Monday: Swim—2300 yards; Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
I started the morning with Masters swim team. Our workout included more kicking than normal and some sprints (from the blocks!):
4 x 50 (10-kick barrel roll)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x 75 (kick, scull, swim)
4 x 50 (fast kick)
6 x 100 @ 1:40
3 x 50 sprint
It was a relatively fun workout, actually. And for the main set, I jumped up to a faster lane! I’ve been scared to do so, but looking at the crew in my lane and the crew in the lane above me, I knew that I’d likely mess up the flow in my lane but be able to hang on in the next, so I made the leap and did just fine. We did sprints from the blocks at the end of practice. I was slow the first time because I lost my goggles. I didn’t do the second because I lost my goggles again and threw a little tantrum. But I managed reasonable starts for the third and the fourth sprints and actually got fairly good times. I hit :32 for my first fast one and a low :33 for my second. Listening to the times for the other folks led me to believe those were fairly decent times, so I was excited about that. In the evening, I did some strength work and core work.
Tuesday: Ride—2:02:21 (31.25 miles); Strength—15 minutes
On Tuesday, I rode in to work in the morning. It was a rough ride, physically and mentally. I didn’t eat enough the night before, so I was hungrier than normal and didn’t have much punch in my legs. Additionally, I was riding against the wind the entire time which I hate more than pretty much anything else. I was in a bad spot, struggling to keep both my tempo and my attitude up (and generally failing on both counts). At one point, I looked down in my bento box and saw that one of my waffles had bounced out at some point and almost started crying. Clearly, I was struggling. And hungry! But I did eventually make it to work, and the ride was a good exercise in struggling onward and in positive self-talk. Despite being so frustrated, I was able to recognize the reasons for my frustration (hunger, mostly) and understand that my feelings of inevitable failure did not necessarily reflect reality. In the evening, I did some strength work.
Wednesday: Run—1:20:00 (9.47 miles); 8-minute abs
My run on Wednesday went much better than my ride the day before. I still got up at the god-forsaken hour of 4:00am, but I had some time to wake up before running. I was at the office by 5:00am and spent some time working before heading out for my run. I did some 20 second pick-ups every ten minutes but mostly tried to keep a steady (but strong) pace. I didn’t bother to figure out any time checkpoints before heading out and was running solely on effort. I was feeling tired by the end, but I wouldn’t say I was struggling. Much to my surprise, when I mapped out my run after getting back to the office, I saw that I had run it at an 8:27/mile pace. Considering it’s the middle of peak week, I’ll (happily) take it! When I got home in the evening, I did some core work before heading to bed nice and early.
It was a rest day, and I was thankful for it. I did spend the whole day fretting about the next three days of tough workouts, but the physical rest was nice. I thought about doing core work and then didn’t. I decided that I’m allowed to get a little lazy with my core and strength work during these tough weeks.
Friday: Bike—7:00:11 (119.84 miles); Run—25:00 (2.61 miles)
Well, my longest bike ride ever is in the books. And it was a doozy. I didn’t want to do as much climbing as I had done the previous week, but I still wanted to get some in, so I started my ride with a trip up Emigration Canyon. Right near the top, I passed a group of guys all kitted out and chatting, riding really easily. But as I passed, one of them said, “Guys! Even the triathlete is blowing by us! We’re hurting today!” I had a good laugh at that. I headed back down the canyon, and then down south as has become typical in my long rides. However, I cut my usual route south a little short and turned back north right after hitting the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. As I headed back north, I made my first food pit stop around mile 50. I got some trail mix and ate it on the sidewalk outside the gas station. I got back on the bike, knowing I still had a long road ahead of me. After the return journey north, I turned west and headed out on the same route I took when I visited Antelope Island. West, then north. This part of the valley is flat as a pancake, and once I made it through the city and hit the open road, I was flying. I had a steady tailwind and was easily holding 21-23mph. It. Was. Awesome. I knew I’d pay for it when I had to turn around and deal with a headwind, but for the time, I was just enjoying sitting in aero and going fast. When I finally turned around, the headwind was not nearly as bad as I expected. For most of the ride back, I was hitting 16-18.5mph. There were a few time when the wind got particularly nasty and I dropped below that, but compared to my miserable ride home from Antelope Island, it was nothing. I stopped at mile 92 for more trail mix and a Mountain Dew. Seriously, Mountain Dew is a magic elixir. I think it helps even more than ibuprofen at taking away the general malaise that comes around mile 70 on the bike. I felt refreshed when I got back on my bike and ready to tackle the last leg of my ride. To finish off my ride, I essentially just headed back to Rob’s house and then started up Emigration Canyon again. I wanted to practice climbing on tired legs. And they were tired. The climb up to the mouth of Emigration is actually one of the steeper sections of the ride, and that was tough, especially since it was so warm out. However, once I reached the canyon itself, I felt better. I climbed until right before I hit the 112 mile mark (which I hit at 6:38:36) and then turned around and headed back. I had planned on hitting around 115 miles, but I ended up riding almost 120 with an average speed of 17.1. The cat was very excited to see me, so my bike-run brick turned into a bike-cuddle-run brick. I was okay with it, though. My run was fine. It was hot, though, and I was glad to be done.
