I’m pretty terrible at my weekly recap posts, huh? I haven’t done one in weeks. Yikes. Sorry to stress you out like that. I have everything written out in my fancy little calendar, so maybe someday I’ll post them here…
I JUST HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING. Everything is in shambles. Well, not really. But unless you live, work, or train with me, I probably haven’t seen you in weeks. Or months. (Even if you live with me, it’s still a fairly rare occasion). I promise that on July 29th (which, ahem, also happens to be my birthday), I’ll be 100% down for blogging and happy hours and quests to find the best burger in NYC and will actually respond to emails. Until then, just come find me for a sweat sesh!
Speaking of sweat (aren’t I always?), with my whole rearranging workouts situation, this past week’s training ended up occupying a massive amount of time.
This is what I did:
Monday: drove 16 hours from Iowa (unavoidable rest?) *don’t forget the squats we did at the gas stations. Just sayin’.
Tueday: 6.5 hour bike ride + 50 minute run
Wednesday: 2.4 mile swim (intervals)
Thursday: Run 10 x 90sec at 10K pace + 15 minute warmup, 15 minute cooldown
Friday: Glorious rest day
Saturday: 7 hour bike ride + 40 minute run
Sunday: 16 mile run
That’s almost 20 hours of exercise. WHY. Side note: Noticing I need to do more strength training+core+yoga. Oops. I miss that in my life. Also, doing those two long rides within 4 days of each other was probably not the besssssttt idea.
I wish I was able to swim more, but thankfully that one 2.4 mile swim felt AWESOME. Who would have thought I’d use “swimming” and “awesome” in the same sentence…assuming that sentence wasn’t “swimming is awesomely terrible.”
So, let’s dive into some specifics on my big training weekend, shall we?
I met my teammates on Saturday around 7:30 AM…and promptly lost them after about 15 minutes of riding. But don’t worry – our coach did tell us to “disperse” to mimic being alone and practicing positive raceday self talk. (It wasn’t because they’re just too fast for me. Nope.) So off I went with my brand new bike computer in tow (thanks Dad!!) and my brand new back tire (thanks Brendan!!). (I’m so spoiled.) I rode my little bike (with messed up gears, again, ugh) for 7 hours. 7 hours is a long time on the bike. I’m not quite sure how I entertained myself for that long. I thought A LOT about Ironman and cycling in general. I honestly didn’t think about much else. I tried to make myself think through a few things for work, but I just couldn’t. I kept coming back to cycling. Cutoffs. Speed. The heat. Nutrition. Racing. Making sure I didn’t hit potholes. Wondering how I could make my neck hurt less. Willing all the bugs to go away. The usual.
It was HOT outside for this ride, but good news: I felt great with my nutrition for the most part! I drank every 5 – 10 minutes and ate about once and hour (or more if I felt hungry). Here’s what I used on the bike:
- Gu Roctane Ultra Endurance Carb-Intensive Energy Drink
- Waffle Stingers
- Clif Shot Bloks
- Uncrustables (basically just PB&J)
- Gatorade Prime Energy Bar
Around mile 80 was when I felt like I needed more liquids, but wasn’t close to anywhere I could re-fill. That’s the only issue I really had – the second I wasn’t keeping up with hydration, I could feel myself losing energy.
I spent a lot of time wondering if I could complete the bike course in the time allotted. I don’t want to admit it, but I only completed 90 miles in 7 hours. I know that 90 fairly hilly miles is an accomplishment, but that pace (about 13 MPH) puts me right on the edge of the bike cutoff times in LP. I’m fine on the flats and can definitely push the pace on the downhills (I ain’t scared!) but those uphills really get me.
Despite my apprehension, one of my teammates recently talked me off the ledge by making me walk her through my raceday – we went through each leg of the race, the timing, transitions, and the cutoffs, and she formulated a plan that proved I could finish in the allotted amount of time. (She seems to have a lot of confidence in me, which is good because I don’t have enough right now!) I also chatted with another teammate who recently went up to LP and rode the course – she gave me lot of great advice and said that for her, Quassy was way harder comparatively….she even thinks that the hills on our normal weekend route are harder than most of Lake Placid’s….which is GREAT news. Now I just need to stay positive mentally.
A few people have mentioned that they too have those “dark moments” when they question everything they’re doing…like I was doing on Saturday. Not that I want anyone to feel that way, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Triathletes often talk about the mental games you can play and how important they are. It seems silly, but you can’t be sitting there thinking about what hurts and how far you have to go…it will drive you crazy. (This article actually discusses this more in depth.)
So, moral of the story: I plan to spend the next 3 weeks biking hills, hills, and more hills to increase my cycling confidence. Can I improve in 3 weeks? Who knows. But I HAVE to try.
Moving on to Sunday: unfortunately I had a super tough run. I planned to run during the warmest part of the day to mimic when I’ll be on the run course in LP. (I also wanted to go to breakfast with friends in the morning…so sue me!) I got all ready to go, and then it started monsooning outside. While I was waiting for the rain to let up, I decided I wanted a cup of coffee. And a banana. And some Gatorade. Do you see where this is going? This is the EXACT recipe for wreaking havoc on your stomach. What was I thinking? About 5 miles in, I actually had to stop and bend over because my stomach hurt so bad. I probably walked 4 full miles. I was in so much pain and all I wanted to do was quit. I went home to regroup and hydrate with water (I was carrying Gatorade) and eventually felt a little better…but the humidity and tired, lead-like legs just made it such a tough day. It was the slowest 16 miles I’ve ever run (okay, run/walked) but finishing it was a big mental success.
Overall it was a long, trying training weekend. But I made it.
So now, we’re in a new week that involves days off work (AKA more time for fun) and my absolute favorite holiday. I’m feeling fantastic.
Last thing: My coach wrote this on my training schedule this week; I find the part about heart rate interesting. I also love the quote at the end:
“Note: Stretch Every Day. It is important to manage your stress levels. Take the time to log sleep hours and note your mood upon waking. If you check your resting hr, 5% higher = easy day. 10% higher = day off. Make sure you are getting sufficient sleep. The foundation of sustainable fitness is health.”
Okay, just kidding. One more thing. Check out Page’s Ironman recap! I’ve been following her blog for years and am abnormally excited that she finally completed her first Ironman!