Monday: Swim—1200 yards; Bike—1:00:00 (16.16 miles); Run—30:00 (3.43 miles)
I went to the pool in the morning and did twelve 100s at 1:45. There’s not much to say about this workout. It was short. I swam reasonably hard considering my fatigue from the big weekend I had, but I didn’t push it too hard. I felt good while swimming. I didn’t feel so good when I got to work. I was exhausted. I was bone-tired. I couldn’t focus on the computer screen, and all I thought about all day was sleep. “I’ve never been so tired in my life” is a common exaggeration with me, but this time, it might have been true.
After work, I headed out on a short bike-run brick. I felt great on the bike (my carbon wheels are still awesome!) and felt awake for the first time that day. I felt okay on the run, but I wasn’t holding back like I normally do off the bike, and I didn’t produce any stellar times. So, mostly based on my exhaustion earlier in the day, I decided to take it a little bit easy if I felt like I needed to. I’ve been a little worried about overtraining for the past couple of weeks, and after consulting some folks, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.
Tuesday: Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
I was supposed to run 45 minutes on Tuesday, but because of how exhausted I felt the day before, I opted to skip the run entirely and just do some strength and core work instead. I knew I had a big, big day coming up that would mean far more to my training than a 45 minute shakeout run. It’s always hard for me to skip workouts, but I think it was a wise decision. I felt much better on Tuesday than I had on Monday, so much so that I was tempted to do the planned run after all. However, I held back. They say it’s better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained, so I’m trusting in that axiom.
Wednesday: Run—3:00:00 (20.7 miles); Swim—1:15:04
The furthest run of my training cycle is in the books! I have one more long run next week (three hours again, if I’m feeling it), but since I plan on doing that run the day after my long bike ride, I know I won’t go as far in three hours as I did on Wednesday. Since I have the vacation time available, I took a half day from work. I woke up at 4:30am (yes, really!) and did a little work from home while eating and drinking some water. Around 6:00am I headed over to Rob’s house. He was getting ready for a bike ride, so when he left for his ride around 6:30am, I left for my run. It was slow going at first. I always have trouble getting started in the morning (hence the 4:30am wakeup call!), and the hill at the beginning of the run doesn’t help. However, around mile four or five, I started to get into a groove. I was glad for my rest day the day before, but my legs still felt some fatigue from the past months of training (which is to be expected at this point). My stomach felt a little iffy around miles 12-15, but fortunately, the nausea went away (without puking this time!). I felt fairly strong through this run and tried to keep my pace pretty easy. Of course, no pace is really easy after three hours, but while my legs were achy at the end, I felt like I could have kept going further if needed. I finished with a pretty solid pace of 8:42/mile. This run gave me some much-needed confidence. I’m feeling positive about where my fitness is, and I hope that feeling continues.
After my run, I finished working my half day from home and then headed north to Bountiful Pond for a long open-water swim. I brought my wetsuit with me, but the water was so warm that it seemed excessive. I had sunscreened beforehand just in case, so I just hopped into the water in my swimsuit. The water in Bountiful Pond is… questionable. So I did my best to keep my mouth closed and not drink any of the water. It was a pleasant swim, though. Bountiful Pond is actually reasonably large (at least, for a pond!), so I didn’t need to do a thousand laps to hit the time I was supposed to swim. I felt smooth and strong in the water. However, towards the end of the swim, I started feeling my long run in my hip flexors (which I was using to kick) and the long swim in my ankles (which just get tired of flopping around after a while). Still, I felt good about the swim, especially considering I ran 20+ miles earlier in the day. A few months ago, a 20 mile run completely wrecked me for the rest of the day.
Thursday: REST; 8-minute abs
I went to bed on Wednesday wondering if I should perhaps do my long swim on Thursday morning. I woke up Thursday morning and NOPE’d that idea pretty quickly. I was a little sore, more than a little stiff, and very tired. Fortunately, my exhaustion got better throughout the day and I was feeling mostly recovered by the time I did some core work and went to bed.
