Monday: Run—1:00:00 (6.6 miles); Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
Today’s run was a bit of a test. Up until recently, my morning runs have ended with some IT band pain, so I’ve avoided them. This was the first time I had tried in a while. And I basically went for gusto. I was out the door less than half an hour after I woke up and before 5:00am. When I run early, I try to keep it easy. I run a flat course and try not to think about how slow I am in the mornings. First victory: My knee didn’t hurt at all. Second victory: I actually felt pretty relaxed. Often in the mornings, I run at a higher effort just to be much slower than I am in the afternoon. This time, I ran at an easy pace and was still a bit faster than I was during my last morning run. Now I feel confident planning a run as a morning workout which will be convenient. In the evening, I did a bit of strength work (my glutes were still sore from Sunday which means I’m still building strength!) and then some core work.
Tuesday: Swim—2500 yards; Bike—2:03:25 (33.15 miles)
My swim this morning was a long set of 100s, bookended by a fairly long warm up and cool down.
15 x 100 @ 1:45
I figured I would swim the 100s in about 1:40 each, but I actually ended up doing them all between 1:30 and 1:35. Even at the end, I didn’t feel like I was going all-out to keep that pace. I maintained a hard but manageable pace for the whole set. Considering I didn’t feel all that strong when I first got in the pool in the morning, I was very pleased with my performance. I did start to wonder if I’m “wasting” training time by swimming so much. I know I could go out right now and complete the Ironman swim. I’ve been swimming 2.5-3 hours a week. Is this too much or am I getting aerobic benefits from it that extend beyond swimming?
I worked from home as I’m getting all my stuff together to commute via train/bike, so I took a long lunch and went for a bike ride. It was a perfect day for a ride—sunny and in the mid-60s. I did the same route I’ve been doing all spring where I ride to the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, come back north, and then go partway up Emigration before heading back to Rob’s place. You’d think I’d get sick of it after a few weeks of doing the same ride, but I’m not sure I ever will. Once I start heading back north, I’m right at the foot of the mountains, which means I’m up pretty high. The road I ride back on looks out over the valley, and I love seeing a blanket of trees and houses with the mountains to the west in the distance. There’s a particular bend in the road. Once you ride around it, you can see the buildings of downtown Salt Lake City in the distance. It’s one of my favorite views because the skyline looks so far away. I love seeing it and thinking, “Wow, I started there, and now I’m all the way out here!” Not much stood out on this ride, but I’m thinking of trying to tackle Millcreek Canyon sometime in the upcoming weeks.
Wednesday: Swim—3000 yards; Strength—30 minutes; 8-minute abs
I did a distance set in the pool today with the longest continuous swim I’ve done throughout the whole training program so far:
That was 50 laps, and I counted them all. I broke the set up mentally into three sets of 15 laps, plus a mini-set of 5 laps at the end. I felt strong the whole way, though I could feel myself getting fatigued at the end. I could feel the workout from Tuesday as well… my stroke was relaxed and strong, but I didn’t feel like I had quite the “oomph” in my arms that I usually have. My final pace was 1:44/100yds which I was quite pleased with. It was a solid training swim.
After the swim, I hopped on my bike and rushed to the train. I planned on taking one train to work, but since I got done swimming earlier than expected I thought I might be able to make the earlier train. And I juuuuust barely made it in time. I got to work thirty minutes earlier which gave me time to do my strength training during lunch and still leave work at a reasonable hour. My legs felt very fatigued, probably because of my long ride yesterday. I worked through it, though, and I know it made me stronger. In the evening, I did some core work as well.
Thursday: REST; 8-minute abs
Ahhh, a rest day. Thank goodness. I still had to get up before 5am so I could get to work early and not have to stay super late on Friday, but the physical rest was nice, even if it wasn’t all that restful of a day. Even for my rest day, I was up at 4:45am, caught the 5:41am train, was at work from 6:30am to 4:00pm, then rode the train back to Salt Lake and rode my bike to Rob’s house and got there just past 5:00pm. Then I quickly did my core work and we went to his parents’ house for dinner. I realize that this kind of business is par for the course for a lot of people out there, but I just don’t know how they do it. I’m not sure if it’s sustainable for me…
Friday: Swim—Masters swim team; Run—1:00:00 (7.5 miles)
I was not feeling life when my alarm went off in the morning. I actually hit the snooze twice (I plan for once and almost never hit it a second time), and I even felt tempted to skip exercise. In the end, I went to masters, and I’m glad I did because we had an open water simulation day. The coach moved the lane lines over so we had half the pool, just open. We started with some laps around the outside of the area and then moved into drills.
