Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 1 (of legitimate training and less aimless floundering)

First week completed with Coach T. Followed the week's plan to the letter, but made a slight addition to the weekend. Here's how it went down:

Monday: swim 2300y.
300S/200P/100K. 4 x 100, :20 RI (25 drill, 50 free, 25 drill). 3 x 200, :30 RI (pull buoy, did this strong, pushed somewhat). 4 x 150, :15 RI (50K on back, 100S). 100 CD. 40 min total.
this seemed too easy, thats why I was pushing the 200's. it was the only place to really increase the intensity a bit. i just felt like i wasn't swimming enough/trying hard enough to make the distance/time in the pool worthwhile.

Tuesday: track workout.
1 mile WU. 1600 x 2, 800 x 2, 400 x 1 (ran out of time), 1 mile CD.
This was FUN. I'm not a big fan of running fast (I think I'm better at long distances), but on the track is different. plus, its not sprinting per say. Though our first 400 of the first 1600 was under 1:30, thats quick for me. Coach T definitely had us to slow down after that first lap!
1600 - 7:10
1600 - 7:15 (I think? didn't stop the watch apparently)
800 - 3:32
800 - 3:28
400 - 1:36 (we were NOT supposed to run this faster than the 800s... so we chatted and ran)
I didn't feel like we were going all that fast, which I guess is a good sign. It was funny because after the first mile, she said something along the lines of, "usually I don't want you guys to talk during workouts, but I'll let it go because its the only thing thats going to slow you guys down." I have no concept of my pace, I can only sort of figure out the pace I can handle maintaining for a given length of time purely based on how I feel... Its obvious I have a long way to go in terms of training.

Wednesday: 1:15 trainer
20 min WU, 4 x (5' hard effort in aero, 5' easy spin recovery), steady spin until 1:15 time frame. 23.4 miles.
it was tough, but i pushed it pretty good. i *think* i can feel myself getting a bit stronger as the last couple months have passed. hopefully. lord knows this is where i need to improve.

Thursday: tempo run, 6 miles, 50 min
15 min EZ, 20 min STEADY pace (that you can hold for an hour and not much more), 15 min CD. maintained 7:40 pace for the middle 20 min.
weather was beautiful, set out at 5:30am when it was still pitch black outside and found myself enjoying the early morning quite a bit. looking back, i think i could have gone faster and still been able to hold that for an hour, but it was a good run. came home and took jazz out for another 2 mile easy run.

Friday: rest day

Saturday: not planned: 1:20 min spin (9 hammers sufferfest vid) in the morning. planned: 9 mile run in the afternoon.
bike: this is where i made a slight addition to "the plan". they've been doing this off-season-spin class for the past 2-3 months and I was curious to see what it was like. someone asked me if i wanted to go, I wasn't totally keen on it since I wanted to be fresh to run later, but curiosity won. it was tough, no doubt. legs were jello-like after spinning. went directly into a 20 minute run (like 2.6ish miles, garmin was unhappy at that point). easy run, felt good. then brunch. because really, food is just as important. and that crab eggs benedict and chai latte with soy milk were dynamite.

run: 5 mile EZ, 3 mile half-marathon pace, 1 mile EZ.
I debated on changing the distance because of the morning spin, I wasn't feeling 100%, felt a little tired overall, so I voted to do a 4 mile loop, stop for water and decide how much to do after. the 4 miles were cake and my legs weren't exhausted so I decided to go ahead with what I was supposed to do. we ran another easy mile and then picked it up for the next 3 miles. i had every intention of maintaining 7:45/mile pace (slightly faster than my PR half pace), but we played around with the time to try to make me figure out how fast i was running without staring at my watch. it was very helpful and time flew by. first 2 miles were 7:28 and pretty hilly. i was guessing i was doing 7:35-7:45, so i was definitely off. last one was 7:10, mostly downhill. 1 mile easy.
I have trouble with "easy". its something i know i need to learn to do. i just get out there and want to GO GO GO. and logically, i know thats not going to be helpful in the long run (quite literally). its an active thought process of "SLOW THE FUCK DOWN" (but i get distracted and speed up) combined with an occasionally helpful pull on my hood to physically SLOW DOWN.
the run really did fly by time-wise - it felt relaxed and comfortable - no complaints other than the brief gusts of wind. and hills. oh you damn hills. but again... its good for you.

Sunday: 2:20 spin at EL, 20 min run
the EL is fun... group of 8-9 girls, let by coach T. they're a funny group, i like them - its a new concept, training with people. i like it.
30 min steady spin warm up. 15 min progressive increase to strong race pace. 10 x :30 sprints, :30 sec EZ spin. 5 min EZ spin. russian ladder - 1/5, 2/4, 3/3, 4/2, 5/1, 4/2, 3/3, 2/4, 1/5. 1 min strong race pace, 5 EZ spin with high cadence - and so on - obviously the middle part sucks the most. 10 min progressive increase to strong race pace, last min balls to the wall. (there may have been something else in there, i can't remember).
it was a good workout, worked hard, sweat my ass off. got off the bike and threw warm clothes on and were off and running within 5 minutes of getting off the bike. 20 minute run through arlington, down to the Mount Vernon trail and back.

