So many triathlons, so little time

When I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Racine I wasn’t thinking training logistics, I was just thinking ALL THE TRIATHLONS!! Well, and John really wanted to squeeze another half iron distance in this year, so we signed up! Then when I took a closer look at the calendar I realized how little time I had between Toughman 70.3 and Racine, just one little month. In that month I had to recover from Toughman since it was my A-race, and went on a little vacation where I couldn’t bring my bike, and somehow get some quality miles in before a short one week taper.

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It was tough, but at the moment I’m pleased with how things panned out. I PR’ed my A-race, got THISclose to age grouping at a sprint triathlon the weekend after, enjoyed my vacation, and am in the middle of a good week of quality training. Just a few more good workouts before I taper for Racine.

Yesterday during a slow, easy seven mile run I was thinking about what I expect out of Racine. It’s hard to predict considering I had a busy June training and racing schedule, but I’m thinking I’m going to leave it all on the course. It’s my last long distance triathlon this year. It’s flat, I’m feeling fairly confident, maybe I can snag another PR?

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Just Tired

Right now it’s 8:17 AM. I should be just finishing up a 12 mile long run. I ate my carbs last night, I stretched, rolled, took a salt bath, and went to bed at 8:45. When the alarm went off at 5:30 I woke with a raging headache, and just felt depleted of energy. I went downstairs and took a sip of coffee and decided “Nope”

I crawled back into bed, worrying about when I’ll be able to get these miles done. The miles were planned for this morning because I don’t start work until 11:00 today. On Saturday my plan is to wake early, ride 2 hours, go to work, and then after work go to a Dog festival, because I love dogs and I don’t want triathlon training to rule over fun things in life. On Sunday I have a sprint triathlon. It made the most sense to get the miles done today.

When I woke up at 8:00, after 11 hours of sleep I was wondering how in the world I’m so tired. I had a big weekend of tough miles, and then took Monday and Tuesday off, with the exception of some strength training on Tuesday. I’ve been eating good, nutritious foods, no booze/beer, and getting plenty of sleep. Sleep is hugely important to me, I work a job where focus is essential to success….Work…Then it came to me.

Work has been extra stressful lately. For the last week I’ve been pulling another person’s weight at work. We’ve been down a person due to vacation, and it’s been non-stop running around. It’s also important to note that I work on my feet, no sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours here.

It’s frustrating when work interferes with my training. I’m not career-oriented at this point in my life. Right now I’m pathetically triathlon-oriented. I don’t feel guilty about sleeping in this morning, I know I needed it.

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Weekend Miles – Three Weeks to Toughman 70.3

Looking back at my weekend’s long training miles, I’m feeling extra accomplished. I had some tough weather conditions to fight on both days.

On Saturday I had the challenge of having to work until 1:00, and then doing my run after. It’s a challenge to balance my appetite, time on my feet, and motivation to run after work. Not only that, but on Saturday it was raining all day, with a cool 50 degrees. John and I headed to “the woods” to run on trails. I suggested we separate and do our own solo runs and meet back in an hour and forty-five minutes.

The trails were mushy mud pits. There was a lot of spots I had to stop to try and tip-toe around, but my feet were completely soaked three miles in. I had ten on my agenda. Nothing I could do but grin, bear it, and keep running. Conditions were not ideal, but my legs felt fantastic.

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Then on Sunday morning we woke up and it was 40 flipping degrees out. We went grocery shopping first, procrastinated around the house, and finally drove to Verona to ride the Ironman WI bike course. It was still only in the low 50s when we got there, and wiiiinnndy. Fourteen mph with nineteen mph gusts. Those gusts rattled my bike! The one thing that really stuck out to me about this ride is that I know that in past years I would have been absolutely pissed with those conditions. I recall crying during a 3 hour ride while it was brutally windy last summer. For whatever reason, one silly tweet struck a chord with me for days like that. I can’t remember who, but someone said “Next time it’s windy, pretend you’re in Kona”

So I hunkered down in aero position and kept my cadence up. I was mentally strong throughout. Huge improvement for me in my training right there. And to rub more inspiration in, when we stopped at Kwik Trip for more water there was a cyclist there in his Kona jersey. He asked me how I was doing, I responded, “the wind is getting me, is that what it’s like in Kona?”  He said “All day, every part of it”

That kept me moving for the next portion of our ride. It wasn’t until Stage Coach Road of the ride where I lost patience with the wind. If you’re not familiar with the Ironman WI bike course, Stage Coach Road is the absolute worst. It’s a mile of teeth-rattling rough road. That road, into the wind, boohoo, mental toughness gone. Soon after that we hit “the bitches”, the three big, nasty hills on the course. I have work to do over there!

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After the ride we ran a mile uphill, then swam a mile in a quarry. Basically world’s dumbest order of training, because my arms were having none of that swim. John was determined though. He got his mile in. I’ve created a monster!

With a great weekend of training brings another triathlon registration!

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Ironman 70.3 Racine

Oh wait, I’m a Triathlete

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I Instagramm’ed this image on Friday morning because in the past I could very much relate to it. What weekend? Relaxation? Huh?

