Vacation was fun, but back to the grindstone. Good thing I love what I do!
Two new things I did this week…
My Fit Foods:
Zliten is working a bunch of OT at work and they’re providing lunch and dinner. Sometimes, that’s good, and he can snag a semi-healthy (or at least not calorie offensive) sandwich or salad or something. Sometimes, it’s pizza or other nutritionally void stuff. So we decided to hit up my fit foods and get some help to fill in the gaps. We decided we needed some help getting through the next few weeks with work and training and vacations, and one cannot live on Amy’s food alone.
It’s not cheap. The smaller meals are more reasonable, but being that we are training a butt ton, we went for the large sizes, which were about 10 bucks each. It’s about a restaurant meal cost, however, it’s a whole lot healthier so there’s that.
The verdict? Is good! We both got the Fit Nugget Nation – almond and flax coated chicken breast, cinnamon carrots, and broccoli. It came with a mustard sauce, but I replaced that with light ranch and franks red hot, and I toasted the chicken on a pan. Zliten loved it as is though. We also both got the chili, which I added olives and cilantro to, but it was really good as is (I just always have to add stuff). I got the Blazin’ Cajun Shrimp which was really good but light on the veggies and needed a little salt.
I expected them to be adequate, but they were actually GOOD. Some were better with additions, but for some quick and healthy meals it was perfect.
This is my last weekend that is both in town and not racing before taper, so I wanted to make the most of it. Swimming is in the bag, I’ve been running a lot (and on tired legs and outside) and done a lot of trainer miles. However, I keep trying to remind myself that trainer != riding outside and that just because I can crank out 40 miles on a weekday and run the next morning (or 56 and then run right after) doesn’t mean as much out on the roads. I was feeling a little sheepish about my outside riding since it’s been a little, uh, lacking lately. Not bad, just absent (which is probably worse). The last time I rode outside was Jack’s Generic Tri 3 weeks ago. And looking at the training logs, I’m not entirely sure I rode outside before Couples’ Tri either. The last time I really remember riding outside was the epic hilly 30. I think that was in June.
I’ve been using the little time I can get outside when its not hot as balls to run. Which is good, because running on a treadmill is bad when you need to be heat trained and ready for hills, and biking on a trainer is much closer to biking outside, and bike workouts take longer to do and stoplights and traffic suck, yadda yadda. But considering going into this training, the bike was the leg I was most worried about, I just want to have one more check that I’m not in over my head. So 50 OUTDOOR miles went on the plan.
We were going to do Lake Pf, a bunch of laps around our normal 15-ish course, but Zliten still hasn’t taken his new clipless pedals out for a spin, and Pf does have some cross streets and scary stuff. So instead, we headed to Veloway, which is a 3 mile loop that is a little slice of heaven – no pedestrians, no cars, just rollerbladers and bikers. We’ve never been there because…well… it’s South and feels like it’s in another town and Pfluger is nice, but it was perfect for the day we wanted.
Now some people might go bonkers doing the same 3 miles over and over. Not me. I loved it. The first loop, I cursed and got my heart rate up a lot. There were a lot of twists and turns and my legs were fatigued and there was even a mini-carnage hill (a sharp turn right into a steep hill – just like the one from Rookie and Couples). I wasn’t ready for it, and I thought I was going to have to try to unclip and walk up, or just topple over, but I made it.
Usually a ride starts out rough while I warm up, and this was no exception. I was struggling to keep up with my 15 mph goal of the day. No bueno. I decided to eat something every loop. At first I felt like a big piggy but I think it worked out well. About 5-6 miles in it got good though – I was warmed up and feeling good and average pace was 15 on the dot. My goal through the whole ride was to stay at a pace that I could maintain through the ride. So far, 15 seemed to be it. I’ve been much better at maintaining a pace on the trainer but as I said, the trainer is not outside.
Miles 10-20 were uneventful and we stuck together. 20-30, I started feeling…great! Once I hit the halfway point I was just feeling joyful about being on the bike, the day was beautiful, not dealing with traffic, and just feeling awesome. The worst part of long rides are the first few miles (getting warmed up), and the second to last 10. You’re just far enough through it to be tired and over it, but not close enough to the end to be excited about it.
Not today. They were just as awesome. My only complaints were in the hoohah region, and a little bit of stiffness in my lower back, and that’s totally normal on a long ride. At 40, we ran out of water so we stopped and refilled. Let me tell you, trading lukewarm liquid for cold water was just AMAZING. However, the stop did make it hard to get going. I liked seeing 15 average (it had been there almost the entire time) so I told myself to buck up and speed up, and besides a brief dip to 14.9 on the garmin, we stayed directly in 15 territory.
The last few miles it became clear how HOT AS BALLS it was and I was definitely ready to be off the bike. I took one last hike up mini-carnage, one more trip up the zig zag hill, one more practicing cornering sesson down the the last twists and turns, and I hit 50 and unclipped and found a place in the shade to wait for Zliten. We stuck together for the first 42-ish, but I just couldn’t slow down and he just couldn’t speed up. Soon he was along and we packed up and went home. We ended the ride at 97 degrees. Deceptive how hot it had gotten – I figured it was just pushing 90. The plan was to run a mile after but considering how late and steamy it was, we skipped it. But I knew I could have run. 50.12 mile done – 3:20. Easy peasy. 15.0 mph average.
I really and truly feel like that was the last piece of the puzzle I need to feel ready for the 70.3. A couple more weeks of maintaining where I’m at + some with running ramping up into higher double digits, and then taper (glorious taper!). I’m in shock that 5 weeks from now, I’ll probably be extremely drunk on champagne and celebrating the completion of rocking a half ironman!
TL:DR? Confidence, I has it.
I was worried about vacation taking it’s toll on my weight. I mean, there was definitely a lot of eating like an asshole. Plus, TOM and all that. I was certain it would be tragic, but I’m back down to 176.0. Awesome! Lots of training + good foods = back to normal quickly. Should the progress continue this month, I will be happy. My pants are also looser, which is a good thing.
Here’s the deets.
TUESDAY: swim all the laps (but we had to share a lane so I only got 600m done)
WEDNESDAY: 5 mile run + weights
THURSDAY: 10 mile run (8.7) + 15 mile trainer
FRIDAY: 3 mile run (4.3) AM
SATURDAY: 50 mile outdoor ride
SUNDAY: off. Was going to swim, but the AC broke and that was drama and wasn’t resolved until the pool closed. So the universe, or at least my house, wanted me to have a rest day. I can dig it. I’ll swim longer tomorrow.
MONDAY: swim + weights
TUESDAY: 45 mile trainer + weights
WEDNESDAY: triple bricks (20 mile bike, 3 mile run) + weights
THURSDAY: 10 mile run
FRIDAY: 1500m swim
SUNDAY: 15 mins swim/bike/run w/pickups
…and then on Monday I have a little Olympic Triathlon to do.
Time to finish watching Clueless (As IF! I totally paused…) and laundry. My life, it is terribly exciting.