Comedy and Tragedy, coming at you!
While I am actively mourning summer coming to an end, because that means first there’s no waterpark (this was my sad face after the wah pah on Memorial Day before I found out I actually have TWO MORE WEEKENDS!!! YAY!), then soon there’s no lake paddling because it’s too cold, and then even the lovely outdoor pool becomes an exercise in “get in, get out, get on with your life”, but secretly I’m kind of looking forward to it, too.
We already have 2016 season passes to the park, the lake will still be there in March when it’s warm enough to duck into it in a wetsuit (and maybe this year I’ll be brave enough to sup in chilly water since I’m better at it). That cycle will come back.
I have on occasion been a bit… apprehensive about certain seasons. Summer and I have had a love/hate relationship in the last 5 years, which became much more love once we settled in and evolved to make it much more about playing in the water, rather than trying to force myself to train in the heat for months without a break. Winter has always been a challenge for me, but discovering my love of cold weather running last year, I’m honestly even looking forward to it a little.
But, it’s not over yet. September is still essentially summer here in the ATX, and I’ve got a 70.3 to contend with before it becomes all pumpkin spice and maybe digging out my tech tees instead of tanks for marathon training.
Week 5 70.3 Training:
It’s always weird to be like – week 5 – last peak week done, start the descent to taper… but that’s kind of how these short cycles go. I’m halfway in the “bring it on” camp and halfway in the “omg I need more tiiiiiime” camp, but since time slows for no woman and I know doing cram sessions to feel ready does nothing but burn me out, I’ll just keep on with the program.
This week has been about finding confidence through adverse situations. At first, I typed shitty workouts, but that’s totally not the case. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
Before Sunday’s workout. DID NOT FUCKING WANT.
Monday was not the longest day, but it was the longest swim I’ve done in a while. I did the normal, freaking out the first half of the first lap because it felt hard, then settling in and doing just fine for the second half, second lap, and pushing it a bit on the third. I kept my laps pretty consistent (I had a variance of 20 seconds total between the 3). And, just testing how much it gassed me – I ran 2 miles in the heat and was able to average race pace pretty easily. Yas.
Tuesday had 4.5 pretty nice easy miles in the morning, but a last minute gametime call had us go home and Zwift on the trainer instead of pain cave class. Sort of messed with my head a bit, but I think I tortured myself sufficiently. Ran 1.5 miles off the bike at easy pace while the sun set. Pretty good day, even if plans changed.
I’m not sure who the asshole was who planned a long run the next day, but I’m pretty sure I should punch them in the face (ow!). I was pretty nervous for this – it was my longest run since the marathon in February and I’d already built up almost 4 hours of training in 2 days, but I REALLY wanted to see if I could conquer it. Zliten was also having a SUPER rough day, so I knew the minute my head went negative and I stopped keeping his spirits up, he was done.
But, long story short – we ran all over my work route and detoured to the gym for a bathroom trip and ran home as the sun set and it got dark and then I finished up miles 11-15 headlamping it around my neighborhood zoning out into the dark abyss of Burell Street. Like a switch, it went from pretty easy to difficult and draggy around 13 miles, but I didn’t stop running until I saw 15 miles in just under 3 hours.
My husband begged off Thursday’s workouts. It was just a swim so I figured we’d make it up Friday. Then, an unfortunately rough hangover cancelled Friday’s workouts (super oops). All of a sudden I had a lot of shit to make up over what was supposed to be a nice relaxing holiday weekend.
Saturday, we ended up having to cancel our original outdoor ride plan, but I decided it was time to just do all the crap I hadn’t yet done last week. I did the dozen (first time all week, oops). I jumped on the trainer for 30 minutes. Zliten and I then ducked outside for a nice 4.5 mile run. Then, we discovered that he lost his fitbit and ended up taking an hour retracing the run path and then finding it less than a quarter of a mile from home, run over.
By the time we got to the gym for our swim, I felt stressed and rushed and grumpy. It took all 1700m and the shower after to feel better, but I recovered some of my mood. Then… we proceeded to spend all day out and didn’t get home until 10pm. And still we had our bike/run to make up the next day. Bah!
Sunday – I was so fucking not into it. I woke up just wanting it to be over. Unfortunately, I carried this attitude through most of my ride. Didn’t help it was late, so there was a decent amount of traffic, and it was WINDY (all caps). Zliten can attest to the fact that I was just swearing and grumbling and at one point he asked if I wanted to just call it and I said YES because I was just so cranky.
However, I learned something about myself. If I’m cranky, take it out on the sport. I got sick of soft pedaling behind Zliten the first few miles and just got out ahead and worked. Then, I’d wait for him to catch up, follow him for a while, and then rinse repeat. I just had no tolerance for easy pace. I might have lost my shit yelling and swearing into the wind a few times, but that was much more productive for me THAT DAY than fuming at my husband’s (cute) ass.
I felt better and better as the ride continued and at the end, we decided not to NOT brick, but since it was very late and very hot and we had already done run bonus miles this week, 1 mile was fine. Zliten got out ahead at first, but by the end, I reeled him in for a very hot ~9:45 min mile off a really really rough and grumpy bike.
