Monday, July 14, 2014

Fall 2014: week 3

This was a peak week for this block of training, with next week being an easy/rest week. On the schedule: a few quality workouts, some decent volume, and a trail race. How'd it go?

Monday: Kicking off the week with a rest day, because that's how I roll.

I was pretty tired and face planted onto my pillow ridiculously early.
Tuesday: Up early for 21k on the bike. I had this penciled in as a quality workout, so I deliberately went back to the 1.7k long uphill climb that was pure torture on my bike commute the week before, just to see what the difference would be between the road bike and the hybrid bike. I rode the climb 3 times:

Look, it's a hill!

First three were on the road bike, the one circled in red the hybrid. Spot the difference!
Two minutes faster on the first go up! Even on the last attempt when my legs were pretty cranky about the whole thing, I was still a minute and a half faster, with much less effort than I had to use on the hybrid. The road bike makes a huge difference (not exactly shocking information, I'm sure - but nice to see the numbers confirm it).

I feel a little more confident about tackling some hilly long rides now, and getting up the escarpment without keeling over due to lack of oxygen.

After I got home from work I tossed together a quick dinner (buttered noodles, grilled veggies and chicken, we fancy), then headed out for an easy 8k run before my husband had to leave for the gym to get in his workout. This multi sport stuff is complicated. How exactly am I supposed to fit swimming in too? The run felt great, except for all the snails I murdered. I tried to avoid them, I really did, but there were just so many on the sidewalk. *crunch* *shudder*

Scary clouds rolling in as I finished up my run. They didn't amount to much, just rolled on through.
This Tuesday evening rainbow was way after my run, but it was so cool I have to post a picture. I've never seen one so bright and big before - none of my pictures do it justice.
Wednesday: Up early for an easy 10k run before work.
Yet another gorgeous sunrise. Ho hum.
Not much else to say about that. It was a cool morning and the run was good. I am having this thing where now that I've done a few bike and run combo days, a day with only one feels weird. And rest days are almost tortuous. Exercise endorphins are addictive. As tempting as it is to go ALL IN and double up every day, that would be madness right now so I'm being sensible and sticking to my plan, which will let me ease into more bike mileage and hopefully not overdo it.

Thursday: Tempo time! 11k total run, with 6k at tempo, broken into 2 3k blocks. Except when I started my legs were really heavy and stiff, and I could not seem to get my pace down. So I ran by feel. Hit 5:24, 5:16, 5:18 in the first block, which was slower than my target 5:09 but the effort was there.

I started the second block and got 5:15, 5:15, then realized there was a route planning fail and the 3rd km was going to be up Guelph Line. F that. I'm not stupid/crazy enough to try and run tempo up a hill. So I bailed on the 3rd km of that one but did still have to run up the hill, so it probably all balances out somewhat.

Even though that run didn't feel very good, I'm pleased with it. It was a good mental exercise to push through not really wanting to do the tempo, the resulting times got faster by the end, and just running half marathon pace effort should lead to better results in the future, even the pace wasn't exactly right. They can't all be great runs, and dealing with bad ones is part of the training.

After a long day dealing with a sick kid and an unskippable meeting (working mom juggling act), I needed to blow off some steam. So I took advantage of the late sunset and headed north of the city for the first time to see what the local country side roads are like on the bike.


Niagara Escarpment, North Burlington. After I took the picture I biked up it. Ouch.
I figured out where all the local road cyclists go on summer evenings - I lost count of the number of other cyclists I saw. And with good reasons, the riding is spectacular. Mostly good pavement, minimal car traffic, miles before you hit a stop sign, lots of hills. And so close to my house! Even if I do have to climb part of the escarpment to get to it!

I did 22k and could have done more, but needed to get home for the kid's bedtime. There will be many more of these rides over the next few weeks, I hope.

Friday: Rest day. I was tempted to do another evening bike ride, but with a trail race Saturday morning I knew that was probably a bad idea.

Saturday: Rattlesnake Point Enduro course trail race. 12.7k of slow running/hiking and laughing with Sam. Race report to come, but it did include this lunacy:

Wait, the course goes up the side of a cliff? what?
Sunday: Easy recovery run that turned into a fast finish run when thunder rumbled in the distance and I got caught in a downpour. Whoops. Was aiming for 10k but managed 8 before the storm.

soaking wet #selfie
Originally I had been hoping to also knock out a nice loooooong 60k+ bike ride in the morning, but the aforementioned thunder kind of put a damper on that. I waited until the afternoon to head out and had to shorten things because my family enjoys eating dinner and I'm the cook. Geeze, can you believe I have to feed these people every day? So needy. Still hit 50k, though, so can't complain.

Niagara escarpment #selfie
I debated throwing down the missing 2k on the run as a first ever brick workout, but it was really hot and humid, and my legs were totally toast when I got home, so I passed. A brick workout will happen soon, though.

The bike is making me ridiculously happy right now. It's like being a kid again, seeking out the big hills to climb, knowing that the reward will come when I fly back down. Such a rush. I'm not really a thrill seeker (you won't get me on a roller coaster any time soon), but the bike is different. Maybe because I'm in control. Maybe because I can cover such long distances so quickly. Maybe because it's something new to learn and master and improve(figuring out how to use the gears most effectively on the uphills is a work in progress).

Whatever it is, it's pretty awesome. Marathon training kind of burned me out, and then the recovery took so long that I kind of lost some of the enjoyment I get out of training. Between trail running and the bike, the love is definitely back. Getting that sub 1:50 half honestly feels less important than just enjoying the summer on the trails and on the road.

But I hope I'll pick up that PB anyway, of course!

Weekly totals
Run: 49.7 km
Bike: 93.7 km
Total: 143.4 km, 8 hours 48 minutes

Totals were down a bit from last week, but not far off what I wanted. If the weather had been more cooperative on Sunday I've have hit the 52/100 I was aiming for. Given that one of those runs was a pretty tough trail run, and I got in both a quality bike and run workout, I'm happy with the effort.

Now it's time for a bit of a rest week. The mileage will stay around the same, but everything will be easy. A break before things get tough!

1 comment:

  1. Great week of trianing and glad you are enjoying the new bike an the trails! Awesome. Great way to keep it all interesting. Enjoy some rest.