Saturday, March 11, 2017

AZ Training Camp Days 3, 4, & 5

Keeping up with this blog was not a priority at camp, but now that I'm home sweet home I can wrap it up..mostly with pictures :) 

Day 3 was a tough day to get started mentally.  Anthony and I both had different schedules and I was fighting allergies (or a cold?) Bad.  The day started with pancakes and then a 4600yd swim.  This ended up feeling fantastic and put me in a much better mood than I woke up in.  

Day 3 swim workout:

WU: 400

Pre set: snorkel, buoy, band
4 x 100's
4 x 75's
4 x 50's
4 x 25's
All with 10-15 sec rest
Then, paddles only:
20 x 25's (in sets of 4 as smooth, steady, fast, EZ) w/ 5-7 sec rest
MS: 3x's:
300 swim w/ buoy and snorkel
30 sec rest
3 x 100's (75 smooth, 25 fast), no toys w/ 10 sec rest
60 sec rest
6 x 50's fins and paddles (odd build to fast, even fast to EZ w/ 10 sec rest
Rest 60-90 sec then repeat 2 more times.

After swimming, I refueled and had some good Brutus time in the yard before having a small snack and driving to Sabino Canyon for a run.  

Sabino canyon was beautiful - I started with a warmup on the trails which led me to a paved hill... a monster hill.  That hill tried to chew me up and spit me out, but I wouldn't let it.  I had 10x2minute repeats of the hill with a jog down and a bit extra recovery at the bottom before repeating.  I bargained with myself a lot on this run.  "Just make it to six and see how you feel.  Ok, you made it to six try two more.  Ok, you've done eight, just get it done.. two more."  There was a bit more going on in my IT'S HOT~  Why are my coaches so mean? Well, I guess they are awesome because they believe in me. Ok, I'm feeling strong.  I got this.  And, I did have it.  I focused on running strong, not fast.  I focused on good form.  The few comments I got from hikers that saw me go up and down and up and down helped.  I got a:  "Hang in there!" and a "Pretty hardcore."  

I ran nice and easy back on the trail.  The run was supposed to total 1:30, but it ended up being just a bit short at 1:20.  Again, it's been nice having the recovery fuel recommendations from my coach for each workout - I've been following that and it's been great!  

The evening of day 3 called for a 75-90 minute very easy flush out ride on flat terrain.  I didn't quite make it that long as there was rush hour traffic and the roads were hilly so I wasn't quite able to get out of the spin the recovery that it was intended for.  It would have been nice to have a trainer with us to use for this flush ride.  After this short ride, I took Brutus for a much needed walk. 

Day 4... the day I was so looking forward to!  Riding Mt Lemmon has been on my bucket list for a long time.  I was a bit cautious going in to this ride because a) my body was a bit fatigued and b) I wasn't sure how hard the climb really hear "you may not make it to the top your first attempt..." and all different kinds of mixed reviews.  

Anthony and I got on our bikes and he said "Alright, head that way and don't stop until you see cookies!"  I could not wait to make it to the cookie cabin at the top!  Mt Lemmon goes on my top 3 all time favorite rides list!  It was absolutely fantastic.  I would not say it is an easy ride, but it wasn't nearly as difficult as I anticipated, just LONG.  25 miles is a long time to be climbing, but wow were the views amazing!  The cookie and ice cold coke at the top were pretty great too. 

The descent down was so much fun.  Descending isn't always my favorite, but Mt Lemmon is pretty gradual - you can still get going, but it never gets really crazy.  SO. MUCH. FUN!  After we got back to the car, I headed out for a 20 minute brick run.  My run was 5 minutes easy/set up form, 10minutes build to half ironman effort, 5 minutes hold half ironman effort.  It was HOT, but I really surprised myself with how strong I felt.  My legs just wanted to move... it felt great :)  After my run, I drank some CLIF recovery powder in milk and tart cherry juice that I packed.  

After some recovery fuel and a tiny bit of lounging with Brutus, we headed to the University of Arizona rec center.  I had a 50-60minute easy run and I knew I didn't want to do it in the heat so I headed to the treadmill and Anthony had a little 1500yd splash in the pool.  I was so happy that the rec center had Woodway treadmills...THE BEST.

The final day.... Beyond Mt Lemmon, I was second most excited for my day 5 swim: 6100yds!  Anthony had a bike ride while I swam.  This swim felt amazing!! I had so much fun and if you told me I had to do another round of the main set, I would have happily done it.... I am just loving the water lately and swimming short course yards instead of meters made it even more fun! :) 

Day 5 Swim Workout:

Over distance swim.

400 swim
400 with snorkel
400 with buoy and snorkel
400 with buoy, snorkel and strap
Kick/Swim with fins ( 50 kick on back, 50 swim)
4 x 200
All with 10 to 15 sec rest
1200 smooth pull with paddles, buoy and strap at 75 % every 4th 100 strong.
4 rounds of:
4 x 50 at 90% strong swim with no toys w/ 10 sec rest
into: 400 smooth swim with buoy at 80%
1 min rest in between the rounds
100 back stroke as a cool down.

(400yds of kicking not shown)

After a light meal and short recovery, I headed out for my final workout.  This workout was the one that scared me the most.  2 hours of running on super fatigued legs on the hottest day of camp.  I visualized the night before and before I left the house to run.  I visualized feeling tired, but STRONG and STEADY.  I visualized feeling hot, but handling it well.  I went into this run ready.  After 40minutes of light running, my legs just never felt like they were warming up, I was so HOT, and I felt like I had two paces: walk or jog.  It was a tough run.  I stopped to splash myself with water a few times, I did everything I could think of to try to make it through this run - short out and backs, ice water, mantras...I eventually ended up calling it at 1:20.  The longest and loneliest hour and 20 minutes! 

