Monday: Swim—2800 yards; Bike—2:00:03 (33.25 miles)
I had a rough time falling asleep on Sunday night, but once I did, my exhaustion took over and I slept quite well and woke up fairly refreshed. I went to the pool for Masters swim practice:
4 x 50 (count stroke)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x 50 @ 1:00 (-2 stroke count)
100 build (R :30)
4 x 100 @ 1:40
4 x 50 @ 1:00 (-3 stroke count)
4 x 100 @ 1:40
4 x 50 @ 1:00 (-4 stroke count)
2 x 100 @ 1:40
This workout alternated between form work to decrease stroke count (well, increase efficiency) and hard 100 yard intervals. I was alone in my lane, so when the coach described the workout to me, he said to leave on 1:50 or, if that was too slow, 1:45. I asked if I could aim for 1:40, and he reminded me that the last time he suggested I swim 100s on 1:40 I informed him there was no way I would be able to hit that interval. But I was bolstered by my success the day before and decided to aim for the stars. It was a hard workout, of course, but I wasn’t ever in danger of missing the 1:40 interval. And while I wasn’t quite as successful in minimizing my stroke count, during the last set of stroke count drills, I was able to hit that -4 number a few times (though not every time).
I brought my bike to work so I could ride it home. I was supposed to do a long tempo effort, but that attempt ended pretty quickly. It was rainy as I rode home, and for much of the ride, the path I follow was wet. I came to a fairly sharp turn. I didn’t take the turn exceptionally fast, but it was a very smooth area of the path (newly sealed, not much traction) and both my tires and the path were pretty wet. My back wheel lost traction and I skidded into a pretty legit crash. After that, I decided to just go at a regular, comfortable pace instead of doing the originally planned tempo.
Tuesday: Bike—2:02:27 (31.16 miles); Run—30:00 (3.29 miles); Strength—30 minutes
I had a two hour ride scheduled for Tuesday, and because I left my car at work, I had to suck it up and ride as planned. I ended up leaving around 4:45am. However, I decided against using my usual route along the Jordan River Parkway Trail. On my way home, I had either had to ride through or portage around 3-4 different areas of (deep!) standing water. It was quite cool in the morning (55°), and I didn’t want to get wet or deal with the cooler temperatures along the river. Instead, I took the real roads. I was pleasantly surprised by how few stops there were and by the quality of the bike lane for most of the ride. The scenery wasn’t nearly as pretty, but the ride was warmer and there weren’t any giant pools of water to navigate, so overall, it was a rousing success. The extreme pain every time I hit a little pothole and jostled my bruised hip/thigh was a bit of a buzzkill, though. After my ride, I had a thirty minute run scheduled. As I started the run, I braced myself for some pain from the jostling of my leg. Sure enough, running was quite painful. I saw once in a movie that competing on deep bruises won’t make them worse, so I went ahead and completed the run anyway. I met my “go slow!” goal and averaged a 9:07/mile pace during this transition run. I felt like I was lacking any energy for this run, and then I realized… I was! I ate a banana in the morning and a Honey Stinger waffle on the road which means I had ridden thirty miles and run two miles on about 250 calories. All things considered, I felt good about the workout, even if the bike was a little slow and I was missing some energy during the latter part of the workout. After work, I forced myself to do some half-hearted strength work.
Wednesday: Swim—2100 yards; Run—1:00:14 (7.14 miles); 8-minute abs
I went to the pool in the morning and did a fairly short workout:
3 x 600 (10:23, 9:09, 10:21)
My right arm was sorer than I expected when I got into the pool. I think I strained it slightly in my bike crash. I was supposed to swim the middle 600 quite hard, but I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea with a sore arm. I decided to see how it felt after the first (easy) 600. When my arm warmed up and felt better as I swam, I did the second 600 fast as planned. I was really pleased with how well I swam during that hard interval. I averaged a 1:32/100yd pace which boosted my confidence.
