Lots to catch up on this week. I feel like my life on the blog has been all triathlon training – which is great, but there is definitely more to my life than just training. After a few busy weeks with work, training, and socializing, I’m ready to devote some time to getting my blog back to where it used to be… a well-rounded representation of who I am. That being said, here is how the training week went down.
Monday: The day I cried on my bike, threw my helmet and prayed for a flat tire. It was the worst 3 hours of my training to date. I new it had to happen at some point, right? My alarm went off early, as I had to make the 2.5-hour drive over to Corvallis for work and meetings. I brought my bike with me as I had a three-hour ride on my schedule and wanted to enjoy a change of scenery. My meetings and work obligations finished up around 1pm and I was off on my bike soon thereafter. The first few miles went smoothly, but then I started to get into farm country and found an obscene amount of bugs drifting in the air. So much so that I had to stop every 10-15 minutes to empty out my helmet and shake out my sports bra and jersey. It was bad. I also had to refrain from breathing through my mouth because it seemed like the bugs would target it as though they were trying to win a prize at the carnival.
I did an out and back and as I turned around and started retracing my pedal strokes, the gentle breeze that was once a tailwind decided to pick up and make my life miserable as a formidable headwind. On the one hand it eliminated the bug issue, but on the other hand it made me feel as though I was putting forth 199% effort to move at a glacial pace. At one point I was so frustrated that I got off my bike, threw my helmet, sat down on the side of the road in tears, and screamed at the sheep roaming the pasture in front of me. Not my best moment – but those were raw emotions that needed to be released. I think it was a combination of fatigue, hunger, not being in the right mindset to begin, and knowing that I still had a 2.5-hour drive home. After 53.3 miles, I have never felt so much relief to be finished with a workout.
Tuesday: The day I rode without a Garmin, bike computer, or any other technology. I needed to hit the reset button after the meltdown I had endured the day before and decided to venture back to the ancient day of just riding for riding’s sake. I did approximately 36 miles in approximately 2 hours. I think. I’ll never really know.
Wednesday: My first track and speed workout with my coach! I was really looking forward to this because I had never run with him before. My friend Nicole, who is also coached by Mike, met up with us for the suffer-fest. After a warm up we did 3x200m, 2x400m, 2x800m 1x1000m, and 1x1200m of all out speed, followed by a good cool down. Once we were finished I was able to talk with Mike about my doubts and concerns. He said something that really resonated with me about having a positive mindset and trusting in the training.
“Think of training like a deck of cards. Each time you train, you get to add one card to the pile. If you only train once, you have one card, which can be easily torn and ripped apart. If you continue to train each day and week, that pile grows taller and gets stronger. Regardless of whether you have a good training day or bad, you get to add a card to the pile. Just try and rip a deck of 20, 30, or 40 cards. When you go to do your race, you will be strong and resilient. Trust the training.”
Thursday: 2600m swim followed by a 5 mile run at 8min/mile pace. I got to swim in my new TYR suit, which was fabulous. The lightning bolts and water don’t typically go well together, but the look really makes me “feel” faster.
Friday: Great 35.3-mile morning ride at endurance pace. Although my hamstrings and calves were a little sore and tight from sprinting on Wednesday, I felt good about my speed and effort. I needed a good ride to find my center and get my head back in the game.
Saturday: Base pace half marathon and my longest run since I started training for Boise. I started off a little slow, even though I was going downhill (I might have had a little too much fun on Friday night), but got myself together after a quick break, stop at the restroom, and some stretching.
My coach wanted me to run the last three miles at half marathon pace, but my hamstrings were screaming and my legs would only move in a certain way. That track session really did a number on my hammies. After I hit the 13.3-mile mark, I stopped and hopped into the Deschutes River for a natural, mud-stirring ice bath. It felt amazing. I probably could have sat there all day if it wasn’t for the weird looks and questions I got from people walking by. Apparently sitting in a river fed by glacial mountain water on a 45-degree day will place you in the crazy category.
Sunday: 1700m swim and Happy Easter! Today was supposed to be a rest day, but because I did not swim yesterday, my husband and I took to the outdoor pool after attending a great morning church service. Can I just say, I LOVE swimming outside.
Getting into the water was a little difficult, as it was sunny but cold outside and the pool water wasn’t super warm, but once I braved the initial dip I acclimated quickly and found it to be rather refreshing. I’m thinking this whole outdoor swimming thing might become rather addicting. Plus, we had the pool to ourselves!
Week 8 Totals:
Swim: 1hr 30mins, 4,300 meters
Bike: 6hrs 48mins, 124.5 miles
Run: 3hrs 31mins, 24.57 miles
Time: 11 hours 49 minutes
It was definitely a week where emotions reached highs and lows. My meltdown on the bike was a good reminder that not every ride, run, or swim is going to go as planned, and that I need to be mentally and physically prepared for whatever is thrown at me on race day, killer bugs and all. The talk I had with my coach really helped me to reset my thinking and focus on what I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. It was the mental medicine I needed to regain confidence in myself.
A lot of fun mail arrived this week. As pictured above, I received my new swimsuit from TYR, along with two swim caps and goggles (I now have two of each). I also got a package from SOAS with two triathlon kits.
I fell in love with the black and blue tri kit with wings on the back/side. Keeper!
I did not really like the feel of the TYR kit and thought is was too heavy and warm for the summer triathlons ahead. The Coeur kits should be here any day.
This next week is going to be a lighter week because I am doing my first 70.3 simulation on Sunday!!! Excited, but super nervous. The course I will be biking and running is twice the elevation and ascending of Boise, so I’m hoping that I remain strong and power through.
A special thank you and shout out to all of those who continue to offer me advice and support through this awe-inspiring journey to becoming a triathlete. I love listening to the stories, reading your blogs, learning all I can, and supporting this great community of athletes I have come to know.