One of the things I’m pushing this year with my training is faster recovery. Weight training on back to back days. Now, running on back to back days. Two-a-days. Running/biking/swimming on tired legs/arms. To do an endurance event that’s going to take me potentially around 7 hours of constant hard effort, I’m going to need to understand what it is to start out tired and push through.
I’ve done very calculated steps to get here, constantly testing the water, putting a toe in and see how it feels before getting in. First it was the weights – working up to it until I could handle 3 times per week even if it’s Monday night/Tuesday morning working the same muscle groups. Then, upping the workouts, adding two-a-days 1-2 times per week. Then, adding multiple brick workouts per week. Then, running on back to back days. I’ve definitely gotten harder, better, faster, and stronger.
However, my two real worries right now (besides that whole marathon thing, but we’ll ignore that for now):
-Biking. I need more long ride experience. I need more hilly ride experience. The trainer is helping for long, but it’s definitely not quite the same as an outside ride.
-Running off the bike, and not in the normal triathlon way. I feel just fine off the bike (due to much, much, much practice with the bricks), but I’ve never done more than 10k off the bike. I kept trying to get myself to do 3 loops around PF, but due to heat, blisters, tireds, time crunch, whatever, we’ve not done more than 2.
Saturday, I had almost 5 hours of outside-y, heat training, hill biking, fear-conquering, cojones-building, mind-steeling workouting.
I’m on the mailing list for one of our local tri-shops – Jack and Adams Bicycles. They do the whole TX Tri series, and a lot of other races, and they have a Sunday shop ride we always wanted to make it to, but never have had a chance (because, well, I freaking hate morning workouts on Sundays…unless I’m racing). I was excited to hear that they were doing shop rides EVERY DAY in celebration of the tour. So at 6:45am, we showed up.
And we were the ONLY people who didn’t look like this:
Luckily, our new tri-friend Brian (who is doing the whole TX Tri series as well) showed up too and when we got dropped as quick as you could say “peleton”, we called ourselves “Group B” and used the turn by turn directions they gave us to complete the course anyway.
It was called “medium mountains”. I called it every one of George Carlin’s seven dirty words at least, oh, twenty times. This is one thing about training with friends. If this was just me, I think about 3 miles in, when we were still climbing hills without respite, I might have turned around (I wanted to with every fiber of my being). Somehow, I got through it. I stopped at lights and unclipped like a champ (a really clumsy, slow, champ, but I didn’t fall OK?).
And then, we turned onto freaking 360. A highway. With entrances and exits and cars going freeway speeds. Aieeeeeee. Not to mention hiiiiiiillls. I got close to 35mph white knuckling down some of these fuckers, riding the brakes as much as I dared saying “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck” the entire time. Oddly enough, I didn’t die. I did find out that I’m an extremely good coaster. For some reason, I fly past people on hills without even pedaling.
When we were on the way to J&A, Zliten joked that we would probably ride up to the house. Well, when studying the turns, we realized – we would come about half a mile from the house. At least I had a ripcord there. Worst case, we could ride home, take car #2 and pick up car #1 later (I was really feeling stranded and a little scared out there). Then, we hit freaking Far West. There were some nice climbs and rollers, and then we hit a street that seemed to just ascend to the heavens, after a turn – so no momentum. Zliten and I got off and walked up it (it really just took us by surprise), and Brian said he was potentially seeing pink elephants on the side of the street trying to get up it (my summary, not his, but the sentiment was there) but he made it (and then waited for us, nice guy).
After our dose of humble pie, we started rolling again and getting into more familiar territory. The ride back to the shop was actually pretty nice, down mostly familiar streets, lots of downhills. We made it in about 2h30 (with a few stops), where the “pros” were supposed to take no more than 90 mins. Ha!
Here’s another point where I am so flippin’ glad I am training with people. I was ready to bag the run. Completely. It was just starting to get STEAMY, it was much later than expected (instead of the 8:30 we expected it was 10am), and the hills and, frankly, the mental floss needed to get through that damn ride beat me up. However, I had Zliten, who I PROBABLY could have talked out of the run or talked down in miles, but we also had Brian along with for the ride. So we all looked at each other and said, “Still up for the run?” “Yep!” “10?” “Sure!”…. and being the prideful little shit I am, I wasn’t going to be the one to beg off a shorter distance. So, off we went after refilling our camelbacks and handhelds at Jack in the Box and nuuning up again.
