Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 22 (Week 25)

This is a big statement that I haven’t made in a while, but this week I executed all planned workouts—and felt great.

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Trying to be artsy in Central Park for work/‘Gram purposes. It didn’t work.

It finally feels like I’m on the post-bike crash upswing—woohoo!

General training notes: This is the first time in ages where I feel like I’m back across the disciplines. I feel smooth in the water. I feel strong in the saddle. (And I got a bike refit last Sunday, which means more watts! #letstalkwatts) And I feel—dare I say it?—smooth and strong on the run. Time to do work!

Since I’m always honest, I’ll note here I did not start the Stamford KIC It Triathlon.  I hoped to take on this Olympic-distance event as a pre-Nationals tune-up, but I pulled the plug. (Er, did not even plug in?  How does that work?) Although I lost some fitness with my bike crash, my swim and bike have come back relatively quickly, but my run has taken more time. No speedwork (and no bricks) in a month has given my body time to recover, but that is not the ideal way to train for a race that demands running off the bike. Basically, I made this decision in Placid and ran it by my coaching/advising board. Everyone was in agreement that not doing the race was the smart move. For what it’s worth, the swim was cancelled due to thunder/lightning, so it wouldn’t have functioned as an effective tune-up anyway.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Six easy humid miles outside with 5x200m strides, plus upper-body strength training and corework. Fueled with an afternoon cup of coffee, I attacked the masters workout, even though the pool was a complete zoo. (For the swimmers: there were eight people in each lane. Wowza!) In total, we logged 2,900m that consisted of shorter distances (50 and 100m) due to the zoo situation.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

When your coach says you made some “big-a** watts,” you know you crushed the workout. At first glance, the 5×4-min. block didn’t look too daunting, but the gearing progressions, cadence shifts, and power output targets made for a serious leg-buster.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Woof: Fifteen by one-minute efforts at VO2 max with one minute of recovery between. And then there was a “surprise” sixteenth one.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters; p.m. run

Solid 4,350m swim (my longest ever?) with lots of descending 200s, 100s, and 50s. I’m really happy with how I’m feeling in the water these days, and it’s always a good thing when the coach comments on how strong you’re swimming too. That afternoon, I hit Central Park for an easy eight miles. Woohoo for no humidity and no sunburn!

Saturday – p.m. bike

My plans to ride outside with one of my Tailwind buds fell through, and since it rained later in the day, I hopped on my indoor trainer for 70 minutes. Not as long as I would’ve liked, but the ride went by quickly because one of my friends called. That’s a great way to make sure you’re riding in endurance mode—staying in aero while having a phone conversation!

Sunday – a.m. run and strength training

Hands down, this is the best, most effortless run I’ve had post-bike crash. During those steady and blissful 45 minutes in my rain, my legs simply took over. I settled in to my target pace, it felt sustainable, and my legs turned over without a problem. Does this mean I’m officially back? I hope so!

Have you ever “DNS” (did not start) a race?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 15 (Week 24)

Oh, it was just another week …

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… that I got to hang out with RICH ROLL.

General training notes: Spending a long weekend training in Lake Placid helped me re-unlock my triathlon mojo, and I was pumped to get after it this week. Overall, my swim and bike are back, but it’s taking longer to “refind” my run fitness. Unsurprisingly, Coach Pat has been supportive and insightful, and we’ve decided to ease off the run intensity and slowly build it back up for a *fingers crossed* strong showing at Nationals in August.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Easy five miles with 10 strides, plus upper-body strength training and corework. I skipped the Bearcat masters workout because RICH ROLL was hosting a podcast/book launch event in Brooklyn.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Two, 10-minute blocks at my sweet spot wattage. My legs didn’t feel all that great, so I was relieved Coach Pat told me not to brick. (But then I got to run in Central Park with RICH ROLL that night so …)

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

VO2 max fun: 5×1-min. efforts; 3×5-min. efforts; and 1×5-min. efforts. To keep it interesting, there were some hills sprinkled in, which actually made it a bit easier to hit my numbers.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters; p.m. run

I’m back, Bearcats! Everything felt a-OK rib-wise, and it was awesome to log a longer, 3,700m swim. After work, I ran seven miles in Central Park with a colleague. We settled into a nice, easy pace, but I sort of dropped/lost him once we got to Harlem Hill. Whoops!

