Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hinca-what?

Elle: So family matters have forced us to re-arrange training lately, but you have to be flexible, life happens, you have to go with the flow. Which is a good lesson in life and also in racing. You never know what's going to happen, so you need to figure out how to deal with things as they come at you. Luckily we're not heading to Timberman to win, we're just going to have a good time. Because that's how triathletes have a good time: suffering.

WEDNESDAY: Public Body?
Hello, storm!
Elle: A huge New England storm complete with thunder & lightning blew into town, causing the cancellation of Public Body, which I'm really excited to start doing. Can't wait to get my strength on - but it will have to wait until next week. Damn you, storm! (shaking fist in the air)

THURSDAY AM: Sufferfest - Angels
Elle: I really like this workout, as I've said before (is there a Sufferfest that I don't like? No.). I never tire of getting the thumbs up from Schleck, or seeing Contador getting dropped on the sprint, and then watching him dance up the climb. I've been missing Contador this year at the Tour. Half way through the workout I had a serious bout of verping, but I didn't throw up all over the living room, so score. Of course the best thing in any Sufferfest workout is the cartoon at the end of Angels. Classic.

Webb: I didn't do a morning workout. Instead I did another first: morning laundry. Training for this sport makes it nearly impossible to keep up with the laundry. Right? I may not be stronger on the bike, but our clothes look and smell better now.

THURSDAY PM: Track Workout

Elle: I did the SEAC workout on the track with the group.

Webb: I did my own thing for a change. I had fallen behind on my running volume so I wanted to mix some longer total duration with some speed work.
w/u: 30:00 jog to track followed by 4x 100m tempo with 100m jog recoveries
main: 6x 1200m on 8:00 at 5k effort
c/d: 15:00 jog to SEAC for social times
Total miles: 10.25

This workout was brutal. I arrived at the track as the SEAC crew was in the later stages of their workout. I sorta exchanged hiya's with people while i was doing the 4x100m tempo warm-up. Then all of sudden they were gone, jogging back to the store beer, storytelling and merriment. And there I was alone on the track staring down 6x 1200m. Ugh.

My goal was to run each 1200m at just faster than a 5k effort or 5:10/1200m. I would then leave on the 8:00 mark. So if I ran a 1200 in 5:10, that would provide me 2:50 of recovery. I wanted to jog the recoveries and I tried that after the first two intervals. The problem is I went out way too fast on the first two coming in at 4:58 and 4:53 respectively. I was gassed. Doubt began to creep in whether I could handle the workout and worse, whether I was ready for a Half Ironman. I told myself what I always tell myself in tough interval workouts: Just do the next one.

I approached intervals 4-6 with the notion to negative split them. Ideally I would have run all six intervals at the same speed from start to finish. Since I had nearly burned out on 1 and 2, I had to resort to this method to finish the workout. Survive and adapt, if you will. The next interval I came in a little slow at 5:13 and my strength came back a little. The second half was closer to where I should have been at the beginning: 5:07, 5:11 and 5:11. Oh yeah, there were no jog recoveries. Mostly walking to the water fountain and then back to the start line. Maybe next time.

Allez Wiggo! Au Revoir le Tour de France

Elle: I am currently mourning the end of the Tour de France. July is my favorite month. Here are some of the reasons why:

Top 10 Tour de France Stuff
10. Waking up to the sound of Phil Liggett's voice
9. Paul Sherwen's commentary on the french countryside
8. Peter Sagan's finish line celebrations
7. Cav (the world road cycling champion!) acting as domestique
6. Jensy's daily blog of his thoughts and the inner workings of the peleton
5. Phil Ligget commenting on the 'slowest sprint finish' he's ever seen
4. A big black dog going for his shot at competing in the Tour de France (aka Gilbert v. the dog)
3. Road ID commercials Hinca-what?
2. Some clown drawing chalk road tacks on the course after some ass hat actually threw real tacks the day before
1. Wiggo's podium speech

