Ironman Training Week 16: April 7-13

People keep asking if I’ve gotten back to training yet and being shocked that I’m riding my bike already. And, I keep being all: Do you know how unlikely it is that you’d knock your teeth out falling off a bike? I’m not that worried about it happening again.

I am worried about everything else though. But, I sort of just figured if I already feel shitty and in pain, I might as well be training.

This philosophy sort of worked last week. Some days I just needed to curl up in a ball on the couch. Some days I could ride hard and long. On the whole I actually got in a decent amount of training (the most since Arizona) and started running again — both big perks — but I also had to skip the first race of the year, had crazy night sweats while I worried about accidental acetaminophen overdose, and waddled around on my torn foot muscle that still doesn’t really feel so great.

So, week 16 is what it is. Not really good, but better than week 15.

Monday

Ran 2.75 miles ridiculously slowly. Yay running!

Biked 1:20 easy on the time trial bike just to shake it out, get used to the bike, etc.

Did about 15′ of light PT and core work.

Tuesday

Swam 4,000 yards in the morning with the main set as 4 x 50 descend, 400 steady, 3 x 50 descend, 300 steady, etc. (I made that workout up all by myself.) I didn’t swim amazing, but I didn’t swim terrible either. The 50s at the end were barely under 40″ and the steady pace was mostly in the low-mid 1:20s, which is ok, fine. Then, I did some band and pulling work. I can’t tell if I just feel exhausted and terrible swimming or if I’m getting better. I also had to assume that what felt like training fatigue was NOT training fatigue (since I hadn’t been training much since the accident) and was really just general fatigue.

Crossfit in the evening. During which the instructor asked ‘yo, what was up with my face.’ And, when I told him he was super shocked, because I looked almost normal. Almost. But not really.

Wednesday

Ran 5.5 miles. This was really supposed to be a 30-35′ run, but it turns out that 1. I’m running really fucking slow right now and 2. the loop was longer than I remembered. Like many things this week, it didn’t quite hurt, but it didn’t quite feel good either.

Biked 1:40 with 10′ at 170W tempo, then 2 x hill repeats up Lucas Valley. Interesting fact: the fastest I’d ever done this before was around 6:50, which I knew wasn’t all out, but thought was still quite fast. Then, I finally got on the Strava and realized all these women were doing it in like 5:10. So, I decided why not. Why not at least go significantly harder. Still not quite race hard, falling over, because STRAVA IS NOT A RACE and I don’t believe in fucking yourself up that hard unless there are road closures, etc. But, still, I did it in 5:50-something. So. Strava: good or bad? Then, did 5′ tempo and 5′ at IM pace, which, seriously, could someone tell me what IM pace is.

15-20′ of yoga routine and PT.

Thursday

Swam 2,000 yards easy. The dentist in the morning sort of wiped me out. Basically, I had about 4-5 good hours/day last week and they got used up on Thursday.

Friday

Rode the 14 miles easy to and from a job/office.

15-20′ of core, PT, yoga poses, etc.

Saturday

The big day to see if I was back up to things again.

TRX in the morning, during which I may have 1. been a bitch and 2. done too many squats because the instructor pissed me off. But, for realz, I am going for a 5 hour ride after this, I do not need to jump up and down for fake “cardio” work in between strength exercises.

Rode 60 miles as over to Mill Valley, straight up Mt. Tam, down to Stinson Beach, back up the mountain, down/up/down into Fairfax and through town to home. It was supposed to be 5 hours, but was only 4:40 and the last 20′ were really shit. I’m finally riding hard enough right now that going through town kills me. It does provide bakery stops, though. Mostly, I just tried to have a hard ride overall, pushing the climbs somewhat and getting over being terrified of the descents.

Swam 800 yards in our pool in our complex, which was supposed to be more but I was cold and tired and it was already after 4 p.m.

Sunday

Ran another 2.75 miles easy, but slightly faster this time. Boston Strong. My quads were killing me and I suspected that TRX instructor may have really gotten the last laugh here.

Swam 3,200 yards with Ilyce. And, I guarantee I would have done none of it if she hadn’t been there. Did the same set from Tuesday at about the same pace, but it felt slightly more like I was on top of things? Maybe. Maybe it was just in my head.

TOTAL: 16:10

This is actually the most volume I’ve done in awhile. And, Steve commented that I must be riding a lot because there are so many bike shorts in the laundry. (Hah, the joke’s on him. I actually just put them in the laundry to make myself feel accomplished.) So, I am getting fit. There’s no question about that. It’s just going to be a question of if I can come back from all these injuries, get running again, and actually translate that fitness to race speed.

One of the days I was at the pool, maybe Thursday, I was thinking about the other girls in my age group at IM Canada. Because when it comes down to it I don’t care about all the other people racing or training or posting faster times than me on the internet. All I really care about is maybe 4-5 girls in the 25-29 age group racing in Whistler. And, if you wanted, if you had the information, if you put together a a scouting report, you could name those girls. It’s not a secret, most likely. So, who are they? What were they doing right at that second I wanted to get out of the pool and call the workout? Were they trying to recover from smashed-in teeth? Were they bailing on a swim workout? Probably not. What were they thinking? Doing? Planning? And, I started wondering about them. In a very real and practical way, I wanted to know who they are and what they do and if they’ve been having injury problems too. For some reason, thinking about those girls as actual individual people made me finish the swim workout. I imagined those 4-5 girls in Canada, gutting it out and knowing that they had done more than I had, that they were better prepared. And, I was like SCREW YOU IMAGINARY REAL PEOPLE, I CAN DEAL WITH PAIN. So, there’s that.

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