Monday, March 29, 2010

Working late and bike volume PLUS BRICKS

I rode the trainer Friday morning. I had wanted to ride the bike into work but it would be a late night. We were performing maintenance at work and I would probably not be home until 7 or 8 PM. So I jumped off of the trainer and drove to work. I was successful on the trainer only because I dialed the workout down to ‘recovery’ level. At lunch I ditched the swim workout – not a good idea – and played racquet ball instead. Three quick games and then it was time for some abs. I took Friday easy with the purpose of racking up some real mileage over the weekend.

Work got rough on Friday night. Working in computers, anything can happen. Although my stuff was fine it was directly effect by some stuff that was not okay. To make a long story short – I was planning on getting out of work around 7 or 8 with 9 PM being the latest. Instead, I wrapped up and started heading home at 9:30AM. I guess I could have ridden my bike into work after all – just not the way that I had planned. I got about an hour of sleep at my desk on the floor sometime during the night and the work was not taxing – it was just a whole lot of waiting around for support. My big training day was definitely compromised. The big mileage bike ride turned into an hour long ride. The bike was a conservative effort averaging just under 20MPH. Considering that I was holding back I felt strong on the bike. Having done so many rides on the trainer – I now realize that the trainer is much harder than outside. This makes me feel a little bit better.

After the ride I did get a solid brick – I transitioned quickly to the run and debated how far to run. I need to predefine these distances. If not I will sometimes cut them short. I originally thought 5 miles but shortened it to 3 miles at a good pace. Running fast is the challenge I have during bricks. I have adapted to the muscle imbalances of the brick. I can get off of the bike and run almost any distance. It is just the getting off of the bike and running ‘any distance’ fast that is the problem. I programmed the virtual trainer for 3 miles at 7 minutes per mile pace.

The run was hard from the get go – there is a slight hill leaving my drive way. I dropped a few feet behind my nemesis but quickly made up time on the downhill. I could feel the tension in my hamstrings but I was strong. I clicked off the first mile in 6:46 and decided that I need to back off a little bit. The next mile came in at 6:50. I was still feeling strong and finished the last mile at 6:37 for a total time of 20:14 at an average pace of 6:44 minutes per mile.

I napped for a little bit after the ride. I tried to stay up and enjoy the day but I knew that I was not long for the world. It reminded me of countless weekends when I worked a graveyard shift. You just went through the motions – it was like being a zombie.

I got a good night’s sleep on Saturday and got some of the planned volume back. I headed out for a ride with Jodie on Sunday morning. For the first 2 miles I took it easy and we chatted. At Clyde Depot I got into my zone 2 and rolled on. The wind was bustling a lot but I was feeling strong. I was not sure of the distance that I wanted – I thought about 30 miles or maybe 40 miles. I continued to fight the wind. Knowing that my run fitness is superior to my bike fitness I pushed on. I stopped at Bassfield – I have not seen Bassfield in forever. This is the 25 mile turn around for me. I looked at my watch and it had taken me 1:20 minutes for the ‘almost’ 25 miles. This was about 5 miles off of my normal pace. I took a slow water and bathroom stop knowing that I was off of my pace – I was not overly concerned about the time. I filled my front water bottle and mixed some Gatorade type stuff in my other water bottle. While taking care of business the wind knocked my bike over – spilling the contents of my front water bottle. Now, I know how to prop my bike up. I can’t remember when my bike has ever fallen over. The wind was really blowing that hard – maybe this could account for some of the loss of speed.

I remounted the bike and headed home. My quads were hurting from the lack of bike fitness but I was keeping my heart rate in zone 2. This was a controlled ride. The back portion of the ride ended up being 12 minutes faster than the out. Wow – the wind was substantial (also I did the first 2 miles at a warm up pace). I ended up with the ‘almost’ 50 miles at ‘almost’ 20 MPH (the 4 minute pit stop did not help). I felt good about the ride.

My legs were hurting more than the previous day but I wanted to duplicate the BRICK. I was going to go a little slower and try the 3 miles at 7 minutes per mile. I failed this time but I was able to make the best of the effort. As soon as I started running my feet were killing me. I am a fore footed runner and while on the bike I also use my fore foot to apply pressure to the pedal. This is hard on my feet. After about half a mile I was hurting and did not want to maintain the 7 minutes per mile pace. I stopped for a fraction of a second and then immediately regained my mental fortitude. I might not be able to run 7 minute miles right now but I definitely did not need to stop. I just slowed the pace a little bit and maintained. I turned around at less than a mile. This was a failure – I should have stuck it out. Soon, I clicked off the first mile at 7:21. At this rate I would be home in about 1 ½ miles total. I lengthen the run just a little so that I got 2 miles total. By doing this I did get a little more hill action. Hitting home, mile two clicked in at 7:26 minute per mile pace. So, although this brick did not go as planned and I failed (actually I failed several times during this run – just in quick secession) I was able to regroup. And by the time I reached mile 2 my feet were feeling better. My cardio endurance was fine but my feet and muscular discomfort were limiters. But, feeling better at mile two gives me some confidence for 70.3 NO. My feet were the issue in that run also.

With the bike coming along and a few solid bricks under my belt I think that my half ironman goals, although lofty, just might be attainable. Looking at my race bike I realize that I still need to take the ironman race number off.


Kristin said...

Oh, and the little Ironman sticker is still on my stem, I can't seem to take it off just yet!

Kristin said...

It's hard to balance training with long hours, it's something I juggle daily. Nice job working things out!