Monday, February 19, 2018

Ironman training week 7

So I've settled into a pretty good schedule for this ridiculusness (which of course today I upended completely, with today being a holiday and all). So far things are shaping up as so:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: early morning swim; easy short lunch run; TR evening
Wednesday: easy short lunch run - this will soon be changing as I'll be able to get back to early morning runs. I'm going to start lengthening this one out to get in 10-15k, eventually. Some days that will all be before work; others it'll end up a double run day. Then in the evening, weightlifting
Thursday: early morning swim; TR evening + brick run
Friday: 'make up' day if I missed any swims or runs earlier in the week (the Thursday swim and/or run may end up here instead); TR in the evening
Saturday: long ride day + short run; weights
Sunday: long run day + swim

So far, it's pretty manageable. 2x a week weightlifting, 3x swimming, 4x cycling, 5x running. Taking it week by week, especially as the amount of time I'm spending on the bike increases.

Now of course, that's kind of the ideal schedule. Reality often intrudes! And sometimes I can make things easier on myself, like this week I was off work on Friday, so moved the Thursday swim to a more reasonable hour Friday morning. Because why get up at 5 when you don't have to! Realistically, workouts are going to get dropped. My focus is on keeping up with the cycling, because to me, that's the key event to get right to make it through the Ironman in one piece. It's the largest chunk of the day, so I want to be as strong as possible there. Swimming and running I feel I can drop workouts here and there without affecting the overall training too much.

This week ended up as:

Swim: 2:19 (6800m)
Bike: 7:05 (206.3km, whatever that means on the trainer)
Run: 4:42 (48.46km)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 2300m swim; 8k lunch run; TR Fuji

Off to run up the escarpment at lunch, as one does.

If the day starts with a T, it's time for a Triple.

Also pancake Tuesday. Pancakes of all types for every member of the family (I may have stolen some of the kid's 'sprinkles' pancakes. They were kind of awesome)

Wednesday: 9k lunch run; evening weights

Supposed to be a heart for Valentine's Day. No, not sure how I managed to make that look totally awkward and not really like a heart at all...
Easy run in the sun and the warm and YAY! Just one of those days it's great to be alive and active and it's all good and happy.

now I understand why people always post this for deadlift photos. Your face looks ridiculous when you are at the top of the movement!
Solid effort in the weight room, too, on a gym date with the husband. Roses are Red/Iron is Black/Let's go Lift Weights/Because that's romant-ack.

A poet I am not. But the pink socks for Valentine's day were on point.

Thursday: TR Phoenix

Since I had Friday off, I didn't swim, and then Phoenix was tiring so I didn't run. Only one sport on a Thursday?! There's that reality intruding.

Friday: Swim 2300m; TR Antelope

underwater angles are hard to work with
Solid swim, good sweet spot ride on the bike.

Then instead of doing a run I made cookies. I regret nothing.

Saturday: TR - Town Hill; 8.5k run

SO BORED. Also this selfie prompted me to finally clean up the mess of boxes of stuff from Costco cluttering up the back of the pain cave/pantry.
The first of the truly long trainer rides (I'm arbitrarily declaring longer than 2 1/2 as truly long - Town Hill is 2:45). Wasn't bad, although I was super bored by the end. Ended up playing a lot of golf solitaire on my phone, which perhaps isn't ideal from a training perspective, but it helped pass the time.

Ah the magic of filters...

The run was not a brick, but just an easy one later in the day. It's rather nice that after almost 3 hours on the trainer my legs both felt fine doing this run, and I had no trouble motivating myself to do it! The base fitness is coming along nicely.

Sunday: 22k long run; 2200m swim.

Yet another selfie after my cool insta pic idea was a big fail.
Really great feeling long with Fab and Christina. A little faster than is ideal for me right now, but I was surprised how well my heart rate stayed under control and it didn't feel all that hard holding what was probably around a 5:40/km pace for the whole thing (it's unclear because my Garmin went completely cuckoo for like 6km and so the recorded paces are whacky fast in spots).

