April 16, 2012

Ironman Week 15


Although this recap may not show it, this was not a very good week for me. It was more of a mental thing than physical, and I'm just glad to have it behind me. My head was just not in it, and I found myself skipping a few workouts (I did end up making up 2/3 later in the week) and just being in a funk. I've had a lot on my mind lately and I haven't been sleeping enough, and then the guilt of skipping workouts just added fuel to the fire and made me feel worse. The week did have a couple highlights including my longest ride ever (61 miles), and racing a sprint distance triathlon on Sunday and placing 2nd in my age group.


am: run / 5 mi / 0:42 / avg 8:33
I've always done speedwork in the evening, but in order to get this workout in my only option was in the morning before work. I literally laid in bed for nearly 20 minutes trying to find excuses to skip it. I tried to tell myself that I wanted, no needed, another hour of sleep, except that by that point I was wide awake. So up I got and off to the track I went. It actually wasn't that bad either! Just some half mile repeats - 4x800 - for a total of 5 miles before heading off to work feeling much better than if I'd gone back to sleep. Times were as follows: 3:14, 3:15, 3:18, 3:20. I've got to work on not slowing down as I go!

I was supposed to hit up the gym after work for a strength workout, but it was a long day at work and I decided driving out all the way there for 35 minutes just wasn't worth it. In hindsight I should've just got it out of the way since I ended up making it up Sunday after a race, which was probably not the best idea : /

pm: bike / 61 mi / 3:32 / avg 17.4 mph
This was my longest ride to date, and despite some weather snafus it was great! My coworker, Jonathan, had offered to come along for part of it. He's an excellent and pretty experienced rider but hadn't rode much lately so he figured he'd tag along. I was just hoping I wouldn't come off as a total noob or get dropped by him! We weren't sure how the weather was going to hold up since the forecast called for rain most of the day, but surprisingly we woke up to sunny skies!

We met up on the bike trail and headed up toward Beal's Point. From Lake Natoma it gets fairly hilly so we got some good little climbs in. We stopped briefly at Beal's to fuel up and stretch and then hopped back on the trail to head back. I was out of waffles so I'd brought along some PowerBar gel blasts that I had in my stash. They tasted kind of stale, and when I consulted the packaging I realized they'd expired - back in February of 2011. Whoops! Good thing I brought along some Gu, too : )
we started out with sunny skies
 aged to perfection
It wasn't long before we'd started back up that it started sprinkling. We could see the storm in the distance on our way there but were hoping to miss it. It cooled off quite a bit, too, and suddenly I was regretting my choice of shorts and short sleeve jersey. We got to enjoy some of those hills again while descending them this time. Jonathan was starting to get tired as it had been a while since he'd rode that far, and I ended up going ahead a bit. About 30 miles in suddenly the sky started dumping hail and rain. I yelled out loud "what the f*ck!" but there was nothing to do but keep riding. Just as we reached the overpass at Sunrise where we could take cover it let up.
 dark clouds in the distance at Beal's Point
overlooking the American River

It continued to rain on and off as we headed back, and another 5 miles later it started to thunder and we saw some crazy bolts of lighting. We decided to try and wait out the storm a bit for safety's sake since it was moving in the opposite direction. After maybe 15 minutes the thunder and lightning had let up a bit so we got going again, only now we were freezing : / We made it back to where we started, but I still had an hour left. Jonathan was pretty spent so he headed home, and I headed in the opposite direction toward Discovery Park, crossing my fingers that it would stay dry. I ended up not getting even one drop of rain, and even got a second wind that brought my speed up from an average of 16.9 to 17.4 mph. My tush was a bit sore by the end, but otherwise I felt great and was quite happy with the ride. It went by so much faster having company, and was also much more enjoyable. I need to remember this for future rides!
 time for a bath!

Although I felt great during the ride I was pretty exhausted after and just couldn't peel myself from the couch so I skipped my scheduled swim and rested instead.

pm: run / 5 mi / 0:46 / avg 9:12
I woke up with a sour stomach and a sore throat so I made the decision to stay home from work. I'd been feeling a bit rundown the last few days and was afraid I was getting sick again so I was hoping to be proactive and get some extra rest. I felt a bit better later that evening so I headed out for an easy run with my pup. There was a lull in the storm that had been raging the last few days which I was hoping would hold, but about 20 minutes in it started to rain. No big deal, I don't mind running in a little rain. But then it started to thunder and I got a few glimpses of lightning. While not the best or safest conditions to run in, still not a huge deal since my chances of getting hit are ridiculous.

But then, about 30 minutes in, the sky opens up and starts dumping hail! It was coming down so hard it hurt and the sound of it nearly drowned out the thunder. My poor pup didn't know what was going on and freaked out a little, so we sought cover under some bushes to wait it out. When we could finally continue I was absolutely soaked - like dripping wet. And of course, by the time we finished, even the rain had stopped.

