April 9, 2012

Ironman Week 14


This week was focused on recovery after Oceanside 70.3, but still had some good quality workouts. My legs were definitely more tired than usual, but I had very little muscle soreness. I tried to sleep a bit more to help with recovery, and I'm hoping that it helped and I'll be ready for the upcoming build period! Lots of riding this week, including my most challenging ride yet on a super hilly route in fancy shmancy El Dorado Hills in preparation for Wildflower next month.

pm: swim / 1,500 yds / 0:35
  • warm-up: 300
  • main:
    • 300 (50 FTD/50 swim)
    • 300 (50 CU/50 swim)
    • 300 (50 pb/ 50 swim) focus on distance per stroke
  • cool-down: 300
This was my first workout since Oceanside and while it actually felt great to be in the water, I did feel more fatigued and slower than usual. Guess that's to be expected though!

pm: bike / 17.6 mi / 1:00 / avg 17.6 mph
I thought this ride might suck since my legs were still tired from the race, but it turned out to be great! I made sure to take it easy and kept the gears low, but I still managed to hold a decent speed.
rocking my new jersey!
am: bike / 13.4 mi / 0:46 / 17.3 mph
I headed out in the morning before work and almost immediately noticed that something was off. Similarly to during the bike leg of Oceanside, my Garmin seemed to on the fritz. One second it would say my speed was 18 mph, the next 8 mph, and the next 0 mph. Ummmm, no. As a result my distance was all over the place, too. Since the bike trail is marked every mile I knew roughly how far I'd gone, and my watch was off by nearly 2 miles. Annoying for sure, but I got the workout done anyway: 15' warm-up, 8x30" sprint on 2:00, 15' cool-down.

pm: run / 5 mi / 0:42 / avg 8:24
I'd moved things around a bit with my schedule this week so I could get my track workout in on my day off. I headed out in late afternoon, parking my car between my house and the track and running my 1 mile warm-up there. The workout was a good one:
  • 2x:
  • 200 hard/200 easy [0:43, 0:46]
  • 400 hard/400 easy [1:34, 1:39]
  • 800 hard/400 easy [3:27, 3:36]
I was fairly happy with how my legs did since they were most definitely still tired. I slowed a bit on the second set but I did what I could. Cooled down with an easy mile back to the car!

am: run / 4 mi / 0:35 / avg 8:45
This may not have been the smartest move, but when switched my workouts around I ended up having a tempo run the morning after my track workout : / Whoops! Luckily it was a short one and I managed to run in my goal range, but my legs were definitely tired! After a 10' warm-up I did 20' tempo in Z4 (avg tempo pace of 8:16) followed by a 5' cool-down.

pm: swim / 2,100 yds / 1:00
The MTC group swims have moved to Thursday evenings, which actually works better with my work schedule. Only downside is that we don't finish til almost 9pm, which makes for a late night and hungry belly.
  • warm-up:
    • 200
    • 200 (kicking alt. 25 front, 25 back, 25 right, 25 left)
    • 150 as 25 CU/25 swim
  • main:
    • 6x100 @ 1:50 on 1:55
    • 3x150 @ 1:50 on 3:00
    • 2x200 @ 1:50 on 4:00
  • cool-down: 100
I don't know what was wrong with me, but I was so slow during this workout! For the main set we were supposed to be swimming at our threshold pace, which for me should be around 1:45ish, but I could barely hit 1:55s. Seriously, 10s slower!? It was frustrating, but I'm trying to remind myself that it's the week after a hard race and I'd had two hard run workouts in a row over the past couple days. So I'm trying to cut myself some slack, but I can't help but feel like I've lost some of my swim speed : /

pm: bike / 17.5 mi / 1:00 / avg 17.5 mph
Ahhhh another good ride! I happened to get out of work earlier than usual while there was still plenty of daylight so I headed out for a steady hour-long ride on the bike trail. The highlight was that I'm pretty sure I fixed my Garmin issue - I think my speed/cadence sensor was somehow throwing off the data, so I disabled it and everything seemed to work perfectly. Woohoo!

Big congrats to all those who ran AR 50! I had hoped to make it out there to cheer but unfortunately something came up at the last minute. It's crazy to think that one year ago I was in the middle of running my first 50 miler at the same race... Watching the live feed and following all the updates throughout the day really made me want to run another! Shout out to fellow blogger Aron who kicked butt out there for her first 50!

am: bike / 30 mi / 2:10 / avg 13.9 mph
My training group had met up Saturday for a training day in preparation for the challenging Wildflower triathlons next month, but I had to work so I hoped to make it up Sunday. Fortunately another MTCer couldn't make it Saturday either and decided to join me. We headed up to the Folsom/El Dorado Hills area for a hilly bike ride followed by a hilly run. We had turn-by-turn directions for the 30 mile route and set out hoping to simply survive all the hills. Before I go any further, I can honestly say that this was the hardest and hilliest ride I've ever done. Yes, harder than Oceanside.
elevation - the major climbs are highlighted
The route was actually quite beautiful. Most of it was through the uber high-end neighborhoods of El Dorado Hills, which, by the way, is aptly named : ) Lots of rolling green hills in the distance, dotted by giant mansions. I must have said, "holy crap, look at these houses!" no fewer than a dozen times. We also lucked out with amazing weather and clear skies. It was actually pretty warm, reaching the low 70s, and I have a nice sunburn to prove it - in fact it looks like I'm still wearing my tank top - ouch : /
 not a bad view to have
 apparently bikes are welcome in gated communities!
 just another mansion

But oh man, those hills! We hit them early on and they just kept coming. I was dreading an almost two mile long one around mile 10, but it ended up being somewhat gradual. And as we climbed it we passed some gated community entrances which I learned make a great little rest stop for your legs - I'd ride a couple loops around the flat entrance before continuing up the hill! The hardest hill actually came on a private neighborhood rode around mile 23. It was steep and just did not seem to end. I literally thought I was going to simultaneously puke and fall off my bike. When I somehow got to the top, I turned to Michelle and told her it was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Seriously, omg.
at the top of the climb that almost killed me
what goes up must come down... one of the nice descents of the day

During the ride we passed another cyclist and chatted for a bit and he mentioned a hill he'd just rode with a little foreboding. Apparently it was on our route, too, so both of us were dreading this particular hill, only to get there and realize that we'd be going down it - ha! We finished the ride sooner than we'd been anticipating and were both pretty proud of ourselves. More than anything, it was great mental training for Wildflower. It also made me really want to do more training on hills. Definitely hard, but rewarding, too!

pm: run / 6 mi / 0:58 / avg 9:42
After our ride we had an hour run to do. Both of us were pretty tired and it had warmed up quite a bit, but we decided to just take it easy and get it done. We didn't have a route planned so we just sort of ran...wherever. We'd come to the end of a street or a light and just ask one another, "which way?" The area made it impossible to avoid hills, and we had a few good climbs, but that was the intent of the run since Wildflower has a gnarly run course. By the end I was really ready to be done, but so happy to have finished such an awesome workout. Still not totally sure what to expect from Wildflower, but I feel a little bit more prepared!

swim: 3,600 yards
bike: 78.3 miles
run: 15 miles
other: 0 hours
total time: 8.7 hours


  1. Wow, a hill that made you want to both puke and fall off your bike? That sounds like a hill I never want to encounter! I'm sure all the crazy hill training will pay off.

  2. Hills hills hills! We also did a big hilly ride last week. I figure the more hills the better if we are going to be riding them for 112 miles at CdA!