May 11, 2011

Vineman Week Three


Well friends, I think I can say that my training is officially in full swing! I managed to hit all of my planned workouts this week: 3 swims, 3 rides, and even 2 runs! As I mentioned in my training plan, I'm hoping to incorporate the "rule of threes": 3 workouts in each discipline every week. I'm almost there, but I think I'm going to stick to 2 runs per week for the next week or so. Anyway, to fit everything in this week meant I was doing two-a-days. I did two, and I'll admit that it was a bit tiring. It also meant that I was taking a lot of showers. By the end of the week I was pretty exhausted (also due to poor sleep on my part), but also pretty jazzed that I had a successful week! It's definitely going to take some careful planning and balancing to fit everything in each week with my constantly changing work schedule - this week seemed to accommodate things really well - so I'll just be taking things one week at a time and do the best I can : )

swim: 1,200 yds, 35 min.
  • warm-up: 2x50, 1x100
  • drills: 2x50 kicks, 2x50 arms
  • ladder: 50, 100, 150, 150, 100, 50
  • cool-down: 1x100, 2x50
Not having any real experience with swimming, I would just go to the pool and swim at random with no set workout. Now that I'm actually training for a long swim, I felt like I needed something more structured to help me improve but also to make my swims less boring. So before my swim Monday evening I Googled "beginner swim workouts" and stumbled across this gem. Not only did I totally identify with the intro, but I liked the variety of workouts in both length (400, 800, or 1200) and focus (endurance, form, or speed). Before finding this, I think I was working against myself, thinking that I needed to swim longer sets (i.e. 200+yds) to get in shape. The problem with that, however, was that since the sets were really too long for me, I ended up spending a lot of time resting instead of actually swimming. The idea of swimming shorter sets, where I could actually maintain form and finish without feeling like I was dying, was like an epiphany!

I chose the 1,200 yds endurance workout, since I had already been swimming that yardage, and it incorporated things I had been doing like arm & leg drills and ladders. I wrote the workout down on a scrap of paper and set it next to my lane. And for the first time since I started swimming a couple weeks ago I actually enjoyed myself! I liked the variety of the workout, and felt like the structure of it was a good balance between pushing myself (back-to-back 150s) and ample recovery time between sets. It also broke up the workout, making it seem shorter and less daunting. I finished feeling great, and left the pool just as the sun was setting : )


swim: 1,200 yds, 35 min.
  • warm-up: 2x50, 1x100
  • drills: 2x50 kicks, 2x50 arms
  • ladder: 50, 100, 150, 150, 100, 50
  • cool-down: 1x100, 2x50
Once again, I hit the pool after work and did my newly discovered fave workout from Monday. Nothing too exciting this time around. The back-to-back 150s in the ladder are a bit tough for me, so I give myself 5 seconds between each 50 so I can actually finish the set. As my endurance gets better, I'll hopefully be able to swim them straight through, but for now this works for me. I spent much of the workout planning the rest of my workouts for the week, and discovered that if I don't focus on how tired I am, I don't panic and run out of breath. I just need to keep my mind occupied while I swim!

bike: 21 mi, avg 17.3 mph.
Cinco de Mayo!  I had the day off so I figured I'd use the extra time to do my first two-a-day. My work was holding a fun run later in the day to celebrate the holiday, so I decided to go for a ride that afternoon and then run later. When I walked outside for my ride, however, I was greeted with 90 degree temps! After weeks of rain then mild temps in the 70s, this felt sweltering. I'm not a huge fan of the heat to begin with, and at this point in the year I am definitely not acclimated. I set off anyway with plenty of water, thankful for the breeze I felt the faster I rode. Several miles in I saw something moving out of the corner of my eye and turned to see two young deer right next to the trail! I rode to Discovery Park and took a short water break before heading back. I was hitting speeds between 17-18 mph which I was pleased with, but I could also feel the draining effect the heat was having on me. On my way out I had spotted a bunch of gorgeous California poppies, so on my way back I stopped to snap and pic. While I was off the the side, another cyclist passed and asked if I was ok - of course I was, but I thought it was nice of him to ask, and felt like I should mention it since I am of the opinion that most cyclists are a-holes.

run: 3.1 mi, 9:01 avg pace.
When I got done with my ride I was hot and tired. My stomach had felt a bit off since that morning, and the hot ride seemed to make me feel worse. I had plans to go to the fun run and was meeting some coworkers there, so I wasn't going to back out, but I was not looking forward to it. I got to the start a half hour early and could not believe that it was still in the 90s at 5:30pm! To say that I was dreading the 5km run, on an out-and-back course with no shade, was an understatement. I was tired from from my ride, and still didn't feel so good. Since it was only a fun run I didn't want to push it, especially since I haven't run much since AR 50. My coworker told me she would be going slow, too, so we started out together. I had told her that I was aiming for around 9 minute miles. 
Fleet Feet Cinco de Mayo fun run!
Well, that was the plan. To show you how things actually went, here are my splits: 8:14, 8:56, 9:53, 9:02 (last 0.1). Ummm yea. I went out way to fast ( I blame my coworker, who I was just trying to keep up with), then died a slow death in the relentless heat. I just felt like crap, and had to take some walking breaks during the last half of the run. I finished feeling like I was going to barf, and it took me a while to cool down and feel normal. I finished in a somewhat disappointing 28:xx, but I have to remind myself that it wasn't a race, and considering the circumstances, it wasn't too bad. I'm hoping for some 5k redemption and a shiny new PR Memorial Day weekend when I'll be running this race. Only with this one no excuses are allowed!
Fleet Feet gals all hot and bothered post-run

