Weekly Recap (4/18-4/24)

Monday: Swim—2650 yards; Bike—1:31:00 (23.8 miles); 8-minute abs
I woke up on Monday morning sorer than I had been on Sunday.  I was glad I was swimming in the morning to loosen up.  Our set at masters had a lot of elements to it:
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
4 x 50 (catch-up)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
8 x 75 (1-4, 5-8 build and descend)
100 easy
3 x 50 @ 1:00
3 x 50 @ :55
3 x 50 @ :50
3 x 50 @ :45
2 x 50 @ “:40”
50 easy
8 x 25 kick
The biggest part of the set were the 50s that gradually increased in speed.  The idea was to cut down your interval time every three 50s until you missed two in a row.  Technically, the set was 12 50s long, but the coach told us to go further if we completed the whole thing.  I felt good during this set and did hit the times all the way through.  However, it about pushed me to my limit, and I missed the interval by a long shot on the first two 50s once I dropped below :45.  Still, I felt good about the workout.  It also made me wonder if I should move up a lane.  I’ve gotten faster, but I’m still a little scared that I’m too much slower than the women who typically swim in the lane above me to make the jump.  I did my core work during lunch which always gives me a nice little break from a computer screen.

After work, I had a 90 minute bike ride scheduled.  This seemed like a lot considering the weekend I’d had, but it worked best for the non-Ironman stuff on my plate this week to schedule it that way.  Usually, I have a hard time getting out on the bike after work but have a great time once I climb the initial hill.  I was banking on that happening, and fortunately, it (mostly) did.  I was still a bit tired, and my legs were certainly not fresh, but it was a good ride anyway.  Plus, it was the first time this training cycle I had a 2.5 hour training day on a weekday.  The fact that I was still functional afterwards gave me hope for the rest of my training.

Tuesday: Strength—15 minutes; Run—45 minutes (5.5 miles); Bike—1:00:22 (16 miles)
I slept very well on Monday night and woke up feeling refreshed.  Because my last morning run was still a bit sketchy, I got to work early so that I could fit in my strength work and my run during a long lunch.  I was dreading my run because all I could remember was the howling wind last time I ran during work.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that there was almost no wind.  I tried to take it nice and easy.  I even stopped to try to convince a wandering Siamese cat to let me pet him.  (In the end, he did not, in fact, let me do so!)  My calves were sore during my run and after my run.  Since I’ve changed my stride, I’ve really been feeling my calves.  They are just constantly sore!  After my run, I did a little bit of strength work.  I always struggle with strength work right after running.  It’s hard for me to maintain balance and control of my muscles when my legs are fatigued.  However, learning to control my muscles when I’m fatigued is important because, well, I’m training for an Ironman.  So it’s good for me.

Rob got home later than usual from work because he rode in, so I got dinner in the oven before leaving on my ride.  I got out on the bike around 5:45pm, which is later than usual.  I struggled for the first ten minutes or so on the bike.  Whenever I ride from Rob’s house, I have to climb a bruiser of a hill right at the start.  And, unless I have fresh legs, it sucks.  However, later in the ride, as I neared the turn-around point, I felt great.  In fact, I felt suspiciously great and concluded that I must have a significant tailwind that would become my enemy once I turned around.  But when I turned around, I didn’t slow nearly as much as I expected.  There was a headwind, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I made my way home faster than I thought I would.

In case anyone wonders why I love Siamese cats so much, this guy right here is the reason.  He doesn’t always let me pet him either!

Wednesday: Swim—2500 yards; Strength—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
It was another swimming day.  Today wasn’t supposed to be an all-out workout, and the lower key workout was enjoyable:
250 swim
5 x 50 (odds hard, evens easy)
4 x 400 (6:47, 6:35, 6:31, 6:12)
2 x 200 easy
The meat of this workout was the set of 400s.  I was supposed to do them at a slightly increasing effort.  Other than swimming the last one a bit harder than prescribed, I managed to follow that pattern well.  I was pleased with my times and how I felt during this workout.  Oh, and I swam my final 400 at a 1:33/100yd pace which is much faster than I could have hoped to swim last fall.  I did strength and core work during lunch.  I was surprised how much my legs felt the last four days of running and cycling.  The exercises were tough, but I think I managed to hold my form pretty well during them.  At the very least, my balance was much better than it was on Tuesday!

