Sunday, April 29, 2012

Puttin' money in the bank.

MONDAY: 9.15-mile run followed by strength & stretching

The Charles River at night
Elle: We didn't leave the house until after 8pm, 'cuz when you need to nap, you need to nap. But as luck would have it, the weather ended up being perfect, outside of a big 'ol head wind on the way out. The city was all dark and peaceful. Sometimes when we go long, I pretend Webb is Dave Scott and I'm Mark Allen, I stay right on his elbow, waiting for him to take that fateful cup of water to make my big move. But then Webb put a big kick on at the end, just as 'Panama' came on my headphones. But he took off so fast, it took everything I had to keep up. I just love a big finish.

Instead of doing a big strength workout afterwards and possibly damaging our tired legs, we did some plank work and a whole lotta stretching. Mmmmmmmm, stretching feels gooooood.

Webb: This was a great run. The goal was to stay in HR zone 2 or lower for 1:15. Twenty minutes into the run, we decided to extend the run to 1:20. Our Timberman 13.1 goal is under 2 hours or 9:00/mile pace. We finished the 1:20 with an average pace of 8:45 with only the last mile being out of HR zone 2. (We felt so good we couldn't resist a brisk finish.) I am thrilled we can hold a sub 9:00 pace in zone 2 for that long more than 3 months out of the race.

TUESDAY: Spartacus Workout & Biking (Steady Effort Pyramid)

Elle: The Spartacus workout: Holy crap, this took a lot of energy out of me. It was fun, but you don't even notice it kind of creep up on you, then all of a sudden, you're sweating buckets and all of your muscles are fatigued. Just like when the real Spartacus would sneak up on you, I suppose...

Webb: This workout is not to be confused with Spartacus or the Spartacus, but this Spartacus. I can't remember where I came across the workout. I nearly wrote it off as a typical, gimmicky unlike-the-last-breakthrough-workout-to-shred-fat-and-build-muscle-this-one-really-works workout. Having dabbled in functional workouts and CrossFit, it actually looked pretty good. So we gave it a shot. We used fairly light weight for our first endeavor. I suggest the same for you. It does sneak up on you. Final assessment: Excellent total body workout.

Elle: 1-hour Bike Trainer W/O: With little energy left, Webb led us on a sweat factory, energy-sapping endurance bike workout on the trainers. The Celtics were on, which Webb enjoyed, but all I could do was stare down at my handlebars and occasionally at my Garmin to make sure my cadence and speed were where it was supposed to be. It was a good workout, but I was too tapped from Spartacus to enjoy it.

Webb: I sorta came up with this workout on the spot. Let's call it a Steady Effort Pyramid:
    5:00 at 65-75 rpm followed by 5:00 at 95-105 rpm
    4:00 65-75, 4:00 95-105
    3:00 65-75, 3:00 95-105
    2:00 65-75, 2:00 95-105
    1:00 65-75, 1:00 95-105
    5:00 of soft pedaling at 80-85 rpm
    then reverse the above order.
You want to maintain a steady effort throughout, so choose gearing that will allow you to accomplish that. (Think of it has rolling hills and/or headwinds on the trainer.) Anyway, I liked it a lot and not just because the Celtics' bench beat the Heat bench. I think it is a positive workout for pacing and muscular endurance at a relatively low heart rate (zones 2 and 3).


Elle: What a confusing swim set for me. Ever since the Total Immersion Swim clinic, and especially after seeing myself swim on camera, I feel like I have to completely re-tool my stroke. So I've been swimming differently, and I can't tell if I'm turning the corner to finally become faster and better, or if I'm just totally messing everything up. Swimming is hard.

Webb: I'm not talking about this swim. If I would, I'd call it a "Mixed-bag of Failure." I had serious problems breathing. Chlorine? Allergies? I don't know. Air wasn't getting past my throat. So I changed up the workout. Then my chest and arms failed me (Damn you Spartacus workout!). So I changed up the workout again. Failed. I finally settled on just swimming what and how I could for an hour.

THURSDAY: SEAC Runng Club & Bike Fail

Elle: So I was all pumped up to do a Sufferfest by myself while Webb went to SEAC running club. I got all set up, re-arranged the living room, got down the bike trainer, got out the bike, pumped up the wheels, got dressed, turned on the computer so it could feed the video to the TV, said "So long" to Webb as he walked out the door, and got on the bike, ready to do 'Fight Club'.
Hmmmmmm, there must be some issue with the server or something, 'Fight Club' doesn't seem to be loading, I guess I'll do 'Revolver'.
So I start the workout. Just after the warm up, the video stops loading. Crap.
I get off the bike, go over to the computer and click around, trying to figure out what is going wrong. It starts loading again, so I get back on the bike, and get going. About 5 minutes later, the same thing. Get off the bike, try to figure out the problem, get back on, start pedaling. Then 3 minutes later, no video. AAAARRRGGGGGGGHHHHH!
Now I'm all sweaty, mentally want to get this workout in, but it's a no-go, as the video has stopped loading all together. I don't know if it was Comcast, or Webb's computer having a melt-down, but I was on the verge of my own melt-down. I accepted defeat, broke everything down and put it away. No workout for me today. Dammit.

Webb: Elsewhere, we had a rocking set at the track. My rotten swim provided me some fresh legs to do 6 x 200m with 200m jog recoveries. We did our typical drills after and 800m of jog the turns, stride the straights. We returned to the store for monkeybread and beer. Man I love our running club.

SATURDAY: Endurance Bike Ride - Weston Hills 50-Miler

Elle: Equipped with my newly fitted Cervélo, I was ready to kick some butt on the road today. And indeed, this was a great ride for me. I was able to keep up with Webb like never before, even on the hills. It was glorious. I was working hard, but I felt like the bike and I were one organism, working together.

 The plan was to do 3:30 of aerobic work on some rolling hills. We went out to my Weston Hills loop. The loop is 5 miles and has a nice mix of hills. It begins with a gradual 1 mile climb that hits upwards of 11% grade towards the top. From there the next 4 miles are rollers that over time can really tax your legs. But our goal was to do what Joe Friel calls "walking on your bike." Imagine if you went for a 3.5 hour walk with some hiking. Even though you keep your intensity low, you still get pretty damn tired. That is what we did on the bike.

Elle: At one point, on our way out to the circuit, Webb pointed across the street and yelled something I couldn't comprehend. Then I saw what we was yelling about, it was Lenny, on the way back from his workout! We both turned around and met up to chat for a bit. Another high point of the day was when I successfully ingested a Gu gel going 20 mph. Helloooooo sticky fingers...

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