After the fun run I headed over to work to shower and get ready for a night out celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I met up with my coworker, Erin, and we went out for a night of delicious Mexican food and margaritas. Everywhere was packed, and we ended up at a restaurant with an hour and 45 minute wait, but luckily it (only) took an hour. By that time, my stomach was noisily growling after two workouts and no food since lunch! Our meal was great and we had a wonderful time just chatting til the restaurant closed up. After such a busy day I slept very well that night!

bike: 30 mi, avg 17.1 mph.
I decided to do another 30 miler for my long ride this week, but this time went in a different direction on the trail. The ride went pretty well, and I was happy with the speed I was able to maintain. It was another warm day, but nowhere near as hot as Thursday had been! I rode all the way to Hazel Ave. and the Fish Hatchery, the same route that I covered in the first half of AR (although it was more fun on my bike!), then headed back the same way. Along the way I spotted a huge rattlesnake stretched out across the trail sunning itself, a couple deer resting in the shade of a tree, and a ton of rabbits and squirrels that loved to dart across the trail and cause me to break and swerve. Once again I was a little tired on the last few miles but overall felt pretty good and comfortable throughout. I think that means it's time to up the distance!
American River Parkway
 the turnaround at Hazel

I had actually thought of extending the ride a few miles longer to get in an even 2 hours, but my dad and I had plans to go to dinner and then a baseball game. We ended up skipping the game, though, and instead hit up a free concert series in a park downtown! I guess there will be concerts every Friday throughout the summer, so I'm sure I'll be back again to enjoy the warm nights and some free music!
free concert in the park!

run: 4 mi, 9:15 avg pace.
After a miserably hot run Thursday, I was happy to head out in the cool morning for my second run this week. Only had time for 4 miles, but that was about all I wanted to do. Took my pup along and felt pretty good, but I can still tell I'm not fully recovered from AR. I'm still hitting my usual paces, they just seem harder than they should. I know with more consistency I'll get my speed and endurance back, but right now it just sucks how running seems harder and less fun than usual.

swim: 1,200 yds, 35 min.
  • warm-up: 2x50, 1x100
  • drills: 2x50 kicks, 2x50 arms
  • ladder: 50, 100, 150, 150, 100, 50
  • cool-down: 1x100, 2x50
Another two-a-day, although this one was definitely not as hard as my first bike/run Thursday. Got off work a little early and headed to the pool for a workout I'm now calling "the usual". For some reason, it just went really well. Once again, I was reminded that if I don't think about swimming and how tired I'm getting, I don't freak out and start to lose my breath. I actually enjoyed the workout, and was also surprised that I wasn't that tired after running that morning. After the swim I even rewarded myself with a little time in the jacuzzi!

Although not training related, I did want to mention what I did Saturday night because it's pretty cool. A while back a new bar opened in Sac. There was lots of talk surrounding the opening of Dive Bar, and rumor had it there was an actual fish tank above the bar and fish weren't the only things swimming in there....they had mermaids! Ok, obviously not real ones, but I had to check it out - The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie after all! So after planning for a while, some of my coworkers and I finally hit up Dive Bar and saw not just a mermaid, but a merman, too! I'll admit, it was actually really cool : )
 the mermaid!
Fleet Feet girls

bike: 16 mi, avg. 16.4 mph.
Man did it take a lot to get me out for this ride. After a few late nights and hard workouts I was exhausted all day and the thought of a bike ride after work was almost too much. But in the end, I knew this was the last workout I had to do to hit all my scheduled workouts for the week, and I knew I would regret it if I skipped it. I had initially thought of doing 20 miles, but considering how I felt and the fact that I got off work a little later than planned, I decided to shorten it. Which I ended up being more than fine with when I set out and discovered just how windy and chilly it had become. My legs were tired from the start, so I let myself go a bit easier and slower, which was still a challenge, especially into a headwind. Glad I got it done, but more glad when it was over.

swim - 3,600 yards
bike - 67 miles
run - 7.1 miles


  1. You're doing a good job with getting all of your swim/bike/run workouts in. I am totally failing in the bike department, haven't been on it in over two weeks. I am really going to try to ride tomorrow or Friday! I have to get out of my weekend only mentality.

  2. your awesome, running, biking and swimming. I need to start cross trainging more. haha. keep it up!

  3. You are so inspiring! Fitting that into such a mental week schedule.

    Who cares about a 5k time? It was a TRAINING race for you :) Just remember that! x

  4. Awesome job on all the workouts girl!

  5. if it makes you feel better, my fastest time for 1 mile is 10minutes. so, speed is all relative with running folk. :)

  6. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who didn't like all the naked people at Bay to Breakers! Someone told me that after seeing a few I'll look right through them, but that nevered happened!! I couldn't NOT miss them! Ugh!

    Wow, you are a workout fiend, by the way. Great week of training!


    Ps: I'll be at The Giant Race too! :D