Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Saying Is True (Steelhead Base: Week 5)

It's no secret that of the three triathlon disciplines, swimming is the hardest for me.  I never took swim lessons as a kid.  I spent most of my childhood being told to stay out of lakes because they were dirty (and full of "things").  I most definitely do not identify as a swimmer.  Back in 2013 when I trained for my very first triathlon I struggled with every swim workout that the Iron Cheerleader gave us and it seemed damn near impossible that I'd ever be capable of swimming a full 400 yards on race day.

What brought on this trip down memory lane?   I saw this on Pinterest the other day and it got me thinking about how far I've come since those seemingly impossible swims 4 years ago.

So I dug through my email archive and found the 5th week of the Iron Cheerleader's Couch-To-Sprint Tri plan...and proceeded to howl with laughter and then have a 'holy shit' moment.  My workout actually has become my warm up.

Week 5 of Iron Cheerleader's 10 Week Plan:

Endurance Swim:

  • Warm Up: 50 yards
  • Main Set: 6x50 yards with 10 seconds rest between each 50.
  • Cool Down: 50 yards
Total: 400 yards

Week 5 of Half Ironman Base Training:

Endurance Swim:
  • Warm Up: 300 yards
  • Main Set: 1500 yards continuous
  • Cool Down: 300 yards
Total: 2100 yards

I know that comparing the two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but if you would have told me in 2013, as I fought my way through every one of those swim workouts, that 4 years later I'd find 300 yards to be a walk in the park I would have howled with laughter - after I told you that you were full of shit!  At any rate, it's nice to know how far I've come, even though I still have a very long way to go!

As for Week 5 as a whole, it was more of the same - only longer and harder!

*Rest Day

I had absolutely zero problems embracing my inner sloth after last weekend's long workouts.  I think rescheduling my training appointment to Tuesday is one of the smarter things I've done lately.

*AM: Bike: Baird -1 (60min)
*PM: Warm Up Run and Training Session

This was my morning ride:

I think I was still so out of it that it didn't even register in my brain that all those intervals hurt!

My training session involved a 70lb dumbbell, a 45lb barbell, and a 15lb dumbbell.  I knew almost from the beginning that this was one of those sessions that I was really going to enjoy while I was doing it, and really feel for several days afterward.

AM: 45min Run (w/10x30 speed intervals)
PM: 35min Run (w/ 10x30 speed intervals)
        1850yd Swim (speed intervals)

I did not sleep well on Tuesday night so I missed my chance to run before work.  Mr. R&R had a similar problem and opted to do his run right after work before we headed for the pool.  I, on the other hand, decided to eat, digest a bit, leave for the gym early and cram in my run before jumping into the pool - sort of a mixed up brick workout.  I shortened the warm up and cool down a bit due to time constraints, but managed to get all the speed intervals in before hightailing it to the locker room for a wardrobe change and hopping in the pool.  The pool, which always feels cold to me, actually felt good since I was burning up from the run!  I was nervous about swimming after a hard run, but it went surprisingly well - even if I was the last person in the pool!

*PM: Bike: Glassy (80min)

Do you know what really sucks after a 10 hour day at work?  Coming home and riding on the hamster wheel for an hour and 20 minutes before you get to eat dinner!  I was so drained and I seriously considered not doing it, but I jammed my headphones in, listened to some podcasts, and came upstairs to discover that Mr. R&R had started dinner - so that helped a little!

*AM: 40min Run (w/ 2x20 hill sprints)
*PM: 2100yd Swim

If I thought I slept poorly on Tuesday night, Thursday night was worse.  Poor Spot was having horrible sneezing fits all night and I found myself laying on the living room floor at 4am trying to comfort him between fits.  Needless to say, getting up at 5am to run didn't happen. 

My 4AM Companion
My Friday night swim, however, did happen.  This was my longest continuous swim yet.  I definitely wasn't easy, but it wasn't too rough either.  Still, after that long staring at the line on the bottom of the pool and trying to keep track of what lap I was on, I was happy to be done!

*AM: 40min Run (w/ 2x20 hill sprints)
*PM: Bike: Boarstone (120min)

I knocked out Friday's missed run on Saturday morning while Mr. R&R had his weekly training session and was a sweating, dripping mess by the time I was done.  I swear that they turn the heat up in that gym on Saturday mornings!

After some breakfast and recover time, I dragged myself down to The Cave for my longest trainer ride yet...2 hours on the hamster wheel.  I wore my new Coeur sports tri shorts for the endeavor and I'm pleased to say that they lived up to their #NoAngryKitty hype.  Unfortunately I can't say that the electrolyte tablet I dissolved in one of my water bottles did the same.  The stuff was foul.  Back to the drawing board to find an electrolyte replacement that tastes decent and doesn't rip up my stomach.  Oh, and in case you're wondering, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the perfect accompaniment
to a 2 hour long trainer ride.  I started spinning at the opening credits and finished right as the final credits rolled!

*Run: 60min

The weekly long run seems to cause a motivation problem every week.  I think it's a matter of having beat the crap out of myself for the 5 days leading up to it and wanting nothing more than to curl up on the couch with my favorite fuzzy blanket and a book by that point.  However, if I want to do this race, it had to be done.  

After much procrastination I headed outside with a grim determination to just get it over with.  Oddly enough, it ended up being a really good run.  I ended up setting a new unofficial 10k PR - and missing a sub-1 hour 10k by 4 seconds!

Overall, I'm happy that I got all the workouts in this week, but I really hope I can get more sleep next week and do the workouts at their scheduled times.

Week 5 Stats:
Swim:     3950 yards (2.24 miles)
Bike:       49.57 miles
Run:        14.43 miles
Strength: 1 session (30min)

Total Time:       9 hours
Total Distance: 66.25 miles

March Totals:
Swim:    10,725 yards (9.96 miles)
Bike:      174.22 miles
Run:       56.23 miles
Strength: 4 sessions

Total Time:       34 hours, 9 minutes
Total Distance: 240.41 miles

Cumulative Distance: 556.64 miles - approximately the distance between Milwaukee and Memphis, TN.  If I start seeing Elvis, please send help!

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