My pictures do not do justice to how blue the water looked here.
Then a quick swim before we spent the afternoon with my brother and his family and my parents for family day. A short walk along the water where he does a lot of his running, and I discovered that what I assumed was the clever use of filters to make the waters of Lake Ontario look super blue was not at all the case - the water over at Port Union really did look incredibly blue! I'm going to have to go over there to run with him sometime and learn his photo secrets.

Next up, a recovery week on the bike! Always look forward to those. Just keep on keeping on...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ironman training week 6

Settling into a groove of sorts with this training thing. But I can't help but hope spring gets here a little bit faster!

Monday: weights

Oooooh not a rest day! My husband wanted to come check out my gym and switch his membership there (YAY!) so I ended up getting in a quick full body weights workout while he checked things out and did the paperwork. And now gym dates in our future! It wasn't something we thought much about before, but now that our older daughter can babysit the younger one (and they are both old enough to be generally trusted to not burn the house down), it'll be nice to go workout at the same time, even if we aren't doing the same things.

Tuesday: 9k run; TR Berryessa

I was feeling a little off Monday night while trying to sleep, so I cancelled my early alarm and skipped swimming. I figure it's always best if you feel like you are coming down with something to go with more sleep and skip the workout.

You are saying there's going to be how much snow tomorrow? Can't you do something about that?

Older daughter was running a fairly spectacular fever when she woke up Tuesday morning, so probably for the best I got the extra sleep! I worked at home and was able to get in a run after my husband got home - extra important to squeeze that run in knowing we were in for a pretty good snowfall on Wednesday and a run that day might not happen at all.

Each of those pointy bits hurrrrrrts
Tuesday night, VO2s. How can 20 seconds of effort hurt that much? Considering the whole workout includes not even 3 minutes of all out effort, it was completely exhausting. Left me with sort of pleasantly sore and tired legs when I went to bed.

Wednesday: 2500m swim; 7k treadmill run

Fish practice
Snowy Wednesday so I got to work early at home and wrapped up in time to get in a late afternoon swim at the pool. Much more civilized than 5:30 am! Pretty solid feeling swim - I no longer feel exhausted and like I'm just going through the motions after 2000m. Instead I feel strong and energetic through the whole thing. Not any faster, but I'll take added endurance.

Nice fivehead
Because of the snow the sidewalks were a mess, and since I didn't love the idea of running through 10 cm of fresh snow, I went back to the gym in the evening to do 45 minutes on the treadmill. Nothing fancy, just putting in the time.

Thursday: 8k lunch run; TR Tunnabora

I didn't get up early to swim on Thursday for reasons I no longer remember (probably something to do with the bed being all warm and cozy). Damn that bed.

typical February. Grey, bleh, but at least the path was clear of ice.
Easy 8k at lunch running back and forth on the rail trail, since it was largely clear pavement. I am getting mighty sick of that trail but given how this winter is going, there's a lot more running back and forth over there in my near future.

The TR workout was cadence focused, which is always super fun (no it isn't). Tired legs after that!

Friday: TR - Tallac; 2000m swim

Worked at home Friday due to yet more shitty weather, but that meant I knocked out the sweet spot intervals at lunch and got in a solid swim in the late afternoon.

Saturday: TR - Cumberland; 6k brick run; weights

Current theme song
Cumberland is 1:15 spent mostly in the lower end of the sweet spot range, making it manageable but a bit of a grind to get through. Not easy but not really hard, either. Productive physically and mentally.

The slog through the snow after for 6k felt a lot less productive. I am officially over winter.

Then I was going to lie on the couch all afternoon but the husband wanted to go to the gym and we talked each other into it. Teamwork. Solid session of weightlifting, although my squat progress remains stubbornly slow.

Sumday: 3200m swim; 10k treadmill run

With the weather being total garbage, I decided to cancel doing a long run this week and opt for the safety of the treadmill. I have never felt better about not doing Around the Bay this year. It's the right decision for a variety of reasons, but the chance to sleep late on a Sunday morning, hit the gym with the husband, and then grab lunch with him after in the gym restaurant? That all worked out very, very nicely.

Well, other than the fact my bathing suit has started chafing me terribly around the arms/shoulders. I really wanted to swim 3800m but I started feeling the chafe at around 2800 and had to call things off. I'm claiming it's due to all the muscles, but really it's probably that I've been overdue to replace that suit for about 6 months now.

