Friday, July 20, 2012

A Morning Workout? And STEINERBrick!

MONDAY: Recovery Run
30:00 easy, shake-out

Old Colony - Finish Line
Elle: With it being the day after our Olympic-distance Triathlon, we decided to do a nice, slow recovery run. As we headed out to the Charles River, we ran into our friend Melissa near Boylston Street and stood around on the corner discussing nutrition and other stuff for what was probably too long. That's the thing about Boston, it's a small place, and you never know who you're going to run into.

Webb: Two words: Ugh. I wanted no part of that run. My legs felt rotten. The race should have been better for as bad as I felt.

WEDNESDAY x2:  The Morning: Sufferfest.com's The Hunted

Webb: I woke Wednesday morning with my usual desire to do nothing but go back to sleep. I woke Elle and asked her if she still wanted to do the bike workout. She said "workout," not "ok" or "if you want to." She said, "workout." With a heavy sigh I got up to pull out the trainers.

Elle: I wanted to sleep in soooo bad! But I had a feeling that I was making a decision for the both of us. With my eyes still closed, I willed the following word to come out of my mouth: 'workout...'. Partly because I knew I should since I skipped my bike workout the night before. Partly because I wanted to see what would happen. Would Webb accept my challenge? Indeed!

The Night - Boston Common Hill Repeats 8 Hill Repeats (approx. 1/4 mile) at 70.3 Race Pace


Old Colony - Swim Exit
Elle: I was supposed to swim, but oh well. It was a really nice night. We headed out just after 8pm (waiting for things to cool off). We ran around the Public Garden to warm up as we headed to Boston Commons. Then 8 repeats up the hill. I had music and was chilling out while I 'explored the space'. We mostly stayed shoulder to shoulder. Until Webb said it was the last climb, and I busted out with excitement up the hill. I felt good about this run. We should do more hilly runs. We had to hustle, though, to get back home in time to see the great finish of the day's stage of the Tour de France (go Jensy!!!).

Webb: Hill repeats weren't really in the workout schedule. I added them spontaneously because I am afraid that all of our runs are on flat courses. The real challenge was to keep the effort moderate. This is the same hill where we do winter workouts with SEAC at significantly higher intensity levels. We had to work hard on not working hard; every memory in every fiber of my muscle wanted to drive that hill.

SATURDAY: STEINERBrick - Return to Concord & Walden Pond


Elle: As usual, we got off to a late start. But we wanted to make sure we were fully rested for a big brick workout.

Old Colony - Bike
Webb: The plan was to be out for five hours. I found a bike course that would give us roughly 60 miles or 4 hours at an easy Zone 2 pace. We would then run for the balance of time to get us to five hours. Again, this would be another nutrition-focused workout. We need to dial in what works (or doesn't) before 8/19.

Elle: We parked at Walden Pond. We were getting all of our gear ready, and I was already sweating like mad. I was ready for the post-workout swim now! I was jealous of all the folks making their way down to the water, where I wish I was headed. But no, I had 5 hours of working out to get in first. Ugh.

Webb: Both of us prefer a high cadence during both training and racing. This can sometimes be a challenge when doing outdoor workouts while trying to keep our HR low because our vanity can't stand what the speedometer says. On this day, I wanted us to stay in zone 2 the entire time. I told Elle to ignore cadence and speed. We were to pick whatever gear and cadence combo was needed to stay on task. HR was the only thing that mattered. Well that and overall time.

Old Colony - Finish Line
The results were markedly lower RPM numbers and surprising leg fatigue in the last hour. The energy was there; I didn't feel tired. I mean, I was, insomuch as my legs are part of me. It was almost as if I could feel the capillary networks building in my quads. It was also interesting to see how RPM and gearing affected HR. Quite frankly, it caught me off guard how often I was able to lower my HR while pedaling in a bigger gear (at a lower RPM) and maintain or increase my speed. After awhile my HR would begin creeping upwards again until I shifted to an easier gear and increased my cadence. Next year's base period will definitely see more big gear work.

From a nutrition standpoint, I experimented with mixing gels and solid food. I split a Clif Bar, eating each half on the even laps. On lap #3 I had a gel. This worked ok, not great though. The Clif Bar felt much better. I was drinking a lot more than I usually do - a good thing - so I'm sure that was a big part of it. On our next big brick I plan to eat only a Clif Bar or two.

Elle: We're still trying to figure out how to get the camera working properly, so Webb was giving it another try today. It was surprising how many people were really interested in it - other cyclists came up beside us to ask about it, and I could hear people talking about it as we passed by.

This bike workout was good for me, I need to get more time in the saddle. The best part was watching Webb stop traffic to save a turtle who was crossing the road. Video to come shortly...

Webb: We rolled into the parking having ridden a shy more than 60 miles in under 4 hours. Cool! Wait! That meant we needed to run for more than 1 hour. I broke this news to Elle thinking she may tell me an extra 5 minutes is silly. But no, she was ok with it. I think this high-volume training is starting to feel normal.

The run was a simple out-and-back: Turn left out of the parking lot, run for 32:00, turnaround and run back. I grabbed a bottle of water and we set out. I felt great. My legs were strong. I had energy. My turnover was quick. My HR was ... kinda low? I was definitely below threshold. As the run wore on, my HR kept creeping. No matter how good I felt, I knew if that HR kept going up things could get ugly. Thankfully, the HR leveled off a few beats shy of threshold for the final 2.5 miles of the run. We came into the parking lot tired. More importantly we were not dead. I know we both had another 6-7 miles in us. This was undoubtedly a confidence-booster for 8/19.

Elle: This run was much better than last week, probably due to the fact that we stayed in zone 2 for the bike portion. And wearing headphones on the run didn't hurt. Things were going really well, I was super happy with the bike AND the run. We were both tired, hot, dirty, sweaty, all I could think about was the glorious dip in Walden Pond that was about to happen. And that's when the hammer came down. As we rounded the corner of our run into the Walden Pond parking lot, we saw the police cruiser, slowly driving around. There were no other cars in the lot. Apparently it closes at 8pm. It was 8:05pm. We got a ticket, and no swim. Uncomfortable, hot, sweaty, filthy, we climbed into the car and headed home. Cool down fail.