Monday: Swim—2650 yards; Run—45:00 (5.62 miles); Strength—15 minutes
I woke up in the morning pretty tired after my long day on Sunday. But the knowledge that it was a recovery week and that my Monday swim would likely be my hardest weekday workout propelled me out of bed and to the pool where we were doing some pace work:
4 x 50 (distance per stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x 75 (kick, scull, swim)
3 x 200 pace
3 x 200 descend
I tried to swim my 200s at 3:20 (1:40/100yd pace), but I started out too fast. Surprise, surprise. I swam the first one in about 3:00 flat and the other two in about 3:10. I did a solid job on the final set of 200s swimming each faster than the last. I got some good feedback on my stroke, too. My catch (the first part of the pull) is solid, as is my finish (the final part). However, I tend to get a little sloppy in the middle of my stroke. I think I do this as I start to get fatigued, so I asked the coach to keep an eye out for it and let me know when I start to lose form. I can kind of feel the change myself, but I don’t always realize I’m doing it.
I happened to leave work at the same time as one of my coworkers. He said, “Man it’s a good thing it’s your recovery week.” When I looked uncertain as to what he meant, he clarified: “You look like you’re dying.” That just gives you an indication about how I felt after work. I was not expecting a good run when I got home. My legs were tired, and I felt weirdly shaky as I started out. I just tried to take it nice and easy. There were some pick-ups during this run, and I tried to use those as a chance to stretch my legs as opposed to an opportunity to tire them out. Surprisingly, I found myself feeling strong. I fell into a nice pace and naturally picked that pace up a bit as I continued to warm up. I ended up keeping an 8:01/mile pace on this run which was both shocking and exciting. Sunday was a big day for me, but I was able to recover well and easily hit a pace I hadn’t hit since starting Ironman training. After I got back from my run, I did some strength work as well.
Tuesday: Strength—30 minutes; Bike—1:01:44 (16.1 miles); 8-minute abs
I did my strength and core work during lunch on Tuesday. It was nice to have the morning off, and the strength work went well. I had been planning on limiting my workout to strength work, but I realized that I needed to rearrange things a bit so that I could go out to dinner with Rob and his family for his birthday on Wednesday. So I decided to do my bike ride after work. I made dinner right when I got home, then put it in the oven and took off on my bike. I was a little worried about getting caught in a storm because it the forecast called for thunderstorms at some point in the evening. However, I went out at the right time and it was beautiful. The weather was nice, but my legs were tired, both from the past three weeks in general and from the strength training earlier in the day. It didn’t help that I had a pretty stiff headwind on the way back in. After battling the headwind, I was happy to get back to Rob’s house to eat the quiche I had put in the oven before I left.
Wednesday: Run—31:43 (3.52 miles)
Thank goodness for easy days! I woke up to sore glutes from my strength training on Tuesday, so I was glad I just had a run scheduled. I did this run in the morning because of the aforementioned birthday celebration in the evening. As usual, it was quite slow (which is good for a recovery week, I suppose!). As I was running, I saw another runner coming my way. I hopped up on the curb to get out of his way and turned my ankle. My ankle is actually loose enough that rolling it doesn’t result in an injury. It does, however, result in a complete collapse of my leg. It’s totally involuntary—my leg just crumples. So I just collapsed. I scraped up my hands a bit and got a little cut on my leg, but I was more embarrassed than anything else. Overall, it was a nice, easy run. And it was wonderful to have the rest of the day off.
Thursday: Swim—1500 yards; Bike—1:28.10 (22.11 miles)
It was a blissfully short morning at the pool. The workout was short so I worked fairly hard and felt awake and ready for the day afterwards.
3 x 100 easy
5 x 200 @ 3:30
2 x 100 easy
I swam the 200s between 3:05 and 3:15. This pace felt hard, but manageable (not manageable for an Ironman swim, but I could have swum a few more reps at that pace without too much trouble). My pool swimming is looking good. I’m excited to get out into the open water and see how my work over the winter translates there.
I planned on going for a group ride with Salt Lake Tri Club after work, and I found myself getting more and more nervous throughout the day. Apparently, social situations scare me. What if I get dropped? What if they all know each other and I’m just weird? What if I can’t even find the group to begin with? The string of negative possibilities is always endless for someone like me. I got to the meeting area with a few minutes to spare and waited. And waited. And waited. I was about to give up and head out for a ride on my own when a guy rolled up and introduced himself. He was the one leading the workout, and we were the only two people, so we headed up Emigration. It was a beautiful ride and a beautiful day. Emigration Canyon gets a little brown during the summer, but as you approach the top during the spring, the view is like you are looking out over the Shire. He and I chatted a bit, and I managed to not embarrass myself too much until I saw a squirrel almost jump into the road and blurted out, “I killed a chipmunk riding down Emigration once.” It wasn’t until ten minutes later that I considered he may not have seen the squirrel that prompted this memory/random story and may have thought I just pulled it completely out of nowhere. Whoops. Oh, on the way down, I had my fastest 5 mile segment ever at 10:55. So that was fun.
Friday: REST; 8-minute abs
Rob and I drove up to Idaho on Friday to visit my family for the weekend and pick up “my” “new” car. The rest was welcome, and the drive up was pleasant and uneventful. Before we left, I did a little bit of core work, but other than that, I was pretty sedentary (which the five hour drive contributed to).
Saturday: Run—1:33:25 (11 miles); 8-minute abs
I like visiting my family because it gives me a chance to run with my dad. On Saturday morning, bright and early, my dad and I headed out for a run. It was a beautiful day, and we went out at a nice, easy pace. Running with my dad is always one of my favorite parts of visiting Idaho. This run was pretty uneventful (which isn’t a bad thing!). We chatted and enjoyed the beautiful weather and finished up the run in an 8:30/mile pace. After the run, Rob and I headed to Boise so I could get my aero bars installed and get my first real bike fitting. I’ll include a post on that later this week, but it was fun and productive. My aero bars are installed, and I’m excited to learn how to ride with them. In the evening, I did some core work.
Sunday: Swim—30:41; Bike—2:30:13 (37.75miles); Strength—15 minutes
In the morning, Rob and I headed over to Boise (about 30 minutes away) to my favorite pond. I got to do the wetsuit shimmy for the first time this season. I forgot how hard it is to get that dumb thing on. Because it’s only late May, I was worried the water would be frigid. However, it was perfect water for wearing a wetsuit. I was, of course, super buoyant, and I could feel the wetsuit supporting my hips and keeping them high in the water. I swam a lap around the pond and checked the time. It honestly felt like five minutes had passed, but it was been twenty. Open water swimming is so much less boring than swimming in a pool. After thirty minutes, I hopped out an stripped my wetsuit off. Putting the thing on and taking it off was more of a workout than the swim! I then hopped on my bike and headed off on my ride. I decided to go through Hidden Springs, a cute little town that takes some climbing to get to and some climbing to leave. Getting there was fine, but I had forgotten how tough some of the climbs on the way out were. I was expecting some nice, easy grades, but I must have hit 8-10% grades several times on the way out. It was tough! The Hidden Springs loop wasn’t long enough, so I headed up the one pretty major climb/canyon in Boise. I didn’t make it to the top (I wasn’t even close!), but I got some more good climbing in before heading back down and meeting Rob and our friends’ house where he had gone while I was on the bike. We ate lunch with them and then headed back to my parents’ house. In the evening, I did some strength work and called it a day.