Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A First time for Everything

White's Ferry long ride crew.
Last week was a much needed and much appreciated week of R&R.  My last workout leading into my R&R week was tough, but good.  A 105 mile bike ride follow by a 60 minute brick run.  I took a spill coming in from the bike, luckily I only got a couple of wounds and bruised pride.  I have now joined the ranks of cyclists who have fallen.  The completion of that brick marked the start of my recovery week.  Of course it began with chocolate milk, how could it not?

Crowie on his way to Victory at Eagleman!
Sunday morning came early as I set out to spectate at Eagleman 2012 in Campbridge, MD.  Really I am just obsessed with Mirinda Carfree and Craig Alexander and wanted to see them up close and personal.  No, there was also a good contingent of DC Tri folks racing as well as a previous patient/friend/mentor (3-time Kona qualifier) from Georgia.  The weather was pretty hot and sunny and a lot of people struggled on the run course.  That didn't stop me from deciding I want in on this death march in 2013 - it will be fantastic.  This also motivated me to really pull the trigger and commit once again to Auguta 70.3 at the end of September.  Augusta 2011 was my first 1/2 Ironman and I loved everything about it.  I raced well, learned a ton, and overall had a great experience.  This year will be even better as team DC2A will take over Augusta!  I think this race a great race for a first 70.3 or a PR attempt.  With 5 weeks recovery between IM Louisville and Augusta 70.3 I'll be recovering and peaking in an attempt to break the next big time barrier in the 1/2 IM distance.

Recovery week has always been and probably always will be a struggle for me.  It starts out painful as my body absorbs all the training that I've been putting into it over the past 4-6 weeks.  After a couple of days I inevitably feel antsy and lazy and start to dial it up again while trying to keep myself reigned in.  Apparently I had though this all through when I wrote out my training plan and aligned this recovery week with my good friends wedding and hosting Mary prior to the wedding.  Mary wouldn't have minded if I would have had to train but hanging out with her and the crew was a great relaxing distractor to the normal training schedule.  My IM training plan is a bit aggressive - because it can be - since I don't start working until August.  This means my biggest week will top out at 29.5 hours (in July) and my biggest week before my R&R was 28 hours.  With this volume of training my recovery weeks may not look much like recovery.  This past R&R week was set for 14 hours (1/2 of the previous weeks hours) but as I said before it's hard for me to reign it in and I ended up hitting 17.25 hours for the week.

Old school hand written training plan.
R&R week ended with a long and hard workout - one not fit for an R&R week, but one that I needed wanted to do.  A double Oly brick at the General Smallwood bric-nic.  My great idea was to bike the Oly course, run the Oly course, bike the Oly course, and run the Oly course.  The first bike route was great and we had a nice small group setting out on this workout with me (or at least 3/4ths of it).  The bike route ended up being 27 miles of rolling hills and fast flats - which should make for an awesome race on July 7th.  I felt great for the first run and took off on the rolling hills of the run course for a decent paced 10k (though it needs to be faster on race day).  Once I was back from round 1 I swapped out my water bottles, put down a Bonk Breaker energy bar and set off for bike #2.  I had used gels on round 1 and Gu brew.  I've used gel and gu brew in every race so far this year and most long training days and have done great with those items.  I wanted to try Bonk Breaker energy bars, as this is what will be on course at IM Louisville.  I set off on bike #2 pretty hard, trying to push the pace with Adrianna.  About 1/2 way through the course I knew I needed to empty my stomach.  There wasn't much decision making here, my stomach really told me it needed to get rid of some stuff.  It was hot out, I had been drinking water and Gu brew but my stomach wasn't happy.  So as we were riding up came the bonk breaker and fluids, not once but three times!  Now I had to make a decision swallow it and deal with it later or let it go.  I knew I'd feel better if I just let it go.  I've never ever felt the least bit sick on the bike and I was surprised that this was even happening.  I kept pushing the pace and finished the ride hard, as I did feel quite fine once lightening the load.  A quick transition and run #2 was underway.  My pace was much slower than run #1 - it was much warmer out and I was fresh out of H20 and I had forgotten to grab a gel for the run.  I sucked it up and picked off some people in front me, 1 by 1 until I was back to the park.

The double brick was hard, I learned a thing or 2 about nutrition and actually gave in to rolling my tri top up to a 1/2 top during run #2.  I normally am against this but realized that it was actually much more comfortable and cooler and my white stomach didn't blind anyone!  I was roasted after this workout and could only get down chocolate milk for a good hour after finishing.  I tried to pass out on the picnic table but Kim wouldn't let me and got me some fluids and took me for a walk as I felt like I was going to get sick again and doing that in front of 100 other triathletes trying to have a picnic wouldn't have been very cool.

With my rest and recovery week behind me I am back at it - building up to General Smallwood Oly followed by my biggest week of training pre-Ironman.  Monday was a tough day, trying to get back into everything.  Sunday was a "day off" but dancing in heels at a wedding reception for 4 hours turns out to be a pretty good quad workout.  I felt revived, fresh, and ready come Tuesday and nailed 3 workouts - pushing some new limits on the bike and the run.  It feels great to hit it hard once again.  I have 67 days with 2 IM 'Big Day" training days, a 120 mile ride, 10 days in Colorado and and whole lot of swimming and running between me and August 26th.

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."


  1. for a second I was like wait, why are you doing a 120 mile ride!!! Then I realized, oh sh*t I'm doing it too :)

  2. Old school, new school, what ever it takes to get it done. Like the quote at the bottom.