Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Week Done

Another big week is in the bank.
Monday started out with a 15.2 mile run. I’d expected my legs to be a bit tired from the 100 miler Saturday, but I felt great the entire run. This run was actually the best long run I’ve had in weeks. 2:30:11 at an average heart rate of 152.
Tuesday was a fairly easy day with only one workout, an hour on the trainer.
Wednesday I was in the pool for 3k in the morning and on the bike for 2 hours in the afternoon.
Thursday was a fairly easy day with only a 5.6 mile run.
Friday was another swim-bike-run brick. I started out about 6am with a 3k swim. It was misting rain when I got to the Y to swim. The forecast had called for rain, but I’d hoped the skies would clear long enough for me to get my bike and run finished. When I walked out of the Y after my swim, the mist had turned into a downpour. I headed home and got on the trainer for 2 boring hours. The rain was still coming down when I got off the trainer, so I jumped on the treadmill for my 45 minute run. I finished up the run, had some breakfast and took it easy the remainder of the day.
Saturday’s forecast only looked slightly better than Friday’s. As I headed out Saturday morning for the planned 6 hours, I was almost certain I’d get drenched at some point of the ride. About 10 minutes into the ride the sun came up and I could see deep clear blue in most of the sky. Then about 45 minutes later the sun was gone and the clear blue was replaced with dark gray threatening clouds. This continued for the next 6 hours…but with no rain! However…..the wind blew quite a bit….somehow always in my face…which made the going a bit tough at times. But I was glad to not get soaked. Friday night I’d taken my truck (loaded with gels, Gatorade and water) and parked it at a convenience store out on the route I’d planned to ride. My ride ended perfectly right back at the store. 103.62 miles, 6:00:20, 17.2mph avg, 150 avg heart rate. I loaded up my bike and made the 15 minute drive back home. I opted for the treadmill for my 20 minute run.

Today is my rest day and I'm going to take full advantage of it.
I closed out the week with just under 18 hours of training…my biggest ever.
6 weeks til race day…….

On a personal note, my Step-Dad found out a couple weeks ago that he has bladder cancer. It’s a direct result of exposure to Agent Orange during his service time in Vietnam. All tests show the cancer is contained in the bladder and hasn’t spread to any other parts of his body. The doctors say it is very treatable and may not require anything beyond surgery. The surgery is to take place October 3.
Please keep RC in your thoughts and prayers.

Happy Training,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Week Recap

The weather here has been absolutely perfect lately for training. Highs in the upper 80s, lows in the lower 60s. It’s been a very welcome departure from the triple digit high humidity slogfest we had during July and August.

I finished up the week with a bit over 14 hours of training with a long swim of 3k, a long bike of 105 miles and a long run of 11.5 miles. I kept my pace down on the swim and finished feeling fresh…which is what I’m hoping to do on race day. The long ride was an organized century ride with my local bike club. I’ve always done this ride in a group with my roadie friends, but I decided to go solo (zero drafting) this year. I went out a bit too hard during the first 20 or so miles, but came to my senses and got things back in check pretty quickly. The winds kicked up at about mile 30 and continued for the next 30 miles. This happened to be the hilliest portion of the course also. The last 45 miles went pretty well and I finished strong. I’d brought as much hydration and nutrition with me as I could carry and only had to stop once to refuel and once for a porta-potty break. My total non-riding time was less than four minutes. I finished in 6:00:56 with an average pace of 17.4mph. The long run for the week happened to fall on the one hot day of the week, but I managed a pace of 10:43 and finished feeling pretty good.

The long workouts continue this week with another 3k+ swim, another 100 mile ride and a 15 mile run. I’ve also got a swim bike run brick Friday. I’m feeling great (better than I have all summer) and am looking forward to the remainder of the build up.

Happy Training!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Back to it

The J gang had a great time up in the Smoky Mountains last weekend…..once we got there. The traffic going up was terrible. A trip that should’ve taken 6.5 to 7 hours took almost 9. Traffic STOPPED about 20 times on I75 and 285 going to and around Atlanta. Stopped!…for no good reason. No wreck, no roadwork, no bad weather. Just too many people and not enough road I suppose.
Once we made it out of Georgia, traffic thinned out and we had smooth sailing all the way up to Smoky Mountains National Park. Just as we entered the park, I noticed a police car on the side of the road with its parking lights on. I didn’t think much about it since I had my cruise control set right on the speed limit. Being on unfamiliar roads in the middle of the night in the smoky/foggy mountains just didn’t seem like a good place to try to make up time. As I passed the policeman, his lights came on and he fell right in behind me. He followed me for at least three miles and then turned on his blue lights. After the usual pleasantries, he explained to me that I was speeding when I passed him. I KNEW he was BSing me, but I didn’t feel it’d be in my best interest to debate the facts at that particular time. He informed me that I wouldn’t be getting a ticket, but would run my “data” and then we’d be on our way. After what seemed like an eternity, he returned my license and registration and wished us a good night.
Finally we made our way through the park to Pigeon Forge just after midnight. We made it to the cabin and went right to bed. The remainder of our stay in Pigeon Forge was spent relaxing, shopping, relaxing, doing a little training, relaxing, being tourists, and relaxing. I managed to get in an hour run Saturday and 1.5 hours on the bike Sunday. Being a flatlander, the hills were quite a challenge, but fun. Not only do you have to have legs of steal to ride in the mountains, you have to have nerves of steel. 10 mph up, 35+ mph down the other side. Yeeehaawww!
Home for the weekend

Where I spent much of my time

The river in front of the cabin

KJ really didn't want to have her picture taken

Foggy mountains

We made it back home Monday afternoon and it was time to get back to reality and back to the training schedule. 3k in the pool Tuesday, 1.5 hour run Wednesday, 45 minute swim and 1 hour on the trainer Thursday. Friday was my day off work and I had a run bike swim brick on tap. 3k swim, 50 mile bike and 1 hour run. I started the swim about 5:15am. I finished in an hour and felt great. I started the bike about 6:35am. I’m not too keen on riding in the dark, but I had to be finished in time to get Caesar to the groomer. I had my safety flasher on and didn’t have any problems with cars coming close before the sun came up. There was actually a good bit of cloud cover Friday morning, which meant the heat never was a factor. I took it fairly easy on the bike and finished in just under 3 hours. I started the run feeling good and finished the same way. I ended up with 6.1 miles in an hour for the run.
Four hours on the bike was on the schedule for today. I started out in the dark again about 6:45. I could feel the fatigue in my legs from the brick Friday. Other than a bit of wind and almost getting broad sided by a deer, the ride was pretty uneventful. I ended up with just under 70 miles for the ride and did a short transition run off the bike. I was glad to be finished and celebrated with a nice nap. Tomorrow is a rest day and I’m looking forward to it.
I’ll be hitting the peak of my volume over the next few weeks. I have 100+ mile rides for the next three Saturdays. There’s a couple of 2.5 hour runs and a 3 hour run in there also. I’ll be ready for the taper to begin when I finish this block of training!

Good luck to everyone racing in Wisconsin tomorrow!!!!!

Happy Training,TJ