Thursday: REST; 8-minute abs
I woke up on Thursday to sore glutes, which I took as a good sign that I’m still building strength and coordination to keep my IT band happy.  Speaking of happy, it was my rest day!  I (kind of) slept in and spent the day relishing the extra energy that comes from not waking up at 5:00am (or earlier!) to work out.  I did core work in the evening and spent some time just sitting in the front yard with Rob watching people try to maneuver his tiny street in giant SUVs.

Friday: Swim—60 minutes; Bike—2:44:03 (43.75 miles)
Masters was fun this morning, and there was no set amount of yardage:
200 reverse IM
200 IM kick
200 inverse IM
6 x 50 10-kick barrel roll
4 x 25 underwater
8-minute whistle kick
8 x 50 (2 turns)
Sharks and minnows
For the whistle kicks, we basically spent 8 minutes kicking.  When the coach blew the whistle, we’d go hard and when he blew it again, we’d slow down a bit.  We started the 50s in the middle of the pool (and thus, did two turns during each).  We were supposed to focus on our flip turns, which is always something important for me to work on.  I felt like I was doing much better than I was a few months ago.  And then we played sharks and minnows!  You could only get tagged if your head was above water.  I wasn’t very good at it because I suck at holding my breath.  But it was still fun!

I spent my day at work obsessing about the weather and trying to decide the best way to fit in my weekend workouts.  It was supposed to be cold and rainy on Saturday.  But I had unforeseen surprise family obligations on Sunday and wasn’t 100% sure I’d be able to fit a bike ride in Sunday afternoon.  I really, really hate riding in the rain, and I also hate being rushed during a workout.  So after work, I pumped up my bike tires and headed out for my weekly long ride.  Despite the wind, I had a great ride, and I’m going to write a little more about it later this week.  But it was my longest ride this training cycle, and I ended up really losing myself in the action of cycling.  I ate two waffles on the ride, a Honey Stinger and a Rip Van Waffle.  The Honey Stinger was better.

Saturday: Run—1:30:00 (10.55 miles)
I woke up prepared to run in a rainstorm.  And then… the morning kept staying sunny.  I headed out for my run around 10:30am, again fully prepared to meet some nasty weather.  But it just never happened.  A little over halfway through my run, I encountered some clouds and a bit of rain and corn snow for about five minutes, but other than that, it was beautiful, if a bit breezy.  I felt good throughout the run as well.  Now that my half marathon is over, I want to keep my long runs no faster than an 8:30/mile pace.  The first three miles are uphill, and I took them nice and slow at a 9:07/mile pace.  After that, the hardest part of the run is done.  The next couple of miles are pretty significantly downhill, and after mile four, I had already fallen back below a 9:00/mile pace.  At 40 minutes, I started adding in 20 second strides every five minutes.  I ran these strides just above a tempo pace and didn’t try to reach full speed.  For most of the run, I was in a good rhythm.  I wasn’t struggling or pushing the pace.  I was just trying to run at an even effort.  I ended up doing this run at an 8:32/mile pace, which was just about perfect.  Considering my long ride the evening before, I was thrilled that I managed this pace for an hour and a half without too much effort.

Sunday: Strength—15 minutes; Run—1:00:00 (7.25 miles)
I woke up early enough to get my run in before church.  However, it was quite chilly and still pretty wet outside.  Additionally, my knee tends to do better when I run later in the day.  So, I opted to do my strength work in the morning and decided to do my run after church when it was a little warmer and a little sunnier.  I headed out for my run after church.  It was about 60° and sunny.  And I actually got hot and thirsty during my run, which was a great change from this winter!  My legs felt strong at the beginning of the run, but by the end, I was feeling the wear and tear of a long, hard weekend.  I was getting tired, and my strides (the same as Saturday’s, but starting after 10 minutes) were a struggle.  Still, I kept up a fairly strong pace and averaged 8:17/mile for this run.  I was very satisfied with that pace, especially considering the weekend I’d had.  Week three of Ironman training is done, and next week is a (slight) cutback week which will be welcome!


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