It indeed was STEAMY as hell but the first couple miles were ok. At least running is probably not going to leave me splatted on the side of the road or toppled over on the way up a hill. Right around 3-4 though, Zliten’s heart rate monitor kept going off, and showing numbers like 190, 200, 255, 272 (the two latter of which I’m pretty sure are heart rates that are completely un-possible), and we ignored it for a while, but after a while, we instituted a walk half a mile, run half a mile and figured we didn’t care about the time, just the miles. It was the slowest 10 miles I’ve ever done at somewhere around 14 min mi pace, but I did run the last mile at least. After seeing that our ending temp was 99 degrees, I felt less like a wuss, and even though it was slow, it was 2+ hours on feet training after a long hard bike. Kerrville will not be that hilly. Kerrville will not be that hot. If I could get through that, I can do Kerrville. Even going that slow (which there is no flippin’ way I would) I’d make the Kerrville cutoff no problem.
And suddenly, last weekend, I’m about 90% confident about my ability to finish the half iron, up from probably about… 50?
The long and short of this is that really, everything endurance-related is less monumental for me to work on right now than stepping up my mental game. I’m not sure when I started giving up during workouts. I’m certain it had to do partly with gaining weight. On the way down the scale, I COULD DO ANYTHING but on the way up, I’ve started to doubt what a nearly-obese gal can do. A nearly obese gal certainly can’t run as fast as someone who was just about a normal weight. It’s ok if I give up on these hills on the bike because I just don’t look the same in the mirror as I used to. It’s ok if I don’t make it through marathon training because maybe 179 pound girls aren’t meant/don’t deserve/haven’t earned the right to run that far.
Well, this Saturday, after that long ass day of bikin’ and runnin’, and later drinkin’ – I passed the pull up bar on the way to bed. Zliten said to me, “do a pullup” to which I said “No, no, I’m too tired, I’m sore, I can’t do one any way.” That damn thing has been up there for at least 2 years taunting my ass. After he egged me on more I said “FINE” and gave it a go.
Lo and behold, I DID MY FIRST FUCKING (jumping to get to about 90 degree bend, but still…) PULLUP of my adult life. That’s something a nearly-obese gal can do that the smaller Quix could absolutely not before.
And apparently my workout plan has just been missing utter exhaustion and whiskey. Noted.
Usually after Saturday’s epic-ness I take Sunday as a rest day. This week, I wanted to break 100 bike miles (100.05 thank you very much! And half outside even!) so I trainered for about an hour. Yesterday, I skipped my swim due to lightning (apparently it’s unsafe to swim even inside), but rocked the weights a little harder and longer. Then, this morning, sans my normal day off to relax, and without a swim to loosen me up, I WAS SORE.
I got on the bike with no hope for anything decent, but I settled into 20mph on the trainer pretty easy. I was NOT looking forward to this run at all. I got out there, and at first it was like trying to run in mud (especially because my short course, the first half mile is uphill), but my legs got the hint fairly quickly that we were moving and they couldn’t stop me. I ran my ass off and knew that my garmin was screwing up, so I had no idea of the pace. 1.6 mystery miles. The second trainer session went even faster, and I did the mile course due to time constraints. I was incredibly pleased with my 1 mile – 8:49 effort, especially because it didn’t feel completely like death, like the first one.
Well, once I figured out the time + distance of my first run, it was another 8:49 paced run. Take that, brain who figured my legs would be too tired to run fast!
I am ready to dominate another sprint tri run course on Sunday. Gotta love double brick workouts. Gotta love getting your head in the game. Gotta love shedding doubt and just rocking the faces off some training. Here’s the specifics….
Training for the week:
X MONDAY: 2000 yd swim +weights
X TUESDAY: 40 mile trainer + lunch weights
X WEDNESDAY: 2000 yd swim, 20 (16) mile bike
X THURSDAY: off
X FRIDAY: 5 (3) mile run + weights + 1.75 mile walk
X lololol arg (Zliten’s comment) SATURDAY: 20 mile trainer + 10 mile run (or 26-30 mile hill ride and 10.3-.6 run depending on who’s garmin you look at)
X SUNDAY: EZ 20 (18) mile trainer
4000 yd swimming
100.5 miles biking (46 outside, 54 on trainer)
13 miles run, ~2 miles walked
This Week’s Plan:
July 9: RACE WEEK (Couples)
X MONDAY: 2000yd swim + weights
X TUESDAY: triple bricks (15 mile bike, 3 mile run) + weights
WEDNESDAY: 7 mile run (or 25 mile ride + weights)
THURSDAY: 25 mile ride + weights (or 7 mile run)
FRIDAY: 3 mile run AM
SUNDAY: COUPLES TRI (800yd swim, 11 mile bike, 3 mile run)
2800 yd swimming
50 miles biking
16 miles run
Things marked in BOLD ITALICS have been skipped and may or may not be made up. Since it’s a race week, I’m allowing a little rest and recovery so I can hit it HARD again next week with major milezzzz *salute*
Not much else went on this week (had a very mellow 4th at home and weekend at home) so I’ll leave you with that.