Saturday – a.m. bike

It wasn’t a long ride in Lake Placid, but it was still pretty close to paradise: wheels went up at 6:30 a.m. and 60 miles were logged.

Sunday – a.m. run

Steady 40 minutes with 10 strides.

Do you plan recovery weeks or are they spur-of-the-moment?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 8 (Week 23)

Lake Placid is paradise.

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And I’m missing it already.

General training notes: It’s no news I’ve been in a triathlon funk since my bike crash, and spending some quality time in Placid helped me refocus and reignite my training. I’m working on a Placid-specific post, but unsurprisingly, the swimming, biking, and running there was perfect. And I was there with a great group of people too, which made the weekend even more memorable.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Easy five miles with race-paced pick-ups, plus corework and upper body strength training. After work, I rode for an hour at Tailwind on the Ironman Mont Tremblant course because I like hills and pain.

Wednesday – a.m. run

Uneventful and steady 55-minute run outside

Thursday – a.m. long run; p.m. open-water swim IN LAKE PLACID

Eight-mile long run and 1.6-mile open water swim in MIRROR LAKE

Friday – a.m. brick (one loop of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course and one loop around Mirror Lake); p.m. open-water swim

The Placid bike course is incredibly gorgeous and humbling. I was perfectly content to spin out and chat with folks as I re-familiarized myself with the route. We ended up cutting out part of the entire 56-mile loop (local readers, we turned left in Wilmington instead of continuing straight), but still ended the outing with a solid 43.3 miles. I did a short two-mile run after. My legs weren’t too happy, but I was running around Mirror Lake, which made the discomfort totally worth it. Later that afternoon, I hit the water for 1.6 miles.

Saturday – a.m. bike; p.m. open-water swim

As the underachieving short-course triathlete at #WorkLiveTriCAMP, I did another 43.3 miles on the Ironman course while the crazy long-course folks did a full two loops. (However, I did pull my weight by going into town and getting pizza.) And I hit the water again that afternoon for 1.6 miles.

Sunday – a.m. bike

One final solo and blissful ride on the course. Even though I wasn’t biking with target speeds in mind, it was interesting to see how much time I shaved off during the weekend. Friday was more of a social ride, and during this outing I averaged 19 mph—and I was just cruising. Definitely makes me wonder what I could do if I were training for a 70.3 or full …

How do you reenergize your workouts when you’re in a funk?

Five Important Things I Learned From My Bike Crash

So, a little more than three weeks ago, I crashed my bike. My first one of the season and third one ever, this wipeout—in which I bombed down an unfamiliar hill, hit a pothole, and flipped over my handlebars—maintains my average of one accident per year. The lower the number, the better, obviously, but that’s an OK figure all things considered. If you ride, you will fall; it’s a question of “when,” not “if.” Anyway, this one was definitely the most serious: I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a mild concussion. As my first triathlon “injury” that sidelined me for a notable amount of time, I learned a lot from this experience.

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Pre-crash photo because people be creepin’. Please note my peeved expression due to the reroute. Also, RIP Smashfestqueen Ohana kit.  And red Rudy helmet.

My family, friends, and folks in my “triathlon arsenal” are irreplaceable.

Under normal circumstances, I shy away from attention; I keep a low profile, and although I do social/digital media for a living, I did not tweet or ‘gram from the hospital. In fact, aside from my parents and literally two other people, I did not tell anyone about my crash. My friend who came with me to the hospital asked if I wanted her to post on social media, and I said absolutely not. Even though it’s part of the sport, wiping out seems a bit embarrassing, and I didn’t want that kind of attention.

I hoped the crash would remain on the DL, but the news eventually broke. Although I was self-conscious retelling the story, I was extremely grateful for the calls, texts, emails, and messages from friends. This triathlon season has seen a lot of changes—and I’ve only raced once so far!—but times like these illustrate who truly cares. And I feel extremely blessed to have so many great people surrounding me.

