Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1 Week In + Rest Week

It sure feels good to be really “training” again, although to be fair, it’s not a whole lot different yet.

Last week was great—nothing much different than offseason, except a whole lot more swimming, and a brick! I was so excited to do a real brick again. ;) 2:30 on the bike, straight to a 0:30 run.

And man, it was humbling.

The trainer is great. It has numbers. It allows me to do a lot on my own. BUT it’s really not the same as riding outside, and it’s hard to always know how the two compare. So, I was out riding one of my very standard loops that I rode about a thousand times over the summer, and it was a lot easier to really compare and see how I’m really doing after a very good “offseason” of a couple months doing purely maintenance.

First of all, I realized about halfway through that this was more like my 3 hour loop, not 2.5 hour loop. Oops. Oh well. Secondly, it was ICY in a few spots! The sun was out and it was above freezing, but a few places down some shadowy hills and on the other side of the valley have clearly been in the shade for weeks. There is one very long descent that I’m always scared of (my least favorite hill that I ride), and since I was alone and my tires had already slipped on a few slightly damp areas (what?! That’s never happened before, but happened twice in the first 15 minutes) I was incredibly cautions. Like, stupid-cautious. Like here’s this enormous hill I should be going down at 30mph, and I was going maybe 15mph. A few turns were extra frosty. Etc etc. So I know that added a bunch of time (and really dragged down my overall speed.) Then there was another little hill which was an actual sheet of ice. Suddenly, my rear wheel was spinning but I wasn’t moving! Zero traction. I gave up, and (very carefully) walked up the icy hill. Tried carefully coasting down but—nope, fishtailing and sliding and I have no idea how I didn’t completely wipe out :) Got off the bike, and verrrry carefully walked it down. SO, I blame those things for making my 3 hours ride appear to be a 15mph average :-\ (garmin didn’t stop and I spent a good chunk of time walking haha).


There was a strong headwind, was “good” to suck it up and push through that for a while.

But aside from all that, there a few sections which are my standard, go-to baseline spots. I compare them just about every time I ride them (they are also both up hills, go figure. I think I just feel they are a good measure of how I’m doing, and not typically impacted by things like wind).

I felt good on them. I went hard-ish on the first, since it’s near the beginning and I typically ride it “strong” but not really all-out. The second, which is near the end, I absolutely turned myself inside out trying to push it.

Both of them ended up being pretty “slow.”

Not really, but a good 30 seconds slower than when I was at my peak over the summer. I know it’s January and I shouldn’t be my best now, but that was a little bit..sad? I got over it, but was just interesting to see. You can never be the best, all the time ;)

The run off the bike—that was “fun” too. Instead of just “run off the bike,” it was “run as fast as you can for 10 minutes, then easy for 20, and tell me your numbers for the first 10 minutes.”

I got off the bike, quickly changed into run shorts in the car (the sun was out and it wasn’t so cold, and I didn’t want to run in the giant chamois of my insulated bike tights) but was running within minutes. I didn’t really want to (I feel like usually I’m not quite so sad about having to start a run), but I WENT.

Depending on the data I look at (strava vs garmin vs training peaks), they all show slightly different splits, but I think my actually average for the first 10 minutes was around 6:43/mi and I was relatively (surprisingly) consistent. But man, I was working HARD. The downside to the sun coming out was that everyone and their dog (literally) was out on the trail, and so I was running HARD in pretty heavy traffic. I’m sure everyone was wondering why I was being crazy and running so hard when it was very obvious I was hurting (you know, the big ugly gasping when you’re running all-out and trying to sustain it…).

Cruised back in. I was trying to run easy, but only ever got it to around 8:10..that’s just what felt easy at that point (that and I just wanted to be done).

Overall though, a good workout. Made me feel like I’m back. Back to being a triathlete, back to focused training. Not that I wasn’t before, but the focus had been on recovery and getting ready to go. And now it’s time to go. :)

This week is a rest week. Yes, already ;) But starting next week, I have been promised a “big bike block” and I am excited to see what is coming!

Monday, January 4, 2016

And suddenly, it's 2016...

