Week 15 proved to be a great big reality check.
Up until now, I’ve kinnda been on cruise control….
Doing workouts as instructed and watching hours gradually build. I was feeling pretty good about things….no, REALLY good about things…
Enter week 15 and functional strength work.
It was hard….both physically and mentally. The work itself combined with the heat and humidity made for a really challenging 7 days.
By Sunday I was fried. The work all got done, but I was also very DONE!
So now, I sit here not feeling near as good about this whole process as I did 2 weeks ago.
Peaks and valleys…
I’ve been through these ups and downs many times before, but it doesn’t make it any easier. WHAT does make it easier though, is knowing after this week I’m heading into the paradise known as recovery.
A step-back week is on the horizon and for the first time since I trained for Galveston (my first 70.3), I am literally “x-ing” off the days. My body really needs some rest!
Until then, the goal is to just stay focused, put my head down and get some quality work done….
Piece of cake, right ?!! 🙂
Swim: More functional strength in the pool….I had back to back days of over 3000 yards and one day was almost all pulling drills. My upper body was toast by Wednesday, but I didn’t get back in until Friday for a light swim prior to the weekend. 8000 yards/ 2 hrs 40 minutes
Bike: Throughout the week there were intervals and hill simulations. I can’t really get to hilly areas easily and with the heat/humidity it’s better to do these on the trainer and try to play catch up with the fluids….or at least not create a bigger hole. A nice principal, but not quite a reality. Saturday brought the long ride and it was an inferno. I went through all 4 bottles in 90 minutes and by the time I stopped to refill, I was WAY behind the 8 ball. I walked into the Dollar Store (small town USA) bought three 12 oz waters and two 12 oz Barqs, then promptly downed them ALL right on the spot. Hmmmm? Thirsty much? I then had to go buy MORE water so I could actually refill the empty bottles…Obviously, I need to stop more frequently to refill. Lesson learned and I got through the remainder of the 4 hr+ ride with ample fluid. Time in the saddle: 8 hrs
Run: Well, I got through it despite all that Mother Nature threw at me….If the heat and humidity wasn’t enough, she added some stormy conditions to the mix and always seemed to do so right as I was doing hill intervals over the bay bridge. I spent as much time chasing my visor as I did running up the overpass. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. Sunday’s 2 hr long run started nice and early around 6am, following a lovely early morning monsoon. It was 84F and 100% humidity…When the sun arrived on the scene it was a mess. Between the sweat, the gels, the steam coming off the road….I felt like a giant sticky bun. My stomach was revolting (and it never really does that), but somehow my pace was holding. An amazing fact, considering I rode 80 miles the day before and I was literally cooking from within. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t breaking records, but I was holding a decent pace. I’d walk when the GI system said to walk and then pick it up again…I called it at 11 miles/1:50. The rest of the day however, I was miserable. My stomach was most unhappy and lying horizontal was really the only thing that kept it from barking until this morning. Time on Feet: 3 hrs 50 mins
This weekend I learned a valuable lesson:
I need a HELL of a lot more fluid….especially on the longer rides, in these conditions. I’ve spent the better part of today mapping out various places where I can reload frequently during these long rides.
I also plan to take advantage of every single water bottle hand-off station in Augusta and IMFL…..something I did not do, during my two previous half-ironman events, because it just wasn’t that hot…..but, looking back, I probably should have done so.
This week is more volume building as opposed to strength (yeah!) to finish up the block and then….
Have I mentioned I’m ready for some R&R?
This has been a HUGE 3 weeks for me, as my workload increased enough to bring me up into that IM level.
Makes me a tiny bit leery to see what’s around the bend AFTER recovery is over!
Swim Happy, My Friends!