This week was all about the run. At the advice of Mark Allen, we structured our training plan to have our longest run five weeks before the race. In order to compensate, I reduced the long ride a bit and focused more on the run. Regardless, by the end of the week I was tired! Peak Ironman training is no joke. Here’s how it all went down:
Monday: It was HARD to get out of bed. As I mentioned in last week’s recap, I ended a very long work week and training weekend (102 mile bike Saturday, 18 mile run & 1 hour spin Sunday) with a family party and not as much rest as I had hoped. Although immediately following and during the 18 mile run on Sunday I was feeling good, it caught up to me Monday. I did not feel like getting up, but did anyway and headed to Master’s Swim for 4,000 yards of swimming. During the workout I actually felt really good. I told Mike as we left the YMCA that I was really glad I woke up.
By mid-day, the very long swim and long weekend caught up again. After 10.5 hours at work, I went home, ate dinner and got in bed at 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday: I woke up feeling much better, but still decided that although Tuesdays are scheduled interval or tempo runs, I would just stick to an easy run. I got in 6 miles of running. Unfortunately I had to rush to work again and skipped my core workout.
After work Mike and I put a lasagna in the oven, put on the Bachelorette, and completed 1 hour 45 minutes of spinning. Does anyone else think that these bachelors are sub-par? Although Emily lacks a personality she deserves a little better than this batch of suitors!
Wednesday: Back to my old self! Headed to Master’s for another great workout, completing 4,000 yards of swimming for the second time this week! Now that our lane has a base of 1:40 we are able to get more yards in over the course of the hour and fifteen minute workout. Also, I’ve noticed that I am able to get the wall in about 1:32-1:35 most of the time during my 100s. I am really seeing progress lately in the swim. Mike is saying the same – he is on the verge of moving up a lane. I’m thankful that my lane decided to shave 5 seconds off our base because I don’t think I”m quite ready for the 1:35 lane yet. 1:40 seems to be perfect because the fast intervals feel hard and base or even base + 5 doesn’t feel too slow.
That night we got in a pretty epic spin workout. We combined 60 minutes of The Sufferfest’s “Angels” with 30 more minutes of “The Hunted” for a total of 90 minutes of spin intervals. I got off the bike with by far the highest average watts EVER – 9 watts higher than any previous average. I can really see an improvement in my cycling. Although I’m not sure how accurate my bike computer is, at least I can compare it to other results I’ve had with the same computer to gauge my progress.
Thursday: I started the day with P90X2 Yoga and was glad I did! I needed the stretch SO bad and I felt 10x better after the workout. My shoulders and arms were very tired by the end from all the push-ups and I was pretty sore the next day so it was a great upper body workout on top of a good stretch.
After work I went for a 10 mile (3 miles at tempo) run by myself. Usually Asia and I do our mid-week runs together but she had a schedule conflict so I was on my own. I decided to do it after work so that I could sleep in later and I was glad I did. I was feeling fairly good on this run and then picked it up for some tempo work at about a 8:15-8:30 min/mile pace for miles 6-9. Sometimes it actually feels good to run fast after so much low intensity running during IM training.
Friday: Usually this is a rest day, but after work Mike and I meet up with the Tri Club for the weekly La Jolla Cove open water swim. Unlike normal open water swims where we swim past the waves and then swim parallel to shore, the cove has two buoys that are straight out from the cove into the ocean. The first is a 1/4 mile and the second is 1/2 mile away from shore. The cove was kind of scary because as soon as we started swimming, I could see tons of bright fish below me and there was massive amounts of seaweed growing up from the ocean floor.We swam to the 1/4 mile buoy first and waited for some of the rest of the group to meet up and then headed to the 1/2 mile buoy, waited a bit and turned around and headed home, dodging giant seaweed patches as we went. I was getting way off track while swimming since the buoys weren’t easy to spot and I was a bit disoriented. I think all in all I swam a few hundred extra yards to due to this. Mike gave me a good tip when we reached the 1/4 mile buoy on the way back (after I got really off course). He told me to aim for the pink buildings behind the cove rather than for the buoy. It definitely helped to have a big landmark to sight while out there. I think all in all I swam about 2,000 yards. When we got out of the water, I wasn’t tired at all! The guy we were swimming with was complaining that his arms felt like he was swimming through sludge on the way back because he was so tired (and he has done Ironman at least four times!) and I didn’t really feel like it was even a workout. Talk about progress!