Done, and done, with proof. Happier mood after.
So, TL;DR? While it’s good to have perfect happy lala fun time training, I actually think this may have been MORE confidence boosting. I was really unsure how I’d handle 15 miles in the evening, the heat, and on tired legs and I did just fine. Going into a workout cranky and negative is NOT normal for me, but I was able to use that energy just to WORK instead of waste it.
It is infinitely clear that I am ready for taper, just one more week this week of decent volume and then we start the sharpening of the stick. I can use it. I’m a ball of stress and fatigue and I’m ready to start shedding that, kthx.
- 28.5 miles run (5h30m)
- 74.1 miles biked (3h45m)
- 3910m swam (1h20m)
- 1 Dozen strength session (20m)
A little more running than expected, a little less biking than expected, but last peak week? Done and dusted.
This week I aim to:
- Do a little more biking. Pain Cave, last long outdoor ride, and a little bit of the easy trainer stuff.
- Another one of those long lake swims + some pool time.
- Cut the running down below 20 miles/week, but do some faster efforts.
- At least 2 dozen strength set workouts!
- Do a swim, bike, run brick.
- Hit about 10 hours. Cut a few easy minutes if I am feeling overly overwhelmed.
I hit my macros pretty well! Again, I could use a wee bit more carb and a wee bit less fat, and day by day it wasn’t perfect, but it seemed to work out overall.
- 2714 cal (2700 goal)
- 356 carbs (400g goal)
- 72 fat (60g goal)
- 101 protein (100 goal)
- 31 fiber (25+ goal)
This week I’m trying to re-introduce fruit and veggies with every meal. Just because I CAN hit my macros without fresh things from trees and plants doesn’t mean I SHOULD. My stomach has now seemed to adjust to the extra fiber, so while I’ll continue to follow the carbs carbs and more carbs manifesto, I’ll make sure some of those carbs are fruit and veggies each meal, even if they are not the most efficient carbs.
15 miles of running on a Wednesday night = half a dominos medium pizza + parmesan garlic bites. TBH – this actually helped me hit my ratio almost exactly that day.
I feel AWESOME during (most) workouts. If there’s the gas tank I used to have, I now feel like I have a reserve tank, and probably an extra emergency reserve tank. Not that I don’t have bad days (obviously, see above), but I rarely feel that tapped out feeling, and if I do, sometimes it just takes recentering and it goes away, so it’s more mental than physical.
Now, why is this wonderful gift keeping me up at night?
I started weighing again. And I am legit up 5-7 lbs in a month on average. My average weight over the last few days was 184.7. My, that was quick, body, with the finding alllll the weight I lost, plus some.
For someone who has maintained a very narrow weight margin for the last 5-6 years, this is a HUGE and QUICK gain for me. Usually my M.O. at this weight is REDUCE AT ALL COSTS! My clothes don’t fit the same. I don’t look like myself. My face and my tummy are PUFFY. I’m sure I’m my worst critic here, but I was watching myself run on the treadmill last night in the reflection of the window, and I instinctively was like “who is that chunky monkey? argh…”.
To be fair, I was probably running one of the fastest miles of my life off the bike at the time, but goddamn if it hasn’t been messing with my head.
I thought that giving myself permission to eat to fuel my training would be enough. I didn’t realize how weird it was going to feel to intentionally gain weight. I had no idea how odd it would be to add weight to my body to train better and go faster. I’ve eaten like crap for a while before and felt sludgy and yucky during training. This is completely different. My pump is primed.
I think it’s probably pow-wow time with the nutritionist this week. I think the body shock of gaining the weight so quickly is the worst of it. If eating this way causes me to maintain this weight and feel this great and there are no other side effects, I’ll stick with it. This will be the new normal after a while, I’ll keep to the larger sizes in my closet for a bit, and I’ll PR the shit out of some races before I begin #projectraceweight for reals in Spring.
I just can’t see gaining 5-7 lbs again in September. At that rate, I’ll be running my marathon over 200 lbs. THAT is not happening.
Also – the higher calorie count means my alcohol tolerance, which is generally always near the ceiling (thanks Dad), is through the roof. That’s been interesting to get used to… (read: previously discussed epic hangover above completely out of nowhere).
I’m definitely feeling a little moodier and stressed – but I’m not 100% convinced that has to do with what I’m eating. Once life slows down a bit, we’ll see if that changes. Though… life needs to slow down a bit. Please?
That’s me in the blue coat, using my crossbow to fight evil and obtain shiny things.
Life’s feeling a lot like this Dungeons and Dragons campaign scene lately – still standing, still kicking ass, but there’s a lot of stuff going on around me and I’m probably in need of at least a short rest, if not a long one.
I’m just counting things down right now: 17 days to Kerrville. That means about 4 more real *workouts*, so tunnel – meet light. Not too much more than that until our 8 days in Bonaire. After that, the simplicity of marathon training the rest of the year in beautiful “head out the door whenever you want during the day because it’s always pretty awesome” weather.
The cycles continue. And there’s not too much more of this one left!