OH! And also is there anything quite as demoralizing as having someone who looked to be older than Methuselah jump in the lane next to you and immediately start cranking out laps far faster than you can swim? Doing backstroke, no less. #lifegoals

view: uninspired
The treadmill was boring but manageable. The secret, for me, is definitely podcasts - I can't watch TV on the treadmill because being prone to motion sickness, it totally throws off my equilibrium - just the thought of using Zwift running makes me nauseated. And music isn't distracting enough. But an interesting podcast and the time just flies by. Currently catching up on Radiolab. I debated going another half hour for 15k but the treadmill shut off automatically after an hour and the husband suggested getting burgers and, well, I will pretty much never turn down a hamburger.

There was a burger on this plate at one point, I swear

So, solid week, no complaints. This week is going to be more of a challenge, both because the TR workouts are ramping up in a serious way, and the current sidewalk conditions could best be described as 'maybe you should just try skating'. One day at a time to figure out how to get it all done.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ironman training week 5

Winter is really throwing wrenches into the training plans these days. Between cold and ice and snow planning out running in particular has been tough. Plus it's so hard to motivate myself out of bed early in the morning when it's cold.

With that said, though, it was a solid week! I started my Trainerroad plan (after finally settling on which one to use; I only changed my mind about ten times...) and it feels good to be back on a more structured schedule.

At least so far. Let's revisit that when I get back into the tough workouts.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: swim 1900m; TR FTP test

Not much to say about the swim, but oh the FTP test.

Those don't ever get easier. I mean, they can't get easier or it wouldn't be an FTP test. I felt like I nailed the test pretty well, even being out of practice, and my resulting FTP was 10 points higher than where I left off last winter after I got sick, so I guess all those random spins around Zwift helped with fitness going into this. So now it's a 12 week base training phase to see how much stronger I can get.

Wednesday: 9k lunch run; weights

Searching out clear paths at work at lunch, as usual. Not much exciting happening with running right now, other than the fact I'm enjoying it a lot. When things aren't covered in ice.

Weights in the evening was fun, as usual. Big plates make a very satisfying clunk when you put them down.

Thursday: 2400m swim; TR Cumberland; 6k brick run

Entirely too much technology, really.
Thursdays are shaping up as one of the tougher days in the schedule. Will generally be trying to swim, bike, and run that day (although the run won't always be a brick). It's a good challenge. Although I maintain winter bricks are just the worst, with having to do a complete clothing change between the bike and the run.

Friday: 19k long run

Since the forecast looked pretty sketch for the weekend, and we were both home from work for a PD day, Nicole and I met up to get our long run done early Friday morning. It was really fucking cold, but it's amazing how fast the miles go by when you have a friend with you. It felt like no time and we were done!

And then I took the kids out for a PD day breakfast, because I was pretty much thinking about eggs benedict for the last hour of the run.

Get in my belly

Saturday: 3100m swim; weights; TR Ericsson

Weird Saturday for me, since with the long run on Friday my legs were tired and I didn't want to do my long ride. So instead I started with my longest swim ever. Then in the afternoon I went to lift weights because I thought the trainer ride I had to do was an easy ride. If I'd been smarter and checked first I'd have flipped the order around and done weights after. D'oh.

But it worked out fine in the end, although I sure slept well that night!

Sunday: TR Big Squaw; 8.5k run

Long easy ride (2 and a half hours) and a run later in the day when the snow had melted into slush. Got a little bored towards the end of the long ride but the power target seems about right for where I need to be to do those, so I'm satisfied things will go well over the next 12 weeks.

Other being totally over winter and not enjoying this having to try and cram things in when everything isn't covered in snow and ice, so far it's all going really well. On to the next week!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ironman training week 4

Last week before starting on my Trainerroad plan! And the big question going into the week was, will I get the flu?

Fortunately, other than feeling a bit headache-y and under the weather on Monday evening, nothing came of it and I made it through the week fine. My poor husband had to stay in bed for a few days, but fortunately the kids didn't catch it. So really that particular round of the flu went about as well as we could have hoped.

Very solid week of training. Short a swim again, but I did get in one 3,000m one, so I'm calling that good.

Monday: REST! So good.

