Monday: Rest; 8-minute abs
I took my rest day at the beginning of the week even though I typically try to take it during the latter half of the week. I just needed some downtime. I felt deeply fatigued on Monday, so the rest was a good choice. I did get some core work in. Because this week is a recovery week, I tried to be better about fitting in all my strength and core work.
Tuesday: Bike—2:00:19 (32.82 miles); 8-minute abs
I rode my bike into work on Tuesday. Like the last time I rode my bike in, I found myself struggling as I crossed the Point of the Mountain. This time, though, I stopped and ate a Honey Stinger waffle that I had brought with me. I immediately felt much better and was able to pick up the pace a bit from that point on. I ended up having a pretty decent ride, considering I started so early (my legs are always sluggish when I get up) and I was fighting the wind over the Point of the Mountain (it is literally always windy there… and in the morning, it’s usually a headwind for those going south). I did some core work in the evening to finish the day off.
Wednesday: Run—1:30:00 (10.58 miles); Strength—15 minutes
I felt reasonably strong on my run Wednesday morning. I got to work around 5:30am and headed out for the run around 6:30am. It was still fairly cool outside which was welcome considering the oppressive heat the day before (according to a sign I saw on my ride, it was over 80° before 7:00am). The course I run from work is a nice one—mostly flat with a few hills to mix things up and uninterrupted by intersections and traffic lights. I didn’t end up running quite as fast as I felt like I was running, but it was still a good workout, considering the fatigue from the week before had really started to set in. In the evening after work, I did some strength exercises.
Thursday: “Open water” swimming practice; Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
I went to Masters where we practiced “open water” swimming. Again, this just means the coach removed the lane lines and we practiced drills. Although this isn’t as effective a way to practice open water swimming as actually, you know, swimming in open water, it does help. Specifically, we typically do some swimming with our heads lifted entirely out of the water which helps strengthen the muscles used to sight so that they are ready to be used in races. I considered doing one of my runs in the evening (it was slated for either Thursday evening or Friday morning), but it was over 100° when I got home, and I decided I’d rather not. I was feeling tired and unmotivated to a degree that is pretty abnormal for me, so I decided to listen to that and give myself a mental break that evening. Instead, I did some strength work and some core work.
Friday: Run—45:00 (5 miles); Bike—1:15:03 (23.77 miles)
I was feeling much more motivated when I woke up the next morning. As usual, my legs were like lead because I went out before being up for at least an hour, but my pace increased as I warmed up, and I ended up having a fairly enjoyable run that left me feeling ready to tackle the day instead of ready to go back to bed.
It was hot again after work, but it’s much better to ride in the heat than run in the heat, so I headed out for a tempo ride. The workout was broken down as follows:
10 minutes [warm up, RPE 3]
7 x (5t, 3r) [tempo=RPE 5, recovery=RPE 2]
9 minutes [cool down, RPE 2]
I did this tempo workout on a flat route so that I could better control how hard I was working. I was surprised at how well it went in the heat. I seemed to be averaging around 21-23 mph during my tempo efforts, depending on the road surface and the wind direction. I performed well, but it was still pretty miserable due to the heat. I went out with two bottles of water, and within twenty minutes, the water in them was downright hot. Gross. I made it through, though, and this is one type of workout I’m going to do once the Ironman is over to gain speed on the bike. I’d love to eventually be able to hold 20-22 mph over a 40k time trial.
Saturday: Run—1:00:00 (7.22 miles), 6 x 20 second strides; Swim—1:00:30
I started my Saturday off with a run. My legs were still somewhat fatigued from my bike intervals the day before, but I managed to run fairly well on a reasonably hilly route, averaging an 8:19/mile pace. After the run, I did a few relaxed 20 second strides. I was actually running pretty quickly for these, though I focused on staying relaxed the whole time. It was almost fun! I think I really am looking forward to doing some shorter stuff once this Ironman is over.
A little later in the morning, I drove up to Jordanelle Reservoir. I had heard that it tends to get choppy up there around 10:00am once the wind picks up, and I wanted some practice in choppy open water. Sure enough, there was quite a bit of chop when I got there (and quite a few boats, too!). Despite the long drive and $15 entry fee to the state park, this swim was 100% worth it as a training tool. The chop was worse than I expected, and I got some valuable practice swimming with waves smacking me in the face. The good news is that I think the fear of boats affected me more than the chop itself. I was pretty worried about being hit (there were no close calls or anything, though). The bad news is that I got motion sickness and did struggle more than expected in the chop. I think non-drowsy Dramamine would have kept the motion sickness at bay. And I think I’ll be fine in the chop without the motion sickness and fear of boats. Despite the chop, a few instances of breathing in water, and some giant gulps of water, I didn’t feel any open water panic which seems like a good sign.
Sunday: Bike—1:31.48 (23.30 miles); Swim—1200 yards; Strength—15 minutes
Rob and I did our traditional Sunday morning coffee shop loop. It was a pleasant morning, and we got out fairly early when it was still cool. There wasn’t much to note about this ride except that I felt much better than I had two weeks ago when I was riding it the day after a hundred mile ride. At the coffee shop, Rob and I got pastries (savory and sweet, respectively) and read a bit. I read a great article about Katie Ledecky, the stand-out swimmer on the US Women’s Olympic team, and Rob read the New York Times. We were a proper urban couple, out for a coffee in the suburbs!
After church, I headed to the pool for a short, easy recovery swim made up of the following:
Inspired by the article I had read earlier, I attempted the one eye underwater, one eye out of the water technique when breathing. This is the way it’s supposed to be done, but I’ve never managed to master it. Much to my surprise, I managed it pretty well, and by the end of my swim, I was mostly doing it right on both sides. When I got back from the pool, I did some strength work to close out the week.