March 5, 2012

Ironman Week 9


Time really seems to be flying by - I can't believe it's already been 9 weeks! That also meant that it was time for another round of assessments to check on my progress. While I certainly hoped to see some improvements from last time (Week 5), I was a little surprised to improve fairly significantly on all three tests. I hope that means all this training is paying off! The other big news of the week was my most recent purchase - a sexy little triathlon bike! So far I absolutely love it and can't believe what a difference it makes.

pm: conditioning / 0:40
Last week marked the end of my winter conditioning class so from here on it looks like I'll be incorporating weights and strength training on my own. My coach gave me a pretty straightforward workout to follow this week and while it was simple and quick it was definitely effective - I was feeling the after effects over the next couple days! This also marked my first time using anything at my gym besides the pool. I honestly didn't even know where to go! I also wasn't familiar with some of the exercises in the workout but luckily my coworker volunteered to come with me and act as my personal trainer : ) It ended up being really fun and I loved feeling the burn. I'm looking forward to having this as a supplement to my training!
  • warm-up: 5 min elliptical
  • 2x20, RI = 60-90"
    • leg press
    • lat pull down
    • push ups
    • step ups
    • seated row
    • ball crunches
  • 30" plank hold
lat pulls!
am: bike / 12 mi / 0:46 / avg 15.5 mph
Easy morning ride before work. I'm definitely sick of the wind we've been having though - I'll be cruising along having a good ride, only to turn back and find a headwind!

pm: run / 3.2 mi / 0:30 / avg 9:35
I waffled back and forth about going for this run. I got out of work kind of late and was tired and hungry. In the end I talked myself into it and it ended up being a nice, easy run with my pup. It started sprinkling on me when I started but it was kind of refreshing. It meant a late dinner but when it was done I was happy I'd done it!

pm: swim / 1,650 yds / 0:40
It was time for another time trial! I had the day off so I waited to til the afternoon to set out. The sky had been dark all morning and of course as soon as I was about to leave it started dumping. Since I don't mind swimming in the rain I set out anyway, and as I drove toward Natomas I actually left the dark skies behind me and was greeted with sunny blue skies at the pool : ) The test was basically the same as last time: a broken time trial of 10x100 with 10 sec rest. I was really hoping to improve on my previous time but really didn't know what to expect. I tried to focus on form and being efficient rather than going super fast. During the second half I told myself to keep pushing when I started feeling tired. And wouldn't you know it, I bested my time by 35 seconds! Finals stats were 18:00 for 1,000 yards, a pace of 1:47/100 yds. It was certainly not an easy effort, but I was pretty happy with my improvement!
  • warm-up:
    • 300
    • 6x25 fast on 0:50
  • main: 10x100 [broken time trial]
  • cool-down: 200
no sign of rain here!

After my swim I headed to Davis Wheelworks again to test ride and purchase my sexy new tri bike! This is something I've been planning for quite a while so it was both cool and nerve wracking to take the plunge. Sh*t just got serious : ) I absolutely love her though!
my new baby : )

pm: bike / 18.2 mi / 1:00 / avg 18.2 mph
I debated for a bit which bike to use for my bike time trial. On the one hand, I was nervous about taking the new bike out on the bike trail with turns, people, & squirrels all while trying to go fast. On the other hand, I was really eager to see what kind of difference it made in terms of speed. I decided to go for it and was so glad I did! It had rained the night before and the sky was dark so I hoped to squeeze it in before it started raining again. Once on the bike trail I dropped down into aero and spun easy for 15 minutes to warm up. I was surprised to see my speed hovering between 17-18 mph with very little effort! My HR, on the other hand, was sky high from the start, which I can only attribute to being a little terrified : /

