What a weekend of training...more like 3 quality days of training.
I had to switch around a few workouts this week to make time/have energy for many meetings, apt's and assignments. Things are coming together for my internship but there are so many little details to get squared away before I start on July 5th. Finding preceptors has been on the less-stressful side because Donna, my mentor, knows every dietitian in Jacksonville. The stressful part has been and continues to be all of the paperwork, logistics and liability issues that come into play with an intern.
From orientations and background checks to orientations and paperwork, my life has been very busy lately. I am trying to take things day by day but I know things are going to get a bit interesting as I embark on my first rotation for my internship (community - 272 hrs) all while training for IMWI. Although July and August will be my "peak" months for IM training (IMWI is the 2nd weekend in Sept) I seem to have better time management and structure in my life when I can train and learn at the same time. Sure, it is exhausting at times but I couldn't imagine my life any other way. It's kinda funny...my "worst" IM was the World Championships in Kona. I was not in school, I was working for myself (which was nothing compared to how busy I am now with sports nutrition/coaching) and I went into the race injured. Considering 3 out of my 4 Ironmans (IMWI will be my 4th-that blows my mind!) have taken place with me either in school or working full-time as a wellness coordinator (YMCA), I couldn't ever imagine myself waking up and training and not staying busy the rest of the day.
Funny how things work out sometimes. I do love my life.
Anyways-With 2 weeks of active recovery after our Speed Week trip at the end of April, and several rest days, my leg has not affected me for any part of my training in the last 2 weeks. I smile for every workout and I feel really great. I feel strong but I also feel blessed that I can actually train and not "get through" workouts. I am so excited for my upcoming race on June 5th in Macon GA! I've worked really hard for this day, not only with my training but with my recovery. Stretching, rolling on the tennis ball and icing are part of my "training" routine on a daily basis, in addition to proper recovery nutrition (and daily) and strength training. Sure, it is great to swim-bike-run but if I can't improve, what's the use of trying to get through painful workouts.
With quality training as my theme this year (and years to come) I am very conscious to not add too much mileage or intensity too quickly. I spent several months this winter working on my base and teaching my body to be as efficient as possible during training. I rely on very little nutrition during training partly due to intervals (w/ ample recovery) and gradually building mileage with my longer workouts.
Based on my current fitness level, Karel and I decided with 2 weekends left until Macon, there really isn't any benefit of me doing a "long" run on the weekend (in addition to a long bike+run on the other day). I spent all of Feb, March and April building my mileage on the weekends (in addition to intervals on Wed. and tempo on Fri) so as far as my running is concerned, 13-15 miles is my comfort zone. Whereas in the fall of 2009 I was comfortable running 6-7 miles/or 45-50 min., now I can easily run 13-15 miles with only 150ish calories.
I believe that any athlete can learn to become metabolically efficient (as Bob Seebohar would say) through proper training. Of course, no training plan is complete without proper daily nutrition so I guess you can say that pushing yourself during training sessions isn't the magic key to becoming a more efficient athlete.
Since I work with primarily newbie athletes (athletes wanting to accomplish a new racing distance or athletes seeking weight loss/fitness gains), alongside a few top age groupers, I really enjoy helping my athletes learn to use fat for fuel. Once the start realizing that they don't need 280+ calories per hour of gels, bars, gummies and powders, workouts become more productive, less money is spent on "training fuels" and there are very few GI problems.
On Fri Karel had me to a short, yet intense workout on my bike, followed by a short run.
I did a 30 mile bike w/ 3 x 7 min intervals w/ 3 min recovery. I had specific power zones (LT) for the 7 min intervals and I could do whatever for the recovery. The catch was that I had to do the 7 min intervals in my small chain ring which nearly killed my fast twitch fibers. Well, I survived and it felt great to be home.
After the bike came a short run. I held tempo for most of the run and added 5 x .1 fast sprint (well, I wouldn't call me a sprinter so let's say fast-er running) w/ .1 recovery.
Run stats for Fri:
2.6 miles, Average pace: 7:19, Total time: 18:59
Mile 1: 7:15
Mile 2: 7:17
.5 mile: 4:26 (7:30 pace)
Sat was a great day. Probably one of my most fav. days of the training season thus far.
Karel and I headed to the beach to meet up with the Lodge Group ride. I was looking forward to riding with the boys, running with the ocean in my sight and hitting the beach after my workout for some quality girl-time with my tri girls.
Karel and I warmed up for 45 min. in Nocatee and met up with Libby and Kellie for a few miles. We finally saw the group and off we went.....
