Monday, April 21, 2008

Swim. Bike. Run. Also - Race Week: J-Hawk Early Bird Triathlon

What a weekend. Finally, springtime broke through free and clear. Saturday was a pleasant lower 60's with hardly any wind and a mix of clouds and sun, and Sunday was a bonafide summer day, with highs in the low 70's and an 8-10mph breeze out of the north. I even did some work in the yard and got a bit sunburned.

But I digress. Let's discuss the weekend's activities:

Friday I headed to the pool - which meant I got 2 swims in last week (Monday and Friday), which I'm happy about. I started out my workout with an all-out 100 yard sprint, to get some sense of my speed after the handful of serious swim workouts I've mustered in the last few weeks. Interestingly, I swam that 100 in 1:18. This would be a personal record (but I don't count P.R.'s in training, so let's just say "it's as fast as I've ever swam. Swum? Swimmed? Whatever.) which was totally unexpected. That's the good news. Then I did 5 sets of 200 yards, alternating 50 hard, 50 easy. When I was all finished up, I swam that 100 sprint again. 1:34. That's a drop of 16 seconds. Sheesh. Clearly my endurance in the water is, at present, for shit.

A few things are bothering me about how difficult it is for me to get to the pool (though sidenote: the reason being is that I'm daddy-daycare full time...and also enterprising business owner fulltime...and - in that order - both of those things are without a doubt more satisfying than any time I'd be spending in the water) - one is, my upper body muscle tone (and strength) is really behind schedule. Two is, it's hard for me to get consistent improvement in the water on only 2 swims a week. And three is, I have a hard time getting any brick workouts in at all. Anyway, like I've said - I may just take what I can get in the water this year.

Saturday I headed out for a 13.1 mile run - the farthest yet of training, and in fact really the only time I'll run the distance before May 25th's Half Marathon race, where I'm really hoping to P.R. The plan Saturday was to run 3 miles easy, with a heart rate below zone 3, then 7 at race pace (about 8:30), then 3 miles easy. The last 3 miles were actually not easy, as my running route had at least one serious hill, and a gradually uphill 1.5 mile stretch, all crammed into those last 3 miles that kicked my ass.

Anyway, I finished the run with a 9:01 pace overall, which would be respectable for race day (and barely a P.R., though I'm hoping to go faster), and my 7 mile race-pace chunk was at 8:34, which is perfect. Still, I really faded those last 3 miles on those hills - which kind of tells me that's a really good training mechanism - hard work when already fatigued. My P.R. at the half marathon is 1:58:14 - a 9:02 pace. I'd like to run the race at an 8:45 pace or better. I *think* I have the training to make it happen. We'll see.

I spent some time on Saturday afternoon, then, on the machine - finally getting the stickers off, and getting my computers mounted. I also got my iBike power meter out of hibernation - I used this a bit the summer of '06, but not at all last year. iBike is a power meter - like a Powertap or SRM, but it uses different physics to get consistent results. (Here's a post I wrote about it in '06 if you're interested). Anyway, I had kind of sketchy experience with it then, but after getting everything back in order with it, it was ready to go for Sunday's ride.

Sunday, then, was a ride on the Ironman loop - just over 42 miles. As I was getting the machine ready, the guys next to me were chatting - turns out one of them works for Trek. I thanked him for the bike. Pretty cool that I live in a place where the bikes are built, and can bump into people like that once in awhile.

Anyway, it was a great ride. There was a headwind from the north that was just strong enough to be annoying for several stretches of the ride, but the sun was out and it just felt great to be out. It's also the first time since Ironman that I've been to all the major landmarks, and it's funny the things that suddenly come back - my Team at the edge of the roundabout in Mt. Horeb, CznE screaming for me just outside of Verona, the wind and rain in Cross Plains. I finished with a 17.5mph average, which is about 1mph faster than I usually rode it in '06. My average watts was 202.9 which, I have to go back and check, but I think was stronger than '06 as well.

And, it's race week! Woot! My first race of the year, consisting of a 500 yard swim, 13.7 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. I don't have any big goals for the race, except to get some good baseline metrics for heart rate and power training, as I'll be pushing my max all the time. I hope to get out of the water sometime around 9 or 9.5 minutes, and just do the rest fast and strong. I don't know what to expect from the race at all (anybody done this one?), so whether it's a fast course or slow course or what, I don't know. Just looking forward to getting out there again, doing my thing, playing the game.

So. That's what's new with me. What's new with you?


RunBubbaRun said...

Good luck this weekend at the race.

Great job on the workouts and getting some miles in also.

Steph Bachman said...

Good luck this weekend! It's our first race of the year too. : )

Triteacher said...

Those are some fast swim times, X-man. Have a ball at the race. I'll be sending good vibes your way.