Monday, June 30, 2014

The Three Month Mark

Don't get me started on where time is going this year, but on Saturday, we hit the "three months to go" mark.  Warning, warning: Ironman ahead!  Yep, officially on the radar (since it wasn't before, of course that hasn't consumed my thoughts since registering last September...). And while many of my posts are all "why do I suck at committing to training", I am happy to report I am in a good place. 

I had mixed emotions (though mainly relief) about bailing on Rev3 Wisconsin Dells.  And last weekend didn't turn into that great training weekend I had envisioned.  But this past week was awesome!  Almost 14 hours of training, my high for the year (by a ton) and around the max hours I was hitting last year.  I was putting in the time and enjoying it! 

So at three months to go- here is where we're at:

1) Swim: Great!  Yes, I said that.  I don't know if it was the classes I took or what, but my swim is feeling good!  Times are dropping, but more importantly, I'm not dreading my time in the water.  Life still gets in the way with swimming, but last week I did 2 of the 3 prescribed workouts, exactly as written.  The goal from here on out is to hit all three swims each week, preferably an open water swim each week, and work on my pull.  I still don't think I have a good feel for the water.  Sidenote: helped out at a Challenged Athletes Foundation swim clinic this weekend- coolest experience ever.  Possibly more on that in another post. 

2) Bike: Biking is also going well!  I am loving Penelope, my new P2.  With travel and laziness, I had gone a fair amount with no/minimal riding.  I kicked it into gear last week.  It was evident at first how out of shape I was.  I had big plans for an epic bike week, but the first night I hopped on the trainer, planning a FTP ride of 10', 15', 10' followed by zone 3 time.  I bailed after struggling through the second interval.  Wednesday I rode to my doctor's appointment at UofC (about 33 miles).  I took Baby Beluga since I'm too scared to leave Penelope anywhere, and had a pretty solid ride (though no data so who knows).  However, since I took my Cobb V-flow saddle off BB for Penelope, I realized while riding the stock saddle just how great the V-flow is!  Ouch.  I now have a new saddle on the way so both bikes can be luxury rides.  Thursday saw another ride- 3x8' at FTP.  It was a morning I had trouble getting out of bed but I ended up really enjoying the ride.  The 8 minute intervals are tough but short enough that mentally I could talk my way through them.  Then it was on to the weekend for the long rides.  Saturday saw just under 60 miles with some great FTP work (12', 15', 10'), where all intervals felt doable.  Sunday was the follow-up, where I discovered a new route.  I rode west on Devon, picked up the Forest Preserve path, took that up to Tower Road, and rode back my usual way on Sheridan.  The path is winding and there was some congestion on it, so not the best route if I had solid numbers to hit, but good for a Z2ish ride.  Just fun to be out "exploring". 

This week will see my doing a bike test- dreading it already.  I'm not sure if I'm expecting a change or not.  Last week is really the only solid week of training I have, but I also executed my last test badly (i.e. binging on ice cream right before) so we'll see.  At the very least I'll get practice testing.

3) Running.  Win- it has actually been happening.  Last Sunday I decided to test my hip (again) after a week off with increased soreness.  I started the week with an easy 20 minute run on Monday- pain free.  Tuesday I pushed it to 4 miles, where it was evident that while my hip felt fine, my endurance had vanished.  The real success was running 6 whole miles on Thursday. Pain-free!  And, pain-free on Friday!  I even did 3.5 more miles Saturday, all pain free!  Pain-free!  So excited!  I know I've been here before on this rollar coaster, but this seems like it might work out.  15.5 miles for the week- that is a big win! 

So what is different?  I'm not sure.  Maybe just time (3.5 months!!).  I have been better about doing some exercises and stretches- mostly clams for strength and internal rotation stretches.  I think that helps the muscles remember to fire, and gets my alignment better.  I've noticed that the right feels different than the left with the internal rotation, like sometimes it doesn't just feel muscular but like something is off.  I'm still being somewhat conservative.  This week I will push it to 8 miles and see how that feels.  Fingers crossed.

4) Nutrition- the fourth discipline.  And a win here!  I am using and tracking.  Even if I don't know something for sure, I guess, just to get in the habit and not do a "well, this is all a waste."  It is going well, except for Friday which became a free-for-all (though felt different than a binge...).  I've been making a lot of things from the Racing Weight Cookbook and really enjoying everything I've made there.  The scale hasn't moved as much as I would like, though it hasn't been long at all.  I need to remember that a pound a week consistently will get me to my goal. 

Some things still aren't perfect.  I'm not sleeping enough.  Stressed at work.  Disorganized in many ways. But with three months to go, I'm pretty happy with everything!

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