Normally we have a group swim Thursday nights but due to the storms it was canceled and moved to Friday to do on our own.

pm: swim / 2,400 yds / 1:00
  • warm-up:
    • 200
    • 8x25 on 0:30
  • main:
    • 4x50 (25 kick on your back/25 backstroke w/fins), RI = 10"
    • 1x200 pull on 3:50 (breathing bilateral as 7, 5, 3, choice)
    • 1x100 pull on 2:00
    • 4x50 (25 kick on your side/25 3-stroke switch), RI = 10"
    • 1x200 pull on 3:50 (breathing bilateral as 7, 5, 3, choice)
    • 1x100 pull on 2:00
                *faster than previous 200 and 100
    • 4x50 (25 dolphin kick/25 swim), RI = 10"
    • 1x200 pull on 3:50 (breathing bilateral as 7, 5, 3, choice)
    • 1x100 pull on 2:00
                *faster than previous 200 and 100
    • 1x200 w/fins (breathing bilateral as 7, 5, 3, choice), RI = 60"
    • 1x100 w/fins FAST!
  • cool-down: 200
This was the doozy of a workout that was supposed to be done the night before at the group workout. The length and complexity of it intimidated me (it took me a good 10 minutes just to write out!), but it actually ended up not being too bad. It had a lot of pulling which was nice for my tired legs, and it was my first time using fins! My thoughts: 1) wow, you can go so fast! and 2) holy crap, my quads! It also had me venture out into some other strokes like backstroke (I looked like a fool), and butterfly's dolphin kick (even more foolishness). Thank goodness I was the only one in the pool, otherwise I'm sure I would have gotten some interesting looks : )

am: run / 11.2 mi / 1:43 / avg 9:12
This was my first "long" run in a while, other than Oceanside. I didn't really know what to expect, but I tried to keep the pace fairly easy and run comfortably. It actually ended up being a pretty great run on an absolutely gorgeous morning. After such a nasty week weather-wise the trail was packed with people. I got a second wind in the last few miles and ended up negative splitting the run that was supposed to be 1:45. I love when that happens!

[Icebreaker Sprint Triathlon! Race report to come]
am: swim / 880 yds (0.5 mi) / 0:16
For some reason I did not feel good during the swim. Folsom Lake was pretty cold, and I just couldn't catch my breath or settle into a rhythm. I also need to work on swimming straight - I kept veering off course!
am: bike / 13 mi / 0:43 / avg 17.9 mph
This is easily the leg of the race I'm most proud of. Not because I set any speed records, but I pushed myself hard. My legs burned for much of the 13 miles. The course was fairly technical with lots of tight turns and short, steep hills, so I'm happy with how I handled it.
am: run / 4 mi / 0:35 / avg 9:00
I had plans to nail the run, but had no idea how tough the course was! It was nearly all single track trails around the lake and quite beautiful, but also had several steep uphills that had my tired legs hiking up.
2nd place, females 20-24!

pm: conditioning / 0:40
I was determined to make up some of the workouts I missed so after relaxing for a few hours after the race I headed to the gym. I had a short strength workout to do, and man, it's been a while since I did the last one! My muscles were quivering, especially during the push ups. And it probably didn't help that I'd raced that morning : /
  • 3x20, RI = 1' btw sets
    • squat
    • lat pull down
    • step ups
    • push ups
    • seated row
    • hamstring curl
    • ball crunch w/ twist
    • plank (1:00, 0:45, 0:30)

pm: swim / 1,450 yds / 0:40
I was pretty tired after the strength workout, but since I was already at the gym I figured I might as well do the swim I skipped on Wednesday. Immediately I could tell how tired my body was. The workout was fairly short but did have some fast 75s in the main set. I ended up swimming them a bit slower at a 1:52 pace, and that was just fine with me.
  • warm-up: 200
  • main: 
    • 4x150 (50 swim/50 kick/50 swim), RI = 15"
    • 8x75 @ 1:45 on 1:35
  • cool-down: 200

swim: 4,730 yards
bike: 74 miles
run: 25.2 miles
other: 40 minutes
total time: 10.6 hours


  1. Sounds like you had a pretty great week all things considered. Congrats on the 2nd place AG finish too :-)

  2. I saw you on the podium and thought "I think I read her blog!" Glad to see it was you, and congrats! Also somewhat relieved to hear you thought the run was hard -- I was NOT expecting that.

  3. awesome work on the second place AG! your work is paying off.

  4. First and foremost: CONGRATS ON YOU AG PLACE! AWESOME!!!

    Totally random question for you: where do you put your tire repair kit on your bike? Mine doesn't fit anymore on my tri bike!!