Saturday: Asia and Jeremy weren’t able to join us, but Mike and I went on our own for our long ride. I completed 88 miles of riding (my bike computer worked and my garmin actually didn’t die til mile 87.5!) with about 3,800 feet of climbing. We got a very late start after sleeping in a bit and then Mike trying to determine what was making my bike have issues shifting, so we didn’t start til after 8:30 a.m. However, on our own we were able to make fewer stops and spend less time at the bathroom and water stops, making our total time out on the road only 6.5 hours. I felt good for most of the ride and was able to keep my average pace via the Garmin over 15 mph, including slowing for stop lights and stop signs, etc. I was feeling really optimistic about my chances of doing the Ironman bike course under 7.5 hours during this ride (which is a 15 mph pace). I think that my average mph while riding hills similar to CdA is actually closer to 16 mph but I figure with a couple of bathroom breaks and a stop at Special Needs plus the fact that I am going to be riding REALLY easy for the first 1/4 of the race (advice I’ve read a few times), I don’t expect to go close to my average speed at the 70.3 (17.3 mph). At the end of the day though, anything can happen – maybe 40 mph winds like at St. George! The end goal is really to finish, and this ride made me feel even more confident that I will indeed do that.
The one bad thing about this ride was that I think that I under-caloried. If you count door to door time, I only consumed about 190 calories/hour. After we got home, I ate a cookie bar and Mike and I headed out for a 4.3 mile run. I have no idea what my pace was, but Mike was running with me and I think I was pushing it harder than I would have otherwise. When we got the turn around, I was lacking energy and my stomach was feeling a little off. When I got home, I weighed myself and my weight was about 2 lbs lower than my normal morning weight, although I didn’t weigh myself before on that day, so I don’t know exactly how much I lost. I think I was a bit under caloried and a bit dehydrated.
After the brick, Mike and I went down to the ocean and put our legs in for a sud0-ice bath. I didn’t feel like eating and it took about 30 minutes before I felt better. We went to Whole Foods and I had about 3/4 of a big sandwich plus some mac and cheese and sweet potato fries from the hot food bar. By then it was past 4:30 p.m. and usually after big rides like this I’ll eat a big meal and then want something else before bed. This time I didn’t want anything. I had part of an orange and a cookie bar but no more substantial food for the night. I’m sure I went to bed with a deficit, despite the mac & cheese and french fries!
We slept in (7:30 is sleeping in) and headed over to watch the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon, which takes place literally outside our front door. Asia and Jeremy were returning from LA late the night before so we had agreed to meet them for our long run at 10 a.m. Mike and I had fun watching the triathlon and cheering everyone on. Not too many people we knew did it, but it was fun regardless. I really want to do it next year since we can literally walk a few hundred yards to the start!
The sun came out and it was pretty warm by the time we started our run, and we knew it would be a challenging workout. It definitely was! This was our longest run before the race, and Asia and I ran 20.3 miles at a begrudgingly slow pace. Like, seriously slow. She was tired from her trip and I was tired from the previous week. We had a lot to talk about so the first 9 miles went fast. That’s when we got to Torrey Pines state park. We ran 1 mile up Torrey Pines, which is about a 6% grade. From what I’ve heard, IM CdA has a hill of similar grade which you have to run over twice, so we figured it would be good practice to run up Torrey. Halfway up I thought to myself that it was a bad idea but we kept going. The route we chose (which is basically our normal route) was hilly in general, but Torrey was the greatest challenge. I knew coming down the hill that the next 9 miles were going to hurt! They did, but we finished. When I got home I got straight into my bathing suit and went down to the beach for a 10 minute dip in the ocean. It felt AMAZING. I then proceeded to eat everything in sight all day long – probably to make up for the lack of calories the previous day!
- Yards Swam: ~10,000 (woo!!!)
- Hours Biked: 9.75
- Miles Run: 40.6
- Hours Core/Abs: 1
- Total Time: 20.5