Sunday, June 28, 2009

So about that whole 'moderation' thing

When sunny weather abounds, it's hard not to overshoot your limits.

Swim: 9550 yds (3:11)
Bike: 237 mi (11:46)
Run: 30 (3:45)

Total: 18:43 (career high in hours by a pretty good stretch)

Since last Sunday, I've actually biked over 300 miles. My legs were certainly tired after today's 104 miler but I don't feel as though I killed myself getting to that number.

Over the last 10 weeks, I have averaged (per week) a little over 7000 yards in the pool (including 2 weeks where I was out of town and could not swim at all :( so that's pretty good), 128 miles on the bike (includes 3 weeks of sub 100 miles), and 23 miles running (includes injury time off sadly). Not a bad string of 10 weeks, but the next 10 are going to be much, much better.

Next week should be another big week on the bike with another 100+ miler hopefully coming up on Saturday in Louisville. I'll also continue to build the run mileage to around 35 with a long run of between 13-15. Swimming should pretty much stay the same although it will be hard if I'm out of town Fri-Sun with no pool access to get in 8-10000 yards. We shall see.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stress and Training, one and the same?

So the past week saw me in Cedar Rapids, IA participating in the AmeriCorps build-a-thon that happens yearly and brings together Habitat AmeriCorps from around the country to help a community rebuild. Last year heavy flooding devastated Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities and we got to play a small part in helping the recovery efforts.

That being said, it really sucked for my training. No biking and no swimming for a week is not good for my body; it needs it and craves it. It at least gives me an excuse for shaving my legs. I did, however, get to run so that was a nice thing since the past 2 weeks have seen zero running on my legs. Once I got back on Saturday I also biked and swam a little bit then on Sunday got in a nice long ride in the heat (90 degrees, windy, and sunburnt) followed by an abysmal run off the bike (it had been 3+ weeks since I bricked off the bike, ouch) and after some recovery a nice swim in the outdoor pool at the Y.

For the next couple of months I'm going to try and string together as many weeks as possible of consistent swimming, biking and running. My preliminary goals are 8000+ yards in the pool (my biggest limiter right now probably), 150+ miles on the bike (I'm happy maintaining the fitness I have while slowly improving it; I don't need 200+ miles a week right now I don't think), and 30+ running (preferably more but I have to easy into it...). Hopefully that will lead into a very solid showing at the South Carolina Half in October where I'd really like to go under 4:30. Well, I'd really like to actually "race" it but I won't come out of the water with any of the faster guys and I'll only make up ground on a couple of them with my bike but I'm hoping that with an increased focus on running I'll be able to post a solid time in that respect.

My stress is mainly related to the prospect of the job search. In a little over a month's time I will no longer be serving with Habitat for Humanity and finding the next step is a very daunting process. It stresses me out to no end, which affects both my training and my relationships, so having something ahead of me (i.e. knowing the next step) would be an amazing boost to my spirits. While I'd really love to stay in Charlotte I'd move if the right opportunity presented itself. Hopefully, one day, that stressor will be resolved.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long time no see

Well, it's been a while since I put up a post, so here goes.

The notable things that have happened to me in the past 3 weeks are a (nother) severely sprained ankle and my first DNF in a race since freshman year of College. The ankle necessitated the DNF.

I also had my first time trial in several years last Wednesday at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. A local production group puts on a series of 10 mile TTs there over the course of the summer and it's a fun way to get a workout/race in while seeing some cool stuff. You park, quite literally, next to the garages where the Nascar teams do all their prep work and stuff for the cars; there were even some cars parked in the garage. You actually race ON the track; admittedly it's on the inner, level portion as oppoesed to the outer banked portion (that is ridiculously steep!). This was the second TT of the series and I plan on doing the rest of them because it's cheap, fun, and a solid way to test your fitness gains over time. I did my race (10 miles, 7 laps) in 22:15, which is a 26.97 mph average. I won my age group but that doesn't count for much because anyone who is a serious cyclist is going to be 'categoried' and I don't plan on renewing my USCF license anytime soon since I only have a tri bike and not a road bike (one that works, anyway). I can improve on that time a great deal since the day before I had a hard 60 mile ride and I also rode an easy (but still taxing) 40 miles the Monday beforehand so I know with fresh legs I can venture into the 21:xx range.

I also sprained my ankle while walking on a hiking trail during our annual AmeriCorps retreat last Sunday. Unfortunately I think my ankle was still weak after spraining it in early March so it wasn't ready for that kind of rolling action (I took a slight misstep and boom, dead ankle). I plan on taking a solid 2 weeks off from running (1 week already in the bank) and when I start running again to incorporate more strengthening exercises (to improve my balance/stability all over, not just in my ankles) because I think that will help with injury prevention in the future.

I had been signed up for the Festival of Flowers triathlon (1.5k, 24mi, 10k) for a long time and even though I didn't think I was going to be able to do the run portion of the race I still wanted to go down and see my grandmother and get in good efforts on the swim and bike (and get my race t shirt, duh). The swim was ok; my time is listed as 27:41 but I think it should be 23:41 as my wave started 4 minutes after the first and the digital clock always shows total race time...but who knows, I could have just had a bad swim. I'm definitely capable of ~24-25 minute swims in international distance. The bike was a good course, rolling but fast and I managed just over a :59. My legs didn't feel great though so I know that I've still got work to do on the bike if I want to continue to improve. I didn't even really try to run. I put on my shoes in transition and jogged 10 yards and said 'no thanks.'

My tentative plan for the coming months is to race Assault on Cherokee in late August (int'l distance) and forego Age Group Triathlon Nationals (too expensive and too far away for something I'm not going to place in...) then do South Carolina Half in early October. I'm also contemplating running (not racing) the Thunder Road Marathon in early December, just so I can say I've run a marathon. I'll have to see about that one though...