I would like to say that the two weeks after the Tour of Sufferlandria have been relaxing. I also would like a 1964 Aston Martin but that’s not happening either.
Lets start with last week. Right after finishing the tour, and I mean literally two hours after, I hopped a plane to Seattle for another two days of hellish grad school. I am nearing the end of my masters of public health program, and this has made the last few days of actual class time a nightmare. Fortunately, being in the big city did let me get a chance to grab a deep tissue sports massage. Or in other words, I paid a lot of money to have a girl break my back with her elbows. OW.
Ironically, as soon as I got back, a near public health disaster broke out in my house. It all started with my son greeting me with a whisper the morning of my return. If you have ever met my oldest son, you know him whispering is as normal as a delivering a wedding cake on a bicycle (sorry, wife’s been watching TLC). Turns out, little dude lost his voice completely. Soon enough, my small home of 4 children and 1 doctor began to come down with some virus one by one. Sleep, which was already tough with my three month old, dwindled into a distant memory with all the coughing and hacking.
Despite this, I kept trying to get some “recovery” training in. Because I have my head up my ass like an Adamo saddle covered in KY-Jelly, this included another round of HHNF. The numbers show it: I need to recover better. On top of this, I started fooling around with my new running plan. I’m getting some much needed help from a immensely experienced running coach/colleague, and my early experiences have told me at least one thing: this guy is going to make me suffer.
Before this month, my running has been pretty even paced between 7:30-8:30min/mi for about 20 miles a week. I have done a few tempo runs and even a 5k test that put my vdot at 46. Running got put on hold while the Tour was going on, but now I am trying to run about 4 days a week. To give you an idea what I’m starting with, yesterday was 30 1min-30s intervals at 6:40 pace with 1-1.5 min recoveries. Total workout came out to nine miles at 7:52 pace. Good stuff.
Of course, it would have been even better stuff if the coup de grace of health events didn’t occur. This Saturday, right after an evening out, my wife came down with the flu. Big time. She never gets sick, and this one really took her down. This left me with all of the kids and the house to care for over the past few days. Needless to say, training was the last oon my agenda. There was literally a moment when I was standing in a pile of laundry, covered in vomit from my newborn, and looking at my screaming potty training daughter in the bathroom while my wife was trying to hack up a lung.
Despite how horrible it was, it has been an enlightening three days. I have always known my wife to be the most supportive and unselfish person in my life and career, both in medicine and triathlon. However, I don’t think I ever truly got it until the moment described above. I am still amazed at how she does it, and I am truly lucky to have her by my side.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the adventure is going to stop soon. I am sitting on my couch with a raging headache and chills from what is hopefully only a cold but probably the flu. Time will tell. I haven’t been in the pool for a week, which is nerve wracking for me and alleviating for everyone else at The Summit. I am really going to have to get chlorinated in order to be ready for April.
Whats going in April? Well, lets get down to that for the last part. I have finalized up my racing schedule this year and it looks like I will be doing about 4 triathlons only. I have the Grizzly Triathlon in April. For the first time in four years, I remembered to sign up for the Missoula Peak Triathlon in May. I’ll be doing the Spring Meadow Triathlon in early July. Fortunately, the former Summer Solstice Triathlon, put on by my work, is now moved to the end of July, so I will be taking that down as well. I can’t return unfortunately to Polson Triathlon this year as I will be heading out to the east coast for a family birthday, but maybe I can sneak in the Whitefish Triathlon. I have a half marathon which I am not training for in about two weeks. I just need to go out and run with some people. All in all, a lighter year than I would like but that’s okay. I’ll be returning to the Ironman plan in 2014.
Okay, I am going to go enjoy some Advil PM induced slumber. Oh, one last thing. I just received my latest info from Trisports, and the IRONVAN discount code has increased to 15%. That’s right, just enter IRONVAN as a coupon code anytime to get 15% off. CHA CHING!
It has sort of dawned on me that lately, with all of life’s toils, this triathlon training blog has not had much actual training stuff on it. Tis the life of an age grouper. But alas, there is a lull in the storm, so time for an update.
Since Alcatraz, it has been a little difficult maintaining training concentration. Right after the race, I was off to Seattle for a week of grad school. I got some great running during that time, especially some nice uphill repeats at Volunteer Park in Capital Hill. I managed to emerge with all my belongings to boot.
More surprisingly, I was able to meet up with my Seattle peeps for a great open water swim in mid Seattle at Greene Lake. I’m not really sure what we swam in was clean, or even really “water”, but I only had a rash over half of my body afterwards, so I call it a successful venture.
Right after grad school, I was back in the saddle for The Summer Solstice Triathlon, and that went pretty well for a week of a no riding.
Since then, my time has pretty much been spent unburying myself from my desk and taking care of patients that missed me when I was gone. My desk is more of a fire hazard than Michael Jackson’s hair in a Pepsi commercial.
Despite the ever present onslaught, I have been able to get a few good sessions in. Running has been limited mainly to sub six mile sessions. However, they have all been pretty hard. I am typically throwing out some 3-6 millers at around 7:15-8:15 pace straight through. In addition, I have been doing ¼ to ½ mile intervals at around 6:30 with 1 minute recoveries. I think I have lost a little since this winter; I really miss the blistering “fast fives” sessions I was doing. I will try to add a few of those in after this weekend’s race.
Cycling has been barely there and it’s showing. My bike took nearly two weeks to get back to me from San Fran, so that delayed my power metered rides. I compensated by doing The Sufferfest Revolver. I hadn’t picked up the gun in a long time and let me tell you…that REALLY hurt. After my bike arrived back, I started racking up some Trainer Road sessions.
I know what you’re thinking….dude must be allergic to sunlight. I barely have time to get all my training in, and the indoor sessions are the most efficient use of my time. As long as I am comfortable enough on the road when I race, I am happy with this plan. Anyway, overall my FTP may have dropped some with the lack of a bike. Today, I finally was able to hit the numbers good, even though it was a little lower of a TSS and NP than normal.
The swim has been…interesting. I’ve been in the pool three times each week for the past 2 weeks, averaging about 6000y each week. Yeah, I know that volume is like saying a serial marathon runner walking around a block for the week’s training. But frankly, I am happy to be swimming at all. The pool has been a source of frustration all year; some days I’m silky smooth. Some days I am like an upside down, over fed goldfish. I am taking this to mean that I need to hit the pool more seriously if I want to make any gains. So, I am slowly ramping the volume and intensity up.
Health wise, I am feeling pretty good. Knock on wood, I haven’t had a cold or other infection in a while. I have admittedly had way too many hamburgers since Alcatraz; I think there is a plaque bearing my name over a table at 8oz Burger Bar in Seattle. Needless to say, the scale is showing some unfamiliar numbers. So, I am back on the diet plan….which means a lot of veggies and fish for me.
How my training is going will be put to the test this weekend. I am heading down to Helena for the Spring Meadow Olympic Triathlon. I did this back in 2010 and had a great time. I also recently scouted the course again, and that went pretty well. Looks like it will also be a good crowd to test myself against too. Thankfully, the aforementioned Corral Fire outside of Helena is contained; for a while there I thought I was going to be doing a Tough Mudder type of race.
Alright, my wife says enough. Time to chill out, pull up the compression socks, grab a beer and chill…..with a health economics text book.