5 laps (clockwise)
3 laps (counterclockwise)
5 x 25 (eyes closed)
6 x 50 (open water start)
Buoy turn drills
I thought I had gotten better at swimming straight over the past few years, but the 25s with my eyes closed taught me that I haven’t. I always swerve way left, so it’s probably a good reminder to try to aim slightly to the right when swimming in open water to mitigate that leftwards drift. It was a fun day. It wasn’t too terribly intense, and that was what I needed on a morning like that one.
I watched the forecast all day because it was overcast and stormy outside. I knew I’d probably be running in the rain. And I dreaded it all day. One hour might as well have been a marathon. I did not want to do it. I was tired and depressed and overwhelmed. I didn’t get home until about 5:30pm. I stretched and headed out around 6:00pm. It was raining, and my legs felt pretty heavy as I started out. I tried to run by effort and was surprised when I crossed the first (very uphill) mile in around 8:44. I tried to remain at that effort through the rest of the run, and I ended up having my fastest run in a while at an 8:00/mile pace. And the entire thing ended up not being nearly as miserable as I had anticipated. After I got back, though, I crashed hard. It was a long, stressful week, and I needed to spend some time sitting and doing nothing.
Saturday: Bike—3:01:23 (47.28 miles); Strength—15 minutes
The weather was iffy on Saturday. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it was overcast with the threat of thunderstorms. I headed out with arm warmers, leg warmers, knit gloves, and a wind vest in my pocket. My legs were a bit tired from the get-go, maybe because of my faster-than-usual run the day before. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t going to have an amazing break-out ride and that I needed to focus on effort as opposed to speed. Usually, when I start climbing Emigration Canyon, I’m surprised how strong I feel. This time, I could feel the previous hour and a half on my bike. I tried to ride at a manageable pace because the last bit of the climb to the top of Emigration Canyon. My plan was to crest Emigration then ride down the backside for a bit before turning around, climbing back up to the top, and descending the canyon back to Rob’s place. Of course, right when I reached the top of the canyon (the highest, and therefore coldest point of my ride), it started raining. The rain continued for a good fifteen minutes or so and got pretty heavy for a while. Descending in the rain is sketchy. And cold. I was glad that I had brought the wind vest because went a long ways towards keeping me warm. Fortunately, the rain died down as I descended the canyon and before I was terribly cold. Once I got back, I vegged out for a while before forcing myself to do my fifteen minutes of strength work.
Sunday: Run—1:00:00 (7.25 miles); Bike—1:00:00
I wish I could report that I recovered well from my long ride on Saturday and was full of energy and ready to go on Sunday. But in reality, I felt like crap on my run. I ran in the morning before church. It was a bit chilly and rainy out, and the whole run, I felt like I was running at a snail’s pace. This run called for 20 second pick-ups every ten minutes, and each one was miserable. I stopped to go to the bathroom about halfway through. Honestly, it wasn’t an emergency, and it probably could have waited, but I wanted a break. I was really surprised when I got back, mapped my route out, and realized I had averaged an 8:17/mile pace. From the way I felt while running, I would have placed my pace just around 8:30/mile.
It was raining hard when I got done with church. I wasn’t sure what to do about my bike ride. I was supposed to go out for an hour and a half, but I did not like the idea of going out in that much rain. Not only would it be a cold and miserable ride, but it can be unsafe and isn’t great for the bike. So I decided to cut my ride down to an hour and do it on the trainer instead. The trainer sucks, but I can usually manage an hour or so, if I listen to a podcast. So, I cued up an episode of This American Life and went to work. It was kind of miserable, considering it was the trainer, but I managed alright.