Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's Not A Failure (Steelhead Build: Week 1)

...If you learn something from it.

I was not a good athlete this week.  I did 2 rides, 1 run, and 1 swim this week and I'm oddly pretty okay with it even though it was not the way I wanted to start the build phase of my training.

On Monday night, I ran to the grocery store after work and made a yummy shrimp stir fry for dinner. I added some fresh pineapple and jarred stir fry sauce to the mix to make it a little more interesting.

 I served it over brown rice and we had some chicken cilantro mini wontons on the side.

I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling a mixture of excitement and dread.  Today was FTP (Functional Threshold Power) Testing day.  I've spent the last 8 weeks busting my ass on the bike trying to get stronger and, theoretically, faster. I knew that there was no way I was going to want to do this test at the crack of dawn when I can barely discern between my base bars and my aero bars, so I preemptively canceled my training appointment for Tuesday night - with my trainer's blessing.  After work I filled up my water bottle, tucked a pack of Shot Bloks in my jersey pocket, stuck my headphones in and prepared to suffer hard - and I definitely suffered.

After a rather unpleasant 30 minute "warm up" the testing portion of the ride was upon me.  I went deep into The Pain Cave for this one.  By the time it was over my heart was pounding, my lungs were burning, and my legs felt like they were going to fall off - and when I saw the new power number pop up, I tried to do The Crab Dance (If you watch Deadliest Catch, you'll know what I mean) because I was so happy!  My FTP went up by 10 POINTS!!!!! 2-3 points is the typical result, so you can see why I tried to dance!

I was so pumped up that after my impromptu dance party (on legs that no longer wanted to support me) and a high five from Mr. R&R, I even texted my trainer with the good news!

I was so torched from the FTP Test that I completely slept through my alarm on Wednesday morning and had to pull a double on Wednesday night: a 26 minute run with 16x30 second speed intervals and a 2100 yard swim (.01 miles short of race distance) involving a bunch of sprint intervals.  I crashed like a ton of bricks after that one!

Thursday night's bike workout was a series of VO2 max intervals - at 120% of FTP.  I had rivers of sweat running in unmentionable places by the time it was over and I was cursing my higher FTP since it made the workout that much harder.  Dinner was consumed.  Bunnies were medicated.  Another hard crash ensued - to the point that we both fell asleep in the living room and stayed there all night.

I woke up (late) on Friday morning to find Mr. R&R snuggling with both bunnies.

I was pissed that I missed my chance to run in the morning due to the late wake up, but I wasn't too concerned since I'd made plans to take a half day at work since I was throwing Mr. R&R a belated birthday party that night.  I figured I'd either go run or swim after work, shower, make myself presentable, and meet the caterers by 4:45pm.  Hah!  I got out later than planned and made the mistake of laying down on the bed when I went upstairs to change into my running clothes.  Needless to say, I had enough time when I got up to get cleaned up, make myself presentable, and meet the caterers.

I may have missed my Friday double workout, but I did throw a good party.  I had a taco bar from BelAir Cantina delivered to our favorite bar, opened up a tab, and the rest took care of itself!

We packed up the leftovers and got home around 11:00pm.

Saturday turned into a complete sloth day.  Mr. R&R and I were tired from being out late, we both felt like hell from the last few weeks of training, and we made the executive decision that this weekend's workouts were canceled in favor of:

*  Watching 5 movies while hanging out with the bunnies.
     -Movies Watched: Wanted, Tomb Raider, Ant Man, Doctor Strange, and Deadpool
* Napping
* Napping with Walter after his bath
* Eating taco bar leftovers

* Sleeping Late
* Hanging out on the floor with Walter & Spot
* Making pancakes from scratch for breakfast (and a bunch of extras to go in the freezer)
* Laundry
* Random little tasks that I've been meaning to take care of but haven't had time for

I don't consider this week a total failure since it taught me something useful for going forward.  I've learned that there is no way in hell that I can train at the level I've been at for 24 weeks straight with no real break.  Maybe I could if I  didn't have a full time (and occasionally then some) job or if I could/was willing to outsource a lot of things, but this is the real world, and that's not happening. I'll be doing a little tweaking to my current plan's remaining recovery weeks to promote a little more actual recovery and I'll be taking my need for a little more down time into account when I build future training plans.

Week 1 Stats:

Swim:    2100 yards (1.19 miles)
Bike:     23.43 miles
Run:      2.60 miles

Total Time:        3 hours, 35 minutes
Total Distance:  27.22 miles

April Totals:

Swim:     5,450 yards (3.10 miles)
Bike:       209.25 miles
Run:        40.0 miles
Strength: 4 sessions

Total Time:       27 hours, 44 minutes
Total Distance: 252.35 miles

Cumulative Distance: 775.61 miles - approximately the distance between Milwaukee and Montpelier, VT  Mmmm...maple syrup!!

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