Saturday: Run—3:00:00 (19.45 miles); Swim—4000 yards
I woke up at 4:30am to (hopefully) give my body a chance to wake up before heading out on my run. I had no idea how the run was going to go. My two hour run after my Olympic distance race had been a real struggle, and I worried that this one would be worse. However, from my first few steps out the door, it became apparent that it wouldn’t be. Though my legs were more tired than after my race effort, they were less stiff. I wanted to keep this run slow to simulate the run during the Ironman as much as possible, so I just kept trucking along at a comfortable pace. At five miles, I couldn’t believe how good I still felt. I wasn’t keeping track of my pace all that closely, but I did watch how many minutes I was away from a 10:00/mile pace at a few “checkpoints.” My goal was to keep that number growing (in other words, keep running less than the 10:00/mile pace). When I checked at mile 12 and then at mile 15, I had gained at least three minutes on that pace, meaning I had run the past three miles in a 9:00/mile pace which I was really pleased with, considering my day on Friday. I kept up a strong pace for the rest of the run, but by the end, my feet and ankles were killing me. Nothing hurt in a way that worried me, and my muscles and energy levels were fine. My legs were protesting that I had used them enough and that they deserved a rest. My pace ended up being 9:16/mile, and my legs recovered nicely once I put them up for a few minutes.
A few hours later, I headed to the pool for my swim with the intention of treating the workout as an aerobic session as opposed to a fast one.
4 x 200 (swim, kick, pull, swim)
1950 ladder (300, 275, 250, etc.)
10 x 100 (descend 1-5, 6-10)
5 x 50 easy
I did the ladder slow and steady. I felt strong, and it felt good to get in the water and cool down after my run. I had planned on doing the 100s at a steady state as well because I wasn’t really in the mood to go fast. However, once I got to that portion of the workout, I was feeling good and decided to get faster throughout the set like the plan called for. I started off very slow, but the last couple in each set of five were pretty quick. Afterwards, I went home and basked in my hard workouts (and ate some cookies, too).
Sunday: Run—45:00 (4.86 miles); Swim—30:37; Bike—1:30:00 (23.52 miles)
I started off my day with an easy run before church. It was nice and cool outside, and it ended up being a good shakeout run. I felt surprisingly good considering the last couple of big days. I did some core work before heading to church.
After church, I packed up all my swimming and cycling stuff and drove up to Bountiful Pond for an open water swim followed by a bike ride. The water was warm, so I went without a wetsuit and enjoyed a low-key swim. After my swim, I hopped out, ready for a flat and fast bike ride. And then I realized I had left my cycling shoes back home. I was really frustrated, but I couldn’t ride without shoes. So I drove back and did one of my regular routes instead of a nice flat one. I was cranky and hot during the entire ride, and I didn’t even try to fix my attitude. I decided I had earned a little temper tantrum. I finished my ride and gave myself permission to do absolutely nothing useful for the rest of the day.