When I was composing this post in my head, on the first half of this ride, the subtitle of this post was going to be “not whining but stating a lot of facts”. And some of those facts where things like “why the fuck did I sign up for this” and “shorts were an unfortunate choice” and “it’s cold and I don’t like it”.
But let’s back up about 12 hours previous to the ride start and I’ll tell the story, which actually ended pretty happy.
Friday, we decided to buy a car.
Y’know, no big deal. It’s how we roll (actually, we’ve been eyeing xterras for about 6 months and there was a deal this week we couldn’t pass up). We got there after work at around 6 and they didn’t let us leave until like 10:15… it took WAY too long. By that time, we were ready to bite people’s heads off since we hadn’t eaten since lunch, so we went and got some whole wheat pasta and salad (and oops, two crack-sticks, I was weak) at olive garden. We jumped on the waitress and as she asked for water we pleaded for the salad first because we were so hungry. Needless to say, we didn’t get home until after 11 and got in bed at midnight… not good for the night before a race.
We had packed up everything the night before so we slept in as late as possible, just enough time to wake up, poop, and make there and get set up and hit the potty again. This year, we didn’t make it to starting with the 60 milers like we wanted, but we didn’t start back with the families either, starting with the 40 milers worked out just fine.
However, what didn’t work out just fine was my poor choice of attire. The weather at the start, as checked at midnight when I went to sleep said feels like 60 and overcast at the start, and about 77 and sunny at the end. I figured it would be just a little chilly at the beginning and be fine, so I went with my pearl izumi white sleeves, my p.i. bike shorts, and my rookie jersey. At the last minute I threw my green jacket in just in case. Thank the dear fluffy lord I did – because at race start it was certainly NOT 60, more like 50 and super windy. I didn’t want to get out of the car. When I did I wanted to curl up into a little ball.
It got better as we started with the mass of humanity sheltered by the Samsung building, but then it got way worse. The first 10-20 miles, my knees were frozen, it was crowded, the wind sucked, and I felt weak and had no idea what I was doing there. I cursed myself for not riding outside or doing any work with resistance this winter. I wrote off tri season as a loss because my bike skills sucked. I only rejoiced a little when I passed the first two spots I crashed last year (and didn’t), but my head sorta went to a bad place and I couldn’t eat anything because it was too crowded to get stuff out of my bento without taking down other cyclists, and my nuun didn’t make it into my camelback and I was cold and everything really was just all fucked up. Zliten was having fun though…
However, as rides tend to do for me, things got better. First chance I got, I stuffed my face. We stopped and I got gatorade and cookies and peed. My knees went from frozen to not-quite-as-frozen. Things started hurting less. Happy, delirious Quix came out and started singing and making up lyrics to songs (“I ride your grandad’s bike, I hit the podium, at that triathlon down the road” and to everyone who had bike shoes on… “awww, he got the velcro”) and my cycling balls started coming back and I went from whimpering at hills to growling and charging up them. An awakening of sorts.
Last year on this ride, we definitely positive split it. I think we took the last half around 9-10 mph because we were so unprepared and finished about 5:15. This year, we sped up the second half. At the halfway point, we were at 12.4 due to the misery and the wind. We finished with an average of 13.6, which in and of itself isn’t great, but being that we picked it up that much in the second half was encouraging. We finished in 4:29, in much better condition than last year. Last year, I had almost an out of body experience the last 5 miles and collapsed on a curb for about 5 mins. While I definitely had sore spots (wrists, lower back, quads), I was walking fine and ready to go get on with my day when we touched down after.
One thing I realized was this year is that maybe I’ve not retained all my fitness from last season (who actually expects that?) but I have retained muscle memory. I may not be in the shape to be riding (or running – swimming is just magic right now) as long/fast as I was at certain points at peak, but I have a little more faith that it will all come back, and better than ever and it’s not something I need to be able to do at every moment of the year to be a good athlete, as long as I time it well with important races.
One other realization – I’m going to restructure my training. That outdoor ride was at least 10x more worthy race prep than a trainer ride to fit. On Saturdays, doing our run, ride, and swim might be 3 hours, but it takes a lot longer than that (getting ready, training, cooling down, rehyrdating/fueling, slacking, possibly driving to the next place, etc. Next month, I’m going to restructure our time to include more long blocks.
Last thought – I’m really proud of how I didn’t let a downer first part ruin my ride. I really was having fun with this one after I got into it and got over being freezing.
And that being said, time for a quick recap of the rest of the week…
Holy crap, some progress here! I had a low weight of 182.2 last Thursday, which I haven’t seen since before the marathon. I’m going to credit finally having some self control with calories and eating mostly good food, and tracking things very very carefully. I’m hoping that Saturday’s calorie fest didn’t screw things up but… I burned about 2k calories on the ride alone so I think 3k calories eaten is probably about right to maintain a deficit, but it still feels like a lot.
