I spent yesterday morning concocting new curse words for the Texas heat on the bike and on the run.

Texas sure felt like the center of the sun yesterday.

It felt nice to resume some level of normalcy in my life. This is what a me is meant to do on a Saturday in mid-July.

I’m considering this the first week of official training for Kerrville 70.3, and I feel like I did rather well. If we’re using the last year and a half as any comparison, I would use words like “it’s a miracle” and “effing amazing” because I can’t think of a recent time where I have actually been able to lay out a plan and complete it as intended, but pandemic laziness doesn’t get to be the gold standard. So, I set out to do the things. I did them, with one reschedule. Do I get a cookie?

The smiles are a lie, only because it was done…
  • Monday: 30 minute TT bike/2 mile run/walk brick, weights
  • Tuesday: 1.5-2k swim
  • Wednesday: weights/off
  • Thursday: 3 mile run/walk
  • Friday: 1.5-2k swim, weights
  • Saturday: 34 mile road bike outdoors + 1 mile run/walk
  • Sunday: off 1.5-2k swim, weights

I don’t have a ton of deep thoughts but here’s a “state of the triathlon game” after week 1 for posterity:

Swim: I’m thoroughly enjoying being in the pool again. My back (fingers crossed) recovering, so I’m regaining some form and my times are starting to come down a bit, though I’m still slower than normal. I’m approaching race distance and feeling pretty good out of the water (at worst, I have a stiff back that needs a quick stretch before I do anything else). However, I am breaking these distances into sets with rests every 250-500m. In the next few weeks, I need to do at least one continuous 750m before I hit open water in August to make sure I can swim a lake lap without having to rest.

Cheesily happy to be back in the pool regularly

Bike: After my spill last week, I expected to be really skittish on the roads but I absolutely knew I needed to get back on the proverbial horse quickly. During the ride, I was a bit more careful than normal with my unclipping and clipping, but I didn’t find myself irrationally terrified or anything. My predominant emotion was crankiness at the heat (and myself for not waking up with my first alarm) rather than any flavor of fear. All was good and right with the cycling world.

My TT bike progress is now at 30 mins indoors, and about half of it was in aero. I’ve been taking it slow here, but it’s time to ramp up. I still aim to do this race on my race bike unless I just absolutely CANNOT, so this 30 minutes needs to become 3 hours. In the next few weeks my goal is to increase to 1 hour on the TT bike inside, and then start alternating weeks of long rides between my two bikes.

Run: Running sucks, but not running sucks more. So, here we are. I ran a mile after my long bike ride yesterday, two miles off a shorter bike earlier in the week, and went a whole 5k (!!) as my long run for the week. Let’s not talk about the fact that I ran six miles this week, but that I ran three times without causing harm to my back. I’m not even trying to run continuously right now. I’m throwing in intentional walk breaks. Even so, I’m able to keep my runs between 12-13 minutes/mile, which seems fine for what it is right now. I feel pathetic both talking about and during my runs, but I will effing take it.

I absolutely abhor this run/walk thing, but I have to face facts. Never have I ever ran an entire half marathon after 56 miles on the bike, and if there’s any training cycle where it’s going to happen, it’s NOT going to be this one. After this race, I start ramping up for an Ironman, and the likelihood of me running a full marathon after 112 miles on the bike, even fit as a fiddle, is so infinitesimally small let’s just round it down to zero. So, I’m going to train like I will race, even if it frustrates me. Have I mentioned I feel lame walking during a short run? Well, let me do it again. Running sucks right now, but not running sucks more.

Weights: Still working with my pretty pink 15 lb kettlebell. I think this is probably where I’ll stay for a bit and increase reps. This is the only place the bike crash is still causing me strife – my knees aren’t really tolerating squats or lunges right now, so wall sits it is (and they are plenty painful on my quads, thxuverymuch). I’ve been pretty decent about making ~15 mins of some light lifting and core happen by just sucking it up and doing it in the morning instead of going right to work.

Things I’m putting in my cakehole: So, I am about 15 lbs up from pre-Covid times, and I assure you, none of that is extra muscle. I’ve weighed more in 2008, and a brief time in 2014-2015 when a nutritionist gave me some bunk info and I put on 15 lbs in two months, but it’s not a good look or feel for me where I’m at. So, here I am, with a problem in one hand, the tried and true solution I’ve been through many times (calorie deficits, tracking my food), and I haven’t been able to put them together yet.

My pathetic excuse here is that I have been incredibusy at work. The reality is that I haven’t prioritized it. Just writing it down helps. Don’t be stupid, take 5 minutes a day to do the thing that will help you get what you want, me. There. Pep talk complete.

Vacations in the last month were nice, but indulging set me back a bit. Time to fix that.

So, what’s on tap for week two? Pretty much more of the same, but in a slightly different order and a little more of it:

  • Monday: 4 mile run/walk
  • Tuesday: 1.5-2k swim, weights
  • Wednesday: 45 min TT bike/3 mile run/walk
  • Thursday: weights
  • Friday: 1.5-2k swim
  • Saturday: weights
  • Sunday: 40 mile road bike outside, 2 mile run/walk

Since I slacked on one weights session and am loading it in today, that means I need to shift them out one day next week. Next week, if I can hold to the schedule, that means I can be back on track (for M/W/F), so I’m going to do that. It’s 15 minutes. Do the thing that helps you do the thing you want, silly.

Outside of that, I’m going to set a few other goals:

  • Track my food, aiming for 1200+activity per day on average
  • Weigh daily – for me this helps it become just a metric and not an emotional thing
  • Stretch at least 3x/week, even if it’s not directly after a workout
  • Ice daily

This is all basic stuff, I just have to reframe my thoughts from “I’m too busy” to “I’m prioritizing this” when I think about my time. I sit on the couch for at least the time it will take to do all these each evening if not more (besides weighing, that’s in the morning, of course!) even if the day gets away from me.

So, pitter patter. Let’s do this.