SATURDAY: Timberman Bike & 1/2 Run
Webb gets the bikes ready.
With no shirt on. Yeah.
Elle: We parked outside the gate this time (smart!) with all of the other triathletes. And we had the correct directions, no getting lost and no flats. Hey, we're getting good at this! To pass the time I started to count the number of motorcyclists I saw not wearing helmets - I stopped counting after 100. That's right. 100 motorcyclists not wearing helmets. Unbelievable. Anyway, nutrition-wise I only had one Clif bar on the ride, plus water & Skratch drink. The only problem I had today was some bike fit issues that need to be fixed before August 19. And I didn't draft off of Webb, like I usually do, so I got more of a simulation of race day. All in all, a good bike workout.

Webb: I started off the ride seriously grumpy. That is not like me. I don't really have bad training days. My approach is like that old bumper sticker: A Bad Day Fishing is Better Than a Good Day Working. Except I do fish. I swim, bike and run. When I have bad days training I remind myself how lucky I am to be in a situation where I can choose to go out for a 4-hour bike ride or 1.5-hour run. On this day, I was having a hard time shaking it. Then I remembered reading somewhere that many times when you are feeling grumpy or impatient during a workout it is because you are sugar-deficient. We sometimes forget that our brains burn calories too and the brain feeds on sugar they way zombies feed on ... forget it.

This was going to be my solid food only test ride. So I moved my Clif Bar schedule up a bit. Within 10 to 15 minutes or so, I started to relax and get into the workout. I sure wish I had done that sooner because one of the climbs before that was massively difficult on my tri bike and its stupid 53/39 front chain rings. Who tries to climb in those? Apparently this guy.

To make the climb more of a challenge, this was another day we were trying to keep our HR low. I know that simply standing on your pedals will automatically raise one's HR, but I also knew deep down in the muscles of my quads that if I tried to climb in the saddle I would burn my legs out faster than my heart. So I stood and methodically walked up the hill trying to keep my HR from spiking. It was a good experiment in body awareness.

On the other side of things, meaning the descent, my tri bike is ludicrously fast. I figured I'd descend faster on an aero bike, but I was surprised how much faster. On the penultimate summit I looked back and saw Elle was a little ways behind me. I decided to coast to allow her to catch me on the downside. I ended up reaching 49mph without turning the pedals at all. I mean not at all. The last time we did this descent on my road bike, I may have hit 40. That's free speed! (Only if you don't count how much slower it is climbing.)

The Run Part: 6 miles

Post-workout shake
at Sawyers
Webb: Before we even returned to the car I knew I was not going to attempt the brick. My hip/glute problem was definitely back. I had taken the tri bike out on this practice run specifically to see how my body responded. It did not respond well. So I'll definitely be riding my road bike at Timberman. It will make the climbing and running significantly easier. As such, I'll also be less likely to abandon the race.

Elle: I really wanted to get an idea of what the run was going to be like, even if it was just a small portion of the course. So while Webb took a break, I put on my headphones and jammed out for 6 miles. The run route is pretty along the lake, with some nice views, but there are some good hills in there, for sure. I felt pretty good, and ran an average of under a 9-minute mile pace. On race day I'll try to go a little slower on the first half, then kick it up for the last 4-5 miles if I'm feeling good. I didn't do the whole course, and I know that there's a monster hill that I didn't get to, but I guess I'll just have to leave that for race day. After I finished my 6 miles, I was most hot and sweaty. So I just had to go for a refreshing swim in Lake Winni (that makes all the difference). What a strange lake! I walked all the way out to the far buoys of the swim area, and my knees didn't even get wet! How are we supposed to swim in this? It's barely a foot and half feet deep! I've never seen anything like it. But it was still refreshing.
We left the park and went to our new favorite post-workout Timberman stop, Sawyer's, for a meal before driving home - fish & chips and a vanilla shake. Yum.