After taking a 10-day hiatus from training (an eternity in my world and a real test of my patience) I am finally back and ready for more action. The break wasn’t so bad, especially because the weather was somewhat less than ideal for several days, but near the end I was definitely antsy and ready to get out and move. Sometimes a good, solid break is necessary to recharge the mind and body. But oh, does it feel good to be back!
Swimming: I am going to be adding another day of swimming to my schedule and will hopefully be doing a lot more open water swimming now that the Cascade Lakes are getting more swim-friendly temperature-wise. Although I haven’t put in a lot of distance (roughly 1500-1700yards each swim) I have been focusing on technique and getting into the water more frequently. This past weekend Justin and I went up to Wickiup Reservoir, where the Pacific Crest swim is held, and I did my first OWS since Boise. It felt great. I managed to avoid several of the motorized boats that were trolling around on the lake.
Biking: Last Wednesday was my first time back in the saddle. I gave my neglected road bike, Wink, a little TLC, which was a nice change after spending so much time lately riding Vela. Does anyone else feel as though riding a road bike is night and day from a tri bike? I stuck to the plan and kept it easy, re-familiarizing my legs and the rest of my body with the bike.
On Friday I did a three-hour ride and met up with my friend Elena who joined me for part of the ride. It was really nice to have some company, as those longer rides can be rather lonesome at times. We did a great loop that had a mixture of climbing and cruising.
After my swim on Saturday, Justin and I rode a small section of the Pacific Crest course to get a feel for the road and climbing effort. There are a couple of hills along the course and I wanted to ride the longest/toughest of the two. It was a pretty solid 12 mile ride and was nice to know that once I reach the top of that hill, it’s a fast and mostly downhill 12 miles to T-2 on Sunday.
Once we were finished we took the scenic route home and stopped at Elk Lake to have lunch on the patio. I devoured a burger, which is pretty much second nature now with my appetite. I could eat burgers ALL.DAY.LONG.
Yesterday I met up with my coach to do a FTP test (functional threshold power). I haven’t done one since February and was ready to get a feel for the progress I have made over the past few months. It was brutal, but I am happy to report that not only did I survive, but I had the energy to go for a run yesterday evening during Justin’s softball game. And I’m still here. Had you all worried, didn’t I? The test basically looked like this…
When I first did the test 4 months ago, my FTP was at 195 watts. I am still waiting for my coach to analyze the test and compute all the numbers, but he seems to think it is now around 216-220 watts. Huge improvement in power! It’s good to “see” that I am getting stronger and that training is paying off big time.
Running: I missed running the most during my down time and was happy to be reunited with my shoes. Happy happy, Kristen. I’ve been on five runs in the last week, a couple of which were very short and sweet, but one longer run (10.5 miles) that felt great. I never tire of running. This training cycle I am going to be doing a lot more bike-run bricks, just to really imprint in my muscle memory that feeling of transitioning into a run right after a long ride. Most of these runs will only be 10 minutes or so, but I think it will be really helpful to remind my body over and over what it is like to get through T2 and into the run.
Work is awesome. The break from training allowed me to turn into a grading machine during finals week and I finished up the spring term with no issues. I am now teaching two sections of the same class, Advanced Social Research Methods, during the summer term and will be leading a hiring committee in search of a full-time instructor in the upcoming weeks. Our psychology program is growing which is very exciting.
The time off from training and the week between terms also allowed me to get a lot of other things done around the house. I have been doing a lot of spring (or, now summer) cleaning and reorganizing my closet with all of my summer clothes. It’s nice to go through things every once in a while and get rid of stuff that I don’t wear or use anymore. I am a big fan of consignment and always take my unwanted items in for a little extra $$$
Justin and I have been spending more time in the afternoons and evenings going on walks and exploring the parks and trails around town. It’s been refreshing getting out of the house and having some uninterrupted time to talk and play. I just love the long, summer evenings and warm temperatures that linger until dark. Riding a gigantic T-Rex at the playground is quite fun too!
And of course, a little lounge time is always to be had during the summer months. Nothing like a mimosa, magazine, and some sunshine to put a smile on my face.
After the Pacific Crest triathlon this weekend, Justin and I will be packing our bags and heading to Seattle to visit family and friends for the 4th of July. We are planning on staying in Seattle for a couple nights and then will venture over to Camano Island for the firework celebration at the Sugar Shack. Last year gave us all the reason to come back for more! We are also going to swing by Lake Stevens, ride the Ironman course, and check out the swim/run locations. I am really excited that I will get a chance to ride to course and get a feel for what it is like beforehand!
Looking forward to my first Olympic Distance triathlon on Sunday. I wonder how different it will be from the 70.3? Any tips (aside from kicking butt, of course). 🙂
What food do you crave while training or could you not live without?