One of the last Friday morning swims of the season right here.
Truth be told, in many senses I’m feeling excited to hibernate for a little while. But I know that come November-June I will miss Friday morning swims dearly.
Oh blog. I’m sorry for neglecting you! But with all of this swimming, biking, and running, just about the only other things I’m doing are eating and sleeping. Seriously. There’s a lot of eating happening around these parts these days.
So let’s see, what’s new now that June is almost over…
I ran a race.
More to come on that. The short of it is that I had fun (yay!), didn’t do as well as I would have liked (boo), but didn’t really expect to do any better than I did given the fact that my weekly mileage is still pathetic (meh). I will say that the Rock n Roll race series is a well oiled machine. One of the best parts of this day was the ease in which I could show up at the start (1 mile warm up jog) and how quickly I was able to get home and
in the shower on the bike (1 mile ride in the car).
I have my first 100 mile ride coming up.
My longest distance to date is about 86 I think, so this will be a good chunk longer. All should go well as long as the weather holds out. If I have to do my first century in the rain I’m going to be a sad (and very muddy, drenched, and soggy) girl.
I’m back in the pool.
With my swimming freak out prior to Boise I spend all my spare seconds in the lake trying to adjust. Thankfully it worked and I survived the Boise
washing machine swim, but getting back to the pool has been a bit challenging. My form is all off and the black line seems so boring after dodging boats and swooping waterfoul! I’m still swimming in open water once a week but all other sessions are in the pool and include drills, sets, and an organized workout. I’m having a love/hate relationship with this because as much as I like seeing the progress that I can make in the pool I still hate going there.
I officially added Lake Stevens 70.3 to my calendar.
Yep, that’s in 2 weeks and 3 days. Eeek!
I didn’t register for Ironman Couer d’Alene.
Stalking people on race day was an inspiring as ever, and I truly thought that I wanted to do this race next year. The only downside to Canada is that it’s at the end of the summer, and while that leaves nice weather and hours of sunshine for training it also leaves you with a summer full of training. I thought I might like to do CDA to leave myself a summer next year to race for fun without the pressure of training schedules or risk of injury. After a talk with Coach – and a long one with myself – I decided that CDA isn’t for me yet. The Rock n Roll Half was a good reminder that I don’t like racing as much when I’m not race-ready, so I stepped away from http://www.ironmancda.com and didn’t click ‘register’. Good job, self.
We got a new sherpa.
No, Garth is still the official sherpa of my race schedule. But we got a new car! We traded our 2001 Jeep Liberty for a 2012 Jeep Liberty, and it’s really pretty and my bike fits inside. And everything works. And it’s pretty.
I think that’s it.
There aren’t many swim, bike, run, or eat stories that stand out in my mind other than that. So what’s new with you?
Saturday officially marked two weeks until this.
I’m excited because I haven’t raced in a while and look forward to the day. I’m nervous for countless reasons, but mostly also because I haven’t raced in a while…plus the conditions will be a crapshoot and I haven’t gotten in open water as much as I’d (psychologically) like. I’m anxious because I feel like this whole thing crept up on me so quickly. I’m confident because I know I’ve been working hard and even through injury I haven’t put up with excuses from myself. I’m worried because I feel like there’s still a possibility that I won’t do the best that I know I can do, for many reasons (including the ice cream I just ate! :-/).
Because I’m racing in two weekends this one wasn’t too stacked in terms of training. It wasn’t easy but it didn’t feel overwhelmingly stacked.
So the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens:
In Between: On Saturday I had an 80 mile ride with 3x 18min intervals with HR @ 160. I don’t have a Lap HR set up on my watch, and failed pretty miserably at keeping my HR avg at 160. I wasn’t dying, and it’s not that I couldn’t, but I just didn’t see the average ticking low on my watch (155ish). That said I was pretty happy with the ride otherwise. I’ve never ridden that far, I rode at a good clip, and I felt stronger at the end (and for the rest of the day) than I did during the 75miler.
High: I got a (very small) chance to repay the Husband for all of his sherpaing but being his 5k sherpa. And even better, he got 4th OA, 1st AG, and came in sub 20! For someone who only recently starting running again this is hugely impressive.
In Between: I enjoyed an amazing array of delicious food and drink this weekend. It was awesome, but I feel guilty.
Low: On Sunday I was supposed to swim a 45 min OWS in the lake. As a prep for Boise I had really psyched myself up to swim straight without stopping to enjoy the scenery, and to really focus on what was working to keep my form good and pace steady as I’ve been known to freak out in the water. Well, when I arrived the lake looked rough, and as I wetsuited-up it just go rougher and the swimmers who had all headed in. This turned into an In Between, because I forced myself to swim through it and adapt and though I didn’t make the gains I was originally looking for I left the water feeling able to tough the chop out.
Low: This morning I was supposed to bike hard for 40mi and run for 60min. I drove all the way to a loop with hardly any lights and by the time I arrived it was raining and soggy. By the time I got home it was sunny, but I didn’t have time to drive back and there aren’t any places to bike nearby that don’t have 800 stop lights (not conducive to keeping HR up). So I had to tough it out on the trainer but I wasn’t really sure how mileage/time translates. I rode 46 mi in 1:45 and I have no idea of that’s even remotely comparable to the original plan.
