Sunday, April 23, 2017

Queen Of The Mountain (Steelhead Base: Week 8)

This week has been weird.  I did better at getting all my workouts in (missed 1 swim) and I got to play outside on my bike all weekend, but at the same time my head hasn't been in a good place.  I've been struggling with some of the non-physical aspects of training - namely the lack of hours in the day to fit everything in.  (WARNING: #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS ahead)

My workouts themselves are rarely more than 90 minutes, but each of them requires some degree of preparation (i.e. pumping tires/computer set up for the bike, gathering all the swim stuff and writing out a workout card, or figuring out the best route to run based on the workout/weather/time of day).  None of those preparations take that long, but they usually add 15-ish minutes to the endeavor.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up over the course of a week.

Then there's the food thing.  Both Mr. R&R finish our workouts and want to eat right. freaking. now.  Meal planning/cooking is mostly my department, so I'm always trying to figure out how to get us fed...and not eat total crap.  I haven't been particularly great at this lately - and I can feel it.

Let's not even get started on errands, uncontrollable events (stuck at work late, traffic jams, etc.), and generally being tired!  I think it all boils down to feeling like I have absolutely no time and if one little thing goes awry it throws everything off.

(End of complaining about the side effects of my choice to train for this race - for now.)

The best parts of my week came on Saturday and Sunday.  It was nice enough out on both days to ride OUTSIDE!!!  Saturday was a little on the cool side, but the lure of not spending an hour on the hamster wheel was enough to make me don knee warmers and arm warmers and brave it.  Mr. R&R rode from our house to the New Berlin Trail.  The first 3-4 miles were nice and easy as we navigated city streets to the trailhead.  After that, it was game on.  The trail is a very subtle uphill climb all the way out and usually causes me a bit of trouble, so you can imagine my surprise when I started clocking 16-18mph miles.  When I turned around, I figured out why: the wind had been at my back giving me a nice boost!  Unfortunately that meant a headwind on the way back - and slower times.  Still, 'twas a good ride.

If I thought Saturday was fun, Sunday was even better.  We loaded up our bikes and drove out to Yada Yada's house to ride the country backroads with him and one of his training partners (we'll call that guy Blue Argyle since his bike shorts had a nifty blue argyle pattern on them).  As expected, I spent the entire ride chasing after the pack of boys, but they kindly waited for me at major road crossings and occasionally Yada Yada would loop back to make sure Wicked hadn't decided to send me flying due to some miserable crosswinds. 

About half way through the ride we stopped at a little cafe for lunch.  I had a veggie wrap and baked in the sun for a while.  The ride back was a little cool and windy, but still fun.  I love the scenery out that way - even if it does mean having to ride through a little cow $#!* on occasion.  

When we got back to Yada Yada's, I discovered that according to Strava I had become the Queen of the Mountain on a segment called Rocky Road!   Strava is sort of like Facebook for athletes.  You can upload your workout data (mine transfers directly from Garmin to Strava), follow your friends, comment on their workouts, etc.  Strava also tracks everyone's performance on segments.  Segments are stretches of road/trail that are created by users and then others ride/run them to see how they stack up.  If you are the all time leader on a segment, you become King or Queen of the Mountain.

Granted, I'm the only Strava-using female that has ever done Rocky Road, but I'm still the Queen damn it - although I'm sure I won't be for long since that segment is in BAM's backyard and she's the queen of most of the segments out there.

Royal title aside, I really love some of the segment names I've come across on Strava.  Rocky Road is my favorite at the moment (for obvious reasons), but others I like include: Bullet Train (a long, downhill stretch) and 'Til Death Do Us Part (part of the New Berlin Trail backs up to a cemetery!).

I can't believe I'm at the end of base training for Steelhead.  Starting on Monday, I'm beginning the build phase which will hopefully include more time on the road than the hamster wheel and some open water swims starting in late May-early June.  16 weeks until race day!

Week 8 Stats: 

Swim:     1500 yards (.85 miles)
Bike:       53.76 miles
Run:        8.83 miles
Strength: 1 session (30 minutes)

Total Time:       6 hours, 47 minutes
Total Distance: 63.44 miles

Cumulative Distance: 748.39 miles - approximately the distance between Milwaukee and Jackson, Mississippi!  

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