Friday, June 02, 2006

messing with my head

[6/1/06 Thursday]
Bike - 80 min, 21 miles - a relatively flat aerobic ride
Run - 30 min, 3 miles easy

Racing is messing with my head. I am really nervous for the Lake Mills triathlon. Today's brick workout was supposed to build my confidence. The bike was good. The run was harder than I would have expected it to be and that worries me, though I know I can push through pain for a 5K.
It will be my first triathlon of the year and based on the online participant list, there is a very strong women's field this year. I have not made my goals in both of the running races I have done so far this year, and I don't want to continue the pattern. I think my only hope is to forget about my competitors, reassure myself about how strong I have gotten this spring, and just go out there and race as hard as I can. I know that there is no way I could have prepared more carefully than I have.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

race prep workouts

Bike - 60 min - warm up, sprint ladder: 3-3/4-4/5-5/4-4/3-3 (min on-min off), cool down
Swim - 43 min, 2100m - main set: 2 x 400@ 7:22, 7:16, 2x[100@1:30 on 2min, 2 x 50@45 on 1min, 100easy]

I rarely get up early and go for a bike ride before work but I always enjoy it when I do. It is fun to see the sun rise. Getting in a workout before work always feels so satisfying.

Both of today's workouts were very strong. I wanted to get in some hard effort intervals in preparation for the Lake Mills sprint triathlon on Sunday. My legs are still sore from the half marathon so I am easing up on running this week. The bike ladder workout gave me 19 minutes of race pace effort. I made myself stay above 20mph for the entire length of each interval regardless of terrain. The race itself will be about 40 minutes... it is going to be challenging to hold that pace for twice as long as I did today but I always go faster on the bike in races than in training. The swim ladder gave me three times the race distance at just above or at race pace. I was able to draft off a fast swimmer in my lane for one of the laps and noticed a big difference in the feel of the water. Besides the workout race prep, I also cleaned my bike today and removed all extraneous accessories that aren't needed for a short race. I went to a bike tech clinic on deraillieurs and cables, and am hoping I can do all my own drivetrain maintenance from now on... in other words, when something is clicking or rattling, I will be able to fix it without going to the bike shop.

I am eager to have this first set of races be done so I can get back to my real Ironman training. I haven't done much long slow distance in a while since I have replaced much of it with speedwork and structured workouts. I guess this has been a good mental and physical recovery. Coming out of it, I don't feel that lingering fatigue in my body, and I am excited to start something new. Perfect.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

half marathon recovery

Strength workout - push ups, assisted pull ups, ab throw, ab twist - 5 min each w/ 15 sec on, 15 sec off

I decided to make this mostly a rest day since my leg muscles are sore from the half marathon. I took a much-needed 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap.

[5/29/06 Monday]
Swim - about 2 miles in Lake Wingra, 1:20 - easy pace
Bike - about 13 miles, 60 min - easy ride including 3 x 2:15 single leg drills (each leg)
Transition practice - bike mounting and dismounting with shoes attached to bike

Sunday, May 28, 2006

race day heat acclimation

Mad City Half Marathon - 13.1 miles, 1:54
14/285 in F25-29 age group, 80/1133 female

It was a hard day to be out attempting to set a PR. The temperature was over 90 degrees, and it was humid and windy. This heat wave came out of nowhere and I didn't plan on racing in the heat so I didn't prepare for it. Sweating while standing at the start line is a bad sign for a long distance race. I was hoping to do a 1:40 but was far from it today. My time at this race last year was 1:46, so I was pretty far from that too. I was on pace for the first half but had a tough second half. That's when it started to get really hot. I was continuously pouring water on myself and running through hose sprays of water put out by spectators, but I still felt like my skin was going to burn right off my body.

Though I am disappointed in my time overall, I still managed to improve in my age group ranking (14th this year, 18th last year). It seems like most people around my speed were about 10 minutes slower than what they would do on a cooler day. I can not blame my results on the heat completely though. I made a few mistakes training and racing that were contributing factors. First of all, my longest run before the race was 13 miles and I think I should have done maybe two more longer runs maybe a 14 and 16 miler. I think I overestimated what I was capable of and therefore starting off at the faster pace was detrimental to my endurance in keeping that pace at the end. My training up to this point has prepared me well to race a fast 10K. Mile 8 is about where my high performance endurance breaks down. Another mistake I made was relying on the pace team leader to run even splits. Our pace was supposed to be 7:38 and our first mile was 7:10. I was trusting the pace leader to keep me on track when I should have been watching my watch and listening to my body. Next time I need to remember to only rely on me like I usually do. Today was a useful experience in learning how race in heat, how to not give up when I feel physically and mentally demoralized by my late-race mile splits, how it is crucial to have realistic expectations and listen to my body, and how going out too hard can be disaster in distances longer than 10K.

[5/27/06 Saturday]
Run - 2 miles easy, 27 min
Swim - 16 minutes, open water