The four-week countdown is on before my 7am start at Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. That’s right, folks. I get to wake up bright and early instead of the 12:45pm start at IM 70.3 Boise. Am I happy about this? Heck ya! I am a morning person and do the bulk of my training before noon, especially in the summer. I actually found out my bib number today – #686 – feels fast, right? And, it’s a palindrome (spelled the same way forwards and backwards, like RACECAR) so it feels lucky too!
Although this week’s training did not go exactly as planned, I feel good about each effort and milestone I achieved.
Monday: Rest Day. I was in grading mode all day, so it was a much needed rest for my body but a huge workout for my brain.
Tuesday: The morning started with a hard swim with my coach and a few of his other clients. It felt good to be pushed in the pool, which I have a hard time doing when I am on my own. I did a solid 1700m swim inserting lots of different efforts and speeds.
Once I was out of the pool, I went home and got on my bike for a hot late morning 59-mile ride. It was 90 degrees and then some during the ride, and my body was feeling it. About 45 miles in I stopped at a little convenience store in Tumalo and bought a huge can of Coke. I took a few sips and then poured the rest into a water bottle that I had filled to the top with ice. That was a genius moment for me. That Coke helped me survive the last 14 miles as I melted in sun. Best tasting beverage EVER while withering away into a crisp.
By the time I got home I could not get this bag of ice up to my bathtub fast enough. At that point I probably would have paid big bucks for an ice bath. It was a luxury.
Wednesday: Unexpected rest day. I had an opportunity to ride around in the SRAM neutral support vehicle behind the male pro riders competing in the Cascade Cycling Classic, and took full advantage of it. The race was 111 miles around Mt. Bachelor and surrounding areas and by the time we were finished I was spent. Watching other people ride that hard for that amount of time will wear a girl out. I’m glad they did the work for me. I had planned on riding later that evening but got home and crashed. It was a long day.
Thursday: Making up for Wednesday’s lack of workouts, I started the morning early at the track and did 5.5 miles of intervals. My coach had me warm up for a mile, and then do four miles at fast pace with a minute of recovery in between. I completed my fast miles in 6:45, 6:41, 6:42, and 6:51, which is incredibly fast for me. Where did that come from?
After my track workout I headed up to Elk Lake to meet up with coach and a couple other guys for a 1.35-mile open water swim and 52 mile bike ride. The swim went well, although I was slow as always. It was nice to have coach there giving me some pointers and motivating me along the way. The ride around Bachelor was awesome. I was worried that I would feel fatigued after a track workout and swim, but I felt strong and energized the entire time. We ended up climbing roughly 3000ft, most of which took place within 20 miles. My legs are getting noticeably stronger.
Friday: Yep, I did it again. I chose following a bunch of pro riders in a really cool car over doing my scheduled workout. Hey, these opportunities only happen every so often. My husband was able to join me and we spent the day following closely behind the peloton. Here is a glimpse at the action…
The Jelly Belly car was right behind us in the caravan and they were quite generous as I made it known that Jelly Belly’s are one of my favorite candies. Hooked up!!!
Saturday: To beat the heat I got up early and headed out for a 31-mile climbing day. I started with a nice 20 minute warm up, followed by hill repeats on some good climbs around Bend, and a cool down.
Later that day, Justin and I headed downtown for the Cascade Cycling Classic Twilight Criterium. This is the most spectator-friendly event of the week, with several races throughout the day culminating with pro men racing for 75 minutes around a 0.7 mile circuit in downtown Bend. About 10,000 people line the streets for the event, and this year we got to watch the festivities from the Bend Memorial Clinic (title sponsor of the race) VIP tent at the start/finish line. It was nice to not have to fight the crowds for a view of the action, and to enjoy some great food and drinks from Zydeco.
Sunday: I had a long run on my schedule and my coach wanted me to do a majority of it on trail with some good climbs. I had my husband drop me off early in the morning near Sunriver, where I could catch the Deschutes River Trail and run back to Bend.
I also got to test out my new Mountain Hardware fluid race vest, which is super light, holds a perfect amount of water for a long run, stores my phone, Chapstick, and all of my nutrition, and most importantly it’s comfortable. I hardly noticed it during my 16-mile run. Where has this vest been all my life?
This was a different style of running for me because the first 15 miles were all on trail, which makes my pace a bit slower than usual. I had to be mentally “on” the entire time as there were rocks, branches, hills, dogs, hikers, and so forth spread throughout the trail. That’s OK though because I was told not to run for speed. This was my longest run since the Seattle Marathon back in December, so I’m quite happy with it (considering it felt like “just another run”).
Swim: 1hr 30mins, 4,235 yards
Bike: 7hrs 41mins, 142 miles
Run: 3hrs 04mins, 21.7 miles
Mental Exercise: A LOT
Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Okay, so it wasn’t the week I had expected it to be with THREE off days, but it was an exciting week of new challenges and a lot of race spectating. One thing that is important to me is to not miss fun opportunities because I have a workout on my schedule. If I can fit it in, great, but if “life” happens and I don’t get it done, I am not going to beat myself up. I run, bike, and swim (well, maybe not swim) because I love the sport, not because it’s work or something on my schedule, even though I thrive off having a schedule.
Have you ever been to a professional cycling event or race?
What unexpected events take you away from training?