Monday, April 23, 2018

Ironman training week 16 - wait that was a recovery week?!

That really didn't feel much like a recovery week. Somehow it only ended up 3 hours lighter than the peak week. But there was  some fun stuff in there, so let's get to it.

Base training is OVER.
Swim: 8100m
Bike: 178 km (86 outside! 3:15 on trainer)
Run: 38 km


Monday: REST

Tuesday: 2600m swim; TR Bird -1

Another really solid swim. Feel like I'm really making some progress here with my endurance!

Woo got the 'beginner' workout done in under an hour without having to modify it at all!
I don't know why I have this picture but now you get to see it too.
In honour of recovery, no lunch hour run. And the 1 minute long VO2s in Bird felt like a pleasant break. They only hurt a little rather than a whole lot, so yay?

Wednesday: 9k lunch run; weights

not the prettiest day, but always still like to run by the water

Didn't use this one for instagram and I'm too lazy to crop it now.
Easy run at lunch to the bay and back to work. Nothing exciting; no Reid Coolsaet sightings, they weren't even working on the bridge construction. Probably it's better to have less excitement.

Weights in the evening. I have to figure out where to slot in a second weightlifting session, because it ain't going to happen after long rides on the weekend any more I don't think; they are just leaving me too trashed to be effective. Or maybe I'll just stick with one and not worry about it beyond that. Dunno.

Thursday: 2500m swim; 8k lunch run; TR Slide Mountain

Another swim I was really happy with. Now soon I'm going to have to deal with The Wetsuit Issue (namely I'm not super confident either of my wetsuits still fits, not that I ever felt they really fit all that well to begin with). But at least I'm feeling good in the pool.

Surprisingly dry rail trail
Given all the rain and ice storms and whatnot, I was really surprised the trail was so dry when I ran at lunch. It made a nice change from running to the bay!

Sweet spot intervals in the evening, nothing too hard. Sore from the weightlifting on Wednesday, though, so I was counting the minutes until this one was over.

Friday: TR - Seneca Rocks

OK seriously not sure how my hours ended up adding up so much, it doesn't feel like I really did that much! No run on Friday, either! Just another round of sweet spot intervals in the evening.

I will say, I am pretty glad, looking ahead, that the Friday ride now changes to a 60 minute easy ride. Good chance I'll be moving that one around in my schedule (or even getting up early and doing it Friday mornings) to free Friday evenings back up.

Saturday: 16k long run; 3000m swim

Sun over the beach

the best way to end a run

THE WHOLE GANG! WOO!
OK this was a fantastic weekend. First off, running with my girl* friends!! All of them!! Yay! And it wasn't snowing or freezing rain or even really windy much. Still a bit on the cold side, but whatever. Super fun run and it felt great and my heart rate stayed in a good place for the whole thing and just everything about this was awesome.

*plus Fab, but we just count him as a girl now

Then a 3000m swim doing a workout I've been skipping over every time I flip the book open to that page because it contained an 800m interval at threshold pace which sounded like a terrible idea, but I decided to put on my big girl pants and give it a shot, figuring what's the worst that could happen, I end up slow on the interval. Who cares.

But then I totally rocked it, managing 15:40 for the 800 (which shocked the hell out of me) and I was totally dead even on the first half and the last half. Things are working alright in the pool right now! Just to keep this up! Tight core to keep the feet up, watching the head position (always one goggle in the water, no looking forward), relaxed upper body, and focusing on using the full stroke to get as much distance out of every stroke possible. It's working for me.

Sunday: 85k long ride + 5k brick run

And then there was Sunday.

Where this happened.




FINALLY. It was a tad chilly but I got the clothing right and it was just a glorious 85k on largely deserted roads (other than, during the last hour or so, all the other cyclists who also came out to play).


yeah that's still snow on the side of the road. lots of sand and gravel in places, so I was glad I had my road bike and not my tri bike.
(let's maybe not talk about the brick run after, which felt pretty terrible, but whatever plenty of time in the future to worry over that. right now I'm still happy I managed to get out in the sun on my bike!!)