High: I ran! Off the bike! For real! A real run! My 60 minute run was supposed to be at max 8min/mi pace, and I averaged 7:47 ‘s. So. Freaking. Happy. About. That. It was tough, but I went in thinking it would be really tough and turned the run into a mind game right off the bat to pick a pace and lock it. The pacing I went with was hard by mile 6, but not impossible. And I didn’t feel the need to die at the end.
In Between: To bikes who want to pass me: Please do so as I am not the speediest out there. However, please don’t pass me, then slow down so that I have pass you, then expect me to want to ride with you. I probably don’t especially if you pull that kind of asshat move.
High (for entertainment): On Saturday’s ride I made a quick pit stop to refill my bottles in a sort of sketchy park. Not unsafe in daylight, but it holds some questionable inhabitants. During my fill up a minivan full of said inhabitants wanted to know how much my bike cost. Not wanting to tell them I skirted the topic. They told me their guess was $1k as though that was TOTALLY INSANE. I wish buddy.
High: I had a few moments during the weekend where I really felt like my hard work was coming together. Even though things weren’t perfect I felt like I’m almost there, a pretty infrequent feeling for me.
Low: I subsequently had a breakdown, with tears, over training-related frustrations with myself. It’s amazing how quickly the mind can switch from “I got this!” to “I suck, big time,” for no good reason. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I won’t accept excuses from myself, as well as in how hard I work. But no matter my dedication or work ethic, I will never be able to control the rain, the wind, or other people. Such is frustrating, such is life.
High: I felt better after I cried for a minute. It’s been a long while.
I am a proud graduate of the Nuun swim team (clinic)! Swimming Lesson 5 is over and done.
During the 5th lesson (Monday) I got to celebrate that I’ve actually made some pretty good form progress in the last month. All of the form changes that I’ve written about I’ve adapted to fairly well. When I get tired they begin to fly out the window somewhat, but I’ve also learned which drills snap me back into shape quickly so when form falters I can find it again. I’ve also figured out which drills are as productive as banging my head against a wall (I don’t do those ones anymore).
It’s been helpful, essential really, that during this time I’ve been able to not focus on speed and just focus on steady consistent pace and distance during all of my swims the last 5 weeks. The harder I try to swim fast I SWEAR the slower I go; if I can just relax and focus I can hold a decent pace pretty well without feeling like dying. These swimming lessons have reinforced this times a million.
During this last lesson I ran through my drills and form work so that we could create a list of the top stuff I still need to concentrate on during my swims.
I now have a mental list of the 3 things to check in on if my swimming feels sub par, which I’m sure it will at some point, again.
Today is Wednesday, which means last night was Track Tuesday. Track Tuesdays have been pretty uneventful for me the past couple months. Lots of not attending at all, and the last few weeks have been more like Slow Jog Tuesdays. And Slow Jog Tuesdays aren’t fun to write about.
Last night I got my first real post-injury crack at some running that made me feel excited. I warmed up with my current normal 8:15ish mile pace, and then got to do 6x 800’s at 7:00 mile pace. Just a couple of months ago I was completing these at a pace so much faster it makes me feel like crying. When I found out I’d be running anything at a 7:00 mile pace I felt like crying too. It sounded impossible, but I fared better than I thought I would. Sets actually got easier up until #5.
My heart rate was embarrassingly high, my breathing was labored, and my legs were burning and I loved it. (My recovery 400’s were at a good clip, for the record.)
I’ve been anxious about my return to running; as much as running is all I want to do the return from injury is never seamless or easy. You hope you didn’t lose too much. You’ve always lost more than you hoped. Even if you’re fit as can be your body is no longer accustomed to running pain. There’s nothing like it. Everything hurts. Everything feels hard. And you have to constantly remind yourself that NO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP KEEP GOING GO GO GO.
Though it’s slower than where I was, it’s also faster than where I’ve been. I’m really looking forward to this weekends 60 mile bike + 40 min run (8 min/mi pace) brick workout. If I can knock that one out on pace it will be step 2 to feeling better about things.
It was approximately 500x less terrible than I had gotten worked up about.
The water was pretty cold when I first got in, but I’m used to that initially freezing feeling; 24 hour fitness runs their pool so cold that if you rest between sets for more than a minute you end up with goosebumps. I tip-toed in really slowly, but was pretty surprised at how tolerable the water felt when I finally dove in and went for it. It probably helped that the sun was beating down on my suit and face.
The swimming part? Also went well. I just buoy hopped for this first foray back into the open water. Rather than focusing on getting across the lake I wanted to focus on keeping my form intact and not getting anxious or stressed out by the temperature or darkness. The only part of my form that was challenging to recall was to “bury my head” and keep it down.
Dare I say I’m looking forward to the next trip to open water?
Oh, and the most exciting news of all: My wetsuit still fits absolutely perfectly! Honestly, I was worried…