Another week of training complete. This was our first of two weeks of “marathon taper” so volume was down a bit. I was thankful for a slight decrease in the number of workouts as well as for some extra sleep! Here’s how the week went:
I intended to do an easy (Zone 2) 60 minute spin on the trainer this morning but woke up feeling absolutely exhausted so I changed my alarm to 7 a.m. I definitely didn’t regret it! I woke up at 7 with 9 hours of sleep behind me still feeling a bit out of it.Including the 2 hour nap I took on Sunday afternoon I was at a total of 11 hours of sleep in the last day yet I was still tired. I was definitely smart to rest.
In the evening, I had my swim analysis with Coach Jim Vance. You can read more about that in my blog post here in case you missed it. I got in only about 400 yards of swimming in this session but surely learned enough to equate to several hours in the pool.
Woke up early for a 8.5 mile mid-week long run. I actually felt really good waking up at 5 a.m. and had a pretty good run. This was our last mid-week long run before the marathon. After work I came home and put in a huge Costco lasagna for us to eat after a 70 minute Zone 2 Spin on the trainer plus P90X Ab Ripper. My legs felt a big heavy during this workout, most likely from the weekend ride.
Started the day on the trainer with The Sufferfest’s “A Very Dark Place” which goes straight into some sprint work after the warm-up and then consists of 5 x 4 minute 80-100% effort intervals. These were tough and I found that my legs couldn’t keep up with my heart rate. Overall though, my average watts was higher than the last two times I did this workout. After work I headed to the pool for a 2,000 yard swim. I focused entirely on two things – my hand length and keeping my fingers pointed toward the bottom of the pool. After a warm-up, I swam 10 x 50, alternating my focus between these two things. During the warm-up I tried to focus on both and found that it was difficult to do both at the same time! After my 50s, I did some 100s focusing on alternating breathing and then did some quick 50s. The whole time I focused on what Jim taught me at my swim analysis. By the end I felt like I had shown some great improvements. Honestly, I had hoped to miraculously get faster with my new found skills but in reality it takes time to implement these new techniques and to see improvement. I just have to be patient and keep practicing! I was happy that the workout only took me 45 minutes, which was at least 5 minutes faster than the last time I swam 2,000 yards. The highlight of the workout was when I got in the Jacuzzi afterward and the girl who had been swimming in the lane next to me told me that I was a great swimmer.
I drove to the gym first thing in the morning and got in 6 Yasso 800s. Including my warm-up and cool-down I got in 6 miles of running. It was quite a relief to only 6 of these intervals rather than 10, although it was still a difficult workout. After the Yassos I got in the pool for a 1,000 yard swim. Again, I focused on the two things that Jim taught me, as well as bilateral breathing.
Again, I was thankful for lunchtime yoga at work this week!
I considered making up for Monday’s skipped Zone 2 easy spin on the trainer but ultimately decided that sleep would benefit me more. This ended up being a complete day of rest!
12 mile run. I thought it’d be nice to “only” run 12 miles on Saturday. We slept in and started our run at 9 a.m. and it was HOT. It was nearly 70 at 9 a.m. already! We haven’t been training in heat and didn’t expect to run the marathon in heat either but Mother Nature doesn’t consider my marathon schedule when she makes her decisions. The heat wasn’t the worst part of this run – we got a strong offshore breeze coming at us on the way down the coast and then it suddenly changed directions and ended up being a very intense headwind the the 6 mile run home. It was very intense and made running MUCH more difficult! This definitely wasn’t the confidence building pre-race long run I thought it would be. I came home hot and tired with a Garmin reporting a terrible average pace. Blah!
50 mile bike ride. Despite the fact that both our Half and Full Ironman races are on very hilly courses, we decided to stick to the coast on Sunday and do our scheduled 50 mile ride on flat terrain in order to save our legs for the marathon next weekend. Overall I felt pretty good on this ride and was able to compare my pace and heart rate to the previous time that we rode the same course and my pace was up nearly 10 seconds/mile which was a good sign. I definitely felt much better at the end of this ride than the time before as well so that was a good sign! However, the area just above my left ankle (kind of the top of my lower shin) was irritating me during the second half of the ride. When I got off the bike and got into my running clothes with the intent of doing a 3 mile brick run, I ended up running to Asia and Jeremy’s house and turning around because it was definitely irritating me! On the pain scale I would say it was about a 2-3 out of 10 on the bike, more of a dull annoyance, and about a 4 when I started running. I figured it definitely wasn’t something worth risking making worse just a week from my race so I came home and stretched a lot and took some advil and hoped that it would be back to normal quickly!
- Total Yards Swum: 3,400
- Total Hours Biked: ~6
- Total Miles Run: 27
- Hours of Core Work: 1.25
- Total Time: ~13 hours
No real changes in nutrition other than I seem to be letting myself eat quite a significant amount of sweets lately. Even though these extra treats aren’t making me gain weight by any means, I know that they aren’t part of a healthy diet and I should probably cut back. I made cookies last Sunday afternoon and Mike and I ate the ENTIRE batch by ourselves by Wednesday evening. Oops! And this was on top of the cupcake I ate Monday at work as well as the ice cream we bought at Whole Foods Tuesday night. Oopsie! I need to get my sweet tooth on lock down.
I may still write a blog about this, but my blood work from my doctor appointment came back this week showing I have slightly elevated potassium levels. My doctor told me that I should cut back on foods with high potassium, but all the foods I am supposed to cut back on are healthy and a big part of my diet, so I haven’t really made an effort to do so (bananas, oranges, lentils, pears sweet potatoes, avocados, mushrooms, to name a few…).
Reflection on the Week
I put a lot of emphasis on sleep this week and definitely succeeded in getting plenty! I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night and some nights over 9 hours. Other than the two speed work sessions, I kept my intensity quite low at all times. The highlight of the week definitely was my underwater swim stroke analysis and the low point was probably the long run on Saturday since we ran the last 6 miles into what seemed like a wind storm. I’ve never had a “great” taper – meaning I never feel super strong and ready to dominate a race, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t have a fabulous long run this weekend.
Despite being able to fit in a lot of sleep this week, I didn’t leave much time for relaxation. This week was very “go go go” since I had a doctor appointment, the swim analysis, and a hair appointment during the week and then plans with friends literally all weekend. This weekend was jam packed and I didn’t have a minute to just sit and relax. I told myself coming into the new year that I would make less commitments but I still have a hard time saying no to anything. I’m considering telling everyone that I will be completely MIA for the month of May and I apologize in advance for not attending any social function!
How did your week go? Do you have any tips for balancing Ironman, sleep, social life, work life and “me” time? Have you ever had a pain in the upper ankle/lower shin when cycling (and did it go away)?