Falling gracefully is an art.

Semi-joking, semi-serious. Thanks to my years playing softball and perfecting my sliding skills, I have no issue going down and accepting the fact that exterior damage will be done. (My softball sliding “raspberries” have faded, but aren’t forgotten!) And I suppose previous cycling wipeouts have conditioned me as well.

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PG photo of right hip road rash

Like softball, falling off your bike guarantees road rash, but you can prevent sprains and potential broken bones by keeping your hands off the ground. Again, I learned this lesson playing softball. It may seem counter-intuitive—you want to use your hands to break the fall—but simply getting your hands out of the way can help you shirk serious injuries.

Giving your body time to heal is important—and easier said than done.

After any accident, your body needs time to recover; and I was especially careful to ease back into training due to my mild concussion diagnosis. (The hospital doctors did not prohibit me from training; they just said to take it easy and be careful.) I took Monday completely off, and it was only after talking with coaches that I decided to spin easy Tuesday. And since I felt good during that workout, I did the same thing Wednesday—and tried to run afterward, which was too aggressive. Although I’m good at managing discomfort during workouts and races, the sensations I felt during that run were painful. My right hip ached; my upper back tightened up, and I couldn’t swing my right arm without shooting pain. Spoiler alert: I shut it down.

They didn’t administer x-rays at the hospital, but I’m fairly sure I bruised a rib. Again, I’m extremely lucky there wasn’t further damage, but the rib situation affected workouts. Even during easier sessions, breathing hurt, which caused me to dial back the effort. This was probably a blessing in disguise because I totally would’ve dove back into intense training a few days after the crash. Bottom line, there’s a fine line between discomfort and pain. And thanks to this crash, I’ve become even better at listening to my body (so cliché, I know) and discerning between the two. Overall, it took 2.5 weeks for the pain-to-discomfort transition, and by week three, there was little discomfort.

Focus on what you can do—not what you can’t.

After several failed attempts to swim and run, I felt upset, frustrated, and defeated: Why can’t I do this? Why is this happening to me now? How in the world will I be able to race again?

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I can ride indoors and take goofy #trainerselfies.

After getting these thoughts out of my system, I realized it’s useless to spend energy worrying. As much as I hated to admit it, I accepted the fact that I had little control over the healing process. It would happen in time. Instead, I focused on the controllables, or the things I could do. At first, it was biking, corework, and some strength training. Five days later, I was able to run. It was not smooth, it did not feel great, and it was definitely not fast. My average pace was about 45 seconds slower than normal, but it was my best. And any day you can run is a good day, a fact I appreciate even more now.

Keep the big picture in mind.

Needless to say, I’ve been an emotional, sometimes cranky and irritable roller coaster. Especially after my failed running attempts, my mood plummeted big time. This is justified to an extent, but I did my best to remember the long-term plan. I have a training camp in Lake Placid. I race at the end of the month, and it’s a tune-up. Most likely, I will not be fitter than I was for SoBe, and I’m OK with it. My “A” race isn’t until August. I will be fine.

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Bar fight or bike crash?

I firmly believe everything—in triathlon and life—happens for a reason, and it’s all about perspective. A few days after the crash, one of my work friends and I were chatting, and he raised some good points. (He’s a coach and elite runner so I trust him). Maybe this accident prevented me from peaking too early; maybe this accident helped me avoid a serious injury; maybe this accident happened to give my body some downtime. The reason isn’t totally clear now—and it may never be—and although it affected short-term plans, I trust the process.

After all, it’s going to take more than some road rash to keep me down.

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 1 (Week 22)

I’m coming baaaaack!

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“Metabolically efficient” triathlete birthday celebrations

It’s been three weeks since my bike crash, and I’m finally, finally started to feel normal. I’d ping myself around 80-85 percent.

