Eggplant To The Rescue

eggplant-with-face

Another week of training down and things are shaping up for the Boise 70.3. I was supposed to have a recovery week, but since I am racing next weekend in the Grizzly Tri, I figured I would just push the rest back one more week if I could handle it.

After the riding a lot (for me) last weekend, Monday started out pretty tiring. I put in a good set in the pool and it looks like I will still be right on the mark for a 16:00 swim at next week’s 1000y sprint. Also got in three miles of recovery running with the wife; I really love those miles with her.

Tuesday, I picked things back up with threshold repeats, finally outside. WOOHOO spring! Also got more pool time.

Wed, it was time for V02 intervals on the bike. That felt surprisingly good.

Thursday, I couldn’t really say the same. It was a terrible day at work, and by the time I started my long run, I was already drained. I also was pretty bummed that I had missed my hill repeat workout. So naturally, I decided to just do my hill workout and then add on to that for the long run. After about seven miles of alternating V02 pace and hills, I added in two miles of threshold pace. I was a little short; only 11 miles due to family constraints. But with the additions, the 11 hurt well enough.

Somehow, on Friday I was able to muster up enough crazy to get in a rather painful sweet spot/FTP workout in. While riding in the AM continues to suck, the saddle is better than a cup of coffee at energizing me for the day…well at least until 1:30.

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was hurting worse than a cruise ship fresh out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper. When I started my Saturday ride, I was already uttering whispered curses within 60 seconds of clipping in. By the end of the 2.5 hour ride, I sounded like Andrew Dice Clay with Tourette’s Syndrome. Honestly, that was one of the most mind numbing, will testing, crotch kicking rides I have ever done. Lying on the floor of my den afterwards, I was ready to give up triathlon completely for basket weaving.

Despite overdrawing my mojo bank, I found myself still mustering up for a pseudo race rehearsal today. I even conjured the will to go get more of the Hammer products I would need to make sure everything would be just like I had planned it to be. It somewhat helped that frozen yogurt is also sold across the street from where I buy most of my gels.

And so the alarm went off at 0330 this AM and off I went. The cycling prescription was for 2.5 hours with 5X20 around 88-90%. Coming in fatigued and with only four hours of sleep again, I dialed the intensity down to 95%. Here’s how that played out.

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For nutrition, I mixed one full packet of strawberry Perpetuem into 20 ounces of water. I was elated when I realized that I wouldn’t have to stomach the super concentrated form of Perpetuem I was used to enduring during full length Ironmans. I took sips from that bottle every 15 minutes. If I got thirsty in between, I had regular water. For the total ride, I took in one full bottle of Perpetuem and about 2/3 a water bottle.

Coming off the bike, I felt pretty good. I quickly got changed into tights, as the Montana “spring” had left fresh snow in my lawn and it was a brisk 20 degrees at 0700 today. My goal for today’s run was to settle in during the first two miles, and then simply take off until seven miles were over. I figured if I could go “fast” still during the last mile, I could keep my expected race pace of 8:45 for the entire 13. I was thinking something like 8:30 at the beginning and then 8:15s. I took in a gel every three miles. PS, Hammer’s peanut butter gels are awesome!! So here is how things went:

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As you might imagine, I am quite surprised at my pace. Okay, freaking astonished is more like it. The pace I ran today was actually faster than some of the running I did during sprints and olympics last year. And except for the last mile, I wasn’t dying at any time. One factor could be the fact that my IF for the ride was only .79. I am planning on something like .83-.85.  And the ride was probably about 15 minutes short. Still, I came into today pretty tired.

I am not going to give myself the luxury of saying “well I’ve been training harder so of course the running is easier.”  Rather, I have been methodically going through the last 48 hours to see if there could be anything else I did that left me feeling good today. The only thing I could identify as being different from my normal routine is that I ate a bunch of eggplant over the past two days. Eggplant with spaghetti to be exact. I also did have some frozen yogurt that was absolutely destroyed with crushed oreo’s last night, but I can’t imagine that did anything good for me.   I don’t know if the most phallic vegetable out there has anything to do with my performance, but it sure is yummy and I had a good day…so pass the eggplant parmesan!

In the meantime, I finally have a week of “recovery.” Which means travelling for four days before hopefully doing a fun sprint in Missoula. The Grizzly is always a blast…I just hope the weather is better than last year. For now, the sun is shining, and it is almost time to start my first outdoor ride of the season!

OUCH

Espresso and frozen yogurt. Must be race training season.

Espresso and frozen yogurt. Must be race training season.

Today has been one of those days that calls for a cold IPA. And it’s only 1:00 PM. Once again, I write a blog post on the verge of slipping into dreamland, so this is going to be short. Really…I mean it this time!

Life outside the world of triathlon has been relatively forgiving this week. Thanks to a great staff at work, I have been able to keep my head above water in the clinic.

In regards to training, my head is about three feet under the surface; literally at some times. First up, I have been racking up the swim effort and yards. I got in one of my fastest 1000y TT’s this week; I came in at roughly 15:39. It is looking like I will be at my usual swim level by the time of the Grizzly Triathlon on April 19. I am somewhat excited to see how much faster I can get if I actually swam consistently, you know…like a real swimmer.

Run has been going well. I did the usual mix of threshold and tempo. I got my hill workout in again, as well as some V02. On Thursday morning, I did my first outdoor long run sine the Seattle Marathon. Coming off sore legs (see below), I started the run hurting worse than James Franco’s twitter feed. I considered bailing, but I figured that the pain I was feeling was perfect training for the Ironman run. I kept at it, and sure enough, things sped up. I always negative split my long runs in an attempt to simulate the pain at the end of a long triathlon. Here is how it panned out:

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Not too shabby, especially for a run illuminated primarily by a headlamp and dotted with puddles that could have counted as the swim leg of a sprint.

And for the riding. Well, let me take a sip of my homebrewed Pliny the Elder clone first. Ok. This week’s cycling was a test of my legs and eyes. Trainer Road is certainly kicking my ass, but I am happy to say that I survived yet another week of their half-ironman plan. Total riding for this week was 8 hours. There was some V02.

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Some FTP work.

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And then the week culminated in two three hour rides back to back. I had the luxury of doing my Saturday ride in the afternoon that day. Unfortunately, that meant I had to start the second three hour ride less than 12 hours later. Let’s just say that I was not a very happy camper when I hopped on the bike at 0500 this AM, having only squeezed in four hours of sleep. With this situation, I gave myself the luxury of dialing the intensity down to 95%.

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To top things off, my lucky streak on Amazon Prime has apparently ended. This week, I ended up watching some movies that seemed better suited for the MST3K Satellite of Love rather than the silver screen. Ender’s Game couldn’t have ended soon enough. I didn’t even make it through Riddick. I almost committed seppuku on my bike while watching 47 Ronin. It wasn’t all bad; I got to enjoy Spaceballs for free at least.

Fortunately this next week is looking lighter. Time for a run and swim week it seems. For now, all I want to train on is my couch.

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