I hit the lap button to start the time trial and started pushing harder. I had to slow way down and come out of aero on the turns which was a little frustrating, and I also hit a bit of construction where I had to stop and carry my bike around. Otherwise things were going really well. When I turned around to head back I hit some wind that slowed me down a bit, but I still ended up with a huge improvement over my last time trial (8.77 mi, 17.5 mph, HR 156) with 9.5 miles in 30 minutes (19 mph!) and an average HR of 158. Yeeeaaaa!! Can't wait to see what I can do in better conditions with more practice : )

pm: run / 6.6 mi / 1:00 / avg 9:08
After relaxing for a few hours after my bike test I headed out for an easy hour run with my pup. I run with her fairly often, so I figured this time I'd share a pic - I think she's pretty cute : ) At the start of the bike trail she took off into the field, clearly overjoyed to be running and I couldn't help but smile. I didn't wear my HR monitor but rather focused on effort. The pace felt slow and easy but was faster than it felt. After a wet and gloomy day it had cleared up and was a gorgeous evening. I ended up overdressing as I was expecting cool temps but it was so nice!


am: run / 5.5 mi / 0:45 / avg 8:10
I wasn't sure that I'd see any improvements over last time (3.77 mi, 7:57 pace, HR 175), but I was determined to at least be about the same. After a 10 minute warm-up I picked it up for the 30 minute time trial and ran on feel. I focused on maintaining a quick cadence and steady breathing and tried to keep it steady but still fast. The last 10 minutes were brutal; it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. I knew I was a bit ahead of last time, but wasn't sure how much so I pushed as hard as I could for the last couple minutes. I finished with 3.93 miles in 30 minutes (a 7:38 pace!) with an average HR of 175. I was totally spent by the end but really pleased with myself, too.

pm: swim / 1,000 yds / 0:25
I almost skipped this swim because it was so short, but in the end I sucked it up and just got it done (and rewarded myself after with some jacuzzi time). It was a recovery swim so nothing too intense. I did get to use paddles for the first time, though! It's crazy how much more pull you get with them but they totally load up your shoulders. After only 200 yards I felt it the next day! The workout also called for a some non-free so I did the only other stroke I know - breast!
  • warm-up: 200
  • main:
    • 200 w/ pull buoy & paddles
    • 200 (alt. 25 kick/25 non-free)
    • 200 (alt. 25 FTD/25 swim)
  • cool-down: 200
am: swim / 1,400 / 1:00
Met up at the pool for the usual Sunday morning MTC group swim. The workout ended up being on the shorter end but was chock full of sprints! My legs were feeling pretty fatigued after my run test the day before so the sprints were pretty challenging, especially the 100s. I managed to keep my pace fairly consistent though with the 25s ranging from 20-22" and the 100s from 1:35-1:39.
  • warm-up: 200
  • main:
    • 100 kick
    • 100 CU
    • 8x25 sprint on 1:00
    • 5x100 sprint on 3:00
    • 8x25 sprint on 1:00
  • cool-down: 100 
 the MTC gang

pm: bike / 17 mi / 1:00 / avg 17.0 mph
I had an hour ride on deck so I hurried home from work so that I could squeeze it in before it got dark. While I'm still fairly nervous on my new bike, it is also incredibly fun! I just cruised along the bike trail, trying to keep it easy and keep my HR nice and low (zone 2). I took the opportunity to also practice taking turns in aero. I'll post more about my bike in another post but I will just say that it handles quite differently from a road bike, especially when down in the aero position. I managed to stay in aero for the majority of the ride and averaged a pretty decent speed. I was blinded by the sun on the first half but finished just as the sun set. Definitely a good ride!
 don't know which is prettier - the sunset or my bike...
swim: 4,050 yards
bike: 47.2 miles
run: 15.3 miles
other: 40 minutes
total time: 7.8 hours


  1. Nice dog. I think she is smiling too!

  2. That's very exciting about the bike! I'm glad that you can already tell a difference.

  3. Look at that sexy new bike!!! CONGRATS!

    I'm curious to know what water bottle set-up you have

  4. So glad all your assessments went so great! Sounds like you are on the right track.