Monday, May 17, 2010

Meltdown in the heat

This past week has been another solid week of training for me. Even with taking (a much needed) day off on Thursday, it ended up being 14 hours of training, culminating with a mini meltdown during my 'shorter long run' yesterday. Back to that later.

The previous plan was to do the 1/2 marathon in Red Deer on May 23. But when I proceeded to sign up last Wednesday, the online registration had already closed! I was a little surprised (yeah I know - you snooze, you lose), but perhaps it was actually an omen - letting my tired and battered body know that it was not quite ready for the challenge. At first I thought I would probably just drive up the day before and sign up at package pick-up, as the website indicated this was a possibility. However, as of yesterday this idea was completely out of the question.
After a long brick session on Monday (85km bike, 30 min run), a ride on Tuesday just over 40km - and just before that, a 2 hour run on Sunday, a 75 km ride on Saturday - my legs were burned by Thursday which necessitated a full day off. I even skipped my swim. Friday I dragged Alice to the track, and we did 10x400m, which was an awesome session. Good, but freakin hard. Track = puke hard. My swim on Saturday morning sucked royally, as my body felt very sore and fatigued. Usually I can churn out my best effort swims on Saturday mornings which results in some epic sessions. Not the story this past Saturday. One weird thing I would like to mention about swimming early on Saturday morning (i.e. 8am), is every single workout, my lower back becomes progressively sorer throughout the workout. I can still swim through it okay, but it happens every Saturday. It's very strange. I honestly feel like an 80 year old granny sometimes. The theory amongst my group is that you haven't been up all day, stretching and moving around, and changing position. But the first thing I do on Saturdays is go to the pool and swim. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? I suppose it only applies if you regularly do your swims at night, and occasionally fit in an early workout.
Anyway... back to Saturday. I went for a ride in the afternoon with a couple guys from the group and Alice, total of 90km for 3 hours. Not a super fast ride, but the reason for that was it was one of those rides that the wind actually switches direction so you never get to experience a tailwind. Challenging and somewhat frustrating! My legs were feeling quite shot and around 60km I was feeling sore nearly everywhere, but I was able to "git 'er done". Sunday morning (okay late morning) rolled around and I was supposed to get out and do a 90 min run. It was gorgeous out, sunny and 26C with a wind. Contrary to being on the bike, when it is hot out and I am running, I actually welcome the wind. I did an out and back, and felt pretty good the first 45 mins, but was kicking myself for not wearing the dorky fluid belt with 2 water bottles. I was able to make a water stop at the turn around. The route back was not fun or pleasant. I wilted like a flower in the hot desert. My legs were tired and fatigued, I was incredibly thirsty (even made one more water stop), and just felt overall crappy. I managed to make it to 1:25, then was forced to walk/shuffle the rest of the way home.

Today Geoff gave me a choice to do whatever I wanted - easy bike, core workout, whatever - and I chose to do nothing. I felt I needed the extra rest day, so hopefully my legs and body can absorb the previous hard training and epic sessions, and regenerate/recover/replenish. I also saw some of the workouts coming up later this week and that made the decision even clearer to take today off! Yikes, later on the week is going to be hard!


My Plan B is now to race Coronation Triathlon instead on May 30. This is a 'super sprint' triathlon (1km swim, 26km bike, 8km run), and will be a good tune up race. I also just signed up for Hinton Mountainview triathlon on June 6 (Olympic with a pool swim). These races will be great for 'blowing out the cobwebs' and getting everything dialed in for the GWN on July 4. That was exactly what I wanted to change after last season - race more shorter races before the 1/2 ironmans. Last year I raced an Olympic tri in Mexico in April, then my next triathlon was Oliver half on June 6, then my next one was GWN a month later. While I still did alright at the 1/2's, I think the shorter tune-up races are actually quite important, and not to mention FUN! I love doing the local triathlons - the atmosphere is always very fun and positive and it's a chance to get in a really good speed workout!

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