I was looking forward to this ride and getting a little push from the other guys (I was the only girl). Based on the comments by the other riders, I am now known as "girl". At least that is what I was going by when I was told to jump in on a rotation or bridge a gap in the group. Who knew that the other guys would be staying on my wheel. Well, as I was enjoying myself during the ride, Karel and a few other strong guys took off and they were unable to be caught. I just love "racing" for a workout. Although a little tough at times, this ride was totally doable for me and with lots of hard work, I am happy that I can actually take part in the ride rather than hang on for dear life.
Stats for the ride:
Time with group: 54 min.
Miles with group: 22.6
Speed with group: 25mph
After the ride came the run. As much as I was looking forward to a pain-free run, the 90-degree weather was not very appetizing.
Let's just say I was suffering out there. I had to take a few walk breaks because my 2-flask, pink fuel belt did not cut it for my post-ride run. I know Macon is going to be HOT HOT HOT so I'm planning on wearing my fuel belt to sip on my Hammer heed (and store my Hammer endurance amino's and probably a gel or two) but using the aid stations for cooling.
Stats for the brick run:
Total time: 1 hr
Pace: 7:55 min/mile
Mile 1: 7:43
Mile 2: 7:42
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:45 (time to turn around...SOOOO hot!!!)
Mile 5: 7:57
Mile 6: 8:08
Mile 7: 8:11
Mile .69: 5:46 (8:20 pace)
I don't mind walking in training or in a race. I give my all in every workouts and that includes reminding myself how lucky I am that I can do this day in, day out and still have balance in my life. Injuries certainly destroy a balanced life of training and all other life commitments, so I'd rather be on the cautious side than push through any sort of pain (or take a chance).
I'm happy to say that despite a hard week of training, I had zero hip/butt pain/weakness and I felt strong. But oh the heat......
The ocean felt amazing....
Did I mention how much I LOVE my friend??? :)
The rest of Sat included a little resting...after stretching, rolling on the ball and icing. The resting included cuddling with Campy, watching Cycling with Karel (as he worked from home - the new TREK SPEED CONCEPT was just released! Check out Trekbikes.com) and enjoying my recovery foods.
So onto Sun...what a tough tough ride. My body was a bit tired from Fri and Sat but not sore. Karel joined me for a 3 1/2 hr ride and once again, my ride included specific intervals.
As part of my half ironman training, I have not done more than 4 hrs of riding or more than 15 miles of running. Rather, I have worked on getting faster and more powerful on the bike and getting mentally tough to race 56 miles. This included a lot of tempo and interval rides during the week (tues and thurs respectively) as well as brick workouts. As you can tell from this weekend, bricks are key right now with my training and I am teaching my body to run faster off the bike.
The ride today was beautiful....Nocatee, over the bridge, A1A, over the bridge, St. Augustine, US 1, back home.
The ride today included:
Karel warming up (w/ me on his wheel) for 45 min.
My main set 3x's:
(my power zones are based on my weight and my 20 min. time trial power test)
10 min @ 140ish watts
5 min @ 160-165 watts
10 min @ 140ish watts
5 min @ 160-165 watts
10 min recovery - and repeat
I was not making my watts at all. I had tail wind for some of the first 2 sets but then the wind was picking up for my last set. My body was not cooperating with my mind but with Karel keeping me motivated and mentally tough (riding behind me) I was able to stay in some kind of power and HR zone for all of my sets. I was averaging around 21mph for the first 2 sets (for the entire 30 min) and the last 30 min. I was just trying to finish the set strong.
Overall, it was a really really tough workout but I am so happy that Karel was there with me. I think I could have easily done the first set and just rode easy at 110 watts for 2 1/2 hrs but with Karel as my coach and riding partner, there are no excuses during my workout.
I have to say, the best part of the weekend was riding home with Karel and having him tell me "your work is done...now you need to recover".
Stats for the ride:
3hrs and 37min.
I scratched my 3 mile run after the bike. That was a silly idea for me to even think I needed to run after a weekend like this. However, my favorite running partner looked at me with his cute brown eyes and I couldn't resist a 1-mile campy run.
Clearly, running with Campy isn't training....I couldn't think of any other way to finish off my weekend.
Thanks for reading about my weekend...hope you had a great one!
A big thanks to karel for letting me rest (although he did tell me at least 5 times to SIT DOWN, just REST!), doing a little grocery shopping and for being a supportive and loving hubby. With both Karel and I squeezing in morning training every day of the week (mon - active recovery day or off) I really cherish the times that we can train/bike together..and that I can finally stay on his wheel! :)