Highway to Helena
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.