Saturday, February 25, 2012

Triathlon Training - Week 4 (Rest Week)

Yep, a rest week.  And by "rest," of course, they really just mean not working out as much.

Tuesday, February 21st - 4 mile easy run

Ran at the gym on the treadmill again for this one.  Nothing too exciting to report, either.  I did weights before running -- nothing much, but it had been a while, and since it was an easy run I decided I needed to lift again.  I'm not sure if I was tired from that, or if I didn't fuel properly or what, but toward the end of the run I started getting heartburn and just wasn't feeling it.  I finished it, but it wasn't anything special.

Wednesday, February 22nd - 3 mile easy run

This run was much better!  Took the dogs out with me since it was another short run, and they really seemed to enjoy it.  Aside from those itchy head collars, of course.

Here's Blizzard -- always faithfully at my side :)

And look at Huntie in his aero position (ears pinned back for less drag):

We ended up going 3.16 miles in 31:10, which was enough to wear them out (for a few hours, at least).

Thursday, February 23rd - 25.6 mile bike ride

Yep, nearly a 26 mile bike ride!  My training schedule only had me down for two 25 minute bike rides, but Jennifer had to do a 2 hour ride.  I was up for the challenge, and the thought of her out there alone on roads with careless drivers just isn't something I'm okay with, so I tagged along.

The only day we could do the ride was Thursday, but the weather didn't seem to want to cooperate.  Wednesday night, they were calling for rain all day Thursday, with thunderstorms moving in late afternoon.  Luckily, we woke up Thursday morning to a different forecast:

60's and only partly cloudy.  We were all set!

I had mapped out a route earlier in the week, and we were hoping to drive it first just to get an idea of what the roads were like (and how much traffic they had), but we never got the chance.  Like many other things we've done, we decided just to go for it, and knew that we were in it together.  It really seems like we have our best experiences that way.

The day started as predicted -- overcast, kinda rainy, and just nasty overall -- but look at how pretty it was when we were out!

Then we had a few miles on a narrow, windy, hilly, tree-covered road.  Apparently it's used as a pass-through by a bunch of people (including big trucks), as well.  This road definitely made me nervous.  Also to note was the countless number of beer cans and bottles littering the sides of the road.  We definitely made a mental note not to ride on this road at night!

Look at that gorgeous girl!  We stopped to stash our jackets since it was warmer than we were anticipating.

Once we finished with that road, we had a short ride (on a busier, but nicer road) to our turn-around spot -- a golf course near my work.  We made a quick stop for water and fuel, then set out on our way back.

Just before getting back to the windy road, we were literally run off the road by a huge Cadillac Escalade that tried to squeeze in between us and an oncoming car.  I could hear them coming up behind us, and I could tell they were accelerating, but I had no idea it was that big of a car, or just how close they were going to get to us.  It freaked Jennifer out so bad she slammed on her brakes, and ended up toppling over into the ditch.  Even though her shoe came un-clipped, she landed hard on her knee.

I was able to react fast enough that I didn't run into her (which was crazy because I was right on her back wheel), and somehow I managed to jump off my bike into the ditch.

The driver never did stop.  Of course I wouldn't expect that courtesy from the kind of person with such a lack of regard for others.  Some other sweet lady (who probably didn't even see what happened) stopped to make sure we were okay, though.  After calming our nerves, we decided we were ready to push on.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, but we were both on edge.  We had another scary incident where we had to cross a huge intersection, and the light changed literally as we were starting to cross.  Jennifer had trouble clipping-in, too, to make the situation even worse, but we made it.

All in all, this was the longest ride for both of us, and I liked that we did it together.  We were hoping to hit around 28 miles (half of what Jennifer will be doing in June during her Half Ironman), but it didn't quite work out that way.  That's okay -- we still considered the day to be a success.

Friday, February 24th - 950 meter swim

I was able to swim with Jennifer again for this one.  After doing my usual warm-up and swimming a couple 100's and drills, Jennifer suggested that I try doing 400 meters straight (yeah, I've had it wrong this whole time -- the side of the pool we swim in is actually 25 meters and not 25 yards like I was thinking).  Since she didn't have a set schedule, she was just swimming sets of 400's (yeah, what a show-off!).  So I followed her for one.  My goal was simply to finish it (of course), and to try to keep up with her.  If for whatever reason I couldn't, I was okay with that, as long as I kept going at my own pace.  Now that I've finally found my rhythm, I'm able to swim for longer without taking breaks -- even though I'm slow.

I let her start out about 3/4 of a lane ahead of me (which happened to be about 15 seconds on the clock).  I've noticed lately that swimming is still somewhat awkward until I've warmed up, then it feels great; this set was no exception.  When I start a set after I've warmed up, I start out so strong, and I feel like I'm gliding through the water -- it's such a great feeling!

So down the lane and back we went.  I noticed my mind starting to wander after a few laps which was reassuring -- that told me that swimming is becoming second nature to me, and that I'm getting to the point where I can do it without thinking about every little move I'm making.

The last 25 meters I really tried to bust it out.  I'm not sure if I went much faster, but it felt like it.  I ended up finishing 400 meters straight in around 11:30 (which is a little slower than my previous swim of two 200's in 5:30 each, but faster if you count the 2 minute break I took in the middle of those).  I couldn't be happier!  Now I know for sure that I can do the swim portion of the tri without stopping, and even if I'm slow on that leg, I can hopefully make up the time on the bike and run courses!

Saturday, February 25th - 3 mile easy run

Today's run was kind of an interesting run.  For starters, I got to check out a really cool new trail Jennifer discovered a couple weeks ago.  It's a 2 mile loop that will be really pretty in the Spring and Fall -- lots of trees, and even a pond!

It was also interesting because we started out doing an easy run (we had planned on doing two loops for a total of 4 miles), but ended up doing some trail running and exploring in the process.  It was a lot of fun!

We finished out with some sprints for a total of nearly 4 miles, but I'm not sure how long it really took us.  I think the trails and cold got to me -- during the sprints I was feeling pretty weak (although at one point I looked at my watch to see I was doing a 6:41 mile, so I must not have been too tired).

Overall, it was a pretty good run, and now I know about a new trail that I'm excited to run on in the future!


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