Monday, October 30, 2006

Only 5 days left to T.I...and there's RAIN in the forecast!

Rain? Rain!? Sigh. It's no use worrying about things I can't control. Still...RAIN?

How did this season fly by? I guess I've had a lot going on this time around, so that's probably why time has seemed to elapse a little faster than the norm.

Anyway, here's the past week in training:

Tuesday, October 24, was track night. Kinda of a mixed bag of activities--a couple laps to warm up, then run a mile, then do some field drills, then some core, then some Indian running with our Mentor groups. Pretty easy night, but fun...I guess it was geared sort of halfway between the SOMA athletes who were tapering in earnest at that point, and the T.I. athletes who were not quite tapering, but about to start.

Wednesday, October 25, I made it over to Burgess for a nice little swim in the middle of the day. Instead of super over-achieving, I only went over the pro workout by about 100m. I swam 1700m straight, stopping quickly at 1500m to check my time...about 27'!! And I was only swimming at about a L2 intensity. Not too shabby!

Thursday, October 26, I had very little time to fit in a spin, let alone a bike. I spun for about 45' with 4x7' hills thrown in. Then I immediately hopped on the treadmill for 2' at about 6mph. Just enough to get that rubbery feeling out of my legs.

Friday, October 27, I decided to take a rest day. I felt some suspicious cold-like symptoms in my sinuses and the back of my throat Thursday night. I picked up some Zicam and doubled up on the Wellness Formula from Whole Foods. *As of today, 10/30, it all seems to have worked--I am without symptoms, but I'm still taking one dose of WF per day, not taking any chances* Man, does that Zicam spray leave a seriously NASTY taste in your mouth!

Saturday, October 28, was the last swim/bike workout with the rest of the team. Started off queasy from the aforementioned Zicam, but quickly got into it. Swim was 2', 4', 6', 8', 10' nonstop with 1' rests in between. Pretty comfy. The bike--well, I ended up sweeping at sat on the side of Sand Hill Road with a participant for about an hour before we realized that SAG couldn't see us. Turns out he kept blowing flat after flat after flat--we figured out that it was because his wheels were 650's and his tires were 700's. OOPS... So not too much of a ride for me that day. :-P

Sunday, October 29, I took a break from errand running long enough to take my very first ride directly from home. I know, shameful! Anyway, I spun down Santa Teresa 45' minutes out before turning around and heading home. Nice level spin with one little hill and what felt like a few false flats. Lots of cyclists, at least for the south bay. Crap all over the bike lanes, though--broken glass and chunks of cars--I keep checking my tires now to make sure I didn't get a slow leak riding out there!

Anyway, now I'm focused on tapering for the next few days. Getting hydrated, working out just enough to keep me fresh in all 3 disciplines, and stretching, stretching, stretching. Oh, and packing!

Monday, October 23, 2006

avoiding super-taper

Wow. If the week before was wimpy, workouts this past week have felt practically non-existent. I decided to take the week off running and let my tissues repair themselves. Meant to do a few more light swims, but truth be told, my rotator cuff is starting to feel a bit crappy, so I'm laying off a bit. I'll have to focus more on base strength for next season.

Tuesday: After the Happy Fish 10K, I was feeling pretty beat up--but not so beat up that I didn't want to run at track on Tuesday night. We did a 30 minute marker set--basically, run for 30 minutes and see how far you can get. I wanted to make 3.5 miles, but I fell about 175m short of it. Darn.

Wednesday: Cycled out to Canada road. I felt pretty good, but I wanted to make sure I made it back in time for my 4pm client, so I cut it short just after Edgewood. Tood bad--It would have been a nice day to just ride and ride. The weather has been so beautiful. Anyway, It was an okay ride, probably a bit over 20 miles, but I didn't push it hard enough. It's hard for me to really push when I'm out by myself...or maybe, it's hard for me to tell when I am and when I'm not. I did make an effort to climb in a slightly higher gear than I found comfortable for spinning. Kept it up to 70rpm instead of 80+, which I prefer.

Thursday: Lazy, lazy. Did nothing but a bit of stretching.

Friday: Again, Lazy, lazy. I don't even think I stretched. What was my excuse?

Saturday: Practice tri out at Stevens Canyon reservoir. The swim was colder than last week's T.I. swim! Anyway, we set up a sprint distance course for the participants to do a "dress rehearsal" of their upcoming events. The swim was about a 1/2 mile loop. I agreed to be a "buddy swimmer" and hang back with the participants who are less confident in the water. This is a lot of fun; while it isn't much of a workout for me, it's very satisfying to see how far everyone has come and to offer them encouragement and let them know they can do it.

