Last week was one of the busier weeks I can remember and I’m feeling it, literally. I got sick for the first time since last May and I saw it coming a mile away. Ironman training with a full time job and kids is very unforgiving. You can’t let your focus slip even for a day or two, otherwise it will bite you. I have a full blown chest cold infection which means zero exercise for seven to 10 days. It’s very frustrating to say the least. My training has come along really well and I’m in an important build leading up to Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, which is now one short month away. This last week was a testament to that fitness and although I’m really excited of where I’m at, I know I’m taking a step back with taking this much time off. Especially with my swim fitness. I was so close to getting back to where I was and yet, another setback which has been very common with me. This goes back to what my coach has been preaching about my training all along. How important it is for me to stay consistent—something I’ve always struggled with whether it be to illness, injury or just stupidity.
Again, I learned from my mistakes. I planned ahead of time to just let go for the weekend and have some fun because I think I’ve earned it! Well, come to find out, when you are pushing your body and your time to the limits, there isn’t any room for error. No nights to skip on sleep, or eat terrible, drink too much or skip on hydration. Especially when you are throwing down tough workouts. And yet that is what I did! Here’s how the week played out:
Monday: 1 workout
BlueSeventy Recovery Swim: 45 mins / 2500yds
3 x 800 m
1st Easy Swim
3rd Pull w/ paddles
Post workout notes: This workout was all about recovering from the half marathon. I was a lot sorer than I thought I’d be.
Tuesday: 1 workout
Recovery Run: 40 mins / 4.5 miles / 8:53 pace
Flanny’s workout: 40 min recovery run w/ 8-10 x 50 m strides at completion.
Post Workout notes: Open half marathons tear me up just as much half Ironmans do. I really struggled to run those first 10 minutes. Finally I loosened up, but at the end I was still unable to do the strides because of the soreness.
Wednesday: 2 workouts
BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 1:30 / 4,000 yards
500 wup, 4×100 on 1:40. 4×50 on 50
Main set all done on 1:30b:
8×150 (100steady 5″ 50hard)
8×125 (75 steady 5″ 50 hard)
8×75 (50 steady 5″ 25 hard) Fins and paddles
c/d to 4K
Post workout notes: STILL feeling fatigued from the half, I struggled through this one. I barely made the intervals and I had to throw on fins and paddles to get through that last set.
SRM Bike Trainer: 1hr / 16.5 miles / 16.5mph
Flanny’s workout: 90 mins: 3 x 8 min Big Gear 2min Z4 on 2 min rest
Post workout notes: Tonight was when the stress started for the week. Basically Wed-Sun was a whirlwind. I know this session was going to be key to try and get my legs back from that race but sometimes things come up. I was only able to get in one interval and then had to call is quits
Thursday: 1 workout
Run: Steady State Run- 70 mins / 9 miles / 7:47 pace
Post workout notes: This was a long day. Drove to San Diego (1 hour drive time). Worked all day then drove to Temecula (1 hr) for a quick wardrobe change. I quickly got my run in then I then drove to Los Angeles in rainy traffic (2.5 hrs) for a Boston Marathon commercial shoot. This was a really cool experience running on a treadmill with a green screen. Watch for the commercial to run during the last week of the Olympics (next week). Then it was back home in even worse traffic,which took me three and a half hours, for a total of eight hours of driving for the day. I was done!
Friday: 0 workouts
Post workout notes: This was another crazy day of driving down to San Diego, working all day before heading home. I quickly packed and headed off to Redlands for a pit stop and finally to Palm Springs to check in for the century ride and meet up with Eric and Kim for a fun weekend! As much as I wanted to get the prescribed 90 minute bike spin and Masters in, there was no way today to do anything. Sometimes you run out of time. Looking back on it though, I should have woken up at 4:30 a.m. and got in a swim before work. Failed planning = part of the learning process.
Saturday: 1 workout
Post workout notes: This was my only 2nd time ever going over 100 miles. My first was a 150 mile crazy weekend with Masi / Nabor a few years ago. I really didn’t know what to expect. My last long ride over 50 miles was Vegas I believe. We’ve just been doing a lot of intensity (with the volume to come). I think the numbers show that not doing a whole lot of volume doesn’t affect me like I thought it would. Sure they are skewed; I was hanging in and out of large packs about 35 percent to 45 percent of the time. However, I HATE riding in large groups and this was no different. Sorry to the roadies out there, but there is very little benefit of riding with a large pack when it comes to Ironman fitness. Even during the climbs, you can tuck right in and cruise up. You get such a harder workout riding solo if you can push yourself and that’s why the majority of the time I ride solo. Each time I got caught up with a pack, I’d bail out after a while then TT solo until I caught up to another larger or smaller group. I did this the entire ride, and maybe said three or four words the entire day. I just wanted to hammer and see what I could do, not BS with a bunch of arrogant roadies. With about an hour to go, my buddy Mike Hebebrand (KQ’er) came by with a strong group. Just what I needed to break the 4:30 mark! We rode hard the rest of the way home and I felt fantastic. It’s January and I could have got off that bike and put down a solid marathon which excites me in my Kona qualifier pursuit. Including the ride down to the start, I got in a solid 107 miles for the day. Stoked!
The rest of the day included one too many beers, lots of laughs, great food and very little water and sleep unfortunately. I woke up that night with a really bad sore throat, dreading the race the next day.
Sunday: Palm Springs 1/2 marathon relay (5.5 miles, 3.1 miles, 4.5 miles)
My leg, 4.5 miles – Splits: 5:25, 5:37, 5:38, 5:50 … and change
Total: 25:21 (5:38 pace) / Total team time: 1:21:4x
1st Place Co-Ed Division / 8th place Overall
Post workout notes: My initial plan was to just watch, but after Amy hooked up with a relay team and then my friends Eric and Kim were thinking about doing the relay, I decided to jump in and see how the legs would respond to a tough century ride the day before. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling so hot and neither was Eric. Our fun from the night before was not so much fun anymore. I tried doing a warm up but almost threw up so I opted to do some stretching instead. Eric brought it in to the check point flying and in first place (in our division). He said he was dry heaving during the race but he still averaged 5:40’s! Kim took off for her 3.1 mile leg and before I knew it she was flying in and it was my turn to take it home. I definitely went out a little hot (5:25) but felt surprisingly good and passed about six to seven people and then from miles 2 to 4.5 it was just a time trial with me all by myself. I hit 5K in under 17 minutes, and then the wheels fell off big time. My quads were locking up and felt like someone put a hammer to them. I was super dehydrated and needless to say, I was ready to be done! I was surprised how much that little 4.5 mile race hurt but I was very pleased with the results. I’m in (was) the best shape of my life hands down for triathlon. We hung around a bit for results, picked up our medals, had an awesome lunch and said goodbye to the fun weekend.
Now it’s all about taking this time to get healthy and recharge for the work that lies ahead. I’m excited to get into full on Ironman training mode. I’m off to a good start with my training and excited to see how March goes with the Desert Tri and Ironman 70.3 Oceanside to start the year.
Totals (2 swims, 2 bikes, 3 runs)
Swim: 6,500 yds /2:15
Bike: 123 miles / 6:03
Run: 21 miles / 2:20
Strength: 1 hr
Total hours: 11:38