2 weeks until USAT Nationals
The training plan I am using called for this to be peak week for Nationals, but Coach backed off the running in preparation to race next weekend. That worked out well early in the week because I was able to have some big swim and bike workouts without overly tired running legs. Unfortunately things didn’t play out for the rest of the week like I expected because the weekend started with crashing my bike Friday afternoon. Thankfully I was fine (and so is my bike), but that’s definitely not how I would prefer to write the story one week before my goal race.
- Plan: 1:30 Steady State Bike + 2500 Swim
- Actual: 26.8 M Ride @ 18.1 mph + 2500 Swim (main set: 7×100 moderate w/5″ RI, 8×100 hard w/30″ RI)
Ugh. Monday morning was a real struggle. It took me a long time to wake up the legs and get going. Eventually the blood started flowing and I felt 100 times better after the ride than before.
Meeting new friends Ashley and Brady to swim was the only thing that got me to the pool. Ashley and I are very similar paces so we did the workout together and took turns leading. This made it fun! Love having training buddies.
- Plan: Tempo w/3M @ 7 – 7:15 + 2700 Swim
- Actual: 7.75M @ 7:56 avg. w/tempo: 7:09, 7:08, 7:02 + 2600 yard swim (main set: 5×300 + 8×25 sprint)
The tempos aren’t getting easier, but they are getting better and better. Every mile feels hard, but somehow when I think I can’t keep going, I have been able to. Good mental and physical training.
I met Ashley at the pool again and did the workout with her. It’s a good thing because 300’s are not my favorite and we suffered through them together.
- Plan: OFF
- Actual: OFF
TWO extra hours of sleep before work. Boom!
- Plan: 1:00 Easy Run
+ 2900 Swim
- Actual: ~7.1M in 1:00
I took Walter for the first 30 minutes of the run and even though we usually run pretty continuously, we ended up having a bunch of random stops. After I dropped him off, I finished up with 30 minutes uninterrupted. At least I nailed the “easy” part of this run.
After work I had to go get the last vaccine that I need for an upcoming vacation and my other arm was still sore from the Tetanus shot I had gotten the day before. Top that with being super hungry from not eating a good lunch and I just felt off. I decided to skip the swim and do it Friday. This meant leaving Ashley hanging at the pool, but I don’t think she was super sad to miss a 2400 straight swim anyway.
- Plan: 2900 Swim + 1:30 Bike w/2×16′ Tempo
- Actual: 2900 m (2400 Straight) + ~10M (5M warm-up/crash/5M soft pedal)
I woke up to pouring rain and decided against riding in it and went to the pool instead. It’s been a long time since I have done an early morning swim and I forgot how much I like the peaceful mornings without tons of kids splashing around in swim lessons. The 2400 straight was a bit mentally challenging, but it was good brain training to zone out and only focus on counting laps and pull, pull, pull, breath…
Swimming in the morning meant riding in the evening after I made the trip over to Richmond for the weekend. Despite leaving Va Beach at 2:30, there was a ton of traffic and it took 2.5+ hours to get to Richmond. By the time I got to the hotel, dropped the dogs, changed and made a cue sheet, it was after 6:00 when I started the ride. (And I forgot my Garmin.) My legs felt dead to start but I tried to be patient, knowing they would warm-up. The country route is beautiful and rolling and I was looking forward to seeing what I could do on a semi-hilly tempo.
I was barely 5 miles into the ride when I took a left turn right over a huge patch of gravel in the road. I saw it as I got closer and tried to slow down, but it was already too late. I went down. Hard. My hands, the handlebars and the left side of my body took the majority of the impact. I laid in the road for a minute (grateful for country roads with no traffic) and tried to assess whether I was seriously injured or not. I quickly decided that I was okay and just as I was pulling myself and my bike up off the road, a car that turned up ahead of me turned around and came over to see if I was okay (yay for friendly Virginians!). I assured the nice man that I was fine and that my bike was okay to ride. I even briefly (stupidly) wondered if I could finish the full ride.
I used my water bottle to try to wash off the blood from my hands and arms. I quickly realized that my hands were hurting so bad that I couldn’t finish the ride. Then I noticed that my handlebars were out of alignment and decided I probably shouldn’t ride the bike at all.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a hold of Brad. I waited a bit but decided I didn’t want to sit on the side of the road for an unknown amount of time so I rode suuuuper slowly (unclipped and in low gear) back to my car. It was a painful 5 miles because my hands hurt so bad and I got blood all over the handlebars. But mentally, getting back on immediately was probably the best thing I could have done.
Brad finally called me when I was about 1/2 a mile from my car. I sent him to get medical supplies and met him back at the hotel. Scrubbing the gravel out of my wounds was incredibly painful. I thought I might throw up multiple times. But once I was cleaned up and bandaged, it was definitely not that bad. And the next day the bike shop gave me the okay on my bike so off it went to Milwaukee a few days later.
- Plan: 45′ Easy Run
- Actual: 5.6M @ 8:04 avg.
After the crash the night before, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to have any random pains pop-up during the run. Surprisingly this is one of the best runs I have had in a really, really long time. Maybe it was because my legs weren’t tired from a hard bike ride? I did a couple of out and backs (the first with Walter and one after I dropped him off) on some fun little rolling hills. I felt like I could fly! It took all I had to hold back and keep the pace reasonable…where has this been for the last…3 months (??) more??
- Plan: 2:30 Bike
- Actual: 35M @ 17.8 mph (1:55)
I went a little out of my comfort zone and decided to try a group ride that was advertised on the RABA website. I am always hesitant on these kinds of things, but I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be a bunch of snobby elitist bikers (maybe because it was a B-B+ pace?). It turns out that the ride started an hour before I got there, but my new friend, Andy, didn’t get the memo either as he showed up at the same time I did. Andy recently retired and is relatively new to the Richmond area as well, but he sure was a fantastic tour guide. We had an awesome rolling hills ride around the country roads surrounding the Powhatan Courthouse. He tried to blame me for the faster pace, but I was chasing him up all of the hills 🙂
- Swim: 8000 meters (biggest yet!)
- Bike: 72 miles (womp…should have been ~90)
- Run: 21 miles (fresh legs FTW)
- Time: 9 hours 10 min. (missed out on a solid double digit week because of Friday’s crash)