I was planning on riding my bike after work, but there was a wreck on the freeway, so my commute home took an hour and a half (which is a full hour more than it usually does). When I got home, I had no patience for the time it would take to get my bike ready and the longer ride I would have to go on before eating dinner and sitting on the couch doing nothing. So because the run scheduled for the next day was shorter in duration, I decided to run instead. As an added “benefit,” I knew I’d be getting some solid heat acclimation because it was over 10° warmer than the forecasted high for the next day. So I went for my run. I took my usual route, hill and all, and I was pretty miserable. My legs felt pretty heavy, the strong wind took its toll on me (though it did help keep me cool!), and I had to focus pretty hard to maintain solid form. A couple minutes after I finally got back inside a cool house when there wasn’t heat or wind to evaporate the sweat but before my body realized I was in a different environment and stopped sweating, I looked down and realized that every inch of my body was wet. Forehead and stomach, sure, but also arms, legs, ankles, and hands. I realize that’s kind of gross, but it really put into perspective just how much you sweat when you are out in the heat. It’s easy for me to underestimate how much I sweat because when I’m running, it evaporates from my skins almost immediately and so I don’t notice it.
Thursday: Bike—1:30:16 (23.72 miles); Strength—15 minutes
After work, I headed out for a bike ride. I decided to get some climbing in and headed up Emigration Canyon. Fortunately, it was a relatively cool day. I felt relatively strong on the bike and enjoyed a pleasant ride up the canyon. There’s not much to say about this ride. It was a beautiful day, and I fully enjoyed the scenic nature of the ride. I didn’t push myself too hard, but I was definitely working during the climb.
Friday: REST; 8-minute abs
I was in desperate need for this rest day, as I usually am during the last week before a recovery week. I took it easy on Friday and didn’t do much either athletically or socially. I did, however, do some core work in the evening.
Saturday: Bike—5:00:36 (77.27 miles); 8-minute abs
I was a little nervous about the prospect of spending five hours on my bike. I have been riding a little further than my plan dictates for my long rides, but this week, I decided to ride an hour longer than the plan stated instead of half an hour longer as I have been. That meant that this ride was going to be quite a bit longer than my longest ride so far—actually, it was going to be a full hour and a half longer. I started off early in the morning, and Rob came with me for a bit. We climbed Emigration Canyon and then he headed off to brunch with his dad and I kept riding. I headed mostly south which was a little against the wind and had some hilly parts. I was struggling a bit at the thought of continuing to five hours during this section. I brought a bunch of Honey Stinger waffles with me and ate one every 30-45 minutes. They were good, but they did start to stick in my throat after a while. The tailwind when I turned back north helped, though, and there was a long descent that helped me recover a bit. During a particularly steep portion of the descent, I hit 46mph on my bike! I also stopped at a gas station to refill my water bottles around mile 50 and bought some trail mix while I was there. It tasted absolutely divine. I may have to remember that for my race. The rest of the ride actually felt better. I had a little more energy from the trail mix, though I could tell I hadn’t had enough water on the ride. I started to get a headache, and I had only gone to the bathroom once. I held up for the ride, but I need to be mindful next time. My legs actually felt surprisingly strong during the last miles of my ride. It was everything else that was screaming to get off my bike—my butt, my back, my neck. Once I got back, I spent most the day sitting on the couch groaning. I did do some core work in the evening, though.
Sunday: Bike—1:30:50 (22.83 miles); Strength (15 minutes)
My legs were ready for the easy shake-out ride on Sunday, but the parts of me that had taken abuse from my saddle for five hours the day before were not. The ride was a bit painful for that reason, but Rob and I went out with a couple of friends, and it ended up being a nice ride. We stopped for coffee on the way back, but I took off early so I could get ready for church. I rode reasonably hard on the way back and felt like I had effectively loosened my legs up after my long ride the day before. In the afternoon after church, I did some strength work and then spent the afternoon rejoicing in my upcoming recovery week.