So that wraps up base training, and now it's on to the build plan, where things change a little bit but also sort of stay the same. Just taking things day by day while I figure out how to work everything into the schedule around family/life stuff and how the Trainerroad plan changes up a bit. Also starting to consider my early season tri options, and I think I will sign up for Milton just to get the rust off, and then the Welland long course. Still tentative but I think both will work into my schedule nicely.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ironman training week 15 - base training peak week

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's almost the end of base training. This week was week 11 of the Trainerroad plan, which meant the biggest hours of the whole plan before the final week, which is a recovery week.

Things went really well, when mother nature allowed them too. It got a bit messy over the weekend, shall we say, and I have just the tiniest bit of regret over missing my recovery run and a weight training session. But if I have to skip a couple of workouts, those are probably the best ones to miss, and given how we had an Icy Kill Storm on Saturday through Sunday, well, I'm glad I managed to fit in everything else!

Swim: 7700m
Bike: 9 hours (272 km)
Run: 45 km

A little light on the run miles (I like to be over 50k for the week as a minimum), but I had good reason to be...

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 2400m swim; 8k lunch run; TR Alice

Well that angle didn't work. Have to try that one again.
Really solid swim. I'm not entirely sure what's happening but the small changes I've made to my stroke recently seem to be good ones, since I was hitting under 2 minutes per hundred paces on this one pretty easily.



Lovely little run down to the bay at lunch, where I saw Reid Coolsaet twice so we are like totally best friends now. Wished him good luck at Boston, then spent 10 minutes doubting that maybe he wasn't running Boston and I'd just made myself look like a total goober. Fortunately, he did run Boston, so I only looked like a dork for other reasons, like the rampant selfie taking.



VO2s in the evening. Unpleasant. I don't wanna talk about it. There's all these unpleasant looking ones coming up in the build plan and I am not looking forward to it.

Wednesday: 13k run; weights

sunrise, sort of?

Slogged out the midweek long run at 5 am. It was fine. Not every run can be awesome, sometimes they just happen and you record them and move on with your life.

Could I be any more awkward?
Weights in the evening. Wasn't in the mood and overate at dinner, but I went through the motions at least.

Thursday: 2500m swim; TR Gibraltar + 5k brick run

Cliche swimmer photo that I framed wrong so couldn't use on instagram. You'd think I'd have this down to a science by now, but no, probably 75% of the pics I take are useless or weird in some way.
Solid swim. Early. Not sure I woke up until it was over.

So thrilled to be wearing summer clothes! Of course, that didn't last...
Evening ride was tempo, and then it was totally spring and warm and I went out for a run in shorts and a tank top and it was great and I ran into a friend and was able to run back with her and YAY everything.

Friday: TR - Spruce Knob

2x30 sweet spot intervals. Nothing fancy.

Saturday: 18k long run; 2800m swim

Mid run selfies are important.
Due to Ice Stormmageddon, swapped my bike to Sunday and met up with Nicole and Amy to see how much of a long run we could manage before conditions deteriorated too much.

Waterlogged and freezing, but DONE.
Let me tell you, if I'd been solo, this run would have maybe lasted 10k. It was windy, cold, spitting rain, then eventually absolutely pouring rain. 18k was plenty to manage in that bullshit. So, so happy to have the girls join me and I'm going to be roping them into a bunch more of my long runs this summer, whether they like it or not. I have a feeling I'm going to need the support as things get longer!

Another really great feeling swim later on on Saturday. Fingers crossed that keeps up!

Sunday: TR - Putuo

Somehow the fact this was a 4 hour 15 minute ride and not a 4 hour 30 minute ride like I originally thought made it seem about 20 times more reasonable. I know that makes no sense, but does any of this make sense, really?

Other nonsensical things: April ice storms. And that's why this ride was on the trainer instead of outside.
I dunno, this went really well. I zoned out listening to the new Drake song for like an hour and a half, and scrolled twitter and instagram and chatted with friends over messenger and somehow it just wasn't bad. I got tired, I had to take a bathroom break at one point (and change my bra, which was soaked through, gross, but I felt a lot better with a new one on), but it was really pretty solid.

FOUR DAMN HOURS.
That said, OMG I cannot wait to get OUTSIDE if this stupid winter ever ends.