General training notes: More gratitude and more progress. This week, I was able to do all three sports. The rib is the most noticeable during swimming, but otherwise, it seems to be totally fine for biking and only flares up during harder running efforts. My swim and bike conditioning seem to be a-OK, but I’m going to have to work a bit to “re-find” my run fitness.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Five easy miles in the morning and a 2,000m easy-ish swim with the Bearcats after work. I seeded myself a lane lower than normal, and although swimming itself didn’t feel great (the rib was noticeable, but not painful), I was able to hit the intervals without a problem.

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run outside)

My thoughts during this workout? I’m baaaack! During the 4×6-min. sets at race wattage and three steady miles off the bike, I finally felt like my normal, triathlete self. It was the smoothest and strongest I’ve felt post-crash, and even though the thought of running six solid miles off the bike is intimidating right now, I was really happy with how this session went overall.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

VO2 max fun: sandwiched between two, 5-min. sprint blocks (sprint for 10 seconds, recover for 50, sprint for 20 seconds, recover for 40, etc.) included 4×2 mins. at VO2 max and 2×4 mins. at VO2 max. Even though my numbers weren’t as high as normal, they were still well within the ideal range.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters; p.m. run

Thirty-six hundred meters in the morning with stroke work and broken 300s, plus eight easy miles after work. Normally, this training day wouldn’t be notable, but this time last week I still couldn’t swim, and I only ran three miles. Progress!

Saturday – a.m. run

Easy and rainy five miles

Sunday – a.m. bike

Smashing watts outside for the first time post-crash!

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Even though I felt great during the 45 miles, my bike confidence has wavered—solely on the downhills, which makes sense. The same thing used to happen after spraining ankles during my basketball days: at first, I’d play a more timidly than usual, but I’d forget about it after a while. I’m obviously never going to forget this crash, but hopefully I can get my mind right soon.

How do you restore wavering confidence?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 25 (Week 21)

I reached an important point in my bike crash recovery. Sure, my road rash has healed up nicely, and yes, my black eye has almost disappeared, but I’m not talking about the external stuff. I’ve come to terms with the fact healing will be a process—and even though I don’t know how long it will take (it’s been two weeks, and I’m hovering around 75 percent), I’m OK with going into this segment with no expectations.

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Focus on the feeling; don’t become emotionally attached to the numbers. #tailwindendurance

I’m going to keep listening to my body and giving 100 percent of what I have that day—even if this 100 percent used to be 50 percent.

General training notes: Like last week, training was incredibly light. Physically, swimming is still not happening, and although biking feels pretty good, running really depends on the day. Mentally, I’ve been a mess. I feel like I’m losing fitness (which I probably am a little bit), but as my coaches/advisors have pointed out, I cannot expect my body to both perform and recover. Right now, healing is the top priority.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat Masters

Four extremely easy miles along the West Side Highway. It took me a while to loosen up, and thankfully, my ribs didn’t flare up too badly. Again, I’m running slower than I ever have before, but healing is the goal—not pushing the pace.

After work, I attempted to swim with the Bearcats; I hopped in the pool, took one stroke, and my ribs said no way. As I tried to pull my right arm through the water, pain shot up my entire side body. It actually hurt a lot more than running did at its worst. I’m stubborn, so I kicked for 150m before trying to swim again. And it still wasn’t happening. At that point, the coaches told me to get out of the water. In related news, I miss swimming. #wannabeswimmer

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run outside)

Gratitude was the theme of this workout. I eased back into bricking with a long warm-up and build from tempo to sweet spot to threshold. It felt OK, and I was extremely thankful I could hit my power numbers. Then, I went to the West Side Highway for three steady miles, which were actually executed at a steady pace. Breathing/cardio-wise, it felt more like a race-pace effort, but that’s the fastest I’ve run post-crash.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Although programmed as a VO2 max class, my ride consisted of sweet spot and threshold efforts. Simply put, I didn’t have the power to hit those harder, sustained efforts. And that’s OK. As Earl put it, I should not be able to hit those higher numbers because my body is focused on recovering and not performing. Basically, I crammed three months of hard training into a 12-second crash, and now my body needs to bounce back and recover.

Friday – a.m. run and corework

I planned to log eight miles this morning, but the ribs were not happy. I shut it down at three. Suffering just isn’t worth it.

