Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 29: Review

Aside from Monday and Saturday, the weather was excellent this week. There wasn't too much rain, and the temperatures were generally pretty comfortable (vs the brutal heat we've had in the last few weeks). I did miss my Monday ride as it was threatening to rain for most of the day, however it didn't actually add up to much so I likely could have gone out without any issues. Either way, the legs were a bit tired at the end of last week so the rest day probably helped more than it hurt.

On Wednesday the weather was near perfect and while I set out to do a 30K ride I ended up doing a little over 40K. In the afternoon the group again wanted to do 13K, so I also ended up getting in some extra mileage. We did it a bit faster than I had planned (5:10/km vs. 5:30/km), but it was still relatively comfortable so it didn't pose a huge problem. The extra mileage turned out well, as I ended up having to cut my 10 miler on Thursday short due to time constraints (had to get to the pool).

Due to time constraints I also missed the bike ride on Friday, as the grass was in need of a cut and I had to go downtown in the afternoon. While down there, I also took the opportunity to pick up a pair of Oakley Jawbones as I've needed something to protect my eyes when out on the bike (both from debris and UV), and they appeared to be the best match for my requirements. I took them out for my ride on the weekend and am certainly happy with the investment (will post more on this topic later).

On the weekend, the weather report was calling for rain on Saturday so I elected to switch my long ride to Sunday, and do my long run instead. There were some pretty severe thunderstorms in the morning, however it cleared up in the afternoon so it worked out quite well. In retrospect, I would have easily been able to do my ride in the later part of the day, but the weather reports were calling for a second band to come through around 2pm so I didn't want to take a chance of getting stuck out there.

Either way, I headed out around 3pm for my 15 mile run, and while it was hot I managed to fight through it. The only caveat was that since I was doing this run out of sequence I hadn't explicitly checked the training schedule and shortly after the 5 mile mark was unsure of whether this week was supposed to be my marathon pace run or not (checking afterwards, it wasn't). As I still had about 10 miles to go, I figured that I'd play it safe and do the rest at MP (ie 4:45/km). Up until this point the heat wasn't much of an issue, but naturally once I accelerated it began to catch up to me. I'm not sure if it was the heat itself, or simply the fact that I didn't have a chance to mentally prepare for the extra effort ahead of time, but the remainder of the run was quite difficult.

Shortly before the 15K mark I stopped quickly at a convenience store to refill my Gatorade bottle to ensure that I didn't run out. That worked out quite well, as it avoided the scenario I've run into in the last couple of weeks and took away the stress of having to run the last bit of the run without hydration. While the marathon pace segment was demanding, I was able to fight through and maintain a slightly higher than planned 4:41/km pace for the duration. I did allow myself to slow down a bit through the hilly segment, however I made up for that near the end of the run when I didn't have to budget my energy anymore. Naturally, that average shows that my pacing is still a little uneven, however it was a significant improvement from last week and there was a lot less yoyoing.

On Sunday, I headed out for my 50 mile ride at about 2pm. The temperatures were much better than the previous day, although there was a strong wind coming out of the west that would make the return trip quite demanding. I was a little worried about the legs being tired after yesterday, but with the tailwind in the first segment of the ride they had no problem keeping up with the targeted pace despite the net positive grade. I took a slightly different route than last week which depressed my speeds a bit (it took me through a residential area, so I had more stop signs to deal with), but despite that it was quite a pleasant ride and I managed to pull off an average of 29.0km/h so it was quite productive as well.

When I returned home, I still had a 4 mile recovery run planned but with a couple of miles still in the bank from Wednesday, I figured I'd do a 2 mile brick run instead. As such, I quickly changed out of my cycling clothes and into my running stuff, and headed out for a lap of the subdivision. I was expecting it to be pretty difficult after the ride, but it was actually suprisingly comfortable. The ride meant that the legs were well warmed up before I started, and the muscles were still in pretty good condition so it was more of a fight to keep my pace down than it was to keep going. Overall, I managed to maintain a 4:45/km pace over the route before heading inside.

On the swimming front, I forced myself to take shorter breaks this week and it helped immensely. Previously, whenever I lost my breath I'd stop long enough to fully recover, whereas this week I only gave myself a short break and forced myself to deal with laboured breathing. Breathing in the water requires a lot more control than it does when running and cycling, so learning how to keep it under control when under heavy loads is an important aspect that I need to work on. Either way, I managed to average a 4:06/100m pace versus the 4:30/100m pace that I've been doing in previous weeks - still quite slow, but a significant improvement nonetheless. I also managed to work myself up to doing six lengths uninterupted, which is a lot better than the two or three that I was able to do in previous weeks. That's still a long ways off from being able to pull of 375m continuously, but that's what training is for ;)

Weekly Totals:
Running: 67.8km (42.1mi)
Walking: 2.1km (1.3mi)
Cycling: 134.5km (83.6mi)
Swimming: 1.7km (1.1mi)
Total: 206.1km (128.1mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 1,526.3km (948.4mi)
Walking: 183.3km (113.9mi)
Cycling: 2,406.5km (1,495.2mi)
Swimming: 8.1km (5.0mi)
Total: 4,124.2km (2,562.7mi)

This week is looking pretty good weather-wise as well, so hopefully I'll be able to get in all of my sessions for a change. As I did the 10 mi marathon pace segment yesterday, I'll likely count it as done and simply do the 16 miler scheduled for this Sunday at the normal long-run pace. I probably won't be able to fit two pool sessions in this week, but I'm hoping to switch over next week to help improve my progress on that front.

As for cycling, I'm again hoping to get back together with the group on Saturday morning. We were actually going to do it this week, but the weather through a wrench in those plans. The thunderstorms made it impossible to go out when we would have liked, and scheduling complexities didn't allow us to work out an alternate time. Keeping my fingers crossed that next Saturday's weather will be a little more stable ;)

Upcoming Week:
Mon 30K Ride
Tue 9mi (14.5K) GA w/5mi (8K) @ LT
Wed 30K Ride, 5mi (8K) Recovery
Thurs 10mi (16.1K) GA, 1.6km swim
Fri 50K Ride
Sat 100K Group Ride, 4mi (6.4K) Recovery
Sun 16mi (25.7K) LSD

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