After I finished up a loop behind the slowest swimmers, Christine, Jane, Holly and I decided to sneak in a second loop while everybody headed out on the bike course. We started out as a pack, drafting off one another. I stuck to Holly's feet for a while, then decided to cut a bit to the left haflway to the first buoy. I hit my stride and just stroked out. I got past the buoy and snuck a look back to see how far ahead I had gotten. I was way out! So I decided to just put my head down and hammer. I was pretty winded--I was probably swimming in ZN4 for most of the swim, and my suit was feeling tighter and tighter around my neck, but I made up my mind not to let the other girls catch me. I knew I wasn't going to get much of a workout supporting participants for the rest of the day. I got out of the wanter a good 100+ yards ahead of everyone else and staggered up the ramp. I just can't get over that lightheaded post-swim feeling.

Back up at our makeshift T1, I took my time and waited for the others to catch up. It wouldn't be any fun heading out on the road alone. Once everyone was ready to ride, we headed north toward Foothill. Too bad the usual course was unrideable because of construction--it's really a lot more fun when you don't have traffic lights and cars to contend with.

Anyway, I turned back only about halfway out to the turnaround, because I wanted to get back to T2 in time to support runners coming in from the bike--and they'd already gotten pretty far ahead during the mentors' swim foray. I was feeling good--nice spin, down on the drops, solid spinning descents on the little bitty hills, and so it was wistfully that I turned around at Grant Road. Probably only covered about 7 miles. :-(

I got back to the park in time to get set up on a trail cheering folks on and running them up and down a nice little stretch covered with prickly weeds! As Christine came back from the bike, I went ahead and ran a little half mile loop with her, for probably no more than a total of 1-1.5 miles of running. Bummer.

As much as this season has been a good experience, I do not think I would like to be a mentor again. I don't thinkI am cut out for it, for one, and for another, I don't want to sacrifice my workouts when I'm actually training for an event. If I were to volunteer for the society again, I would probably be a training captain instead.

Sunday: Open water swim at Coyote Point. Shoulder really kicked this mornnging , so I only went about 1/2-3/4 of a mile, focusing on gliding. Then a light, light run for 20 minutes.

Anyway, on to...

Monday (Today, 10/23)--I considered a nice long spin, but in the end, I stuck with some light upper body endurance work with Tien. It was good for my core, and hopefully it will increase the intermuscular coordination in and around my right shoulder. I don't want to feel it hurting me anymore, especially next spring for WF 2007.

This week's goals:
No erroneous rest days! Spin for speed! Swim for technique! Light running focused on tempo/volume!

Monday, October 16, 2006

recovering from happy fish

Ah, the arrival of Monday, again a much needed rest day from training.

I'm feeling a bit of guilt for resting, because I think the past week of training has been a bit wimpy for my norm. Heavy on the running, mediocre on the swimming, and the Bianchi banshee is gathering DUST!!!

Last Monday, 10/9, was a rest day.

Tuesday, 10/10, was track night--I had a fantastic workout that night!
1/2 mile warmup
Hill repeats
Pyramid Intervals:
a lap to cool down
...and about a zillion crunches.
The way I figure, with all the recovery thrown in between sets, I probably maintained an 8 minute mile pace for the whole interval set. Kickass!

Wednesday, 10/11, I did a light/moderate swim workout. We were meant to do 1700, but after 200 warmup and 200 of drills, I decided to do my own mini time trial of 1500m. I didn't go all out, but pretty much kept it to L2. I was pretty happy with the results--I finished in 31-32 minutes. For perspective, I finished my Wildflower swim (adrenaline and all) in about 29-30 minutes. So I'm pretty well on track.

Thursday, 10/12, I woke up and lamented the trials of being female. Not good foreshadowing for a great training day. Meant to do a straight brick: spinning for 55' with 11x2' hills, followed by a 20' run. Instead: Spun 25' with 5x2' hills, then ran 10' at 8' pace. An hour later, hopped back on for another 30' spin focusing on high cadance, no intervals. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body, especially when you're cramping like mad and super fatigued. At least I got the proper volume in.

Friday, 10/13. Still felt pretty wiped out, so I resolved to take a light swim. We were supposed to do 1600, but I didn't keep track--I just swam until Menlo Masters came and took over the pool. I think I did maybe 1300-1400?

