Monday, April 18, 2011

hats off to my training partners

I made it through my biggest training week of 2011 thus far. Actually, this was probably my 2nd biggest training week EVER in terms of hours. The actual week was normal volume - I was working days so I did everything in the afternoon/evenings. I had one really off day on Tuesday where I cut a swim a little short and had a run that was 1/3 bad and 2/3 good.

Saturday was when the real adventure began. And also one of the top 10 stupidest decisions I have ever made. The weather forecast was atrocious typical(??) for mid-April: 40 degrees, 100% chance of rain, 50 mph wind. I had a 5 hour ride schedule. There is no f*&%ing way I was gonna do that on my trainer. Nope. So I devised a plan of riding loops from a local park (I did something similar last year on another dreary day) so that if the weather was unrideable, I could hightail it back to my car and not be stranded somewhere 50 miles away. I posted my plan on the google group and FOUR other people showed up to this thing at 7 am. Ken (who called me in the morning to make sure I was still going), Greg (who I didn't even know was riding til he showed up), Don (who had said that he would go if we started later but then rode over!), and Matthias (one of Jackie's athletes that I had never met before). I was sooo happy to see these guys! Going through IMLP together was like being inducted into a family and I'm always so excited to hang out with them (plus sometimes it's a nice change to stare at someone else's ass besides Kim's during a long ride. Not that Kim doesn't have a nice ass..).

The minute I got to Mendon Ponds Park, it started raining. We started out regardless, even though Ken was shivering, and the first 45 minutes weren't too bad. I remember thinking, "so the rain is lousy and it's kind of windy but I think I could deal with this for 5 hours." That feeling did NOT last long. By this point, Greg and Don were too far ahead to see, Matthias was right behind me, and Ken was behind him. We lost Ken at the red light. For the remainder of the loop, I rode and chatted with Matthias, who is a scientist and has a fun accent!

The weather was getting worse and as my hands and feet started to go numb, I started to REALLY worry about everyone else. I didn't know where any of them were, and I was really worried about Ken because he was so cold at the beginning and it was his first outdoor ride of the year. We stopped and waited for him for a bit but it was just too cold to not keep moving. I think riding with someone else was what actually got me through the loop because we could talk and sort of ignore the fact that our hands no longer had the ability to move, or grip the handlebars, or brake.

We made it back to Mendon, freezing cold, soaking wet, covered in grit, and unable to move our fingers. Ken's car was gone, and I had a text from him saying that he and Don had stopped at the same gas station and had ridden back via a shortcut. Greg was in the parking area in his mom's car, who he had called from a gas station to come rescue him (P.S. he was bundled in a sleeping bag). I was SOOOO happy that everyone was ok, being that this ride was my idea in the first place, and I don't want to subject half of the Train-This team to hypothermia or have them lose any digits to frostbite! Don, Ken and I are used to this sort of crazy stuff by now, and Greg is an IM newbie who seems to be dealing with the crazy pretty well, but I was worried that I scared Matthias off from EVER wanting to ride with us again! He said he "had fun" but I think he was being nice! :) I love making new friends!

Anyways, I ended up riding ~38 miles outside (2 hrs 22 mins.. SLOW) and had to do 2:38 inside on my trainer - I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1! Then I did a transition run on the treadmill which was awful due to improper fueling on the bike - totally my fault (I blame the numb hands on the outdoor bike ride for the calorie deficit).

On Sunday I had my 19 mile long run/experiment thing. I have had several people comment that they thought that jumping from 13 miles to 19 miles was crazy/risky/etc. but I trust my coach and I really wanted to try it. I knew it was going to be mentally challenging for me so I lined up my dear friend Rae to run the 2nd loop of this brutally hilly course with me. Then later in the week I got an offer from my friend (ex-boyfriend if you want to be specific about it) Andy to run the first loop with me. (He is a much faster runner than I am so kudos to him for slowing it wayyy down to help me out). I met Andy at Mendon Ponds Park at 8 am and we set out at a nice, easy, conversational pace. I have not had the greatest experiences with marathon-length training runs so I wanted to be super careful and conservative. The first loop flew by and the next thing I knew, we were back in the parking lot in 1:30 (which was the exact predicted time I had given Rae). That loop was 9.4 miles. It was windy and a little chilly but I was dressed ok (long sleeved shirt, shorts, gloves) so I didn't change. I peed, said farewell to Andy, and Rae and I set off for loop 2.

myself and Rae post long run!
 I would say that the 2nd loop went really well until about mile 17, which is also where the course goes uphill for the last 2 miles. My legs started to get a little tired/heavy at this point but otherwise I was feeling pretty good and was able to continue the same pace. I didn't look at my garmin during the run other than to periodically check mileage. I didn't look at HR or pace at all. I just ran by feel. I hit 19 miles in 2:59. The second loop was 9.6 miles. So, I ran the 2nd loop slightly faster than the 1st loop which is AWESOME for me - the girl who can't pace. This was easily the best long run (18 miles or more) that I have ever had. My quads didn't blow up, my pace didn't drop, I finished the run stronger than I started it, and I had zero GI issues during AND after the run.

I finished out the day with a swim and a recovery bike. My legs feel a little sore but they don't have that blown out feeling that I usually get after a run of that length. My hamstring is also pretty tight. It probably doesn't help that I did all of these workouts and then went right to work with barely 1 hour of sleep because I am working nights this week. I wonder what that does to recovery?

All in all - busiest weekend ever!

I really owe a lot to both Andy and Rae for helping me through that run.. they occupied me and totally kept me from cracking. (Rae and I tend to talk about some pretty questionable, X-rated topics that will remain a secret, hehe). Also, I would never have made it 38 miles in that shit on Saturday if I hadn't had Matthias as a riding buddy.

In total: 18 hrs of training. 9 hrs on the bike. 6:05 running (I RAN 40 MILES). 2.5 swimming. 30 strength.


  1. Good Golly that is a lot of volume! Nice job!

  2. Holy crap, that is a ton of volume!! Great job on the long run!!

    You are so lucky to have training partners!! I am a little jealous! Keep up the great work!

  3. Killer week! Really well done, though! Keep going strong and don't look back!


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