Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hot and Dangerous

Following the Sheehan race, I did take it pretty easy.  I felt like getting in a longer run on Monday, so I ran down and back to our Monday Fed Hill Runners group, making it a 14 mile day.  After that I proceeded not to run again until Friday, when I met Brennan in the morning for a 12 mile run, during which I lost about 10 pounds.  I weighed in at 158 post-run, which is really, really light.  It hasn't even been that hot this past week, mostly just humid, which is really disconcerting. 

Swimming went fairly well, with Tuesday doing 30x100 and going straight into 400-300-200-100.  Knocking out 4000m in 1:04 is always a good sign, and on Wednesday I did another 4x800 workout.  Thursday got into the pool with Alyssa and we did her workout of 10x200, which was tough, and by Friday I was pretty cooked.  Got in for a 75 minutes and kept it all pretty easy.  For the week, that made 17,5000m.  Following the previous week's 16k, I was pretty pleased to get the swim volume back up.

The bike last week was tough.  I made it up to Wednesday Night Ride, and again found myself riding on or very close to the front for a good portion of the first half.  Fortunately, the pace was kept pretty chill on Stringtown, so I got to the front and began to pick it up on Yeoho.  There were just too many people left at this point and I was tired of the free ride service they were getting.  Seriously, it's like they're afraid to ride on the front.  For instance: there were two dudes wearing the same team jersey and we'll say Rider A is on the front with Rider B in 2nd, me in third.  A pulls off and B, instead of sitting on the front for even ten seconds, immediately pulls off.  I move to the front.  When I feel like being done, I pull off to the left, but instead of pulling through, the rider behind me just finds my wheel again.  A couple of times, the person in front of me would allow a gap to form, and then I would have to leapfrog them to close the gap, so instead of getting a little break, would find myself on the front again pretty quickly.  Needless to say, when we were about 4 miles out from the end, I had had enough.  I sat up, and rolled into the finish. 

Thursday came and I hadn't been to the Thursday Night Ride in a while, but this meant two things: I would potentially have to ride harder than I really felt like riding, and I had to drive again to get to the ride.  I drove up to the running store and left from there, riding the 25 minutes to the bike shop.  The group was small, and the power hitters weren't there.  I was glad to see that; although it meant I would spend a lot more time on the front, it also meant I'd have a little more control of the effort.  Sure enough, I was able to keep things comfortably hard, putting in a few hard sections.  The ride wound up being just over 50 miles so I was psyched to knock out the back to back days like that.

Saturday, following the timing of Dreaded Druid Hills 10k, Pat, Alyssa and I rolled out around 11:15 for a 4.5 hour ride.  The air temp was allegedly 87, but it felt much cooler.  It was mostly overcast, and threatened rain for a large part of the day.  We made good time to Rocks, putting in a monster effort for about 5 miles through the park and up to the gas station.  Stopped there briefly to refuel, and then got on our way.  A few miles later, after riding on a particularly shitty section of the road, I looked down and noticed my rear tire looked a little soft.  Got off and it was going flat.  I can't remember the last time I got a flat on a ride, it may be over 2 years ago.  Anyway, fix that in a few minutes, but the CO2 didn't really catch well and my tire felt just as flat as it was before.  Well, no bother, I'll just keep going.  We continue to roll and put in another few good sections, and finally make it home a little after 4, good for nearly 80 miles.  I go to put air in my tire and it was at 20psi.  Haha.  Nice.

Off the bike I went for a 5 mile run, which felt awesome.  After how much Friday's run leveled me, I was glad to see I had come back alright for Saturday.  Went out Saturday night for the first time in a real long time, making it out until about 1am.  This meant Sunday was going to be rough.  4:45am wakeup, Pat swings by at 5, me/Pat/Alyssa head up to Philly to spectate the Philly Tri.  We get up there, find a place to park (that seems nowhere near the finish/transition) and start hoofing it.  We find ourselves atop Lemon Hill, which is where the course went, and not a minute later I hear the distinctive horn of a little motorbike, and what would you know - up the hill come the two leaders, Cam Dye and Andy Potts.  It was perfect timing, and a perfect spot to watch as it was a really tough climb.  We watched the pros come through, and then our friends, including Zero and Tommy, in the elite wave.  After their second loop, we walked toward the Art Museum along the water, and then down the other side, to catch the end of their run.  We walked all the way to the finish.  My dogs were killing me, and my knee was super tight.  I hate walking, and we had to have walked at least 6 miles by the end of the day because from the finish line we still had to walk back to the car, which was on the other side of the river. 

We drove home, all exhausted, and stopped in Newark DE for breakfast/lunch.  Got back to the homestead around 1:30 I guess, and was wiped.  After gorging at a bbq on Sunday evening, I finally went for a 4 mile run.  It was one of the slowest runs I've ever done, I just needed to get out and shake out. 

For the week, that made it 17.5k swimming, 171 miles on the bike and 35 miles of running - a pretty balanced week, and 19 hours.  I have to be a little careful though, because I've been having some left hamstring issues since Eagleman.  I started feeling it on the bike, and I figured it was due to the fact I didn't really put in any similar efforts on the TT bike for that length of time.  It hasn't hampered me during workouts, but has really become a problem when I'm sitting for a while or sleeping.  When I got back from my run last night (another down and back to FHR, so another 14 miles), it was not feeling great.  Today it feels a little worse.

So no track workout for me tonight, instead I'm going to attempt the first of the BRRC Summer Track Series tomorrow evening at Goucher.  Scheduled events include the 1500m, 800m and 2 mile, so my plan is to race the 1500, run the 8 hard, and then do more of a tempo effort in the 2 mile.  Good effort ahead of this weekend's Peachtree 10k in Atlanta.  Things I have to keep on top of now are, as usual, hydration and sodium intake.  I can see it in my face after these longer efforts, the dark, sunken eyes are a trademark characterisitc of depletion.  The temperatures honestly haven't been that bad lately, but the humidity has been quite high.

This past weekend was one of the few "off" weekends I was going to have this summer, and it wound up being super busy.  Now, I've got races each of the next 4 weekends, and traveling for 3 of them (ATL, 2 in NJ).  It will be a balancing act to ensure I can keep the volume up and still maintain the race efforts.

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