A little late, but I was on vacation, so here it is!
This was definitely the first full month of full-load, triathlon training. I averaged 10 hours per week, with one EPIC 15 hour week. How do I feel overall? Well, a little bit broken (in a good way), but a lot more confident I can put together a good triathlon here later this spring.
The two highlights of February? Honestly, my two bike-run bricks. I’ve gotten a lot more confident in my running, but I was kinda afraid that biking before it would send me right back into the 11-12+ pace I was running last year. Spoiler: it didn’t. Even dealing with my heel issues, that actually felt *better* off the bike and after a little bit of wobbly legs, I was able to get into a slightly over 10 minute mile pace, and actually improve over the miles, not fizzle out and die like I had been.
Run: 71.5 miles – 13 hours (avg ~10:55 pace)
This month, the focus was just on maintaining an easy 20 mile per week base. If you count the half marathon on March 1, I did that. I missed out on a few runs earlier in the month due to my back AND heel acting up, but changing out shoes, and being conscious of the shoes I wear during my non-running times, seems to help. Honestly, after a full week off running it feels AWESOME, so hopefully it just needed time to *heal* (badup CHING!). We’ll see once I start running again this week, so far so good.
My easy pace was all over this month depending on temperature, body condition, and training load – anywhere from just over 10 min miles to 11:30s. I’m not worried about it, especially when the best miles came after bikes, and the shitty ones seemed to have a good reason for them.
At this point, I’m past the honeymoon stage – I think I’ve made the gains I’m going to make right now in running until I get through another high mileage month, recover, and play with speed. That’s the plan for March/April. I’m going into it rested, and excited to see what happens with my running over the next few months.
Bike: 423 miles – 18.5 hours (22.8 mph avg)
Yep, it was bike focus month. I got a lot of saddle time, though most of it (all but a 43 mile ride) was indoors. This would worry me, because inside ride time =! outside ride time, but I have two things making me happy:
1. I haven’t just been easy riding inside, I’ve been making use of the Sufferfest (hurt so good) and also doing intervals on my own. While my indoor mileage is inflated because I go faster on my trainer, the fact is I did get 18.5 solid hours of saddle time this month and I’d say at least 50% of that was with some decent intensity.
2. My first outdoor easy ride of the year was at 16 mph avg for 40+ miles. While the Veloway doesn’t have a whole lot of elevation overall, it does have a decent hill (either mild and long-ish or short and steep) each mile so it keeps it interesting. I cut it short from the 60 I had planned because I was pooped from the volume (this was the end of the 15 hour week) and wanted a quality run (which I got, so it was a good decision).
I am the best cyclist I’ve been in Februray any year thus far, and that’s happy. I’m looking forward to more outdoor riding here in the next few months, but I feel like I’ve got a good winter base under me now.
Swim: 19km – 7.5 hours
Swimming went on maintenance mode this month – I just didn’t have the time to devote a lot to it, although I definitely enjoyed getting in the pool and doing hour+ swims most days that I did go.
I’m not really getting faster, but I’m getting comfortable with 3000+m at a time, which is not really that helpful for the triathlons coming up first, but will pay dividends in the future. Getting closer to the race, I need to maintain some long sessions, but also work in some short sessions that really tax my endurance, that I don’t have to worry about “saving” anything.
Weights – 5 sessions – 3.5 hours
I did weights, yeah. Skipped one session due to back recovery, and didn’t do weights as normal the week before the race. Feeling pretty ok with this. I’m not going anywhere, really, with these, but I don’t expect to right now.
Total Sporty Spice Hours: 42.5 – a pretty nice increase from 26 hours last week. An average of 1.5 hours of training per day. A great first build month.
March won’t hold a candle to the amount of hours (1 week missing from vacation, though I’m TOTALLY counting scuba, snorkeling, and dance time in overall activity!), but here’s what I hope to do:
1. Run mileage. I want to put in some frequent running – marathon training without the long long long runs on the weekend. I’d like to hit 30s and maybe even 40 in a week this month. I’d also like to work in some specifically planned tempo miles and a little speedwork too, but not at the cost of more miles. Let’s try for at least 100 miles in March.
2. Bike speed and outdoor riding. I don’t plan on putting in the volume I did last month, but I want to make the riding I do quality. I should be doing one of three rides this month: a) outdoor riding, b) kicking my ass, dripping pools of sweat on the trainer, or c) easy, low resistance spins for run recovery purposes.
3. 2 Strengths a week. Even if it’s weights at home. I can fit it in.
4. Swim at least once a week for an hour. It’s weaksauce to not fit in more, but if I can get at least one long session in, I’ll maintain some semblance of being a swimmer. I’ll do my best to get in two, but that second might be short.
5. Figure out a training plan through at least the first X-50 (May 4). It’s less than two months away, and I’m pretty sure I know what I need to hit training-wise between now and then.
