Sunday, October 18, 2009

Recovery Week

It probably seems kind of strange to have a recovery week so close to the taper and race, but boy did I need it. I have had several recovery weeks in my schedule during the past few months but have ignored almost all of them. I've had a few lower volume weeks due to races, travel, etc, but that's it. But with a stretch of huge training weeks behind me and my two biggest weeks ahead, the timing was right. I was ready for the break and really took advantage of it. Probably too much so! Even with easier/shorter workouts scheduled, I still completely skipped one day of training (thursday) and cut another day way back (tuesday). I did a little extra here and there though which sort of made up for it, but ended up with two hours less than planned. There was nothing easy about my weekend though- a 17 mile run and a 76 mile bike ride. It ended up being a pretty decent week. I got the mental break I needed and lots of bonus couch/movie time, but I still got in the important workouts. I admit my enthusiasm is fading but I'm so close I know I can push through. I'm looking forward to the taper though, that is for sure. Then the race. Then cookie time (which is how I'm referring to life after the Ironman, because I'm going to do nothing but eat cookies for the next calendar year).

Here is the recap:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Run
4.0 miles/37:36/9:24 average pace
Quick easy run. Half of what I was supposed to do. Then I skipped swimming!

Wednesday: Bike
1:00 spin
With Alisa! :) Pretty good workout.

Wednesday: Run
4.5 miles/44:51/9:58 average pace
Nice run with Deana after spin class.

Wednesday: Swim
2200 yards/1:00
Masters. The only time I made it to class this week. Yikes!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Run
8.5 miles/1:14:58/8:49 average pace
Added a bit to the scheduled run. Felt fantastic!

Friday: Swim
1250 yards/30:00
Make-up swim at the gym.

Saturday: Run
17.0 miles/2:30:36/8:52 average pace
Springwater trail in East Portland/Greshem.

I was watching the weather forecast pretty carefully this week and it looked pretty certain that Saturday was going to be rainy. I decided I would rather run for a couple of hours in the rain than ride all day in it, so I swapped my Saturday/Sunday training. When I woke up it was pretty decent out and I was thinking I should have just done my ride. I started running about 10:00 am and it was cloudy but dry and about 69 degrees. Within 2 miles it was raining and the temperature dropped a few degrees. By three miles into the run it was a torrential downpour and there was lightning. Hehe. I was glad I wasn't riding! I determined the lightning was not very close so I just kept running and got my 17 miles in. The rain let up a little but never stopped and I ended up with some decent chafing as a result. Youch. I was happy with the run though- it was nice being able to do it on fresh-ish legs rather than after a 5+ hour ride and I was pleased with my pace.

Sunday: Bike
76.1 miles/5:07:42/14.8 MPH
Hagg Lake/Patten Valley Road/Springhill Road

We drove out to Hagg Lake and Zach rode his mountain bike with me. We had a rough plan that would take him about 40 miles and then I was going to finish the ride on my own. Rather than just riding around the lake we headed out and found a couple gorgeous roads to ride. One of them was part of the Century ride last weekend. We rode along a little valley with farmland in the middle and flanked on the sides by small hills covered in trees in all their autumn color glory. Beautiful! It was pretty flat with some rolling hills and very little traffic, perfect for riding. It was cloudy with a little sprinkle but toward the end the sun came out. Much better than the day before, so I'm glad I switched the schedule around.

About halfway through the ride I was feeling really negative and blah. I was enjoying the ride but was pissed that I had to ride another 40 miles still. I was ready to cut the ride short. (This is very demonstrative of how my enthusiasm for ridiculously long training sessions is waning.) Zach was great, he said he would ride with me longer so we went back out and rode the pretty rolling valley route again. We finally headed back up to Hagg lake and Zach finished with 67 miles on his mountain bike. Wow! Considering how heavy that bike is and with the knobby tires, he sure made it look easy. I rode one lap around hilly Hagg Lake and met him down the road at the country store where he had sandwiches and chips and soda waiting. Awesome. I was really glad he rode with me and helped motivate me to do the planned 5 hour ride. It ended up being a great ride thanks to him. :)

