Sunday, July 26, 2009

Highs and Lows

I knew this Ironman training wasn't going to be all fun and games... but I was really thinking it would be like 95% fun and games. I found out this week that is a statistically unrealistic figure. There was some struggling and a little complaining. I cried like a baby once and threw a fit in public another time. Classy. The good news is my long weekend workouts were stellar! And the weekend was made even more stellar-y with the addition of an Amy, a Sarah, and a dash of Emily. Oh, and beer. Lots of beer. Here it comes in detail:

Monday: ST
Gym with Zach. I was feeling pretty good and did more than my usual on the bench, which still isn't much. We did a quick circuit and weaved through the d-bags in time to get home and meet Deana for some roof-top beer and pizza. Fun! Love the rest day.

Tuesday: Run
4.0 miles/38:08/9:32 average pace
More Deana! We drove up to Forest Park to avoid the heat (which was actually nothing compared to this weekend and what is to come!). She did awesome and we ended up running quite a bit faster than we usually do. I was very impressed!

Tuesday: Swim
2100 yards/1:00

Wednesday: Bike
1:00/spin class
No Alisa this week, she was out of town doing something fabulous and celebrating her birthday. But it was probably a good thing she wasn't there because this was the scene of shitty workout #1. Well, the workout itself was fine, and I felt great. Except my foot. Which cramped up BAD. WTF?? I get foot cramps when swimming but in spin class? This was a first. It didn't go away either and I ended up going outside and taking my shoe off and stretching out for a couple minutes. It really pissed me off. And worried me because I still had a 30 minute brick run and an OWS to do! It finally faded and I finished the workout strong but I was a little upset.

Wednesday: Run
4.35 miles/37:39/8:39 average pace
The good news is my foot didn't cramp up at all! The bad news is I got the worst side cramp ever. I felt like I was being shanked with a sharpened down toothbrush. UGH. I know exactly why it happened though- when my foot was cramping in spin I thought "I must be dehydrated" and proceeded to slam like 20 ounces of water. At the end of class, minutes before my run. Stupid! I stopped to rest/stretch/hate life about 5 times in the first mile alone. It finally faded though and I finished the run, but my pace was shot. Actually now that I look at it, my pace wasn't bad, but it felt slow and painful and awful.

Wednesday: Swim
1200 yards/25:04
OWS at Klineline with Zach and Emily. I was a little annoyed with my body at this point and was wondering if I was going to go 3 for 3 on the stabbing pain streak. Thankfully that didn't happen. But I was in a pissy mood and this ended up being the scene of a pretty pathetic temper tantrum. My goggles were leaking and Zach and Emily didn't wait up for me (apparently the world doesn't always revolve around me?) so when I finally did catch up I threw a fit and yelled at Zach and probably made Emily feel like garbage too. How nice of me. For the record, there were other people around too. Like recreational swimmers and families. Yikes! I think I apologized sufficiently later to everyone but I felt like an ass! All the negativity faded away quickly though after the swim because Zach and I went over to Emily's awesome new house for a bbq! The place is so neat and her fiance grilled up some delicious food and we watched the Tour. I'm so grateful to have friends that put up with me. :)

Thursday: Bike
22.9 miles/1:33:50/14.6 MPH
A new day! Solo ride on the Springwater with no complaints. How refreshing.

Thursday: Swim
2500 yards/1:00
Masters. Lots of freestyle sets including sprint sets and good total yardage. Great workout!

Friday: Run
6.0 miles/1:03:35/10:36 average pace
Trail run on the Maclay/Wildwood trails in Forest Park. We ran from the Lower Maclay trailhead under the Thurman St Bridge up to Pittock Mansion. It was beautiful but a struggle-fest and the scene of yet another pity party. Wtf is my problem? I mean, to be fair, this is a HARD run, with almost 1000 feet of elevation gain in 3 miles. But it brought me to tears. This was not a mad-at-Zach cry (for once) but just an exhausted blubbery whiney cry. My reason for crying was basically: I don't like trail running! This is hard. This is unnecessary. Why are we up here? Why didn't I just run on a flat road and call it a day. Zach had all kinds of encouraging and reasonable things to say, bless his heart, but I just had to get it out. This took place at like mile ONE so thankfully I did feel better after venting and we ended up having a pretty fun time. Did I mention how grateful I am to have such a patient and supportive husband?

