July 11, 2011

Vineman Week Eleven + June


Hello taper! With just a few more weeks til Vineman it was time to start cutting back a bit. I didn't want to taper too much, however, since on Saturday we left for our weeklong cruise, and I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to workout or if I'd even be able to swim or ride on the ship. I focused mostly on swimming this week and got in my highest weekly yardage yet with some solid swims. I managed to squeeze in a couple rides, too, but my running sort of suffered : / I also did my first workouts on the ship: a short bootcamp class, a treadmill run on the rocking ship, and my first spin class!

run: 4 mi, 9:26 avg pace.
Short run before work but it was already pretty warm out. I brought my pup along, but toward the end she really started to slow and when we got home I could tell she was pretty overheated. She was breathing harder than I'd seen before and wasn't cooling off, even after I hosed her down with cold water and forced her to drink. I brought her inside to lay on the cool tile floor, but I was still pretty worried. Eventually she started to feel better and I was able to head to work. While it was certainly warm it wasn't crazy hot, so I'm wondering if it had to do with the air quality which kind of sucked that day. Either way, it's definitely something I need to be careful of with her!

bike: 30 mi, avg 17.7 mph.
Started the week off right with a double. For some reason I had a short shift so I took advantage of the extra daylight and headed out for my "long" ride of the week. I had a pretty full schedule at work for the rest of the week since I was leaving on Saturday, so this was the only time I could fit in a longer ride. Since this was the first week of taper I settled on 30 miles which felt like a good effort, especially considering the morning run.

swim: 2,300 yds, 55 min.
  • warm-up: 200
  • repeated twice:
    • 50-50
    • 50-100
    • 50-150
    • 50-200
    • 50-250
  • cool-down: 100 w/ pb
I was really dreading this workout and came this close to talking myself out of it. I had to close at work which meant it would be a really late evening, plus it had been storming all day and was still raining when we closed up. Thanks to some of my coworkers I talked myself back into swimming and ended up having a pretty good workout. I opted to do a longer ladder-type workout to focus on endurance, and while I was glad I got it done, I was also happy when it was over : )

swim: 2,500 yds, 60 min.
  • warm-up: 200
  • 3x100 (on the 2:15)
  • 100 w/ pb
  • 3x100 (on the 2:15)
  • repeated twice:
    • 50-50
    • 50-100
    • 50-150
    • 50-200
  • cool-down: 200 (100 w/ pb)
Not knowing how much swimming I'd be able to do on the cruise, I wanted to get in another long workout this week. I did a mix of intervals and a longer ladder, and pushed myself a bit more on the 100s. When I first started swimming I would do my 100s on the 2:20, but that started to feel pretty easy so I've since dropped to 2:15. I completed all of them between 1:45-1:50 at a moderate effort which I was quite pleased with. 

swim: 2,000 yds, 50 min. 
  • warm-up: 200
  • 3x100 (on the 2:15)
  • 100 w/ pb
  • 3x100 (on the 2:15)
  • repeated once:
    • 50-50
    • 50-100
    • 50-150
    • 50-200
  • 4x50 (on the 1:05)
  • cool-down: 200 (100 w/ pb)
After two longer workouts in a row, I cut back on the yardage and included more intervals. I was actually feeling really good and was happy with my times for the intervals. I completed my 100s in 1:45 at a moderate effort and even threw in some 50s at the end to see what I could do when a little fatigued. I was quite pleased with consistent 50 sec efforts. I also tried out my new TYR reversible neon suit since I realized my old one was well over a year old and looking a little dingy. It fits so much better and the bright colors are much more fun!

bike: 21 mi, avg 16.0 mph.
I hate riding in the mornings for some reason but I knew I needed to get in another ride before leaving on the cruise, so I recruited a coworker of mine to meet me before work for a short ride. We met up a couple miles from my house on the bike trail and headed out for a nice out and back. It was a beautiful morning, sunny but still nice and cool. Heather hasn't really biked much so we kept the pace fairly easy. I don't know if it was the company, the easier speed, or both, but I really enjoyed myself! It was nice to not have any pressure to maintain a certain speed, and having someone to talk to made the time go by so much faster! Makes me wish I'd had more riding buddies during Vineman training, but oh well : (

run: 0.66 mi, 9:22 avg pace.
Quick run around the block to calibrate my new Garmin foot pod! More on this later, but besides tracking my data indoors (i.e. on a treadmill) it also tracks cadence. This can play a pretty significant role in running form and efficiency, so I was pleased to see that at 85 rpm I wasn't too far off the "ideal" cadence of 90 rpm.

