Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Back to Basics: Week 3

Another 'perfect' week - this is getting addictive!  This is the peak week (read: highest volume) week of the base-building program, and I felt every bit of it.

I worked pretty late, came home, scarfed leftover Mongolian Beef Noodles, did laundry, and crashed early.  Rest days are really supposed to be about resting, but I always end up using them to catch up on things that fell by the wayside during the previous week. #TriathleteProblems

Longest swim yet.  There were some really funky drills in this workout - some of which left me wondering if I know how to swim at all, and others that made me feel like I'm getting stronger.  It was a pretty good mix.  We rolled through the door around 9pm and dinner was 'Breakfast for Dinner': eggs, toast, chicken apple sausages.

The name of tonight's bike workout, Ericsson, made me laugh.  I kept picturing Marshall and his dad from How I Met Your Mother shouting 'Eriksen!' through the phone to each other. 

The workout itself was no laughing matter.  It was 4x8 minute intervals with  a quicker than normal spin for the first minute, increased cadence for the next 3 minutes, followed by 1 minute all out.  I was toast by the time I climbed off the bike and I ended up making tacos (again) instead of the planned meatloaf because I wanted to eat and crash - not wait another hour while the meatloaf cooked (because I was too lazy to make it and put it in the oven before going down to The Cave).

I've gotta remember that Thursday is the perfect night to go to the indoor track.  The place was a ghost town!  It still took a solid mile and a half before I was sufficiently warm and able to breath well, but the speed was an improvement over last week's attempt.  Still, it's more than a little frustrating knowing that my body is probably capable of better, but being unable to deliver.  Dinner was a hastily thrown together chicken stir fry - which would have been better had I remembered to throw in the garlic and ginger.  Instead it was kind of bland - even when doused liberally with Sriracha.

I'm pretty sure I don't work for Barnum & Bailey, but today sure as hell felt like a three-ring circus at the office.  As hard as I tried, I couldn't get everything done, so it looks like I'm going to have to put in some time from home this weekend.  Bah!  

Mr. R&R and I hit the pool for 1000 yards (at the best per 100 pace I've averaged yet) and then spent some more time attempting to teach ourselves how to do flip turns.  Perhaps someday I'll figure out how to simultaneously flip over, actually make foot-to-wall contact, and not attempt to inhale a gallon of chlorine.  The drive home was spent discussing a) how the planned spaghetti dinner sounded unappealing, b) why we shouldn't go out for dinner, and c) justifying the idea that eating something junk-y at home was still better than going out.  A quick run through Target and 25 minutes later, we were enjoying fresh from the oven nachos - and were full much faster than expected.  We were both asleep by 11pm.

I think this could be called: The Day of All. The. Things.  It always seems like events like to crop up on the same day, so it was all about careful timing, powering through, and a couple of wardrobe changes (fortunately I didn't have to pull a Superman and change in a phone booth - do those even exist anymore?).

Event/Wardrobe Change #1: Marquette vs. Butler Game - 

I don't think I've been to a Marquette basketball game since about a year after I graduated - and that was a long ass time ago. When Mr. R&R's company invited us to enjoy the game from a luxury box, we jumped on it. 

It was a good game (Marquette won), the food was decent, the beer was great (note to self: 2 beers at 11am makes for a rough rest of the day) and we got to enjoy it with WhoHa, Maverick, Goose, and a handful of other friends.

Event/Wardrobe Change #2: Great Lakes Pet Expo - 

After the game we hightailed it home so Mr. R&R could make it to his massage appointment and so I could change into less dressy jeans, a sweatshirt, and sneakers, pick up my mom, and hit up the Great Lakes Pet Expo.  This annual event is a showcase of animal rescues and pet product vendors from all over the state.  It holds a special place in my heart because it's where Mr. R&R and I met Walter 6 years ago!  I try to go back every year to say hello to the nice ladies who run the rescue we adopted Walter and Spot from and to update them on how the little fuzzballs are doing.  The had a bunch of baby bunnies (about the same size Spot was when he moved in here) and while most people were relegated to petting them through an enclosure, they scooped up Spot's doppelg√§nger and let me get my fill of baby bunny snuggles!  This little peanut snuggled right up to me and then proceeded to climb onto my shoulder and hide in my hair!  They had the most adorable coasters for sale as well (all proceeds help them continue saving bunnies), so I picked up a set and so did my mom.  I also acquired a handmade blanket and a washable fleece pad for the boys.

