I think this has been the longest hiatus my blog has had. The reason for this is that I have not had a reliable computer for typing at home, but now I am plinking away on my new Yoga 2 with much pleasure. Let the blogging recommence!
Fortunately, my training has been the polar opposite of my blogging. I can’t possibly recount the past month in detail, so I’ll just stick to the highlights. First, I finally finished up the sweet spot base training program from Trainer Road last weekend. That 12 weeks of base has left me feeling better than ever on the bike, which is good because I just started up the half ironman Trainer Road plan. Let’s just say the mascot for training this week is Christian Slater:
I was riding about 3.5 hours total last week, and like my credit card APR, I have tripled that this week. Despite the sore groin, I am loving the longer rides. Today was a 2.5 hour adventure of caffeine starting at 4:45 am. Tomorrow, it’s another similar ride for three hours. And yeah, I am still rocking the Amazon Instant Video like there is no tomorrow. One surprisingly entertaining movie was Escape Plan. The Arnold + Sly combo is like Vodka + Olives: old fashioned and guaranteed to leave your head aching.
Running is coming along as well. I’m averaging about 30 miles a week at this point and progress is being made. I did a repeat 5k treadmill by again converting a treadmill at work into an homage to sticky notes. It was painful, but I was able to bump my vdot up back to 44 from 41. My new paces are already feeling good so I eager for my next test. I still haven’t passed my “fastest” running yet, but I am getting a sense of improvement that I haven’t had before.
I’m putting out at least one 13 miler a week. For this week’s long run I decided try a negative split on the treadmill. I started out with 6 miles at my goal race pace (8:30) and then pumped up the speed until I finished 14 at my threshold pace (7:30). Despite doing this on a hotel treadmill that looked more like a Wii fitness accessory than something I wanted to pound on, it felt great. In addition to the long run, I get one session of 400s at VO2, a session of tempo for 30 minutes, and some threshold repeats.
One workout I have been loving is a treadmill hill repeat I randomly made up. Each interval starts with half a mile at threshold pace with a 2% grade. Then I dial it down to 7 mph but increase the grade to 5% for one minute. Then the grade goes to 6-7% for another minute to simulate the pain on the top of a hill. Finally, I keep the speed and set the grade to zero (or even -2% if the treadmill can do it) for one minute. Then the interval restarts. I hope this gives me a little more speed when I tackle the hills this year. In any case, it’s a fun challenge and a great way to pass the time……that is until I end up falling off the mill someday.
Finally, swimming is perking up. Still slow, but not as slow. Getting out only about 7000y a week, but I am about to pump that up as well. My 1000y time trials are already at last year’s pace, so hopefully I’ll see some improvement with a big swim month.
Now for the new shiny! I did indeed get some new kicks, and I am loving them!
My first ride in them was something like getting a pedicure from Freddy Kruger, but they quickly broke in. The only thing I have noticed is that those fancy carbon soles with the anti-slip pad do squeak something fierce when I pedal. So, while I may sound like a Petsmart coming down the road, at least my feet will look pretty fancy!
The other exciting change in the air is, well, the change in the air. The other day ago, I saw this strange glowing orb in the sky. After a few minutes on Wikipedia, I realized that it was the sun. Indeed, like a Black Sea peninsula, winter is slowly being taken over by spring. Check out the glorious scenery along the Missouri River I enjoyed on Wed this week:
Of course, the Montana spring is one of contrasts. Here is the scenery from Thursday as I drove….no survived is a better word, McDonald Pass on the continental divide outside of Helena, MT.
But I have about four more weeks before my first sprint, so the weather will certainly be better by then. Oh wait…….