It’s been one hell of a three weeks since I last posted. Work, grad school, research, and writing all came together recently in an explosive chain reaction fit for a Nevada desert. Finally, with soul and liver scathed but intact, I have finally emerged from the trials of survival tonight. I even got a chance to watch Life of Pi finally. I’ve been so out of the loop lately, I thought it was going to be about a stranded Indian mathematician.
I’ll be honest. With everyone going on, I have been still training well, but I can’t remember the details at this point. I’m still riding about three times a week. Still doing my same short hard tempo, long tempo, and long run with repeats routine. Still swimming my butt off.
While I feel somewhat stronger, I certainly feel more drained. But that’s part of the game. Number’s wise, it’s looking good. My 5K times are feeling better and staying roughly the same despite going in tired. I think I may have a 21:00 in me. Riding has been brutal and I’m not sure if I will be moving my watts on the next FTP. With a good month under me, I am swimming faster than ever. It’s been nice to make some progress there.
As for the diet, I have basically pulled a Paula Dean. I found out my new kid is allergic to dairy and peanuts. Not the typically Asian lactose intolerance; I’m talking full on reaction. So, our house has gone basically dairy and peanut free. Getting rid of the nuts wasn’t so bad. Heck, I did that once already. But eliminating dairy has been as easy as converting a Master’s swim workout back from binary. At least the one good thing out of this truly miserable experience (most of all for my kid) is that the pizza and cake and ice cream have taken a permanent hike. Thank God he wasn’t allergic to hops.
Fortunately, for the next few months, my non-triathlon workload should steadily descend from the Everest that was last week and I can hit the training harder after this relative recovery week. This is great timing actually as I have my first race coming up in April. Also, after only three years of broken promises, a couple of the local tri geeks and me were able to set up an ongoing Tuesday night track workout. Chasing after all those fast guys (which is pretty much everyone else) will certainly make my workouts much more productive.
Okay, time to catch up on some more movies!
It’s been one Helena of a week for me. I had two days’ worth of meetings in Helena to attend followed by a crazy “exciting” day in clinic today that involved a helicopter. To top that off, I have a raging cold right now that is probably secondary to a suspiciously smelly 45 dollar hotel room.
It hasn’t been all bad though. I had some free time while in Helena, and I used the opportunity to get in a good ride and run combo. First up, the ride. I am doing the Helena Spring Meadows Olympic Triathlon on July 1 this year, and I figured now was a good time to do a TT on the race course. I did this course two years ago in perfect, no wind weather in 1:11 ish. In contrast, when I hit the road Wed, it was blowing something fierce on the course. +25mph gusts easy and the headwind started from the get go. Here’s the data:
I love this course. It’s pretty much uphill until right around the turn around, but I’m into climbing these days. There are also plenty of cool small bumps that are fun to get out of the saddle on and surge over with momentum. With the wind, it was damn near brutal on the way out. After the flip, things weren’t quite good either because it was mostly a crosswind. But after you make it to the top of that second peak, it’s a screaming downhill to the transition. LOVE IT. Oddly enough, it seems that I am only ever going uphill or downhill when I’m in Helena.
I’m pretty happy to have ridden as fast as two years ago with the wind problems. I’m hoping to see some good numbers on race day.
On Thursday, the wind was replaced with drizzle. Fortunately, it was time to lace the shoes, and I was thankful for the extra cooling. For my trek, I chose the mostly gravel Grizzly Gulch Drive. I parked next to the Blackfoot River Brewery and headed up. I just love this elevation profile.
As painful as it was going up, it was hilariously fun going back down. I felt like I was flying by the time I made it back to the brewery.
As you might have guessed, I didn’t start my run at Blackfoot River Brewery by coincidence. After the eight miles I rested my legs and tummy with a nice IPA on their patio. Just a perfect experience. If you are ever in Helena, I highly recommend Blackfoot. All they do is serve beer, and it shows. You can only get a few and they don’t serve beer after eight (weird brewery law), but it is still worth the visit. The staff is super nice, the tap choices are great, and the atmosphere is perfect for sharing a good brew with some friends.
Tomorrow, I am racing, but in a different way. My daughter is doing her first 5k, and I’m joining her, cold or not. Pics to come!