Sunday: Swim
600 yards/15:00
We went over to the gym to sit in the steam room and hot tub and I jumped in the pool for a few laps. It was unplanned so I didn't have my nose clip or goggles. I did some kicking and then Zach found a pair of goggles in his gym bag. I found out I can easily do breast stroke without the nose clip which is good to know. I did a few laps of freestyle to and it was fine. I really do love me some nose clip though and won't be giving it up anytime soon.

totals for the week:
swim: 1:45 (4,050 yards)
bike: 6:10 (76 miles + spin)
run: 5:10 (34 miles)

total recovery week volume: 13:05

5 weeks until IMAZ

A couple pictures from the ride today. They don't really show the colors:

Thanks for reading. Have a great week! :)


kristen said...

WOW - Zach is amazing! I can completely appreciate riding that far on a mtb bike and keeping up with someone on a road bike. Very impressive indeed!

Great week. Hang in there girl. Your so close. This is usually the time of marathon trainign that I just want to get the damn thing over with already too. Your doing awesome -- keep it up. It will all payoff tenfold in the end!

kelsalynn said...

Umm...okay, crazy realize you sound looney right now right? Your recovery week included a 76-mile bike ride and 17-mile run?!?!?? You're so amazing! Your recovery week is hell on earth for most people!

I'm just giving you a hard time, but I really am impressed! I'm glad it was more of a mental recovery than anything! You're so close and I'm so excited for you. Actually, I'm excited for your "cookie" time! =]

Chad Sayban said...

Wow, only 5 weeks until Ironman! It's getting close now. Good job listening to your body. If you need a break, you need a break.

John said...

Good on you for listening to your body, Jen - if you're a slave to the plan you'll get yourself into trouble. I can't believe your race is son soon!

Beth said...

I'm pretty sure its normal to feel like the last few weeks are a slog and that you are just ready to be done with the training. Nice job of getting the key workouts in and getting some extra rest.

Dragonfly on the Water said...

Your almost there with a great coach behind you. You make a fantastic team and remember all the people behind you sending you positive energy.

Susan said...

Haha a recovery week with a 76 mile bike ride?? That's hardly a recovery week in my book!

Zach is awesome!

Ewen said...

If you plan to eat cookies for the next 12 months after the IM we'll need an "after" photo ;)

Good idea to have the recovery week now - and then hit it hard for the next couple.

Nice longish ride there. Looks cold. I bet Zach needs a new set of tyres after that!

Tomas said...

As always, really inspiring to read your blog! 13 and a half hour in a recovery week! You will smash the Ironman!!! Go Jen!!!

Alisa said...

Wow, wow, wow! I sure hope I never have a plan that includes a recovery week of 17 miles and a long bike ride =).

You are doing amazing! Cookie time will be here before you know it.

Anonymous said...

Way to be holding strong Jen. I am sure the extra (little) rest you got, your body thanks you for. Five more weeks, you got this.

Awesome of Zach too. He is such a great support for you!

Anonymous said...

definitely doesn't sound like much of a recovery week, but glad it felt like one :) You're pics are always so beautiful! Almost taper time and then it'll be cookie time soon enough :) Great job!

Amy said...

You guys are adorable, loved the pics. I am so proud of you and your training.

Hagg lake is SOOOOO hilly - what a great ride!

5 weeks - omg - you're going to do great.

Mir said...

Okay, I know I sound like a broken record, but dayum girl you are amazing. I can't wait to see all your incredible hard work pay off in AZ!

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, those rest weeks are important. I'm glad you took advantage of it this time. I'm AMAZED that Zack rode 67 miles on his MTB, though. That's love, for sure :-)

Hang in there, Jen. You are almost there and probably the closer the race gets, the easier it'll be to get out there and get those long workouts done. Fear can be a good motivator too, I've found out.