111 days: Keeping things in balance

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. A shade over 16 weeks away! Raised so far: $5,947! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of our causes here, or participate in one of our upcoming fundraising events.

Suzanne and Tawnya are on the march! Follow along as they trek the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, “The Way of St James” – a 500 mile pilgrimage starting in southern France and across northern Spain. They’re three weeks into their journey and have posted several interesting updates to their blog.

Less than one week left to sign up for the Kyle’s Special Heart 5K/10K! June 8 in Rainier, WA! Details and registration information are here – please help out my cousin and his wife as their newborn son Kyle fights with the fury of a thousand ninja babies to heal from his congenital heart issues. More information about Kyle and his fight can be found on their blog. I won’t be able to make it – I have the Redondo Beach Triathlon that same weekend – but I will be there in spirit!

Keeping Things in Balance

I made the mistake late last year and early this year of letting work stuff get in the way of training… and I paid for it in my early season races. Now that the big race is in sights, I have been much less willing to compromise my training plan. In fact, I can make a stronger statement: I am resolutely unwilling to compromise my training plans for work (and other) commitments.

We have upcoming trips to visit family in various regions of the country… and part of these travel plans will require the inclusion of arrangements for logging the training miles. For the run, that is pretty easy – running gear is extremely portable. The swim will be a bit more challenging, but simple if I am able to find a moderately accessible pool. The bike may be difficult, though, as this will require me to either transport a bike (this can be quite expensive if traveling by plane) or find a suitable bike at our destination (I am picky about my bikes, so this could be a difficult challenge).

Of these, the swim and run won’t take vast amounts of time… an hour or two on the roads or in the pool each day will get the job done for most training activities. But during one of these planned trips I need to squeeze in an 85 mile training ride – that will take about 5 hours on unfamiliar roads… on a potentially unfamiliar bike…

I am confident that the logistics of getting these important training activities completed while traveling will get figured out.

But work pressures are mounting again… It will take a lot of creative time management to make sure I can get in the daily swim/bike/run activities while making sure to keep up with work, sleep, eating, and some reasonable social life. Good thing today is Monday! At least I get to rest from the training! Speaking of this…

Monday Training Check-In

So, how did the last week of Ironman training go? Remember, I’ll be doing weekly updates of my training progress to stay honest with the “Commit” part of my TFAC process.

  • Monday:
    Plan – Rest
    Actual – Rest
  • Tuesday:
    Plan – Easy 5.5mi run
    Actual – Run 5.5 miles @ 6:26/mile.
    Yeah… I didn’t stay too easy on this one. This will bite me later in the week…
  • Wednesday:
    Plan – Swim 1500m with 10 x 50m intervals; Bike tempo 45min
    Actual – Swim 1500m with 10 x 50m intervals – these really started to hurt halfway through; Bike 16.8 miles.
    A tempo workout essentially starts off easy, builds up gradually into a very hard pace, then backs off at the end. It hurts in the middle, but you feel moderately refreshed at the end – and end up going faster than you think you’re going when you start the backing off process.
  • Thursday:
    Plan – Run 40min with 6 x 400m intervals
    Actual – Run 6.1 miles @ 6:34/mile with 6 x 400m intervals
    This run was extraordinarily brutal. 400m intervals hurt. Hurt bad. I hate intervals… but love how they make me a faster runner.
  • Friday:
    Plan – Swim 1500m with 4 x 150m intervals; easy 45min Bike
    Actual – Swim 1500m with 6 x 150m intervals; Bike 12.2 miles
    150m intervals in the pool are much like doing 800m intervals on the track for me: I hate them both severely. This swim was ridiculously hurtful the day after running 400m intervals on the track. And then I had to follow this up with a bike ride in really strong beach winds. I was pretty pooped out after this workout series!
  • Saturday:
    Plan – Endurance swim 1700m; Endurance run 9mi
    Actual – Swim 1700m; Run 9.1 miles @ 6:54/mile
    The workouts the two previous days had taken their toll. The swim and run were both slower than normal. The air at the beach felt heavy. I stepped on a splinter that embedded itself in my shoe and pierced my foot at mile 6.3. So glad to get that one behind me.
  • Sunday:
    Plan – Endurance bike 40mi
    Actual – Bike 40.1 miles
    After the Thursday/Friday/Saturday gauntlet I was prepared to just roll 40 miles on the flattest terrain I could find… until I started riding and decided to tackle some hills (why do I do such things?). It was a difficult but immensely satisfying ride, with about 2,000ft of climbing.

Grand Totals:

  • 4700m of swimming – 01:18:27 (about 26:41/mile) – I need to keep on getting faster here… and I am… gradually. If I can get this down to 24:00/mile I will be ecstatic.
  • 69.1 miles of cycling – 03:46:42 (17.6mph average) – I need to get several mph faster. With all the stoplights, stop signs, and hills encountered while on a training ride, race day is always a good 4+mph faster than training speeds… but I want to get this over 20mph on average for training speeds as I am shooting for 23+mph on race day.
  • 20.7 miles of running – 02:18:28 (6:41/mile average) – slipped a little bit from last week, but that was expected with the increase in volume… and a bit of fatigue building up. Race day pace goal is 7:00/mile, so I am certainly on pace here.
  • 92.7 total miles. Fortunately, the volume falls off this week as I have the Redondo Beach Triathlon on Sunday so I am taking a taper week to make sure I’m fresh and ready to blast the pace in this sprint distance race.
  • 7892 total calories expended according to SportTracks –  but this calculation varies greatly depending on the tracking tool. Regardless of the calculation methodology, my body is telling me that a ton of calories are getting burned, as I am hungry ALL THE TIME. Gotta feed the machine, right? Time to go get a snack!
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