Monday, March 14, 2011

Bring me some Cat 3 action!

Swim 17,400 yards in 4:50:00 (interestingly, swim time has been the exact same for past 3 weeks)
Bike 229.3 miles in 11:48:06
Run 48.7 miles in 5:53:00

Total time 22.52 hours

If you had asked me on Friday what I thought about my swimming this week I would have said something really positive like: "Oh man I nailed those workouts this week!"  Or "I'm gonna have to start wearing a true speedo because I feel so much like a fish these days!"  Or maybe "The pool is my bitch and I ran it ragged!" (that last one was something I would have said as an immature 20 year old, orrrr maybe something I'd still say, can't lie).
If you asked me Saturday afternoon, however, my response would have likely been the opposite.  "You're only as good as your last workout" held true for me this week, as my stellar workouts Thurs/Fri left me feeling on top of the world but due to several contributing factors Saturday's performance was quite underwhelming.

On a related tangent, this week presented a situation I haven't yet dealt with in the 9 weeks or so that I've really been training.  Wednesday night, when our swim group usually meets at the MCAC, it was pouring down rain with the threat of thunderstorms so I decided not to try and hit the pool only to be kicked out after 1000 yards or less.  I concluded that I would make up the swim sometime on Friday.  Unfortunately for that decision making process I had yet to look at my schedule for this week and notice that my Fridays have become slightly higher volume than normal.  That, coupled with the fact that I had to be at the store from 10-3 meant I needed to act like a person with a more "normal" schedule and get my rear out of bed in the early AM hours to fit all my workouts in (1.5hr swim, 1hr run, 2.5hr bike) during my available time on Friday.  Consequently, I got up at 5am and headed into the pool where I had one of the best swim workouts ever (20x200 yards with changing intervals, averaged sub 2:30) with Melissa then I had a good fartlek run sesh before heading into work at 10.  After work I then got on the ol' road bike and headed out for 2.5 hours around the booty loop.   Compounding Friday's schedule (with not as much sleep as I'm used to) I woke up early on Saturday to meet the bike group and then also woke up early on Sunday to go race my bike.  So that was one night of very little sleep (5.5 hours or so) on Friday, one night of average sleep (7.5 hrs), and then another night of average sleep (7.5 hours).  While that may be a lot for some people, that is not a lot for me as I typically get 8-9 hours a night.  So the one night of bad sleep affected 3 consecutive days of workouts.  If I had to do it over again, I probably would have just missed the swim on Friday morning.  Word to the wise, if you have to choose between one workout and an extra 2+ hours of sleep, it might behoove you to choose the extra rest.  Your body probably needs it.

Cycling was as consistent as it always is this fine week.  Coming off a week in which the weather always seemed to be iffy (especially the weekend) I was glad to see that this week had mostly nice weather outlooks on the days I had to ride.  Only one day did I endure some rain showers.  I had a good workout on Tuesday that on paper looked like it was going to shell me (30 minutes of 15secs zone 6+, 15secs easy) but I managed to handle it pretty well.  Thurs/Fri/Sat got me up to 190ish miles for the week leading into the race on Sunday so I'm happy I was able to handle the race pretty well without too much trouble.  Short recap later!

Running, like biking, was also consistent this week.  Good long run on Wednesday with Ashley (1:31 half marathon split actually) and a pretty good fartlek on Friday.  My weekend runs had tired leg syndrome the first mile or two before smoothing out as they warmed up a bit.

Race Recap

Blythewood Omnium Road Race Category 4: 6 laps of a 5.1km course

So the first thing notable that happened at this race was the realization that I had forgotten my bike jersey at home.  Luckily, I had brought along my under armor long sleeve cold weather base layer (that I had also worn the day before...) since I was expecting it to be rather cold.  So rolling up to the start line I'm sure some of the elite Cat 4s thought I was a n00b triathlete that didn't know how to look cool at bike races.  Au contraire, mon frere.  I know how to look good with the best of them, I just didn't that day.

I lined up near the start line and the race got underway.  The course itself was a fast, rolling, technical journey through an undeveloped residential...development for the first 4k or so then there was a long-ish double climb up to the start/finish straight, which was about 500 meters long.  The first lap passed rather uneventfully; everyone was just kind of feeling out the course and their legs, which definitely burned up the climb.  The climb started off a 90 degree right hand turn so there was no carryover in speed, went up about 10 seconds then became a false flat incline for about 15-20 seconds and then climbed up to a 90 degree right hand turn for 45 seconds or so.  The right hand turn was the last (and most difficult) part of the climb and the flat/downwind start/finish straight immediately followed.  One guy broke away at the top and stayed away for another uneventful lap before being joined by two other guys on lap 3.  This group was always within sight and never more than 10-13 seconds ahead.  Towards the middle part of lap 5 I found myself near the front of the "peloton" and saw the group of 2 up ahead (one guy had dropped) and decided to bridge to the group and see if we could make something happen.  I crossed the 150-200 yard gap relatively quickly and when  I pulled up behind them they both turned around and sat up a bit, I assume thinking that I was the whole back.  This moment of confusion essentially allowed the pack to close and I - mostly unsurprised - settled in near the front of the group to make the climb and start the last lap.  Throughout the last lap I kept myself in the top 5-7 spots but never did any work.  At the start of the last climb up the hill I moved my way up to 3rd and on the flat section settled into my drops for the flat finish.  With about 300m to go I made my sprint, not quite realizing how far away the finish line was but luckily I had put enough of a gap on the other riders sprints that I didn't have to try and re-start mine.  Crossed the line in first place and since I only needed 3 points to submit my upgrade request I was well over my requisite point total!  Hooray
Not a picture from this week, I thought it necessary to add something to spice up what is yet another routine post about another routine training week.  There is nothing glamorous about me!  Except those sunglasses.

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