Saturday: Bike
41.4 miles/2:53:14/14.3 MPH
Enough complaining! This is where things really look UP. Back out to Hagg Lake for a hilly hilly hilly ride. Zach and I rode separate and he covered 5 loops in the time I rode 4 loops. I felt awesome!! We got out there really super early to avoid the heat and crowds and started our ride just after 7:00 am. It was a beautiful day and I felt strong. I was excited to see my pace was better than last time I did a training ride out here (the triathlon was out here but that is not comparable! I mean, my ass almost fell off that day). I ended up averaging a full one mile per hour faster! Very cool. I drank two bottles of the Perpeteum and one bottle of water. As soon as I finished the ride I locked my bike on the roof rack and took off for my first weekend transition workout.

Saturday: Run
1.72 miles/15:01/8:43 average pace
I was expecting this to be much harder than my usual Wednesday transition runs but it actually wasn't bad! The only hard part was that my short run included a couple whopper hills. Oh well, I just did my little-engine-that-could routine and chugged up them and tried to loosen up a bit on the downhills. I was really pleased with how this went! I am going to be doing this like every other weekend or so and the run segments will get longer, so I'm sure it will get more difficult. But I'm off to a good start! The rest of the day was spent with our friends and Zach's dad down at the Beer Fest and at a local restaurant with Emily and Josh. So fun. The night ended abruptly after that for me though... if you add up a 5:30 am wake-up call, hilly long bike and brick run, several beers and a hot hot hot sunny day, you get a Jen in bed at 8:00. Literally I went to bed at 8:00. :D

Sunday: Run
12.0 miles/1:44:49/8:44 average pace
My weekly long runs are actually sort of starting to get LONG! We didn't get as early of a start because Zach's dad who had spent the weekend with us was taking off so we hung out for a bit before he left. We drove all the way out to the Banks Vernonia Trail because not only is it a gorgeous run but it is probably 80% in the shade! Such a good decision. It was about 75 when we started at 9:30 and was almost 90 by the time we finished. The trail is a slight incline all the way out- gaining about 700 feet in the 6 miles I ran to the turnaround. My pace was around 9:20 heading up. But after the turnaround I kept the effort the same and my pace was right at 8:00. Cool! The last mile was very UN cool though, temperature wise. It was more like running on the surface of the sun. No shade, no more downhill, final mile, out of water. I hammered it home though. I stretched in the shade and waited for Zach who ran 14 miles in almost the same time. There are a few pictures below.

I think that is it! Whew.

totals for the week:

swim: 2:25 (5800 yards)
bike: 5:30 (64.3 miles + 1 spin class)
run: 4:25 (28.17 miles)

total volume: 12:20
(plus 1 weights session)

Some final thoughts here:

Weight: I've officially reversed my strategy and am now trying NOT to lose any more weight. I lost another 1 lb this week and am down a total of 14 lbs since this whole crazy training thing started. Am adding more snacks to my daily diet and am not being super-strict with myself - I think I'm going to still avoid most greasy/fried food because it screws with my stomach but I'm not going to fight the occasional bagel craving. I am not tracking my calories anymore but if I continue to lose I might have to start. I weigh less than I have in like 5 years, it's crazy! I had to buy new pants.

And finally, things I love and have been meaning to mention:

River City Bicycles. Finally found a bike shop with super friendly and helpful staff and tons of products and variety. We've already gone in several times and will be going back tomorrow (Zach needs a new tire). Love it.

Hammer Nutrition and all their yummy science. They've spelled out in very clear terms what I need to eat/drink in order to finish the Ironman and I'm going to follow it to the letter. I'm just starting to experiment with different products and flavors and so far I most love the Cafe Latte Perpeteum sports drink (Zach loves the Orange Vanilla). The Lemon Lime Heed is tasty too. I know there are a lot of options out there for IM nutrition but I like how simple they make it and I'm going to try to stick to their rules.

POM Wonderful. So tasty! They sent me a little case to "try" but to be honest I've been drinking the stuff since it came in those wonderful glass jars (which we saved and use for drinking glasses now). It's super healthy and tastes good. Disclaimer: I've mostly been mixing it with vodka.

Blue Seventy. I like my wetsuit but my major rave is about their goggles. I apparently am really picky and have an odd shaped face because they are the only ones I can use. I like the "Smoke" colored lenses because they block bright sunshine but are usable indoors too. Just ordered two new pair.

Air Conditioning. Seriously, Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. A secondary shout-out goin' out to Shade.


BrewFest (Saturday afternoon)


Amy (was I sitting on her lap? She's so close!)