Tuesday: 8k lunch run; 50k Zwift in the evening

I am off centre. All this time and I still can't #selfie right.
Not a whole lot interesting to say about those. I skipped getting up early to swim in case I was getting sick (figured the extra sleep would be more beneficial). Running was good. Cycling was good. Everything is feeling good.

Wednesday: 9k lunch run; evening weights

Judge all action shots by the quality of the ponytail action
Now THIS was a run. Felt amazing. Just one of those days where the temperature was perfect, I was feeling good, and if it hadn't been for the whole having to go back to work thing, I felt like I could have run all afternoon.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I'm wearing compression socks so that I don't have to shave my legs.
Went to the gym to lift weights, which was thoroughly enjoyable. I had really forgotten just how satisfying it is to pick up heavy shit. Plus, good for the bones and all.

Thursday: Swim 2200m; Zwift 42k

I just like how my back looks here. Pure vanity. hey all those rows and shoulder presses have to be good for something, right?
Off to the pool in the morning, where I met another member of my gym who is also training for Tremblant! Hopefully we will bump into each other again, since we both plan to swim early Thursday mornings. As much as it's pretty sweet to have the pool to myself, it's always nice to know that someone else will be there and will be quietly judging you if you don't show up...

In the evening, another round on Zwift. Nothing fancy. Kind of looking forward to the structured training starting this week, although I am NOT looking forward to the FTP test. Not even a little.

Friday: 8k lunch run; 3000m swim

Another beautiful day. Let's not discuss that Weather Network article about the deep freeze coming back in February. I'm just going to be here enjoying sunshine and reasonable temperatures and being completely in denial about winter continuing on for another month...

Swim in the evening, because that's a fantastic Friday night. No really, it kind of is. Somehow I managed to pick the exact same workout I did the last time I swam 3,000m, with all kinds of distance per stroke work, but that worked out nicely. That drill is really helpful. And some hypoxic drills, which I guess are fun in their own vaguely cruel way.

Saturday: 72k Zwift; 9k run; weights

Up early for 2:15 on Zwift, as one does. Almost done watching Black Mirror, so I need to download more movies for next weekend's long ride. Not super impressed with this season, though. Show seems to have kind of lost its mojo a bit.

Then a delayed brick run while the kiddo was at her basketball skills session. There was a tiny bit of wind.


The wind was insane. I was able to route things to stay out of it much of the time, but the final km straight into the worst of it was not particularly fun.

Weightlifting later in the afternoon, however, was super fun.

Deadlifting my bodyweight for 2x5? Nice.
In addition to PRing my deadlift, I had wanted to start working on pullups. But when I got to the weight room the gravitron machine was missing. So no way to do assisted pull ups. I figured I'd use the bar on the Smith machine to do some negative reps (jump up to the top, slowly lower down), but then I shocked the hell out of myself by actually pulling off a real pull off! I haven't been able to do those for years! I guess all those barbell rows over the last few months are working.

chin is above the bar! woo! (narrow grip, obviously - never in my life have I been able to do wide grip pull ups)
I can only do one at a time, but I'll take that over 0. I ended up doing about 8 singles scattered around my workout, so I'm going to keep working those in and hopefully rebuild back to being able to do actual sets of 5-8 of them.

(killer upper back DOMS from those Sunday afternoon, though. whoa.)

Sunday: 20k long run

This was a bit lonely (there were hardly even any other runners around, probably because of the Robbie Burns run), but OMG that sunrise made it all worthwhile.

Plus, I did the whole 20k with an average heart rate of 144 bpm, which is crazy low for me. Things are really coming together nicely.

(could have gone to swim later in the day on Sunday, but did not. Oh well.)

This week, starting on the Trainerroad Ironman plan. Technically I'm starting a week earlier than I need to, but that's a deliberate choice to give me a spare week to play with in the schedule, just in case. And I signed up for the Chilly half, which I have no intention of running particularly hard, but it'll be a good chance to see my running friends and provides a nice bit of motivation to keep up the distance on the long runs.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ironman training week 3

Got off to a slow start this week. Weather, tiredness, back bugging me, etc. But a solid week overall.

