Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week Four: Light at the end of the tunnel

I know I'm two days late on my "Countdown to IMAZ" post but it rained this weekend so I did my long ride yesterday. It went well in some ways, not so well in others.

My schedule continues to be very messed up. Doing a core/kettlebell workout on Monday nights, which use to be my rest day, doesn't help. This week, I also had a bariatric support group meeting on the day I normally swim. Though this happens every month, I still haven't worked out a good plan for how to deal with it. This week I went to the Masters class at my gym, only to find that it doesn't seem to actually be happening any more. I swam anyway, concentrating on my catch and doing some speed work, but I prefer to have someone telling me what drills to do as otherwise I tend to just swim straight distances and don't mix it up enough.

In between I found out my uterus is fine. Well, we expected that. But we didn't expect I'd find out in time to get the IUD this month. I was excited because I thought I'd have to wait until Dec. But then I decided maybe I should have waited, because that little bit of silicone? Made my uterus very, very angr for a while!

Wednesday was more core work. Thurs. I had PT so I decided not to workout that evening and let everything calm down. Even though I'm trying to only have one rest day a week because I feel like I'm not pushing it on the other days, I continue to find myself needing two rest days.

Friday I was starting to feel guilty that I wasn't doing much so I went for a run. I had gotten into my head that I would be able to run for an hour. I'm not sure where that idea came from. I was able to run for 50 minutes but then I was done. Toast. No more running no matter how much walking I did. I had forgotten that this happens to me if I push it too hard.

It was a good lesson, if frustrating, because it will keep me from doing something stupid during the race like not taking walk breaks. Well, at least I hope it will keep me from doing something stupid! I also have to say that I never thought I'd be able to run more than a few minutes at a time during the race and I'm hopeful now that I'll be able to run the course and walk the aide stations, which are approximately every mile or so.

In the meantime, I was well and truly pissed at myself for pushing it like that. I definitely aggravated my calf. I just crossed my fingers that it wasn't big damage, iced like crazy, and hoped I would recovery quickly.

Saturday continued my messed up schedule by swimming instead of biking. A bunch of us went to Del Valle. The swim out to the turn around was fine. I had people around me most of the way and the chop wasn't too bad.

But as soon as I turned around. Wham! I got smacked in the face by a wave. Twice. The current was really strong too. It kept pulling me to the left and the chop kept smacking me in the face. It's like the water was angry at me and fighting to keep me from getting back to the boat dock. I was not happy as I wanted to do a swim that would give me an idea of whether I'm pulling stronger with the catch. That was not this swim! This swim was more about not dying.

Sunday I wasn't sure what to do. It was gloomy, which always makes me want to sleep. Plus I knew I was going to bike on Monday and I didn't want to run after Friday. I made myself go water running instead. I could only get in 1:15 before I had to go be a mom, but it felt good to get out there. I felt strong. I could feel the calf though, which was troublesome.

Monday was the bike ride. I was a bit nervous to tell my boss that I was taking off work to go biking. I contemplated calling in sick or saying I had "personal business" but finally I decided to just be honest about it.

The ride started out great. The weather was perfect. There were a lot of pine needles in the bike lanes and some downed tree branches because of all the rain, but it was manageable. It was a bit windy, but that's good. I want to be prepared for some wind on the course.

I brought along some Powerbar Ironman Perform to try out. I don't really want to make big changes in my nutrition plan this close to the race, but this is the stuff that is being offered up on the course so I wanted to be sure it wouldn't give me gastric distress on the run. I wasn't quite sure how to test that with a bike ride, but I figured it was on the bike that I was most likely to ingest it and then on the run after that it would be most likely to trip me up.

I was able to get about 6 oz. into me along with some Amino Vitale and my normal bites and gels. Then, the trouble started. I had horrible gas and cramps and I knew I had to stop. We got only to Roberts Market at the corner of Alpine and Portola Valley, which is not very far.

After I felt better and thought the worst was over. I stopped drinking the Ironman Perform and we continued on our ride. But I didn't even get back to the car before I was in trouble again. I actually had to turn around to go back to Andronico's Market because I knew I wouldn't make it to the next stop. Here, my distress turned a bit violent and I had the smart idea to buy some Immodium. I had planned to take some at the car (I think I had one left from my emergency stock), but I knew I wouldn't make it and also that I might need more than one pill.

Luckily, that stopped everything dead in its tracks. By the time we got back to the car, I felt pretty good. But we'd wasted enough time that we didn't have time for the full second loop we had planned. We just did an out and back on Foothill until it ends at Apline. No distress this time either and we got back before it got too dark.

The total was 52.98 miles and I felt both good and thrashed. I am happy because my calf held out and feels pretty good today and also because, since I did end my ride with dead legs, I know I'll gain some fitness from the workout.

I also think it's looking good to do the IMAZ bike course in seven hours, maybe even less. We didn't manage that pace here but there were a LOT of traffic lights and a lot of them were red, too. In general, I find these long rides are averaging 13+ mph moving pace and that this is translating into a 16-17 mph race pace. So that's good because that's what it's going to take to finish my bike in the time I want to.

I finished off the day with a Kettlebell workout at Al's House of Pain (aka Integrate Performance Fitness) and consider it a pretty productive week all around, especially given how it started and my run set-back.

This week I have starting ART to look forward to as well as a run clinic to attend. The big challenge is going to be how to fit in more biking when it's supposed to rain Thursday - Sunday. At least I can swim in the rain. Though I don't think I'll be back to Del Valle this year -- all that chop was not getting me closer to my goals. I think it's time to go back to what my friends call "Andrea's private swimming pool," sometimes referred to (by me) as The Bathtub, but officially Redwood Shores Lagoon. It may be too tame for me during the summer but it's just right this time of year.

I'm just crossing my fingers that it doesn't get so cold and rainy that I can't get in the rest of my key workouts before I leave for Arizona.
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