Next week, I’m trying an experiment. Last year, during hard training, I turned my eating to vegetarian before dinner – mostly vegan when it made sense. It was an experiment that started while Zliten was working OT, and it took about 3 weeks, but helped me lose a meaningful amount of weight (about 5 lbs in a month). Then, I went on vacation and ruined all that and then never went back to it. So, I’m going to give it another try. But this time, going full hog (or opposite of hog). I’m attempting to do the vegan thing all day, adding fish (because… fish!), and greek yogurt, and some muscle milk for added protein for meals, when I eat at home.
No particular reason for it (I love animals, they’re delicious), besides it worked before and it’s something to try, and I’ve always felt better straying towards the veggie side, especially when my training hours are up at the ceiling. I’ve made some awesome pesto white bean veggie pasta, black bean soup, and have Mediterranean veggie pitas and black bean tacos at the ready. And Zliten has some chicken and beef ready to add to the foods so he doesn’t go meat dry.
Either I’ll be at race weight by next weekend, I’ll crash and burn, or somewhere in between (most likely). I’ll report in next week.
By the numbers:
Monday: 27 DQs, 1534 cal
Tuesday: 27 DQ, 1977 calories
Wednesday: 27 DQ, 1612 calories
Thursday: 21 DQ, 1827 calories
Friday: 26 DQ, 1811 calories
Saturday: 4 DQ, 3212 calories
Sunday: 21 DQs, 1477 calories
Avg calories per day: 1921. Guestimating burn at around 2500 average per day. That leaves a deficit of 579 per day, which means just a little over a lb I should have lost this week. This week was just about exactly where I want it to be.
Average DQ: 21.8. Again, pretty much perfect.
Weight fluctuation: low of 182.2, high of 188.8.
4.5 out of 10 hours (of 10.5 planned, oops) was the Rosedale ride, so this should be short.
Run: I loved this week of running. My Tuesday run, I was in a pissy mood to start with, and then Zliten and I snapped at each other over something silly at the beginning of the run so I just put in my headphones and ran my stress, which resulted in a solid 25 minute tempo run at 10:07 pace – y’know, just slightly slower than my all out pace in January. I felt wonderful after, and don’t worry, my marriage is fine, I finished up 2.47 miles, went back to get him, we reconciled, and ran it in easy. Thursday, I got my first double run day since the marathon – a combo of 8.2 happy easy low HR miles (with 3 solid hill repeats at lunch) at mid-11s in perfect weather. Bliss!
Bike: I biked on the trainer. It was trainerific. I tried to do a tempo but I’m having trouble getting my heart rate up on the trainer at 3/5 resistance. Next week is all easy, but the week after, I’ll be cranking up the resistance on tempo days (also, more outside).
Swim: I had a great easy swim on Monday, but had a crappy swim on Wednesday and it was mostly due to my head. I was trying to use Zliten’s watch and it was frustrating me, I did two 300m-ish (or more since the watch confused me and was in yards) repeats, and it looked as if it was really slow and my mp3 player kept falling out of my ears, and then I ended up getting forced into the middle of the pool in the middle of a rep with two dudes being splashy and I sucked a lot of pool. Then the nail in the coffin is someone actually showed up at 8:10pm for their lane and I just got out and said screw it instead of trying to share a lane with Zliten. Oh well, I’ve been all stars and rainbows with swimming lately, I’ll take one bad one every once in a while.
Weights: Last heavy week. I’ve ended at these maxes: 205 lbs squat (bodyweight goal was 230, but I definitely hit my limit) x4 reps, 330 lb leg press (bodyweight goal was 450 but I’m not sure if anyone but Superman can do that)x4, 120 lb rows x5, and 95 lb pulldowns x7. Feel pretty dang good about having built strength this year, and now it’s time to maintain it generally, and build sport specific strength.
By the day…
Monday: Weights: MS Day 7 + Stretching /45 min, Swim: Easy Laps + Drills 1860 m/45 min
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Video Game High School 25 mi/60 mins, Lunch Run with 25 min Tempo 3.36 mi/ 35 mins
Wednesday: Weights: MS Day 8 + Stretching /45 mins, Swim: No Good Very Bad Swim 950 m/20 mins
Thursday: Run1: Morning Trash Day Run 3.8 mi/45 mins, Run2: Lunch Run – Hill Repeats 3.4 mi/ 39 mins
Saturday: Bike: Rosedale Ride 61.1 mi 04:29
Looking forward to recovery week – sorta. I felt like I handled this build period pretty darn well, I feel really strong right now, and I’m looking forward to another one. It’s one of those weeks where I actually really want to not do a stepback week and keep building and not take it easy, but this is particularly the time where I should. Lock in the amazing things I’ve done this month with a little rest, and move onward and upward.
I sewed pillows! They look awesome, and it wasn’t even so hard! I made 4, and now I’m going to make more because they are awesome, pillows for everyone!
And as we said above, we got a car. The xterra was built for us, bikes fit nicely in the back, and we’ve taken out the back seats and will probably not putting them back in very often.
Aight, that’s about it for this week… that’s plenty. Way too much awesome.
Question of the week: what do you drive? Do you love it? What’s your dream car?