Monday, July 7, 2014

3 Weeks and Counting

It's hard to believe that race day is getting so close. It seems like just yesterday that HS and I were working through my self-assessment following Barb's Race 2013 and coming up with my 2014 race goals!!!

Racing/Training Self-Assessment
(we were riding in the car when I was writing this)
Friday – Independence Day

This was my last Spinervals – Muscular Endurance workout for a while…can’t say that I’m sad about that. This 2 hour and 25 minute trainer workout is physically and mentally challenging. This was the second time I did this workout with my new speed/cadence sensor and it was tough! The first two times I did this workout, I did it without any idea what my cadence was. Ignorance clearly is bliss because once I knew my cadence; I became aware that I was not spinning fast enough.

I got up at my regular 4am and was on the bike by 4:30am. I wanted to finish early because of the holiday. I ate a CIif bar during the warm up and had a 20oz bottle of FRS at my side for workout. The first part of the workout was fine, but I soon found myself losing interest in training.  With about 45 minute remaining, I wanted to stop…I had had enough…this is stupid! I did a quick attitude check and reminded myself that 45 minutes is nothing. I kept spinning, but had to fight off similar thoughts 20 minutes later.  Eventually I finished and was so glad I didn’t quit…that would have bugged me the rest of the day.

Saturday

Lindsey and Max came down on Friday to celebrate the 4th and to go for a ride on Saturday. They showed up with two helmets and only one bike…clearly, Lindsey intended to get some practice time on “Beauty” before the big day. After a brief discussion of where to ride, we settled on the Camanche loop so we could stop by Lockeford Sausage on the way home.

Lindsey on "Beauty" and Max on "Giant POS" (his name for it, not mine)

We were slow getting out the door and didn’t start our ride until about 11:30am as the temp neared 90 degrees. We made a quick pit stop at the bathrooms by the lake and then headed out. I promised the group that I wasn't going to take off and leave everyone. HS told me to do what I wanted and just to wait at the corners for them so they would know where to go. Honestly, I had no intention of going hard; my legs were pretty tired from Friday’s “ride”.

The ride started out OK…except I rode my brakes all the way down the first big descent.  I’m such a sissy L Then the climbing started. The last time I made this climb was back on March 8th when we rode to Valley Springs. Knowing how tired my legs were, I expected the climbing to hurt, but it was the opposite. It felt almost effortless and I just spun my way up the hills. This got me to thinking…

As soon as we got home, I checked my Garmin data for the date of the Valley Springs ride and then compared it to my weight spreadsheet (yes, I have been tracking these things). Based on the closest weigh date to that ride, I was at least…AT LEAST… 16 pounds heavier! OMG!!! That is a whole bicycle in weight! Amazing! It was all I needed to cement my resolve for the next three weeks. I want to have this feeling of lightness at Barb’s Race!

Sunday Funday

Sunday started with another sauna session. When HS and I arrived, the sauna was 180 degrees…clearly, no one had been in there for a while opening and closing the door. That changed about 10 minutes into it… a lady showed up, opened the door and then stood there with the door open, cool air pouring in as she surveyed the pool area. WTH??? Shut the door!!! Two more gentlemen arrived after her but did not make any kind of grand entrance that caused the temps to drop further.

The temp settled at about 170 degrees for the remainder of my session. I managed to stay in the sauna for 35 minutes this time. Note, I was using ice as I would in a race, a little bit down my top as well as holding a few cubes in my hand.

After church, HS and I had a “light” Mexican breakfast (I had 2 beef tacos) and then headed back to Stockton. I came home and changed into my running gear. The outside temperature was in the low 80’s but would be heating up as the afternoon wore on. My goal for my last long run was to run for 90 minutes. As I have noted many, many times in the last month or so, I have been struggling with my Achilles. My longest run since Avenue of the Vines was 70 minutes (for a total distance of a bit more than 7 miles).

My plan was to start out at a pace of 9:30 per mile for the first two miles and then pick up the pace to 9:20 for the next two, 9:15 after that and so on until I had reached 90 minutes. HS decided to resume sherpa duties as he has done in the past and carried my water and GU. My first two miles were faster than I wanted…this always seems to be the case and it is something I am going to have to watch at Barb’s Race. I cannot go out too fast (a mistake I made last year).

This run was just as much a physical workout as a mental one. I had to prove to myself that I was going to be able to make the distance at Barb’s.  Once I passed the 7 mile mark, my spirits lifted and the pain seemed to fade away. When I checked my Garmin, I saw that I was going to be close to 10 miles at the 90 minute mark. I informed HS that I would probably extend my run by a few minutes in order to reach that milestone.

As it turned out, my pace continued to drop and mile 10 was at an 8:12 pace. I finished the run in a time of 1:30:02 (90 minutes and 2 seconds) for a distance of 10.01. I was elated! If I can run smart at Barb’s I will be fine. Another note about this run is that the recorded temp by my Garmin was 82 degrees. This was 8 degrees cooler than last Sunday’s temp, but it seemed much more than that. Average summer temps in Santa Rosa/Windsor are 83. Based on how I felt in today’s temp, I don’t think the heat is going to hurt me as bad as last year.

Tri for Real #2

This race has had a question mark next to it for me. For one, I didn’t know how my Achilles were going to be feeling, and for two, last year’s race was a disaster due to an unfortunate visit from my favorite aunt! (If you want all the gory details, read my race report LOL). Thankfully, my legs are feeling much better and my aunt showed up early (now if she can just stay away until after Barb’s Race!).

Anyway, I am going to sign up this week. It will give me a chance to race in my new helmet and try out a few nutrition tweaks. HS has been tasked with head usher duties at church, so this will be one of my few races without him there L