No weights or recovery run, because ICE STORM OF DOOM, but as I said, if I'm going to miss a couple of workouts, those are the best ones. And it was still a massive number of hours for the week - my stravistiX add on had me trending into the overload area after the long ride, after being firmly in the 'optimum' zone all week. So maybe it was good I didn't do anything else. But I'm feeling really great, and looking forward to tackling the next phase of things after a well-earned recovery week!

Well that's not real promising. Can we get some spring weather around here? Please?!





Monday, April 9, 2018

Ironman training week 14

Getting so close to the end of the base building phase now! This is both exciting (ooooh a new training plan to obsess over) and terrifying (there are only how many more months until race day?!).

This was a really great week, though, so I'm feeling confident. Had really solid workouts across all three sports and I'm feeling very fit right now. Just have to maintain that and stay healthy.

Swim: 7800m
Bike: 202 km (6:30)
Run: 58 km

Monday: rest! And eat all the things!

Tuesday: 2200m swim; 8.5k lunch run; TR Mist

Getting up at 5 am to swim isn't really getting any easier, but it's a much more efficient use of my time than most of the other options so I keep doing it. There was someone else in the pool when I got there just finishing up his workout (!!), so I'm not the only crazy person...

The weather is getting to me. So grim.
Lunch run was easy paced and nothing special, then a solid go at a set of VO2s on the bike in the evening. After failing the VO2s the week before, I lowered the workout intensity a bit but it ended up being too easy and I had to put it back up as I worked through the intervals. Still, it ended up a solid effort with plenty of suffering.

Wednesday: 12k run; weights

I hope my shirt is bright enough for the sleepy drivers to spot me (I also wear an LED armband and a lot of my gear has reflective details. And yet I still have to assume they are going to kill me, because NO ONE LOOKS. Especially drivers turning right. They will not see runners, ever.)
The midweek long run is officially back in play. It's not the most fun time of day to run, but if I'm going to work this one up to 14/16/18k or so, #5amrunclub is the only way to go. At least soon I'll be able to see the sunrise on those runs!

Thursday: 9k run. TR-Tray Mountain

Could not get out of bed for swim, which was fine. That's why there are Fridays, after all, to make up those missed ones!


Easy 9 at lunch, some sort of sweet spot nonsense on Thursday night on the trainer. Just putting in the time.

Friday: 2500m swim; TR Galena

God swimming is frustrating. Such a lot of work to stay in the exact same place. This week I continued to focus on keeping my feet up, while also sort of relaxing a bit and using my full stroke, as I've found I end up going faster with less effort when I do distance per stroke drills. By slowing down a bit and focusing on pulling through the full stroke, I seem to go a tiny bit faster with less effort, which seems like a win. It seemed to work as I was able to swim a 1:57/100m pace in the final 300m set of this workout, which for me is a pretty solid effort, especially after already swimming 2000 meters. I dunno. I need some intense time with a coach but that's not going to happen so I'll just focus on swimming comfortably and developing my endurance. I'm being very very good about following the rest times in my swim workouts, keeping them often extremely short (10 seconds rest is just a cruel tease), which can probably only help.

(Sam also pointed out that I don't even deserve to have a GoPro if I'm not going to post some damn swim pics already. YES MA'AM. I will do better this week, I swear!)

Then, yet more sweet spot work in the evening with the trainer. Talk about a lot of work to go nowhere in one day!

Saturday: TR Polar Bear; 6k brick run; weights

Big workout of the week, 2 hours of tempo on the trainer. I was not looking forward to this - in and of itself, not that difficult a ride, just requires a lot of mental focus because the effort is right on the line of wanting to ease off just a little bit. But I knew it would feel harder because I'd be going in with tired legs from the sweet spot ride the night before. But that's kind of the idea. You can't train for an Ironman without learning to do the work on tired legs!



All in all it went pretty well, and then the brick run after was the capper. I wouldn't say it felt easy, but it felt better than I expected! Mostly I spent it focused on how annoying it is to be looking at snow in April...

Forced myself to the gym to lift weights in the afternoon, because I think that's been really helping me this training cycle. Haven't talked about that much but I'm still having fun and gradually increasing the weights I'm lifting on most exercises.