Friday: Swim—4000 yards
I went to the pool in the morning to get this swim in, but the head lifeguard didn’t show. I’m not sure how long it was before the head guard showed up because I decided not to wait around. Instead, I got to work early so that I could leave early and do my swim after work (hopefully before the post-work rush). I was very annoyed by this turn of events and the wrench it threw into my well-laid plans, but there wasn’t much I could do about it besides adapt. After work, I got out to my car to discover I had left the lights on. A nice co-worker gave me a jump, and I headed to the pool. I swam my 500s in the following times:
8:45, 8:39, 8:44, 8:33, 8:34, 8:39, 8:42, 8:25
I only took 10-20 seconds rest in between each rep, and my total time for the workout including all the rest was 1:11:06. Because 4000 yards is so close to the full Ironman distance (4224 yards), that time gives me a lot of confidence that I can hit my swim goal (1:20) with perhaps a few minutes to spare.
Saturday: Bike—6:31:11 (107.3 miles); Run—25:00 (2.75 miles)
I was nervous for my long ride on Saturday. I had planned a doozy of a route (8000 feet of elevation gain) and hoped to go over 100 miles. I went over to Rob’s house bright and early. When I was there, I put my shoes and helmet and got ready to go. Rob said, “You’re looking really pro! Except…” he gestured down to my foot. I looked down and saw I had forgotten to buckle one of my cycling shoes. I fixed that and took off. I started my ride by climbing Emigration Canyon. There was a headwind, but my legs were fresh, and I felt strong. Then, I headed south (as usual). However, I expanded my route down south which led to me making a climb back up to the base of the mountains that I haven’t made before. And there were parts of the climb that were doozies. As I turned onto one road and could see the climb that awaited me, a line from the Les Miserables musical popped into my head. “I’ve done no wrong, sweet Jesus hear my prayer!/ Look down, look down, sweet Jesus does not care!” And then, right near the end, I hit a short, steep wall that I could barely pedal up. But I made it and was rewarded a few miles (and a nice descent!) later with a stop at a gas station with some trail mix and Mountain Dew. Drinking Mountain Dew 70 miles into a ride is magic. It tasted so good. Then I headed up Emigration Canyon again to finish my ride. The second climb was rough. I actually did fine when the grade was gentle. With the winds a little more in my favor this time around, I wasn’t going much slower than the first time. However, whenever the grade kicked up to much higher than 3% or so, my speed plummeted, and I felt that 80 hard miles in my legs. Still, I held strong and didn’t even hate my life during this part of the bike. In fact, I felt better at the end of this bike ride than I had at the end of any of my other long rides. After I got off the bike, I went for a short run and felt fairly strong. In fact, I ran a bit too fast off the bike, hitting a 9:05/mile pace instead of a more reasonable 9:30/mile. I thought about doing some core or strength work later, but instead I just sat on the couch and groaned all day.
Sunday: Bike—1:39.58 (24.11 miles); Run—1:00:00 (6.34 miles); Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
I started the morning with a coffee shop loop with Rob. And on the way back, I started cracking. I started cracking on a coffee shop loop. I think that goes to show just how much my Saturday training session wiped me out. Still, it was a nice ride. It was a beautiful morning, I got to spend some quality time with Rob, and I got a tasty pastry at the coffee shop. All good things!
After church, I went on what may have been the most unpleasant run of my life—one hour in 95° weather. I struggled through the whole run. I was hot, tired, and slow. I kept marveling that on Saturday, I felt like I was ready for the Ironman while on Sunday, I felt like there was no possible way that I’d ever be able to finish an Ironman. I tried to remind myself that there is no way I’d feel strong the day after a hard 107 miles on the bike… and then I kept thinking about how difficult a marathon after a hard 112 mile bike will be. I just have to trust my training plan! I also did some core work and some very light strength work (that was still ridiculously hard because of the state of my legs).