We also stopped to pet a rescue husky - which made my mom a little nostalgic.  Fun fact: My parents had a husky (that ended up living with my grandparents) when I was very young.  I think she really enjoyed her husky snuggles.

Event/Wardrobe Change #3: Personal Training - 

After the Expo, I drove my mom home and realized that I had enough time to stop home and put on warm gym clothes instead of changing into the ice cold gym clothes I'd thrown in the car in case I ran out of time!  

I met with my potential trainer and I'm 90% sure she's going to be a keeper. I explained what I was looking for in a trainer (someone to help me build a strength training program that compliments my tri training and possibly someone to refine my swim skills).  It turns out that she swam competitively for years, taught swim lessons, has done a sprint trip, and is now an MMA fighter.  After 30 minutes working out with her, I was hurting in the best way possible.  I think I might have to keep her around for a while!

Event/Wardrobe Change #4: Bike Workout - 
I really meant to do this workout in the morning before the Marquette game, but sleeping in won, so after a quick dash to Trader Joe's to acquire all the stuff I need to do meal prep on Sunday and eat for the week, I did my 4th change of the day into bike clothes.

Carson is a Mean Girl!
If I thought Ericsson was hard on Wednesday, that's just because I hadn't met Carson yet.  Carson is one mean bitch! It's 6, 5-7 minute long intervals at about 85-95% of FTP (functional threshold power) with very short recoveries between intervals.  Oh - and there are hill climbing drills thrown into each interval.  I could barely walk by the time it was over.  Mr. R&R and I finally caved and got takeout for dinner.  It was burgers and fries - followed by Wardrobe Change #5: Pajamas

The only thing standing between me and Perfect Week #3 was a three mile run - and it was raining.  The indoor track wasn't an option due to an event.  My knees hate the treadmill - and so do I. So that left 1 choice: run in the rain.  The first 2 miles weren't too bad - other than my glasses fogging up constantly (heavy breathing will do that). The final mile sucked since that's when the water finally seeped through my shoes and soaked my socks.  To summarize: Uphill. Rain. Foggy Glasses. Wet Socks. Ugh.

After a very long, hot shower, I got to work in the kitchen on this week's food prep.  I'm trying really hard to do a mix of the approximately 8,000 things I've saved on Pinterest and tried and true recipes.

This week I made Iowa Girl Eats' Crockpot Italian Beef.  I've made this before and both Mr. R&R and I are fans.  It's ridiculously easy - just toss a bunch of stuff in the crockpot, set it to low, and forget about it for the next 9  or 10 hours - or at least try to forget, because the yummy smells will keep drawing you back into the kitchen.

While the beef was doing its thing in the crockpot, I made Cooking Light's Carrot Ginger Soup.  The end product tasted fine (although really similar to the Sweet Potato Carrot soup I made a few weeks ago), it was not the beautiful, bright orange color I expected.  I think this was due to using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth - the vegetable broth was pretty dark.  Long story short: It sort of resembled cat sick in a bowl, so I'll spare you the photo.

Finally, Mr. R&R joined me in the kitchen and together we tackled Skinnytaste's Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice.  I don't think the actual dish was at all spicy (and I love spicy food), but adding cayenne pepper to hot sesame oil caused me to have to open multiple windows just to be able to breath!  That was some seriously crazy $#!*.  I'd definitely make this recipe again - as long as I have some Sriracha handy to spice it up.

And last, but definitely not least, Week 3 and January Totals:

Week 3:
Swim: 2,200 yards (1.25 miles)
Bike: 21.82 miles
Run: 6.07 miles
Strength Training: 1 session
Total Time: 4 hours, 29 minutes

Swim: 5,925 yards (3.36 miles)
Bike: 73.24 miles
Run: 18.4 miles
Strength Training: 1 session
Total Distance: 94.95 miles
Total Time: 12 hours, 56 minutes

What's your favorite workout?  Cooked anything good lately?

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