I swear I tried to smile while I was taking this form check video. FAIL. (deadlift form looked spot on, though, which is probably more important) (I mostly just like my arm muscles here) (vanity)
Sunday: 22k run; 3100m swim






It was cold, but this was a solid run. Aimed for 2:15, felt great through about 2 hours then got a little cranky towards the end. Not much to complain about there!

I really, really didn't want to swim (my legs were tired and telling me to just spend the day on the couch) but I talked myself into going for a half hour, and then somehow being all relaxed and swimming loose felt good (and faster than usual) and I ended up finishing out the whole workout for a 3k swim. And my legs felt so much better after. Swimming after the long run is the best, if you can talk yourself into doing it.

So, pretty big week, pretty much nailed it. One more big week before recovery and the end of base building! Some nasty looking workouts to get through, but you do have to earn those recovery weeks, after all...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ironman training week 13

Last week, last week, what the heck happened last week? Life is turning into a blur of swim, bike, run, cook, laundry, occasionally hug the children, 40 hour work week, possibly some sleeping, etc and I can barely remember what I did this morning, much less a week ago.

Swim: 7050 m
Bike: 253.8 km (8:30) (!)
Run: 49 km

Monday: rest day

Wasn't feeling great Sunday afternoon/evening and woke up feeling even worse on Monday. Headache, tired, some stomach stuff, just all around awful. I ended up taking a sick day from work and resting all day.

Tuesday: TR Gemeni



Due to being sick on Monday I didn't even bother setting my alarm for swim on Tuesday. Fortunately I felt perfectly fine Tuesday morning, so back at training in the evening. However, maybe not fully recovered because I crashed hard on the 4th VO2 max interval and ended up just riding the rest of the workout out easy. I should have dropped the workout intensity a bit when the first one felt just terrible, but I thought I might be able to tough my way through it. Sometimes, though, that only lasts so long...

Wednesday: 2550m swim; 8.5km run; weights

I realized I keep taking this same shot over and over again. I guess I know what I like!
Swimming felt hard, but got it done. Then I ran after work. It was fine. The Wednesday run should be longer than that, but it was my first run since taking some time off for my back/hip, and I wanted to be cautious. Good news is, everything feels back to normal there. At least until the next time things go wonky on me. Human bodies are very poorly designed.

Thursday: 2500m swim; TR Phoenix + 6km brick run

I remember literally nothing about that swim. I recorded it and it happened, but sometimes when you swim at 5:30 am you don't really form any memories...

feeling like a drowned rat after a very rainy brick run
In the evening, a solid tempo ride and then a run in the pouring and very cold rain. I thought I was being clever wearing my tri shorts on the trainer so I wouldn't have to change for my run, but it was NOT shorts weather and I got cold by the end of that one!

Friday: TR Eclipse; 7k run

Back on the bike early in the morning for some sweet spot work before heading out of town for Easter dinner with my family. I was not looking forward to this one but it went OK.



Then the highlight of the day was definitely getting in a short run with my brother before Easter dinner. We rarely get to run together because we live too far apart (and he's way faster) so this was really fun.

I don't think we can cross here...

Saturday:
TR Longfellow; 7.5k recovery run

Longfellow. 4 hours.

Still not entirely sure how I made it through that with sanity intact. Fingers crossed things warm up before the next long one and I can go outside, because the paincave is getting pretty tedious.

still smiling, so it can't be that bad!

Sunday: 20k long run; 2000m swim

Not my best work. Hard sunrise to photograph for some reason.
Easy peasy, a bit cautious in case my back or hip started hurting but everything was fine! Yay!

Overall, another really solid week of training. Can't complain. Getting into a good groove with what days/times I'm doing what, and although I skipped one weight training session this week, I'm generally hitting all the targets I want to be hitting at this point of the training.



Now, to just cut back a little on the Easter chocolate consumption so I don't have to buy larger shorts...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ironman training week 12 - recovery week!


Ah the recovery week. Assuming you did the work leading up to it, a welcome decrease in volume and intensity that should hopefully leave you charged up and ready to get back into things.

Unfortunately this week ended up with a little more recovery than I had planned...