Now that I’m not training for a full Ironman this year, I have some precious weekend time to do things other than train. It’s so freeing I’m afraid I might not ever want to commit to full Ironman training again! Saturday morning John and I woke up and took a stroll around Dane County Farmer’s Market. This is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time!

After the farmer’s market we did get into cycling gear to do a long ride. We set out for 40 miles, longest ride this season! Forty miles takes me two and a half hours, but I didn’t feel stressed out about getting it done, I actually very much enjoyed it. One huge difference between how I trained last year and this year is that I’m just starting my ride from home. Last year I would rack the bike onto the car and drive to Verona to do the Ironman loop. The drive to get there takes around 30 minutes. Thirty minutes there, two and a half hour ride plus breaks, thirty minute drive back…it equated to a major time suck.

During the ride John kept talking about how he was going to run 6-8 miles after. I didn’t plan on it being a brick, but he definitely motivated me to make it one. After the ride I ran two miles, he got in five. Even after a three hour brick I still had plenty of Saturday to enjoy! So we packed up some things and went to the dog beach.

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Of course I considered bringing my wetsuit, I’m a triathlete, I can’t help but thinking about sneaking a swim in if I’m at the lake! I tucked some goggles into our beach bag, just in case. Good thing, because I hopped right in! I couldn’t resist. I love open water swimming!

All in all, great Saturday with quality training and leisure time. Half Ironman training suits me well!

Spring Weekend Miles

Spring weather came around over the weekend, and that meant being outside, enjoying my long run, and spending every waking minute in the sunshine as possible.

On Saturday we did a recovery week long run of just 10 miles. We were both relieved to “just” be doing 10 miles this week, it would go by so quick! Except it didn’t. I planned a torturous route with giant hills, Observatory Drive included. I also thought I could get away without taking a Gu because it was “just” 10 miles. Somewhere after mile 7 I was depleted of energy and took my stupid Gu.

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After our run we agreed to finally revisit the Harmony Bar & Grill in Madison. We haven’t been there in 10 years because of the atrocious service we received on several occasions. On my first visit I asked if they had any flavored vodkas, the bartender barked “Why don’t you try to learn to drink like an adult and come back?” Whoa. What the actual F.

On another occasion John asked the bartender, “I’m in the mood for a gin drink, what do you recommend?” The grumpy old man said, “We’re not that kind of bar” and walked away. Um? The kind of bar that serves drinks? You’re not that kind? Okay. So we just gave up going there.

Walking into the establishment on Saturday I felt like I was walking on egg shells. The same goddamn woman who told me to learn to drink like an adult was still there. Ten years later. We hesitantly ordered. John and I quietly ate our food and slurped our drinks, and did not order a second round. We were too afraid of getting scolded at for not doing it right. They obviously have a right way there.

Sunday morning was even nicer out than Saturday. With the pool being closed for Easter, I thought about riding my bike. Most of me was all “Nah, you’re sore from running hills yesterday, you’re not on a training plan, you don’t have to ride, lazy Sunday!” But this inner guilt got me. The guilt reminded me that I do have a 70.3 in the middle of June, I should be getting more serious on my bike! So I got 21 miles in, and it was delightful.

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I find it interesting that even though I’m not signed up for a 140.6 distance triathlon that I still deep down feel the need to put in the miles like I am training for one. Yet I’m glad I’m not signed up for one because I don’t want to be tied down to a training plan this year. It’s a triathlete conundrum.

There’s a balance in there somewhere, I will eventually figure it out!

Solo Gym Triathlon

When I get a middle of the week day off of work, I like to fill it with activity. Usually a long run, or in the winter cross country skiing. It’s an entire day for me, to go out and play! Today was that day for me, except I did not get to go out and play. It was -15 degrees with windchill, no thank you.

Instead of playing outside I went to the gym. What I should have done, especially after registering for spring races, is to force myself to run six treadmill miles. Treadmills, ugh, no.

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To keep things fresh and fun with indoor workouts, I did my own sprint distance triathlon at the gym! I started with a 1200 yard swim–yes I know 1200 is way more than a typical sprint distance triathlon. I swam 1200 yards because 1. I like swimming, and 2. If I’m getting my hair wet it better be worth it. My swim was straight through, no breaks or kick-board laps. Got it done in 21 minutes!

Next I planted my butt on a spin bike. Biking is my least favorite, even outside. I always hold back on the bike knowing I need to run after. I did 12 miles in 36 minutes, which averages 20 mph. If this had been done outside I would have averaged 16 mph no doubt. Twenty mph is high for me, and I know I didn’t push very hard today.

Finally I hopped onto the treadmill. My first mile was quick, but I felt myself fading. I refused to walk any of it, it’s just 3.1 miles. Stupid reality TV shows kept my mind occupied while I slogged through it. When there was just a half a mile to go I increased the speed so I could get it over with quicker. Finished 3.1 miles in 28:05, a 9:03 average.

Not too shabby for a self-hosted solo triathlon. So it better warm up soon, because I’m not sure what else I can do to entertain myself in the gym!