Saturday – a.m. bike

Logistically, riding outside wasn’t happening—because my sister moved in!—so I set up indoors for a two-hour ride. Maybe it’s due to CompuTrainer mental conditioning, but I really don’t mind plugging away inside. Actually, it’s probably because I was watching 2014 Kona coverage. Either way, I did a longer warm-up with single-leg work, cadence drills, and a few gear pyramids, and my main set included 5×5-min. builds. I don’t own a power meter, so the first few felt like tempo to threshold while the others felt like sweet spot to threshold to VO2 max. Toward the end of the workout, muscle memory took over, and my legs didn’t seem like they were connected to my body; they simply absorbed the workload and continued to turn over. It was really cool, and it was one of those moments where everything felt normal.

Sunday – a.m. run

What a sweaty, yet somewhat smooth run. It felt kind of confusing, though. My legs perceived it as an easy run (which it was), but my lungs processed it as a race-paced effort. It’s bizarre to be on two totally separate pages, but this is progress; after all, I couldn’t run this time last week.

What happened to you this past week that made you feel grateful?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 18 (Week 20)

Focus on what you can do—not what you can’t. That was my mantra for the week. And this week saw a lot of biking.

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Those watts won’t make themselves.

I wish I could say this was a strategically planned cycling block where I purposely avoided the pool and my running shoes and manufactured a boatload of watts every day. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Last Sunday’s bike crash was a bigger deal than I originally let on: I went to the hospital, and I was diagnosed with a super mild concussion. So this week revolved around healing and easing back into it.

General training notes: In addition to the bike crash aftermath, pool maintenance also affected my training. The Bearcat masters pool was closed for cleaning, so even before my accident on two wheels, I knew it would be more challenging to get in the water. At the beginning of the week, the thought of swimming made my body hurt. And my road rash is still healing up too.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Super easy 30-min. spin to get the legs moving and blood flowing

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run at Finish Line PT) CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and corework

I hoped to spin for an hour and run an easy three miles, and although I hung out at my low sweet spot just fine, my body was not OK with running. Immediately, my hip twinged, and my upper back/shoulder hurt, so I shut it down. I felt really frustrated and defeated. As I stretched on a mat, I threw myself a pity party for a few minutes: why can’t my body handle this? I can’t run. Why is this happening now? After awhile, though, I decided to redirect this energy toward what I could do: I can bike. Can I do corework? Yes. Can I do pushups? Yes.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and strength training

Again, I focus on what I could do: Seventy-five minutes in the saddle with a few builds to VO2 max, plus corework, pushups, and fun with Therabands.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. run

I actually hooked up to the CompuTrainer software for this workout and rode the Rev3/Challenge Quassy Olympic course. There was no hammering, but I was pleased to felt pretty OK at my wattage sweet spot and cruised along at 19 mph. Normally, I don’t care about speed, but this average proved I have not lost any bike fitness during this recovery period—which I knew, but needed to confirm.

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And once again, I hit up Central Park after work for my long run. Going into it, I mentally prepared to feel not-so-great, and thankfully, my legs/body felt OK. However, I definitely bruised a rib or two, which made breathing hurt. I was not able to run the nine miles at my target long-run pace, but I ran the nine miles. Yes, it was the slowest I’ve run in a long, long time, but I got it done. (My average pace was about 45 seconds slower per mile than normal.)

Saturday – a.m. bike

Since my new post-crash helmet hasn’t arrived (or my replacement sunglasses), and since Tailwind was closed for the holiday weekend, I set up shop indoors. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming off a the run, but I felt good. Really good. Sure, there weren’t a ton of hard efforts during those two hours—lots of drill work, builds, tempo efforts, etc.—but this is the first workout post-crash where I felt like my normal, triathlete/watt-producing self.

Sundaya.m. run off

Attempted to run on the treadmill, but since the pain became more prominent, I shut it down after five minutes. I emailed Coach Pat, and we decided to take today and tomorrow off. If you need me, I’ll be resting and recovering (and trying not to be cranky) until further notice.

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend?

My Updated 2015 Triathlon/Race Schedule

Wait, has it really been one month since South Beach?

