Weekly Recap (5/16-5/22)

Monday: Swim—2900 yards; Bike—2:01:02 (33.11 miles)
Monday mornings have become my designated day for masters’ swim team.  So, as usual, this morning I headed off to the pool.  It was a good, tough practice that was mostly pace work.
300 swim
200 kick
100 pull
4 x 50 (scull, swim)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x 125 (75 build, 50 fast)
10 x 100 @ 1:45 (hold same pace)
100 easy
300 pace
The coach suggested I try for 1:30s on a 1:40 interval for the 100s.  I told him I didn’t think that was going to happen, so he suggested 1:35 on a 1:35 interval instead.  I reluctantly agreed, but I felt uncertain I could hold that pace.  I haven’t been feeling all that confident with my swimming speed lately.  However, I held it pretty well and was actually swimming a little under 1:35 for most of the 100s.  The 300 was supposed to be at the same pace as the 100s, and I pretty much hit the nail on the head.  It was tough, though… probably tougher than it should have been.  I think the cumulative fatigue from my training is affecting the speed of my stroke the same way it’s affecting the speed of my run.  I think that’s to be expected, though, and I guess I don’t need much speed to swim 2.4 miles.

My plan was to either ride home from work on Monday or to work on Tuesday, depending on the weather.  The sky looked a little iffy on Monday afternoon, but the forecast also looked a little iffy on Tuesday morning, so I decided I’d rather arrive home wet in 60° weather than arrive to work wet in 50° weather.  My gamble paid off, and the overcast skies helped make my ride home quite pleasant.  There were no major navigation errors this time (thank goodness!) and I got home around 6:30pm, with a two-hour ride under my belt.  Again, it was pleasant ride and, even though there was some pedestrian traffic, it was surprisingly light for such a nice recreational path.

Tuesday: Strength—30 minutes; Run—50 minutes (6.2 miles); 8-minute abs
Because I did my longer ride on Monday, I had a lighter day on Tuesday.  I got up at 4:30am to do my strength work.  I had my morning timed out so I could catch the 6:11am train.  About ten minutes into my strength workout, I realized/remembered that I totally could have caught the next train instead.  But, since my plan was already in motion, I decided to just go with it and get to work early.  It worked out well because I had to leave a little early too.  Anyway, strength work on cold, sleepy, and tired legs is… interesting.  My balance was poor, but that’s probably to be expected.

I did my run in the evening, and it went surprisingly well.  For my shorter runs, I do loops around a park.  The route is flat, and it’s on a bark path which reduces impact on my joints.  I ran at a comfortable pace, but I did try to pick it up for the last loop.  I ended up feeling pretty strong that final loop, and I finished the run with an 8:04/mile pace.  These randomly strong workouts are big confidence-boosters for me.  They make me feel like I’m still improving and like I’m not overtraining.  After dinner, I did some core work.

Wednesday: Run—1:00:00 (6.38 miles); Bike—1:00:49 (16.42 miles); Strength—15 minutes
On Wednesday, I did my run in the morning.  As usual, my morning run was slow.  The slower paces bothered me more when I first started my training program after training for a marathon using Run Less, Run Faster, but I think I really am making peace with them.  The fun adventure on my run today was sprinklers.  I ran into a bunch of sprinklers I had to pass several times.  I have never seen sprinklers that shoot so far.  I had to run all the way across the street to avoid getting sprayed by them.  Ridiculous.  Overall, this was a solid recovery run.  And at least I’m getting some practice running what will likely be my Ironman pace, even if that hasn’t happened off the bike yet!

During work, I felt simply awful.  I had brain fog, I was tired, and I felt weirdly upset.  I wasn’t actually upset about anything, but the whole day I felt like I was recovering from a good session of crying.  That’s weird, but it’s the only way I can describe it.  But there hadn’t been any crying or drama or anger in my life over the past 48 hours (at least), so I have no idea why I was feeling this way.  I was dreading my bike ride after work.  But somehow, on the train ride home, I perked up.  When I left for my ride, I actually felt fairly strong.  I was only out for an hour, but it was a strong ride.  So far this spring, I’ve made a lot of progress in my cycling.  Some of that is probably artificial because I had a lot of room to improve after spending a winter where I didn’t ride much at all, but it’s still encouraging.  Afterwards, I did some strength work.

Thursday: REST; 8-minute abs
I was undecided which day I wanted to rest this week.  I had finally landed on a Friday rest day, but then on Wednesday night, I had a terrible night’s sleep.  I also didn’t really eat dinner on Wednesday night.  I actually felt pretty awake when I woke up on Thursday, but I knew I was underrested and underfueled for a big day.  Since I had felt so strange the day before, I decided to take my rest day, more for my mental health than my physical health.  I did core work in the evening, but besides that, I was a slug.