By noon on sunday when I left arlington, I myself was basically finished. I'd finally hit a spot where my legs said "no more for the rest of the day, we just can't do it anymore". its been a long time since i felt like that and IT. WAS. GOOD. i came home and even foam rolled and stretched (YEP, learning...). I took an incredibly amazing shower and popped a few ibuprofen and just SAT. okay, grocery shopped and THEN sat my ass on the floor for a couple hours and it was glorious.

It was a good week, I'm pretty satisfied with how I felt throughout. Hard to believe Monticelloman is in just under 5 weeks, pumped to race again! Excited to get a baseline idea of where I'm at right now.

Today is a rest day and a half work day. obviously im catching up on the legendary fast and furious movies (all 6 of them) before 7 comes out on friday...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hello East Coast, I love you. Oh, and I'm still training I swear.

I'm a Virginian virgin - its my VERY FIRST TIME living anywhere east of Illinois. It still doesn't feel real...

But can I just be brutally honest? I love it. Without a shadow of a doubt, I love it here. I adore my apartment (plus the fact that I have heat... and storage space... and a cute little loft/pain cave...). I'm still living like Zoe in House of Cards - in fact, I'm sitting on the floor with my laptop surrounded by magazines and books... but who cares?

My neighborhood is cute - anything I want or need is at my fingertips, I can even walk to the store if I'm feeling motivated. The pet store is exactly 1 mile away, Jazz and I walked there a couple days ago - she picked out a handful of treats while helping herself to the milkbones on the bottom shelf. What can I say? We're a couple of food motivated gals.

One of the things I am most excited about is I found a tri coach. One of the girls I met here introduced us and I met with her last week. I knew as soon as we started talking that we could be a good fit. Her mindset and philosophy is similar to mine and its quite refreshing. Regarding technology - we all know I don't understand how to use my 910 except to hit start/stop. HR what? Something about power meters? Upload data how? I was nervous that she would tell me I need to learn heart rate training from scratch and that I need a power meter asap. She understands that I know nothing and don't possess a strong inclination to incorporate more gadgets in my life - at least at this point. I'm still learning how to be a triathlete, I have exactly 1 year of real experience - theres so many other things I can start to improve on - then MAYBE I'll start to use the fun toys that everyone's talking about. I mean, come on, I just upgraded my iphone 4 to the 6 - and hell, its still beyond my capabilities.

Training is going well so far. Haven't gotten into anything really heavy or difficult, but I'm definitely ahead of where I was at this time last year. Example - last week, I was doing the weekly debate in my head about what I wanted to swim. I know I need to start doing some speed or tempo work consistently, but I don't love doing it. I decided on a long warm-up, some pulling, nothing exciting. Main set was 10x100s on 1:30 (granted, I'm swimming yards, don't be too impressed). I held all of them between 1:23-1:26/100 - didn't feel like I was killing myself, just trying to be consistent. But I finished and was pretty damn proud of myself, I haven't tried to do that since college. A few days ago, I did some alternating sets of 4x100s, including some pull. one of the sets of 4x100s I was supposed to go on 1:50 and push the pace some. 1:50 is cake, so I came in on 1:15 for all of them. again, pleased with myself. I realize I won't be dropping large amounts of time in the swim, which is why I'm not swimming more than 1-2x a week, but I'm feeling more comfortable in the water and that's important.

Running has felt good too. I've run with a friend a couple of times and its felt really awesome to run outside - bonus, I've been able to run faster than how I feel. Does that make sense? I'm surprised sometimes by the pace I'm running - I don't feel like I should be running that speed and still feel relatively comfortable.

There's these walls I put up in my head in regards to times - I set these stupid limits because I don't feel I'm capable of better/faster. But I look at how far I've come in the past few years, in terms of running, and its eye-opening to think about. My first half in 2009 was at a 9 minute pace, 1:57. IT. WAS. HARD. In fact, it sucked to run that distance and I was sore for a few days. I've gradually gone 1:52, 1:46, 1:44, 1:42 over time (some other times thrown in there too) - and the 1:42 was pretty steady, I wasn't really trying for a PR because thats the race I ran with MEB so I hung on his heels for 10 miles until I decided to finish that race at my own speed - plus, I passed MEB, who else can say that? So what if he was basically walking that 1:45 pace group?

My point is that you aren't helping anyone by imposing limits or restrictions on yourself. I have these big dreams and if I'm constantly thinking theres no way I can run that half faster or get that bike speed to 20+ miles an hour - then whats the point in wanting these goals if I'm already telling myself I can't do it? I feign confidence, but secretly I'm scared of failing - who isn't? Honestly though - what happens if I fail? Nothing except a bruised ego.

Heres to knocking down barriers and coming out on top - I'm going to kill these races this year. First one is in 5 weeks!