Since I made #thereturn to the Internet smack dab in the middle of peak week, I thought I would talk a little about what it looked like and how it went.
As I mentioned in my race recap, the original training plan had two big peak weeks back-to-back following a cutback week that included an Olympic Distance race. Flip flopping to accommodate the race, meant I came into this final peak week a little more fresh than I would have otherwise. This, unfortunately, didn’t mean that I got to the end of the week feeling fresh and full of energy. But I guess that’s not really the point. Right?!
So what did peak week look like?
- Planned: 1:25 Ride w/30′ Tempo
- Actual: 27.6M @ 19.8 mph w/30′ @ 21.6 mph
I had to be in Virginia Beach by 9 a.m. for work so I left Richmond before 7 to get the dogs to Camp and myself to the office on time. I was feeling itchy all day to get home and ride before thunderstorms rolled in. It was warm – probably the warmest ride yet, but it felt good after such a cold spring. My legs were fresh, strong and smooth during the tempo. All I could think was- where was this on Saturday?!
- Planned: 2600 Swim + ‘High Intensity’ Brick: 1:15 Ride/30′ Tempo Run
- Actual: 2600 yd swim w/2100 straight + 24.3M Ride @ 19.6 mph/4.1M @ 7:16 avg.
A 7 a.m. meeting meant being in the (very warm) water at the gym closest to my office by 5:25. I did the long, straight swim that normally would be on the weekend so I could get the most amount of yds in the shortest amount of time.
More thunderstorms on tap for the evening meant another rush to get on the bike after work. I pushed the pace on the ride and feared what that meant for the run, but I felt GOOD. Don’t get me wrong – it hurt, but unlike last weekend, I was able to hold it together and hit my paces.
- Planned: 3000 Swim + 2:00 Ride
- Actual: 3000 m swim w/25×100’s + 37M @ 18.3 mph
I had plans to meet swimming buddy, Brady, at our normal (also very warm) rec center pool, but he overslept, so I was on my own. I didn’t mind as the 5 different sets of 100’s flew by. I even had a random lane buddy join me for the last 5x100m @ 1:35.
It was cooler and misty during the ride and I could definitely feel the work from the previous days in my legs. Sometimes I feel like I should be working really hard on every ride, so I had to remind myself that (just like running), some rides are for foundation and not about speed or how hard I can push.
- Planned: Corporate 5K (+ warm-up & cool-down)
- Actual: 7.1M: 3M @ 7:58 + 21:30 5k (6:55 min/mile) + 1M @ 8:36
It almost felt like a rest day since I was able to sleep in with no workout in the morning! It’s been well over a year since my last stand-alone 5k and while I knew a PR wasn’t in the cards, I wanted to see if I could hold 6:45 and go sub-21. The pace started out comfortable and even though it hurt like hell (as all 5k’s do!) I felt good about having enough in the tank to push in the last mile. I thought I was on track to hit my sub-21 goal because my splits (according to Garmin) were 6:47, 6:49, 6:42 & 6:25 (0.18), but I must have been weaving too much around the water puddles (it was raining!) or gone too wide on turns because my watch was off from the course by almost 0.1. Still, I was 3rd female and had a blast with my small group of coworkers that raced.
- Planned: REST
- Actual: REST
There are not enough words to describe how glorious these rest days are when they finally arrive. I made the drive to Richmond on Friday morning and worked from home all day because our sump pump went out (after 3 days of rain) and I needed to make sure the house didn’t flood (!) and get the plumbers all set up to get it fixed. Not the most relaxing start to the day, but it all worked out fine in the end.
- Planned: 3:30 – 3:45 Ride
- Actual: 65.3M @ 17.7 mph
I met up with the RABA group at a different location than I normally do on Saturdays. I thought it would be fun to mix up the scenery, plus this group was going a little longer so it meant less solo riding. I did an out-and-back from Laurel Park an hour before the start so that I would be done for the day at the end of the 49-mile group ride. A pace had not been pre-determined in the emails, but after we started, the ride leader said he was planning a 15 mph pace. This is quite a bit slower than I would normally ride and a little math told me I would be on my bike 4+ hours if I stayed with the group. I had the cue sheet so I rode off the front and thankfully one other guy joined me. We rode the next 35ish miles together, including the “3 Sisters” hills. I was very grateful for his company, but he was much faster than me so I was pushing hard on the flats/rollers to hold his wheel and he had to wait for me at the top the climbs. When I rolled back to my car at 3 hours and 40 min, I was more than happy to call it a day. My legs were SHOT.
- Planned: 12M Run + 2800 Swim
- Actual: 12M @ 8:25 + 2800 yd swim w/800 straight, 4×200 pull, 8×100’s
I knew within the first 4 miles that this run was going to be a doozy. My legs felt so heavy, even on the steady downhill of the first half of the run. I was dreading the hills and sure enough – they destroyed me. I knew I needed to force myself to run through them instead of picking a flatter route because Chattanooga has 800 feet of climbing on the run. I was able to talk myself out of stopping/walking for the first 9 miles, but when I hit the bottom of those hills toward the end, I took breaks to get my heart rate down and collect myself. Bonk City.
Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do after that run (did I mention it was also the warmest one I have had this spring?!) was go to the pool. I took a salt bath, showered and rested on the couch for a while and eventually dragged myself to the pool around 2. My normal pool at University of Richmond was closed for graduation. Thankfully I looked that up before I left. But I didn’t check Collegiate School Aquatic Center and when I got there it was closed for a swim meet. Earlier in this training cycle, I would have gone home for a nap. But this was IT before taper, so I called the YMCA and found out that not only were they open, but they have a reciprocity with my membership in Virginia Beach, so I can swim there for free! Win. Given how my body felt, I took it relatively easy in the pool – backing off my normal intervals by about 5-10 seconds. I want to work hard, but I also know there is no need to bury myself at this point.
- Swim: 7935 m (switching between meters & yds all week)
- Bike: 154 miles
- Run: 23 miles
- Time: 13 hours, 51 minutes.
All in all I would say this was a solid week. The long ride and run didn’t leave me feeling as confident as I hoped, but I know being fatigued is part training and not all workouts will feel strong. Now, we taper.