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All in all, it was a successful outing that served a few purposes and prompted some training/racing changes. As of now, here’s what’s slated for the swim-bike-run season:

Lake Placid training trip with WorkLiveTri

Although I originally planned to do Mighty Montauk in June, I felt pretty ambivalent about actually doing it: If it worked out, great; if not, no big deal. I also held off on registering until my tri peeps did, and no one was making moves. But when I heard one of the Tailwind Endurance coaches was leading a Lake Placid training camp the same weekend, I immediately wanted in. (Full disclosure: I have no intentions of signing up for the Ironman anytime soon.)

So why Placid instead of Montauk? First, I never need a reason to justify a trip up. It is paradise. Even though I’ve visited the past two years for Ironman weekend, I’ve never gone with the sole purpose of doing all the swimming, biking, and running. Let’s face it: between swimming in Mirror Lake and manufacturing all the watts on that brutal but gorgeous bike course (I’ll do some running too, Coach Pat!), training there for four days will be a far more efficient use of time than doing a “B” priority event. I cannot wait to get after it, lock it in, and hopefully return feeling like superwoman!

At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun—and I know I’ll have a blast in Placid.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date: Sunday, June 28

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “B” race

This race is non-negotiable. It’s my first and only Olympic tune-up before Nationals in August. Plus, it’s 40 minutes away, and they had post-race iced coffee.

On the radar: Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon

Date: Saturday, July 18

Even though it’s a sprint, this race could be a good training day. It was a lot of fun last year, and I even won a bottle of wine. However, it takes place the same weekend as the NYC Triathlon, so there probably won’t be a lot of interest. This is another case of, “if it happens, great. If not, no worries.”

USAT Age Group Nationals – Milwaukee

Date: Saturday, Aug. 8

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “A” race

Well, obviously. #Hammerfest2015

Cazenovia Triathlon

Date: Sunday, Aug. 23

Distance: Sprint—0.5-mi. swim, 14-mi. bike, 3.1-mi. run

Priority: “C” race

After what will hopefully be a solid showing at Nationals, I’ll end my triathlon racing season with my hometown’s local yokel sprint. If you’ve been reading a while, then you may remember this was the race that started it all—and I’m pumped to take on the same course with three years of structured training!

… and then I’ll be running all the injury-free miles for road racing season. More to come.

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 11 (Week 19)

So today started off perfectly.

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Manufactoring watts in a new Smashfestqueen kit!

But it ended 20 miles in to a 50-mile ride with some serious road rash. Part of the sport, though.

General training notes: All in all, another solid training week. Swimming and I seem to be getting along these days. Biking is always my BFF. And aside from speed workouts, running feels great too. I also made an effort to start doing more corework and strength training, which led to some ab and arm soreness toward the end of the week.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

There was some #FireOnTheTrack, but the flames were extinguished sooner than planned: 12×400. Wowza. I tried not to psych myself out, but the splits Coach Pat outlined are the fastest I’ve run—ever. With this in mind, I focused on maintaining a quick cadence or turning over my legs as fast as possible. I was on pace for about three-quarters of the workout, but I slammed into that wall so hard … it became a mental battle at the end. I somehow rallied for corework and fun with weights.

At masters that night, I got promoted to the fast lane! Yes, I was hanging on for dear life, and yes, I did get lapped by a dude during the 300m pull, but I held my own and made the intervals. That’s the hardest I’ve worked in the pool in a while, and even the coach said I did a good job. Still rocking the #wannabeswimmer status, though, because everyone in that lane swam in college.

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run at Finish Line PT)

Rocked this brick: Twelve minutes at low threshold, one minute at race pace times three. I faced this bike-run fun a few times leading up to SoBe, and by focusing on the feeling this week, I realized how much stronger and fitter I am. I made more watts on the bike, ran a bit faster, and felt so much more in control.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and strength training

Brutal VO2 max ride with longer efforts: 4×4 mins. and 2×6 mins. with a few hills sprinkled in. Plus some corework and pushups.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters; p.m. run

At morning swim, I learned the “cycle” drill in which you kick more and get to the other side of the pool with fewer strokes (probably not the most accurate description). Thirty-three hundred meters later, my stroke felt more elongated.