Saturday, 10/14. Open water swim at Treasure Island! I was a bit apprehensive, as I'm not a fan of cold water swims where I can't see more than 2 inches in front of my face under water. Ick. That being said, the swim in the cove at TI wasn't half bad. The water was actually quite tolerable after a 5-10' warmup. As for visibility...well, hopefully Tri-California will have their big giant orange buoys out, because I SUCK at sighting. I suck at sighting so much, I can't even DRAFT properly--it's even hard for me to keep someone's feet in front of me. :-P Following the swim, we trekked back over to the parking lot for a quick transition to run. We did the whole run loop (5k) which is flat and fast. A note about Treasure Island--it's WEIRD there. Gray, abandoned military structures mixed with Section 8 housing. I kept expecting zombies to walk out of the run-down, boarded up buildings. Juxtapose this scene with the fact that a LOT of athletes use Treasure Island--runners, cyclists, and a few others no doubt tuning up for November 4th, but there were also a number of lovely, green manicured softball fields and soccer pitches among the remnants of urban blight. Surreal.

Sunday, 10/15. Happy Fish Swim School run for education. I signed up for the 10k. The morning dawned cloudy and icky and drizzly. I kicked myself for signing up on; that meant they already had my money, so I HAD to go. All in all, it was fun--another flat, fast course, which enabled me to reach my goal of finishing in less than 1 hour. I was pretty happy, actually; I finished in 56:07. Certainly not lightning fast, but not too shabby. Ruined me for the rest of the day, I'm afraid--all I wanted to do was laze around and watch my Netflix, so that's pretty much what I did.

Recent gear changes:
New running shoes. Switched from Asics Gel GT-2110 to Mizuno Wave 2 Nirvana. Pretty nice ride; not quite as cushy as the Asics, but better motion control for my little overpronation issue.

New goggles. Ditched the Aqua Sphere mask a couple months back because it wouldn;t seal properly anymore. The TYR's are great for low light conditions, but they give me a headache when I wear them for more than 30 minutes or so. Decided to give Aqua Sphere one more chance, and picked up a pair of Kaiman goggles. They are awesome! Super comfy, super watertight, nice wide field of vision, and they are black and sleek and make me look like a total badass. The one drawback--they sit very lightly on my face and pushing off kick-turns in the pool causes them to push really hard onto my face, in fact, right up against my eyeball every 400m or so. Truly a product intended for multisport use, not for the pool--perfect for racing!

Coming up this week...hopefully a little more cycling to tune up my spin, more swimming, and less running. I need to let my tissues recuperate from the increased volume over the past week. Also, I'm adding L-glutamine to the post workout regimen--we'll see how that changes my energy levels.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Regaining momentum

For the past two weeks, I've had a harder time making room in my life for workouts--not because the time wasn't there; it's the motivation that's been a bit low.

I'm trying to be a bit more proactive--I managed to get my tail away from work today for a much needed swim.

200 swim
200 kick
200 pull

6x50 @ L5 (10 second rests)
4x75 @L4 (15 second rests)
3x100 @ L3 (20 second rests)
1x800 @ L1-2

Cool down.

This proved to be more of a butt-kicker than I thought it should be. The speed work at the beginning really wore me out, and I had to take the 800 rather slow. I finished in about 16-17 minutes. With plenty of rest I can consistently swim 1000 to 1100 in that range, so I was a bit spent. Good practice for gliding out of a start, though.

Track practice was great last night. A couple hill repeats (I would have liked more, honestly) and 6 2/1 intervals on the track. Then a lot of lunging and abdominal work. Not sore today, but the legs were definitely a bit heavy this morning.

Tomorrow, I am going to have to make a real effort to get a nice, solid spin with some hill intervals in. I don't have a big enough chunk of time to take my bike out--and besides, it started raining today. Bluck. Guess the party's over.

Last weekend's team workout was pretty good--not much of a swim, just open water drills with no lane lines. Bike ride was nice, though--40 minutes out, as far as we could go, and then turn around and head back. I made it about 1/4 of the way down Canada Road from Burgess. I think 25 miles all told?

I'm able to pretty consistently get the bike up to 30mph on the descents now before I am stricken with the heebie-jeebies and have to start tapping the brake. Also, my cornering has gotten much better--Steph and I descended Kings Mountain Road last week. I actually thought it was fun! Way more technical than 84, but much less scary to me, because there are so few cars.

After the bike ride, I hurried home to grab my gear and make the drive out to Yosemite for a few days. I had intended to substitute a nice, brisk hike out to North Dome and back for my Sunday run, but the weather has different plans. A storm blew in from the eastern Sierra and foiled those plans. I suppose I could have donned my raingear and gone ahead with it, but it seemed a bad idea at the time, as large granite domes make excellent lightning rods!

On another note,I read an article that gave a few tests to do to see how responsive your bike is; i.e. how advanced a rider it is suitable for. I had always assumed that my bike was built for more stability than others I'd seen/tried. Not so! Turns out mine is very responsive and requires pretty decent bike handling skills. I'm not worried; I've been pretty comfy on it thus far because it's a good fit for my body.

Still...probably wouldn't hurt to invest in a set of rollers someday. *shudder* Better move into a place with a nice hallway to catch me when I fall!