This was a looonnng day of traveling so obviously a rest day was necessary!
relaxing on the ship before departure!

other: 20 min bootcamp.
This was our first full day at sea, so I figured I would take advantage of the free time and get things started on the right foot. The onboard fitness center was offering a free bootcamp class, so I signed up and headed to the gym. It turned out to just be a short introduction to the class (which you could then sign up for). I wasn't really a fan though; the moves were effective, but the super fast pace didn't really allow for good form (at least not for me). It was still nice to get a good sweat on first thing in the morning.

run: 4 mi, 10:00 avg pace.
Since I didn't get as good of a workout from the bootcamp as I'd hoped, I decided to stay and hop on the treadmill and knock out a few miles. Believe it or not, but this was my first run on a treadmill, ever. And while I think the general consensus is that dreadmills suck, it was especially bad on the ship. First, they maxed out at 6 mph (a 10:00 min/mi pace). To compensate I jacked up the incline, but I still felt like I was moving fairly slow. Second, the ship was rocking pretty bad, making it really hard to even stay centered on the treadmill and was pretty uncomfortable and frustrating. And lastly, for some reason my Garmin wasn't cooperating. I was obviously running a 10:00 pace, but my Garmin was showing almost 12:00 pace and was consistently a few tenths of a mile off on distance, too. I calibrated the foot pod before I left so I'm not quite sure why there was such a huge discrepancy. And while I know it's really not a big deal, the whole reason I bought the thing was to record my data so it was annoying for it to be so far off. I managed to eek out 4 miles according to the Garmin (4.5 according to the treadmill before my frustration got the better of me.
fitness center
 view from the 'mill
the "real" stats
bike: 50 min spin class.
The gym onboard also offered other classes for an extra fee, and when I saw that they had spin I signed up for a couple classes. While it wouldn't be quite the same as cycling, it was the closest I was going to get over the next week. It was actually my first spin class, too, and it ended up being a decent workout. I was a little tired from the workouts that morning, but I kept up and got a good burn going in my legs. 50 minutes later and we were done. With a couple good sweat seshes under my belt I didn't feel quite so guilty at our first big dinner that night!

p.s. I'm working on a more detailed post about the ins and outs of getting in some sweat time while cruising. Coming up soon!

swim - 6,800 yards
bike - 51 miles
run - 8.66 miles


Week Eleven

Total: 312.1 miles
swim - 25,700 yards
bike - 242.3 miles
run - 55.2 miles

I still cannot believe that June has come and gone! Is the year really already halfway over? Crazy. In the training and racing world it was another busy month with the peak weeks of half Ironman training and a couple races thrown in for good measure. Early in the month I celebrated Father's Day with a great father-daughter run in the midst of the first heat waves of summer. Speaking of dad, I also did my first open water swim of the season while my dad paddled alongside in his kayak : )
 dad and his kayak at Lake Natoma

I also completed my first Olympic distance triathlon as a practice run before Vineman and couldn't have asked for a better race! I made my goal of a sub-3 hour finish by squeaking in at 2:59, and I even placed 2nd in my age group (ok, out of 2, but I'll take it!). Most of all I had fun and got a great confidence boost for the upcoming 70.3.
Sac International Triathlon

Toward the end of June I had the fabulous opportunity to volunteer at the prestigious Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. I stayed up literally all night in the middle of nowhere, cheering on runner after runner, helping them refuel, then sending them on their way. The highlight of the whole night was getting to see my coworker Diane coming in at the last minute, who would go on to finish with 9 minutes to spare. It was one of the most inspiring things I've ever experienced, and it was an honor to be part of. Well worth the lack of sleep!
WS 100 aid station, mile 73

After some weird weather that went from 90s to cold and rainy to triple digits, it seems that traditional summer weather is finally hear, along with it longer daylight hours for evening workouts. Going into July I've got a couple big things on the schedule including a weeklong cruise in Alaska and of course the big 70.3. Yikes!


  1. I can't believe you've never been on a treadmill before now. It seems I live on a treadmill sometimes. I obviously don't mind them, but the one's on your ship suck. Ten mph is slow for a treadmill max. must be a safety issue for when the boat is rocking. Well, I've never been on a cruise before, so hope you enjoyed it!

  2. I hate treadmills too. I'd rather use an elliptical and do often. your training is going very well. keep up the hard work. I'm impressed with you dedication, particularly that you willing to put in your work while on vacation (on cruise no less). Don't forget to celebrate you accomplishments once and a while, you deserve it!