I knew I'd been forgetting something on these entries. Some sort of summary!
Monday: rest day


Plan was to go to the pool for 5:30 am, but it snowed overnight and I didn't want to deal with driving in whatever slippery mess might be out there (the city pretty much sucks at dealing with small overnight snowfalls - their philosophy seems to be to just wait until after morning rushhour to plow, when half of it will be gone from everyone driving through it). So I went back to bed. I regret nothing.

Run: 8k

Short 8k at lunch. Hooray for Hamilton and clearing the multiuse paths (reasonably) well!

Zwift: 37.5k

*insert Zwift picture that looks like all the other Zwift pictures here*

(I forgot to take a picture and I'm too lazy to screenshot the one on Strava)

Usual toddle around Zwift until I got bored and it was time to put the kids to bed.


Swim: 2000m

Made it to that 5:30 swim and did a modified version of this 30 minute workout to make it 2000m. And of course it actually took 45 minutes because this book is designed for much faster swimmers.


Usual weights in the evening when I just couldn't deal with the thought of running outside in -17. I dunno, I'm a total wimp this winter. Weights went really well, even if I did have to share the weight room with three whole other people. I guess that's what passes for a January crowd at my gym!


Brick: 1 hour Zwift; 9k run

Had many good intentions of doing various things during the day, but nothing actually happened until I got on Zwift after dinner. This winter weather has just been exhausting to deal with.

When I get the sprint jersey I do remember to take the screenshot!
Anyway, an hour on Zwift and then I knew I had to run, which I wasn't super enthusiastic about
because have I mentioned how the cold weather was just really getting to me this week? BECAUSE IT HAS.

So I did a complete clothing change (struggling out of a wet sports bra and then into a clean one is quite the production) and went out to run at least 30 minutes.

Slightly crazy eyes going on here. It was late, OK?
And then I got weirdly into a zone and the next thing I knew I was 4.5 km from home. It was a slow run but somehow I got completely into a meditative headspace and ended up doing the full 9k without even really feeling like I did anything at all. Wish I could bottle that! It was like I just shut off my brain and floated through the run on auto pilot.


Run: 8k

Easy run at lunch. Enjoying the seasonal temperatures. It is so much more pleasant to run at -1C. I was, however, feeling a little stiff and off overall, which could have been the brick the night before (given I haven't done one of those for months...), but also probably at least partially due to getting an adjustable desk and spending some of my time at work standing instead of sitting. In the long run I think that's going to be very beneficial, but right now it's taking a bit of getting used to. I probably overdid the amount of time I spent standing this week just due to the novelty.

Lookit me all professional and shit

Swim: 2700m

Did the advanced workout. Hated life a great deal by the time I got to the final 2 100s.
Quiet evening at the pool. Going to bed with goggle marks is super sexy, right?


Run: 18k

Glowing pink shirt for early morning visibility. That thing is crazy bright.

Up ridic early to fit this in before kiddo #2 had a free throw competition. IT WAS ALMOST WARM YOU GUYS. Would have been nice to run a little later and really been able to enjoy the sunrise, but I'll take what I can get!


Deadlift PR at the gym. Getting so close to full plates on those! (those are 35 pounds - I also did a set with added 5s, so another week and I should be up to full 45 plates).

It was probably the socks.


Zwift: 63k

Empty Zwift roads are boring

This was a super tedious ride. My internet connection had gone all wonky which was messing up my Zwifting - ended up alone for most of the ride, which is really boring, especially when you also can't get Netflix to work. Once I finished the ride I confirmed with the rest of the family that the internet was being weird and we rebooted the modem, which fixed it. Wish I'd thought to do that when I was having so much trouble logging in to Zwift 2 hours earlier! Anyway, it got done.

Brick: 5k

Jazz hands because the week is DONE.
This felt like total garbage. But it's miles in the bank. So excited to do more bricks. Ha.

Decent week altogether - short a swim this week, but that's OK. My husband wasn't feeling well Sunday and I didn't want to go to the pool and be uncontactable for that long leaving him home sick with the kids. Life takes priority over training.

(let's all cross all fingers and toes I don't catch the flu from him, because after last winter, I am so not interested in going through that again).

On to the next week, where I'm going to try and win a Cervelo from Zwift and enjoy my last week of no Trainerroad freedom.