I love training. Probably more than racing. I don't race a lot because it takes me a while to get my body to a healthy place that allows me to reach for my short term (and long term) goals.
When I did my first IM, I had Karel (who was my Boyfriend at the time) and my family there to cheer me on and to support me at this crazy long race called the Ironman.
Before the race, I gave my parents "estimated" times of when I would finish the swim, bike and run. I gave them a range starting with my perfect day times and ending with my "oh no, something went wrong" times. Luckily, nothing went wrong and I ended up matching every one of my predicted times to the minute! How did I know what I would be able to do for the swim, bike and run? I just thought back to my training and by being realistic, I felt pretty confident predicting my times.
By spending many months of my year training for a few key races, I don't feel rushed to improve. With a gradually building training plan, which emphasizes periodization of cardio, alongside strength and core work and lots of recovery, improvements should come on a daily basis. So, with base training and build training behind me, I am now in the peak of my season and feeling stronger than ever.
This past weekend was epic. Probably one of my hardest and most challenging workout weekends, but surely, there are more to come. It was just a great weekend to share with Karel, my friends and my family and to re-confirm that my quality training is actually working. Compared to seasons in the past, I am doing less weekly training volume but higher intensity (on average over the week) but I'm doing more race-specific workouts.
I dropped Karel off at a friends house and Bill and Karel rode to the group ride. I drove to the ride start because I was planning on running after the group ride.
The ride was kinda up in the air because of the forecast of storms in the south so our 50 mile planned ride to Madiera beach and back turned into Panera ride (a very fast ride).
The Gearlink group and I (and Karel) headed south to meet up with the Panera group and when we saw them they were going super fast (north). We tried to turn around but 3 cars were behind the group so we never got on. Karel and Bill have sprinting legs so they managed to catch the 26+ mph group of 40+ but for the rest of us (about 15) we didn't get on. I wasn't ready to give up so I got aero and started time trialing it towards the group. 2 other Gearlink guys joined in so we rotated to catch the group.
After 10 min. of sprinting at 25 mph we finally caught the group.
Looking back at my power file, Karel was amazed. I ended up producing my best 20 min effort to catch the group and to hang on to the group. I went 7 watts higher than my 20 min power test on Thurs (2 days earlier!). The group ride was challenging but doable. I didn't really know where I was going so with the speeds getting up to 28mph, I found myself losing some confidence with the big group.
I ended up getting dropped after 40 min with the group but that's ok. I did the best I could to stay on and I really worked hard at the beginning (which totally trashed my legs).
I made my way back to the ride start riding alone, and got myself ready for a run.
Ride: 38 miles, 1 hr and 58 min.
I had a feeling the run was going to be tough but I was ready. I haven't had any leg problems since my recovery after Macon so I was only thinking about my energy.
I had a gel before the run and also finished 1 1/2 bottles of Hammer heed (1 scoop) during the bike. I had 2 hammer aminos before the run.
Wit my fuel belt, music and visor I headed to the Pinellas Trial.
Karel and I use to live in Dunedin and we really miss the trail for biking and running. It was great to be back in my old neck of the woods and to just zone out like old times.
I ran continuously for 5.5 miles and stopped to refuel my flasks w/ water. I had 2 flasks w/ hammer heed and also had 2 aminos during my water break. I also had a gel around mile 4.
I finished the run by running about 1.5 miles on a steady incline road back to the car. My legs were officially trashed but for some reason, I felt surprisingly great. I was visualizing myself in Madison loving my IM experience and I was smiling (like always) because I feel so special to be able to do what I do on a daily basis. The body is just amazing.
This workout was one for the books.
Time: 1hr and 34 min.
My recovery was good on Sat. Yogurt parfait, stretching, french toast, a few walks with campy, compression, snacks (mix of carbs and protein) every 2-3 hours and lots of water. A yummy dinner and early to bed (9pm).
Sunday came super early. Karel and I were up at 5:15 to get ready for the hills of San Antonio. Karel was excited to do the group ride and I was excited to ride some hills!
We drove 45 min. to San Antonio and some how managed to avoid the rain/storms during our ride. Karel ended up doing 70 miles (20 with me) and I ended up doing 2 x 20 mile loops of Karel's race course. LOVE the hills! I could have rode my bike there ALL day. Karel wanted me to take it easy and focus on a steady cadence up the hills. I didn't push hard during the ride but my legs were really feeling Saturday's workout.
As I was heading back to the parking lot, I ended up meeting up with Karel by accident. He did most of the ride with the group but with the dark sky getting closer to us, he decided to head back early and finish the ride by himself. We rode the last few miles together and as I gathered my stuff for my run, Karel did an extra long cool down.
I guess I timed it right because the rain came down quickly as I was getting myself ready for my run. I LOVE running in the rain so I gladly welcomed it during my quick run.
Stats for the run.
Distance: 2.7 miles
Mile 1: 7:34
Mile 2: 7:38
What a great weekend. I could not have been more happy about my training but I was just loving my time with my family. We had Smudla, Madison and Campy with us and they LOVED staying in the "resort" (aka House, not apartment). It was great to see my brother and have the whole family together. I am very happy that my parents and brother support the endurance lifestyle of Karel and myself but when we are out doing our thing, my family is usually staying active either running or doing pilates/yoga (my mom).
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!
Besides me (who LOVED my day off from exercise today!), guess who is REALLY tired???