I don't normally post about individual workouts, or even back to back days, but today I felt like it was warranted.
I came off of Saturday's disappointing season-opener with a Sunday long run down at Pike's Peek, where everyone ran incredibly fast. I got in what I felt like was 12.5 for sure, maybe 13, but it was mostly pretty slow. It was real windy, and pretty cold, and following the early (for me) weekend mornings, I opted out of a Sunday ride. My stuff was still soaking wet from Saturday, and since I need to pick up a new pair of cycling shoes, I would have had to wear my tri shoes, which were real wet. I was glad to take the remainder of the day off. My foot was really bothering me.
Monday came and the weather was pretty nice, so Ed and I ran down to FHR (3ish miles). The run there is 6, and I was content with making that it - but that was counting on having a ride home. No such luck. Real small group, so I had to just suck it up and run home. This run was incredibly slow, and by the time I got home, my foot was in bad shape. Consecutive 12+ mile days plus the "race" on Saturday had me a little beat up.
My initial plan for Tuesday was to just get in the pool, but when I didn't, I figured I would just do an easy run up at the track. After taking an Aleve on Monday night (for those who don't know, I hate taking pain relievers. I still have basically all my oxy's from surgery - well, until I disposed of them), my foot felt good enough to make it through the workout. The workout was going to be 1600-1400-1200-1000-800 with 200m rolling jog (<90sec). My intention was to run around 85sec to start and work down to 81 by the end. With a smaller, evenly matched group of me, Brennan, Berardi and Elijah, and Pat slightly off the front, we came through the 1600 in 5:31. The effort wasn't too challenging, but my legs were not feeling too fresh. Since it was a little quicker than I was looking to run, I now had to make sure I didn't go any slower.
The 1400 was the same pace as the 1600, but before the 1200 my stomach was not great, so I ran inside to hit the bathroom real quick. I caught back on with them after 600m, and they were moving much quicker - 80sec pace now. So I ran the 600 in 2:01, and then was back on track with them. We ran a strong 1000 at 3:20, and then I was a little tired and fell off pace in the last 200 of the 800, running 2:42. I then ran another 600 to make up the distance, and ran 2:00. All in all, a pretty decent workout for me, as it's the longest one I've done this year and I am getting back to where I was towards the end of last season.
A good track workout, a bad Chipotle experience. Barely made it home before blowing up. Felt real bad all night.
Woke up today and felt a little better, and today was trying a new thing in the pool - The Band. This is courtesy of Alyssa, via her coach Hilary Biscay. I've seen people use this over my years in the pool, never understanding it. I try to avoid too many pool toys, usually opting for some pull work, not to exceed a third of my total swim volume for the day. But, in a few short weeks of swimming, Alyssa made some no joke improvements, and it's puzzled myself and Pat. It could be the fact that she's actually swimming for once, or just her overall gains in fitness and speed have translated to the pool. Either way, I'm getting frustrated with my own swimming, which has apparently hit the wall. So when that happens, it's time to change up the stash. Today marked day one of my swimming with the band. And, almost unbelievably, I saw improvements.
Now, because I am chronic disbeliever, I could chalk it up to the fact that I shaved my legs on Friday for the first time since January I think. Maybe since I haven't swam since Saturday I just felt good today (although every other time I've been out of the pool for 3+ days this year that hasn't been the case). But those things probably wouldn't amount to much time, and I was swimming considerably faster than I've been swimming. Note: this is still not very fast, but improvement is improvement. So it was a good 3500m in the pool, back to maybe where I was swimming last fall. It is just one workout, so only time will tell what the band's real impact will be.
Tonight I headed up to Oregon Ridge for the Wednesday Night Ride. I went two weeks ago and got shelled after about 25 minutes. My goal this week was to make it to at least York Road with the front guys. I met OJ at his crib and we rode the 20 minutes over. I felt like I had decent legs today, so I'd try and give it a go. There was a sizeable group (85 degrees, no duh), and the first couple miles there was a strong accordion effect going on. A lot of yo-yoing. After we got onto Falls Road, the pace ramped up, and once on Stringtown, it got real strung out. I was sitting in the back, and decided in order to not get dropped when we turn onto Yeoho, I moved up to the middle of the group (now down to maybe 12), and sat next to OJ. When we turned onto Yeoho, I was up in the front and all of a sudden found myself on the front of the group. Next thing I know, me and this other guy have a gap. Wasn't sure what was going on, but I knew there was a sprint point fairly soon, so I imagined everyone else was prepping for that. This one guy bridged up to us, and then he and the other guy rolled - I got left in the middle. I figured I would wait up for the others but to my dismay they blew right through me. Yikes.
As I was now 9th on the road, I was just trying to keep pace. When we made it to York, two of the guys in front of me popped and now I was 7th on the road, behind the front group of 3 (way up) and Gruppo OJ, consisting of Juice and two others, were a little up the road. I could see them, but I was never going to catch them. I turned the gas off a little, at the same time the roads came around into the wind. Tough ride home in a solo effort, but I rode pretty well today and I was pleased. The way home we had a tailwind, which was sweet, until we turned up the steep hill back to OJ's and, in the small chain ring, my gears were jumping all around and then the chain dropped. Thought I was going to go straight into traffic, but finally got it back onto the big ring and had to suffer up the hill in a big gear. Piece of shit bike, I don't know how much more it has in it, but I don't have the resources to get a new road bike right now.
Man, that was more words about my last swim/bike/run, and more positivity, than my race report. Obviously training is not racing, but it helped put me back in better spirits following the weekend, and confirmed to myself at least that it was just a bad day.