain held off until I was safely inside again. I did some core work in the evening and was feeling pretty good about everything by the time I made it to bed.
Thursday: Swim—1500 yards; Strength—15 minutes; Physical therapy; 8-minute abs
I woke up feeling ready for my semi-recovery day. I had a short speed set in the pool, but I wanted to be careful not to push it too hard because I swam hard on Monday. I’m really working on this “not every workout is 100% kill yourself” thing. The main meat of this workout was a set of 100s:
10 x 100 @ 1:45 (descend 1-5, 6-10)
200 (50 swim, 50 kick)
Basically, I was supposed to go faster throughout the first five 100s and then again through the second five. I failed miserably to do this for the first five. I swam the first one by feel and finished just under 1:30, which I knew meant I would not be able to get faster and faster for each successive 100. I was better prepared for the second set, though, and did manage to (mostly) get faster throughout. My final 100 was somewhere between 1:20 and 1:25. I felt good at the end of this swim—tired, but not beat like I felt earlier this week. Physical therapy went well, too, though it was more of a workout than it has been in the past. I was tired. BUT I GRADUATED! I’m officially done with PT (for now). In the evening, I did fifteen additional minutes of strength work and some core work.
I took a rest day on Friday to prepare for the half-marathon on Saturday. I’ve never understood bloggers who talk about hating their rest day and feeling completely antsy and miserable during it. Do I feel a little antsier on rest days? Probably. Do I care? No. I love sleeping in a bit and knowing that I have a whole evening free to do things around the house watch crappy TV. I usually feel rejuvenated after a rest day as well, so I can feel fairly confident that I’ll have a solid workout the next day. It’s a win-win!
Saturday: Run—13.1 miles (1:42:38)
Expect a race report later this week, but the short story is that the race went very well and I was super pleased with the results. I think I like the half-marathon distance way more than the marathon distance, partly because I was home by 10am with a legitimate excuse to do nothing for the rest of the day!
Sunday: Bike—2:00:33 (30.97 miles); Strength—15 minutes
I woke up the day after my race feel sore, but not cripplingly sore. I was grateful for that because I had a two-hour recovery ride scheduled. Ah, Ironman training. In the morning, I did a light fifteen minute strength routine with side-steps using my resistance band and MYRTLs. Then, after church, Rob and I went on a ride with a friend of ours. We did the coffee shop loop. We rode out to a coffee place in the south of the valley, had coffee and pastries, and rode back. I stopped by the park and did a few loops there so I could hit the two-hour mark. The wind was pretty intense during our ride, especially after the coffee shop stop. However, other than the wind, I felt strong on the ride, considering my race the day before. After my legs warmed up, my legs felt pretty loose and my pedal stroke felt pretty fluid, even if I wasn’t at my strongest. Week two of Ironman training, check!