Swim: 8200m
Bike: 125 km(4:15)
Run: 18 km (??! - read on)
total hours: 8:48

Monday: Rest

Somehow on Monday I stumbled across this rather bizarre youtube video, but it was talking about the thing I'm currently trying to work on with my swim (getting my feet to stop dragging along behind me like a damn anchor), so I watched it all the way through. In particular, I was interested in the exercise demonstrated at the 5:30 mark of the video. Since it looked pretty simple, I decided to try it Tuesday morning at swim (if you don't fee like watching, basically you float in the fetal position with your back at the surface of the water to find your buoyancy/balance point, then gradually extend your arms and legs, looking specifically for the core/back muscles you need to contract to get your feet to break the surface of the water).

Tuesday: 2600m swim; TR Bird -1

The exercise from the video - which I repeated a few times through the swim - was illuminating. I have not been engaging my core muscles right at all while swimming! I could really feel the difference when I managed to get it right. No magical tremendous speed gains (damn) but I think if I keep working on this I may make some progress. A few times I could even feel that 'swimming downhill' thing coaches are always going on about.

Plus the sunrise is coming back when I leave swim in the morning, so that's a net positive.
No run (recovery!) but there were VO2s on the trainer in the evening, because Tuesdays are VO2 day, forever and ever, into eternity and beyond.

Wednesday: 9k lunch run; weights




Lovely little lunch run keeping things easy down to the bay to admire the ice sculptures the waves in the bay were creating along the shoreline, and also avoiding monsters.

Well that's a confusing sign
Weights in the evening, as usual.

Thursday: 2600m swim; TR Goddard

Goggle selfies are not flattering
Another swim, more working on keeping those feet up. Seemed to go pretty well.

Unfortunately, during the day on Thursday I started to feel an ache in my left hip. It's not how my sciatic pain usually manifests itself, but Dr. Google seems pretty confident it's sciatic nerve related. Yay? At least sciatic stuff I know how to manage. I'm a little concerned it may have been triggered by the change in my swim form, but no way to really know for sure at this point (plus I'm not even sure I was really successful at it on Thursday!).

TR in the evening, not too exciting. Some spin ups and form work that I largely ignored and a few sweet spot intervals. Felt pretty good!

Friday: 9k run; TR Slide Mountain

Got up early to run; hip felt OK during the run but not great during the day after while sitting at work. Sciatic stuff is always a little tricky to know if continuing activity will help (usually, up to a point) or hurt. I decided at that point I would likely cancel my planned runs for Saturday and Sunday, since it just had that feeling of something more in the muscle that might be aggravated by running, but I went forward with my planned biking and swimming, and did some extensive foam rolling at various points as well.

TR in the evening; an easy hour with some sweet spot intervals.

Saturday: TR Cumberland; weights

1:15 of tempo, feeling pretty easy for a tempo ride. Yay recovery!

But I did skip running; just had a feeling it was the better choice.

Sunday: 3000m swim

Fun 3000m workout (as fun as descending sets can be) then I headed over to the lift bridge to see my friends running Around the Bay.

Brought a whole thermos of tea because I am PREPARED

It's Reid Coolsaet! I didn't really get decent pictures of anyone else, though. Race photography is a lot harder than you'd think (plus I was in a terrible spot for it with the angle of the sun - but I was sheltered from the wind and toasty warm, so I stand by my choice even if it ruined the pics!)

Mixed reactions to my sign, but I think I mostly made people laugh. They were halfway through, so at least I was honest?
Man, if you aren't running the race, you have to be a spectator! super fun watching the elites come by, then the sub-elites taking things VERY VERY seriously, then the regular fast people, and on down the line. It's fun watching how the outfits and attitudes of the runners change as they all go past.

So a little more recovery than I'd planned, but I'm glad I decided not to run over the weekend. Things are about 95% back to normal but I'll need to do a test run tomorrow to see how my hip reacts and whether I need more days off running or not. Plus I was sick yesterday (hence the late blog post) and I'm giving myself time to recover from whatever 24 hour bug that was.

Not super ideal heading into the last block of the base training program, but nothing to do but see how things go and adjust as necessary!