No races, so no rating there. It was nice to have a month to just TRAIN.
Body: 2/5. Not happy with the heel stuff that happened, but I have to give the ol’ bod for some credit carrying me through a 15 hour week and two killer awesome bricks. Hopefully we’re on the up and up now, cross your fingers!
Mental game: 4/5 Handling training volume like a boss. No crazy mental breakdowns, though I didn’t show up at Woodlands ready to fight for a PR (but that wasn’t the goal). Looking to keep my head in it this month for the run-stravaganza!
February was pretty good most of the time, but REALLY BAD sometimes. V-day celebrations ended up stretching across a full long weekend. Looking back on my food intake, I was like “yay, I did so good all week” then “Boo, what was I THINKING eating all that crap and drinking a lot the same day”.
What did save me was the 1 fried/chip/junk food and 1 dessert per week. No, I ate more than that, but it actually helped me to not be as bad as I could have been. I think that’s a reasonable rule to live with the majority of the time, so I’ll keep at it. However, I think I’ll introduce also the 1 refined grain per week rule. It snuck in there more than I’d like, so I’ll call it out and see if that helps.
I was great at tracking calories, but bad at DQ, I had to go back and do that for the full month, and honestly? It wasn’t pretty some days. It reinforced that if I want to party all day with the boozes, I really also need to eat super duper clean or my body gets in a tired little hole and revolts because it’s been stressed (long workout), stressed (booze all day), and then more stress (crappy or inadequate food). So that’s a goal for March – lets eat healthy on drinking days.
Avg Calories/DQ: 1891/21.4
Scale High/Low: 180.2/176.6
Avg Calories/DQ: 2180/18.1
Scale High/Low: 179.2/175.6
Avg Calories/DQ: 2004/18
Scale High/Low: 178.4/175.2
Avg Calories/DQ: 1983/24
Scale High/Low: 180.2/177.6
Overall – High Weight: 180.2, Low Weight: 175.2 (it’s the right direction, so I’ll take it).
The funny thing was I was going to tell you I ate AWESOME in February, but it’s easy to have rose colored glasses. There’s still a lot of improvement to be made. Coming back from vacation, I’ve had my fill of butter, refined flour, and sugar, and I’m ready to eat more veggies, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc. We have a birthday celebration for Zliten this month, but the rest of the time, I’m aiming to stay on the straight and narrow. One junk food, one refined grain, one sweet per week, max.
Best new food I made: Chicken Broccoli Potato Soup
Other things I cooked:
- Meatloaf, caulitaters, green beans
- Homemade manwich
- Ancient grain spaghetti, cajun sauce, turkey mb, mixed veggies
- V-day dinner #1 – arugala + ricotta ravioli w/two sauces and caesar salad
Best thing that was cooked for me:
Grilled bacon wrapped filet, grilled lobster tail w/garlic butter, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and asparagus (v-day dinner #2, pictured above)
We didn’t batch cook as much this month, but we had a TON of leftovers from January. We’re now down to not much left, so it’s time to build those stores back up with a few good ol’ fashioned cooking sprees this month
I’m going to go with a 3/5 rating here. Same as January, some moments were great, some were terrible, and hopefully March will be awesomesauce!
- Hit training hard this month. Yep, been there, spent the night, bought the tee-shirt. Next.
- Weigh less than 177 when February is over. This one is a little tricky to judge – the second to last week in Feb, I was 175-176, so yeah. Right now, I’m up because of bloat and vacation. I’ll get back to you on this.
- Figure out the door (nope) and clean off my vanity area (nope).
- Finish my savage worlds story (nope).
- No social media on Wednesday and Sunday (ehhhh, about half the time, when I didn’t forget).
- Figure out birthday plans (yep – party at the house, people invited, etc etc)
- Quarterly maintenance + hair cut (yep, brows, toes, nails, and HAIR are all spiffy)
- Keep taking a picture a day and posting on Instagram (yep, mostly)
- Weigh less than 176 at the end of March. Do this by holding FIRM to the goals of tracking calories, diet quality, trying to eat like an angel if I’m going to drink like a devil, and sticking with my 1s per week (sweet, junk, refined).
- Figure out the door and clean off my vanity area. Let’s try this again.
- Savage worlds GMing is now firmly scheduled for the week of March 24th. Get it together, woman!
- I’ve had a good start for no social media Wednesdays and Sundays since I was on vacation. Let’s continue the trend. I’m so much more productive if I ignore twitter/fb!
- Get back to the picture a day on Instagram since I’m back from vacation.
- See if I can beat my Kerrville bike split of 3:22 for the Rosedale Ride, or at least ride it like I want to do that (treat it like a bike race, not a pleasure cruise).
- Re-acquaint myself with an early wakeup time and going to bed shortly after the sun sets.
- Finish my book that I started over vacation.
Aight, onto the other posts I need to catch up with – see ya soon, folks!