Monday, April 11, 2011

Boston-one week to go

I have been getting itineraries emailed to me regarding the hotel and flight information that I booked back in September.  If you remember, I booked all of the arrangements prior to registering for the race.  Who knew that it would fill up so fast.  I was able to register in the first hour – I was clock watching.  The upcoming Boston Marathon is starting to feel very real!

I took all of Saturday off.  It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shinning and the sky was blue.  But I was tired.  The two runs the prior day plus the recent heat (it was 90 on Friday) took its toll.  The rest did me good and I got some necessary yard work done – the yard has been mowed.  I am sure the neighbors are rejoicing. 

With the marathon a week away I have already switched over to triathlon mode.  Running the marathon as an event or celebration is taking all of the pressure away.  I am going to enjoy it and not get caught up in time goals – I say that now, today – on race day we will see.  But I have switched over to thinking about triathlon a lot more. 

This is part of my enjoy the Boston Marathon, drop the volume, add the intensity, I don’t need no stinking taper taper.


The ice bath cometh.

I decided to take the race bike off of the trainer for the first time since my last race (July).  I unhooked all of the gadgets that go on the bike while on the trainer.  I took off the speed /cadence sensor and the computer interface and I removed all of the various towels that absorb the sweat.  They needed to be thrown in the wash anyway.  They get washed on a schedule but it won’t hurt anything to move it up a bit.

I decided to ride my 20 mile out and back at a TT pace just to shake the legs out and see where I stand on the season.  I think riding the trainer all winter has paid off but by how much?  This ride was not a TT, just at TT pace.  I was not willing to get deep into the red zone.  I did not wear the rocket helmet, the unitard or put the race wheels on the bike.  There was also zero warm up.  This would just be a fast 20 mile out and back followed my a short intense brick.

It took a little bit for the heart rate to respond but the legs were hurting immediately.  My quads were burning within the first minute or two.  This was going to hurt.  My heart soon responded to the effort.  I was soon past 160 and I allowed it to settle in the mid-160’s.  This was a TT not an explosion. 

Everyone talks about the difference between the trainer and the outside.  It is real.  The mid-160’s is a heart range on the trainer that I cannot hold for very long – about 10 minutes max.  It is so hard on the trainer.  During the TT’s the 160’s are the low end of the range.  On our 11.85 mile TT course I can average in the low 170’s.  I would not be able to do this on the trainer.  Today’s ride would average out to 165 beats per minute.

The stations on the trace came and went quickly.  Even though I was hurting, the good kind of hurt, I was feeling strong.  I don’t ever look at speed while on the bike.  I only look at cadence and heart rate.  I would love to look at power but that is for another time.

I have said it before, I am a spinner not a fighter masher.  So every time my cadence dropped to 90 I went to an easier gear.  Every time I hit 100 I shifted to a harder gear.  I watched my heart rate and hit the turn around for the 20 mile out and back at 27:30.  I was trying to remember some of my past times.  This would be close.

The out portion is a little slower than the back (or so I thought).  I kept the intensity up on the hill out of Sumrall.  I kept the intensity high through the Beaver Pond and through Eply.  With about six miles to go the stopwatch indicated 39 minutes.  I was on pace. 

I finished the 20 mile out and back in 55:17 with an average pace of 21.4.  I also remembered that my 20 mile out and back is not 20 miles.  It is 19.75 miles.  It was my 20 mile out and back prior to the advent of the GPS watch.  So my run was 19.75 miles in 55:17 @ 21.4 MPH.  I am pretty sure this is my fastest by about 3 minutes.  I will have to double check.  (PRELIMINARY RESULTS INDICATE I BEAT MY 20 MILE OUT AND BACK TIME BY NEARLY 3 MINUTES).  Results must be verified.

My legs were literally killing me.  My quads ached like they have never ached before.  I slipped my running shoes on and hit the pavement. The transition was not in record time but it was reasonable.  I wanted this to be a hard effort.  I have the ability to run easy off the bike.  Running fast is an entirely different animal.  My heart rate ramped up and I kept the cadence high.  I wanted to be fast but I also did not want to blow up.  I was only running a couple of miles.  The distance was not in stone – MISTAKE – and the distance quickly went from 5 miles to 3 miles to the end result of 2 miles.  While on the run I talked myself out of a long, fast brick to save the legs and all of those lies we tell ourselves when things start to hurt. 

This is why racing is so good – the finish line never changes regardless of the negotiating. 

I finished the compromised 2 mile brick averaging just under 7 minutes per mile.  Not my best but the legs were blown.

I made a recovery shake, grabbed a book, filled a pitcher full of ice and started the bath.  My legs were hurt.  It was a good hurt but hurt none the less.  I kept the socks on and put on a pair of compression shorts.  These items help in the ice bath. 

I do not do the ice bath at freezing levels.  I just run the cold water, turn on the jets and dump a pitcher full of ice into the tub.  It is cold enough.  I soaked for about 20 minutes.

After the bath and recovery shake I showered and crawled into bed.  I stretched out the legs and I actually got a short nap.  The legs would continue to ache for a few more hours and then, BAM, they were better.


misszippy said...

I agree, the trainer doesn't translate over to the road, no matter how much time you spend on it during winter. However, you look like you're doing just fine with that average!

BTW--tried to comment on your Steve Runner post the other day but it wouldn't let me. I hope you get to have that beer with him!

Anonymous said...

Good luck @ Boston! I went last year to watch the BF run. It's an amazing race, tons of support and excitement.

Trainer does NOT compare to outdoor riding! CompuTrainer is harder I think though but I avoid it at all costs!

Tri4Success said...

I despise the trainer. Used only when absolutely necessary and yes, HR is easier to sustain on the road. The mistake you made on the run is something I've had to deal with a lot lately on my rides. Winds have been steady at 15-20mph for a solid 2 weeks. If you don't go out with a set route and distance then it gets very easy to start eliminating miles.

Tri-James said...

I agree -

When the going gets tough, you had better have a plan! Without the plan it is too easy to cut corners.

I don't have a solid plan this week with the marathon looming. You can bet that I will have a solid plan for my builds and peaks in triathlon.

"If you don't have a plan then you plan to fail!"

Jill said...

Good luck in Boston, you're going to have a blast! Try to get in a seminar if you can, they are really good!

I am just getting into the cycling scene but I much prefer outdoors to my trainer, but the trainer can still kick my butt! :)

Kim said...

the trainer gets me mentally. i could ride for hours outside, but the trainer is the death of me. as is a treadmill! oh man, boston in 1-week. when you flying in?

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Yep, indoor fit is nothing like outdoor fit. Dealing with wind and hills is something, no matter how hard you try, can be duplicate on the trainer. Though, I am pleased with the base the trainer gave me

Unknown said...

Weird how the trainer "seems" so damn hard but then you can't match the fitness you had when doing it outside! And wind builds character!

Matty O said...

Loved this post. Glad I was able to catch up on it.

I find the same thing, I can't maintain my Threshold HR on the trainer for too long, I am literally dying on the dreaded bike, but I have not really tried outdoor HR yet so I am VERY curious where I will be.

I think I have a decent base built up from biking this winter.

You were flying on that course man. Sustaining that for an hour is some serious pushing. I am a cadence pedaler too. I don't like to mash, I found that CRUSHES my quads for the run. So I forced myself all winter to be at 90 on the bike. I like your idea of playing with the gears to maintain cadence instead of pushing harder or backing off... I will try that for sure.

Good luck this week :)!