Yes, I have fallen off the face of the earth.  But it’s been good.  :)

2 weeks off of work were fantastic!  We did so much, had so much fun, and basically it’s tough coming back to the reality of work!

There was a race (12k), there was the Nutcracker and dinner and fanciness and sequin dresses, there was Star Wars at 7am in comfy clothes and chairs, there was Christmas prepping and Christmas-ing and lots of eating, and mountain biking and road biking and running and swimming and SNOWBOARDING and skiing and movies and family get-togethers and girls night and lots of coloring by the fireplace and feeding penguins at the zoo and and and and…!!!!

And now I’m at work.  Zzzzzz.

Quick notes on the 12k:

Coach actually did a little kinda baby-taper (more like, no hard leg workouts for a few days before), and after a rough 10k test the week before, I had a general goal.  I did the 10k at a 7:14 pace on the flat trail, so I was hoping I could maybe hit 7:15 for the 12k (2k further, plus it had a few monster hills and packed-gravel trail).

I started the race with Mic, who kept pulling me along the first 3ish miles until he got tired of me being slow and he took off (I’m surprised he stayed slow enough for me to chase him the first few miles lol), and then it was alllllll about keeping moving.

Another girl stuck behind me and was clearly pacing off of me for a few miles in the middle, which was kind of annoying but in a good way, because it made me feel more accountable, like, “don’t stop now Rosanne, otherwise this chick is gonna pass you and know you’re slow!”

Pete from Woodinville Bicycle was taking pictures halfway through, and when he saw me, he yelled “COME ON, GET UP THERE AND CATCH HIM ROSANNE” (referring to Mic) which was funny because I hadn’t even seen him yet (so he got a pretty epic photo of me first, total pain face)…so I tried to sprint to at least look fast but then I got tired (probably wasted a lot yelling back and whining about being tired…toughen up, Rosanne!).

By the last couple miles, I was ready to be done!  I was staying relatively consistent though, so that was good.  Naturally, mile 7 took us off the trail and up another couple ENORMOUS hills.  Like, massive hills.  Oh my gosh.  That was brutal, and definitely the slowest mile at 7:39 and I was suffering!

The last 0.4 was all downhill, and I tried SOOOO hard to push it and speed up and use that speed, but honestly I’m awful at running downhills.  Down to 6:32 but that, plus just being pretty much beat by then, and I had like 5 people pass me in the last half mile!  UGH!

Oh well, still came in in 53:50, which put me at a 7:13/mi average and I was pretty darn thrilled!  3rd AG and 14th female—there were some incredibly fast girls out there!!  Oh my gosh.  Overall, I was pretty pleased with my efforts; I know I WANT to be faster, but it seemed like a pretty good representation of where I am these days, and I haven’t done much speed-wise (just starting to) so really I can’t ask for any better!

Finally getting back into things.  Mostly I’m excited to eat better and not feel so bleh!  Only up a couple pounds, honestly, and I know it’s totally fine and was what I needed, but ready to get rid of it.

Fitness-wise, Shawn did an awesome job over the last couple months.  I feel pretty good: stronger, and probably better than last January.  I’m sure I lost a little, but I think it’s minimal, maybe some endurance, but nothing I can’t get back easily.  Relatively easy week, plus a day of snowboarding, but then I have a brick on Sunday!!  True, I’ll likely be inside on the trainer for 2:30 while it rains, then freeze for the 0:30 run, but I am SO STOKED!  Plus, the instructions this time are to run HARD for the first 10 minutes and then report back the numbers.  This is in stark contrast to the bricks I did leading up to CDA, when it was all about “run easy off the bike just to get a feel for it.”

I’ve been getting very specific intervals and speed workouts about once a week, too, and I am LOVING it!  Half the time, I didn’t even know I could hit the numbers, so not only does it feel really good, but it’s fun to surprise myself and realize I actually CAN run 20 x 0:50 at 6:30 and really not feel like I had to work very hard!  ;)  I am so excited to be working on building all these things and focusing on speed; I feel so ready to really train hard and see improvements, and hoping it all comes together for Australia!!