After work, I headed to Central Park for an easy eight miles. This run felt really smooth; it reminded me of my longer Philly Half training runs, which is definitely a good thing.

Saturday – a.m. run

Steady 50 minutes along the West Side Highway in the rain

Sunday – a.m. bike

Only logged about 20 miles due to the aforementioned road rash. Thanks to the Gran Fondo, we did not ride our usual 50-mile route; basically, we were on unfamiliar roads, and as we were bombing down a hill (I was going easily 30 mph), I hit a pothole, lost control, and flew over the top of my handlebars. I’m fine, and my bike is fine. I do have some battle wounds on my shins, knees, elbows, and right hip … and I also wound up with a black eye … but I’m OK. Nothing a little R&R can’t heal. Sadly, my new Smashfest kit is dunzo, but if that’s the worst that happened, then I’m very lucky. I’ll spare you the pictures.

How did you spend the weekend?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 4 (Week 18)

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mommas and momma figures out there! I spent the day with mine, which is why this post didn’t go live yesterday.

2015-first-long-bike-over-bridge

As seen on the bike

General training notes: Aside from Tuesday’s speedwork, my workouts went pretty well. I felt great in the water, strong in the saddle, and smooth on the run. On Wednesdays at Tailwind, we’ve started a hill series; New York City isn’t exactly known for its hills, and a lot of folks are racing not-flat courses. In terms of the run, Coach Pat is slowly increasing the volume. All good things!

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat Masters

My legs felt fine when I started, but I struggle to dial in and hit the target splits for these 8x600s. It definitely became a mental battle at the end, and it definitely was not how I wanted to start the training week. At masters that night, we logged 2,500m.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Mmmm, hills for breakfast: we faced two, 12-min. blocks that both contained four percent gradients. For the first six minutes, we stayed at tempo effort and then alternated between threshold and VO2 max. For the final two, six-min. hills, the instructor increased the gradient to five and six percent respectively. Wowza!

Thursday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run)

So I survived my first Sufferfest workout: Fifteen, one-minute efforts at VO2 max-plus with one-minute rest. It doesn’t sound bad—only 15 minutes of “work”—but after the seventh interval, my legs were burning. Actually, we did 16 repeats; after the fifteenth one, the screen said something along the lines of “and here comes a super fast chick! If you’re a girl, you have another one to do!” Everyone did it, though.

And coming off that brutal bike, I didn’t know what to expect from my legs. The first mile was rough, but then I was able to settle in and build to cruise control—which is also my target off-the-bike race pace. Coach Pat, it’s working!

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters; p.m. run

Great swim with the best of both worlds: lots of stroke work to help me become less of a #wannabeswimmer, plus some 50s, 75s, 100s, and 300s. I love dialing in to cruise control on the 300s. Even though swimming and I have a complicated relationship, I’m feeling so good—and smooth and strong—in the water these days.

After work, I went to Central Park for my eight-mile long run. I felt OK—still getting used to (1) running during the evenings/on less-than-fresh legs, and (2) running in the relatively hilly park. It’s more challenging to zone out during these runs because there are all the people walking, biking, and hanging out. So I was cruising along, and this guy wearing Florida Gator boxers came up to me: “Nice running, you look really good,” he said. Thank you, sir? Do I know you? Ha!

Saturday – a.m. bike

I’m slowly getting my outdoor cycling legs/stamina back. I felt OK during this 40-mile ride, and surprisingly, this was my first time going over the George Washington Bridge and riding completely solo. It was really nice to do my own thing—start when I wanted, push the pace when I felt strong, etc.—but I did miss chatting with someone. It was also really nice to be back in the city, showered, and being productive before noon. Once 2 p.m. hit, though, I crashed and took a power nap. I forgot how much these longer rides zap your energy!

Sunday – a.m. run

Cruised along the West Side Highway for 45 minutes before meeting my family in Albany for Mother’s Day.

Did you celebrate Mother’s Day?