Friday: Swim (4000 yards); Bike: 1:31:21 (24.03 miles)
I had my longest swim workout so far during my Ironman training cycle.  Since the pool is always very busy in the afternoons, I worked it out so I could swim in the morning and just go into work a little bit late.
3 x 100
4 x 500 (swim [8:31], kick [11:50], pull [9:09], swim [8:19])
15 x 100 @ 1:50 (easy, medium, easy hard by 25)
4 x 50
I was surprised at how fast this workout seemed to go.  It’s a lot of yards, and I thought it would just drag by the way some of my other swim workouts have.  However, there was enough variety that I got tired without getting bored.  Since this was such a long workout, I didn’t go overboard with speed, but those 100s got tough at the end.  I still felt strong at the end, though, and could have continued swimming if I needed to.  I was struck with how cool it is that I can just go out and swim 2+ miles and feel rejuvenated and ready for the day afterwards.

The wind picked up steadily throughout the day, and someone said it was supposed to be even windier up in Salt Lake than it was where I work (which is surprising because I was half-convinced that the area in which I work was literally the windiest place on the planet).  While it was gusty when I got home, it was still ridable.  I headed south and had some opportunities to practice my bike handling skills in the wind.  The ride out was a struggle with the strong headwind, but I just reminded myself to keep the effort easy.  Of course, once I turned around the wind started to die down a little and by the time I made it back, my tailwind was more of a tailbreeze.

Saturday: Run—2:00:00 (14.08 miles); Swim—2500 yards
I woke up to a rainstorm Saturday morning.  The roads were basically swimming pools, and it was supposed to continue to rain on and off through the day.  I gave it until 10am, and when it was still raining, I decided to run instead of go on a bike ride.  (Of course, while I was on my run, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, and it turned into what would have been a beautiful day for a ride.) This was my longest run so far during this training cycle, so I was apprehensive.  I tried to start out nice and slow, but my legs were feeling strong and by the time I hit the three mile mark, I was already under a 9:00/mile pace.  I focused specifically on holding back for the next part of the run.  My legs continued to feel quite strong, and I settled into a pretty comfortable 8:30/mile pace.  However, about an hour and a half into my run, I started to feel nauseated.  That’s not uncommon for me, but it got bad this time.  I had to slow down, not because my legs were tired but because my stomach was not handling any sort of speed well at all.  I tried not to think about how sick I felt, but about a minute and a half before I hit the two hour mark, I hit my breaking point.  I stopped and puked in the grass.  After emptying my stomach out, I sat down for a bit and recovered.  Because I was so close to hitting that two hour mark, I just jogged for the rest of the time.  I finished with an 8:32/mile pace, and my legs still felt great.  My stomach felt better after throwing up, but I still sat around for a while to refuel and let my stomach recuperate.

After recovering for a bit, I headed to the gym for a swim.  In order to convince myself to get to the pool, I told myself I could take my swim easy.  It was a mid-distance workout:
3 x 100 (easy)
4 x 500 (8:29, 8:14, 8:13, 7:43)
200 easy
I felt surprisingly strong during this swim.  I was supposed to swim the middle two 500s at the same effort with the first one easier and the last one harder.  My times reflect that perfectly.  I remember swimming a 500 in around 7:40 last fall during Masters practice. I was very pleased with that time (and also very tired after hitting it!).  Now, I can hit that same time a lot easier.  I’m not currently improving my swim much, but I improved a lot this winter.

Sunday: Bike—3:31:30 (53.3 miles); Run—30:00 (3.33 miles); Strength—15 minutes
Of course, I woke up on Sunday to cloudy, threatening weather.  I decided to skip church and leave around 10:00am so I could try to avoid the worst of it.  This ride ended up being tough.  I was battling with wind and the threat of rain (and a little actual rain) the whole time.  My legs were not as fresh as they usually are because of my long run on Saturday.  And to top it off, I did not bring enough calories with me (three Honey Stinger waffles and a bottle of Skratch).  So it was rough.  I only averaged a 15.1mph pace over the course of this ride, and I spent a large portion of the ride wondering why I couldn’t push the cranks any faster.  However, it was a good ride to practice mental toughness.  Additionally, I got out to the south of the valley to check out the bike course for my upcoming sprint tri (verdict: ouch).  So, while it would have been awesome to have a breakout ride where I blew my expectations out of the water, it was still a solid training ride.  After my ride, I ran thirty minutes straight off the bike (well, there was some chit-chat exchanged with Rob and some pretzels eaten).  It was much easier for me to go slow than it was last time I ran off the bike.  I think it was the hunger.  I tried to just keep going at a “forever” pace, and I ended up running at just over a 9:00/mile pace.  That (or even a little slower!) is the pace I should be running off the bike, and I was encouraged that I could hold that pace pretty easily, even though I was as hungry as I was.  After some relaxation (and food!) I did fifteen minutes of gentle strength work.

Even though it was a tough ride, I was still surrounded by scenery like this the whole time.

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