Banks Vernonia Trail (Sunday)

just starting out:

at the turn around:

Zach finishing up in the hot sun:

Thanks for reading! Keep it real.


the gazelle said...

that run from lower macleay to pittock is super, super hard. I wanted to die when I did it a couple of weeks ago.

it was so good to see you & Zach last night - although it was awkward when you were sitting on my lap. :)

your training continually inspires me - and I'm looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Donald said...

I never realy worried about weight, either ... I just figured if I did the training, my body would take on te shape it needed to be most efficient. Probably not an "optimal" strategy, but there's a lot to be said for simplicity.

Way to keep rocking that training!

Anonymous said...

Lots of training this past week. You aren't going to enjoy every minute of training and some days are just going to be tough mentally and physically. The important part is that you push through and keep moving forward. Great job! You are doing such a wonderful job.

KAT said...

Good job with training!, thats hardcore! I love the Apple-Cinnamon Hammer gels myself :)

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, I've had to scale down my expectations of fun wrt ironman training too. Or perhaps it's just not the fun I was thinking it was going to be, esp. having to train alone most of the time (my husband just can't handle the heat :-(

Anyway, great job on getting all your workouts done. Even if you had some a few struggles you got them done and, IMO, ironman training is mostly mental for people like us. And I just recently discovered the wonders of POM -- so good, indeed!

Anonymous said...

I've thrown fits in training before-- it happens. Way to get all your workouts in even though you didn't want to. They're always the worst but during races I always remind myself that if I got through the tough workouts, the race is no problem.

Tracy said...

I read somewhere - "there are only two times to train - when you want to and when you don't".
I can sympathize with you on the tantrums, I have had a few myself and am also lucky to be married to a saint!

Beth said...

Nice week! Even with the ups and downs yoru training didn't seem to suffer.

kelsalynn said...

Are you PMS'ing or something???

LOL, don't hurt me, i'm just teasing. We all have bad weeks and say things we don't mean or act in a way we wish we hadn't. Friends and hubbies love you anyway! I wouldn't worry about it.

Zach's legs look SUPER SKINNY in that last picture.

I hope this week of training is better for ya!

Sarah said...

You had a rough start to the week! So sorry. Those moments are just such a sign of our humanity. But your friends don't just "put up with you" they LOVE you :) Trust me.

Great pictures as always!

So fun seeing you guys on Saturday!!

Arcane said...

I can't imagine training for an ironman. It seems you have to do so much! But way to get it done!

There's no shame in crying like a baby, if it gets you what you want!

Kelly said...

I hate up and down weeks. Seems like that's all I have. But sounds like it did improve!

Eat a donut every once in a while...surely that's on the ironman diet plan, right?

Ewen said...

What are Zach and Emily thinking? Of course the world revolves around you!

Good week and better weekend - nice running! This IM training is tiring (so I've been told), so don't stress, and take the good with the bad.

Oh yes, sorry about the pants problem. That's the last thing you need - to be buying a whole new wardrobe!

Sarah said...

ps - stealing the photo you took for my new facebook profile pic. I'm bored with the one of me and my niece! Thanks :)

aron said...

we all definitely have our highs and lows and occasional temper tantrums :) just part of the game right?? another great week girl, keep it up!

Alisa said...

Everyone has their off days...really you've been sailing through your training with flying colors. You still finished all your workouts-which is more than most people would have done (including me). Hopefully, you are foot cramp free now!

Excited to see you tonight--missed you last week. I'm so much more motivated when I get to see my workout buddies! Yay!

Hammer nutrition does make good stuff. I'm especially fond of their Vanilla gels...mmmmmm!

kristen said...

If it were easy...right. Your totally entitled to have shitty days like that. I always know when a) I'm overtraining or b) undereating because I get crazy emotional/bitchy like that.

Still super impressed by your training! Keep it up.

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I have some close friends who are also training for the same Ironman you are. the one thing that they had to adjust was bad food and too much beer. once they did their training was made a bit easier.

I agree that adding snacks is smart. You will find a good balance.. you always do :)) Keep it up.

kelsalynn said...

I've been thinking about you a lot these past few days with the heat! I saw it on the news... at least in AZ, you know to expect it, unlike where you're at!

Hopefully you're staying hydrated, not killing yourself outdoors, etc. take it easy!

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I know for sure that I will hear it all the time now. :)

Susan said...

Way to push through the hard's when a run really hurts that I remember how great the runs that feel AMAZING are.

A little temper tantrum now and then never hurt anyway...I'm sure you've got some understanding family/friends around you!

Either way, I know I'm still totally impressed with your training!

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty sure I would have had about 50 temper tantrums by now if I was IM training! You had a great week and those tough days are really going to help out come race day! Great job!