Monday: Swim—2500 yards; Bike—1:01:21 (17.21 miles); Strength—15 minutes
Because the pool was closed for repair, the Masters group met at a local outdoor pool instead. Swimming outside was absolutely wonderful. It was a bit chilly Monday morning, so the pool water felt warm. And welcoming the sunrise in the pool is a wonderful thing. I swam the workout hard, so even though it was relatively low yardage, it was tough:
4 x 50 (10-kick barrel roll)
4 x 50 (closed fist)
4 x (4 x 25 strong kick
2 x 50 focusing on push-off
I noticed that I finished this workout about the same time as the really fast woman in the lane next to me. I suspect she was still swimming faster, but perhaps she took a little more time between the four main sets of the workout. I considered this a big win in the pool, and I felt justified in being totally gassed at the end of each set.
After work, I headed out on a short bike ride. I’ve read that during taper, you should lower the time and up the intensity, and since my training plan seems to follow that advice (this ride included a 40 minute tempo section in the middle), I have been trying to keep my workouts more intense than normal. Because of that, I rode fairly hard. I tried to keep my tempo up and power up hills a little more than usual. I ended up having a strong ride and averaging close to 17mph. After my ride, I did some strength work.
Tuesday: Strength—15 minutes; 8-minute abs
Tuesday was a very welcome almost-rest day. I slept in until 6:00am and did my strength and core work during lunch at work. After work, Rob and I went over to his parents’ house and played with their adorable and crazy new puppy. I did some laundry and some cleaning as well. Overall, it was a very productive day of rest.
Wednesday: Run—40:00 (4.88 miles); 8-minute abs
Man, I am loving taper! On Wednesday, I did a short run with some strides thrown in. I tried to take it a bit faster than my normal “cruise” pace, but I wasn’t supposed to push this run too hard. I ended up finishing this run with an 8:12/mile pace. It was a solid effort, but I didn’t struggle during it. It was also surprisingly cool during this run. I was actually a bit chilly going out in my tank top at 7:00am. The running temperature was just perfect, and it was a welcome change to feel a little bit cold upon first stepping out the door. In the evening, I did some core work.
Thursday: Bike—1:30:00 (26.11 miles)
The workout on Thursday was a ladder on the bike where I increased and then decreased the effort over the course of 90 minutes. The breakdown was as follows:
10:00 @ RPE2
15:00 @ RPE5
40:00 @ RPE7
15:00 @ RPE5
10:00 @ RPE2
I rode hard, and I was surprised at how good I felt, considering the early morning. With the help of decent conditions (the headwind at the Point of the Mountain was no more than a pleasant breeze), I demolished my best time so far for this particular route to work. I managed to average 17.4mph, even with a little headwind and a net elevation gain. This ride gave me hope for future triathlon seasons. If I can hold 17.4mph on that route on a training day for an hour and a half, I can train to ride that speed for longer (say, 56 miles… not that that particular distance has been on my mind lately…). It was a nice little pick-me-up to start the day.
I wrapped things up at work on Friday—last day of work before the Ironman! I had a fairly relaxing evening and watched Stardust with Rob for the first time ever… how I went so long without seeing it I’ll never know. On the workout front, it was a complete rest day. The nerves have really been ramping up this week, so while the rest is nice, it doesn’t help much with the nerves.
Saturday: Swim—45:13; Bike—1:56:58 (35.21 miles); Strength—15 minutes
I had a really great plan for my work out on Saturday. I drove up to Bountiful Pond for some open water swimming and brought my bike with me to ride afterwards. I was going to ride three hours, end up back at my car, and drive home. The swim went well. I felt strong and smooth in the water, even if my goggles did keep fogging up. After my swim, I got my bike put together and headed out on my ride. It was still fairly early, so the first fifteen minutes or so was cold. It’s something to remember for race day. I was a bit tight at first (again, cold!), but I loosened up and was feeling strong and enjoying the ride. It was flat, so I was going fast. And then, almost two hours in, I felt the suspicious sluggish feeling that every cyclist hates. I looked at my back tire and saw I had a flat tire. And then when I stopped, I saw I had a goat head in my front tire as well and that it was losing air. Here’s the thing—I only had one spare tube with me. Rob was helping his aunt move, so I had trouble getting a hold of him which led to me just calling him over and over again until he happened to be in the same room as his phone. The whole fiasco cost me a bunch of time, and since I had other things to do that day as well, I stopped my work out there with the intent to make up that final hour the next day. I did some strength work in the afternoon as well.
Sunday: Bike—1:01:34 (16.9 miles); Run—1:34:37 (10.89 miles); 8-minute abs
I got up early and did an hour on the bike in the morning. It was typical, and nothing stands out, except that it was actually a little cold in the morning—a sign of the coming fall! Afterwards, I did my run. I started off strong, but apparently, I faded a bit on the second half. I think I may have started out a bit too fast up the first hill, and I also didn’t have any mile markers to track my pace on the second half of my run. I was a little bummed out that I only hit an 8:41/mile pace, but it is what it is. It was still a strong run, and I felt good at the end. Since my IM pace is at least :30/mile slower than the pace I ran today, I’m trying not to let it bother me at all. I did some core work in the afternoon—my last core work before the Ironman!