I did get some horse kisses at the end of this run, so it wasn't all bad.. :) 

After finishing our final workouts, we did much laundry.

We made it home in one day of driving and we were SO happy to sleep (hibernate for 8.5 hours) in our own bed last night!  And it's so nice that our laundry is all done!  I am really pleased with how my body responded to the overload of training. 

Wrap up:
   -Day 1: 3200yd swim, 2.5hours riding
   -Day 2: 4 hour ride + 30minute brick run, 3150yd swim
   -Day 3: 4600yd swim, 1:20run w/ hill repeats, flush out ride
   -Day 4:  5 hour ride (w/25mile climb) + 20 minute brick run, 52minute easy PM run
   -Day 5: 6100yd swim, 1:20 HOT run

Monday, March 6, 2017

Day Two

I'm tired so this one will be brief.  :) We happily had another morning with no alarm.  We planned on riding together and it's pretty chilly in the mornings, so there was no rush to get up and on the road.  We naturally woke up around 6:30 feeling refreshed and excited to ride.  My allergies were acting up a bit (high pollen levels here) so after breakfast, I drove down the street to Walgreens to grab some allergy meds.  We had a good breakfast, made sure Brutus got some good attention, and took off rolling.  We left from the house - looking back, we probably would have preferred to drive somewhere to start our ride, but no biggie.  

It was not a fast ride - it was windy, some decent climbing, and a lot of crappy pavement.  We rode Gates pass which I was quite excited for.  The views did not disappoint, but the pavement condition did :)  The ride was mentally tough for me... it's been a while since I last rode for 4 hours and I think waking up with some allergy issues threw me off a bit.  But once we got to Gates pass, I was happy as a clam to be riding.  The last 45minutes of the ride felt taxing.  I didn't really want to think about running.... 

 Scenic overlook at the top of Gates Pass

One of the roads with good pavement that made me smile

As soon as I put on my running shoes and hit the pavement, I was so happy with how I felt.  It wasn't all smooth sailing, but the majority of that 30 minutes felt great and it went by super fast.  The run was a progression - 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes moderate effort, and 5 minutes strong/half ironman effort followed by 5 minutes jog/nice and easy cool down.  I'm super pleased with my running progress lately and being here, the extra oxygen is much appreciated :) Anthony also had a run off the bike of 20 minutes, so he got a little extra Brutus time before I got back :)

Running views...not bad

 It was a toasty run - glad I had my sports drink and h2o!

After our brick, Anthony and I both had a glass of tart cherry juice and milk with chocolate protein powder.  My amazing coach put pre, during, and post workout fueling suggestions with each of my workouts which has been so nice! :)  After our recovery fuel, we stretched in the yard with Brutus and then hung with him a little extra before eating some real food. 

While our food digested, we cleaned up the kitchen a bit and then took a little time to put our feet up before heading to the pool.  Finding the motivation to go swim after a 4.5 hour workout is tough, but as soon as I jumped in the pool I felt great.  

My swim workout: 

WU: 300 swim + 200 snorkel + 200 snorkel and buoy
10 x 25 snorkel, strap and paddles:
odds build to strong
evens strong
All 15 sec rest
800 smooth pull with snorkel, buoy, strap and and paddles at 75%
30 sec rest
600 buoy, strap and paddles at 80 to 85 %
30 sec rest
400 buoy and snorkel, EZ swim at 70%
30 sec rest
4 x 100 swim (no toys) build by 25 to strong w/ 20 sec rest.
CD: 10 bobs

I finished this swim feeling rejuvenated and I really surprised myself - I was swimming really strong and happy for those last 4x 100 builds! :)  

After our swim we each had a glass of milk and a bowl of fruit and started prepping dinner - after Brutus got some attention of course.  For dinner we had steaks, red skin potatoes, and a spinach salad.  I'm known for taking pictures of our food, but so far this week - I have scarfed it all down before even remotely thinking about taking a picture!  

Tomorrow, Anthony and I have pretty different schedules, so we won't be doing much or any swim/bike/run together, but we will share lots of eating, recovery, and Brutus time. :) For now, I think it's bedtime.. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Day One

Last night after eating and showering, Anthony, Brutus, and I headed to bed.  We read for a bit and then lights out.  Honestly, I'm not even sure what time that was, perhaps 9:30-10pm.  We both woke up around 6:15 - it was nice to wake up naturally with no alarm feeling refreshed.

We had some coffee, hydrated, and ate breakfast as we chatted about how we were going to attack the day.  My schedule called for a morning swim and an afternoon ride.  Unfortunately, since it's Sunday, the pool did not open until 10am.  Looking at the weather, the winds were supposed to pick up to 20mph starting around 11am.  With those two pieces of information, I just figured the universe was telling me to ride in the morning and swim in the afternoon.  

Anthony lubed our chains after the long drive and made sure everything was ready to go on both bikes while I played with Brutus.  Brutus has made himself right at home at our homestay. :) 

By the time the bikes were ready to go, the sun was out and it was the PERFECT temperature for a ride, so we happily rolled out.  About 20-25minutes in to the ride, I could no longer shift between my small and big chain ring and I was stuck on the small chain ring.... turns out my di2 battery was low and needed to be charged.  Bummer, since we knew the wind was going to be bad for a ride later in the day with the wind.  This was my fault - I had "charge di2" on my list of "to-dos" before we left Colorado, but once I saw that Anthony had packed the charger, I assumed that he had also charged the bikes...assumptions are never a good thing. Ah well. 

So, we headed back to the house, plugged my di2 battery into the charger, got a small snack (banana with PB - 2nd banana of the day - and a choc chip cookie for me), changed/gathered our swim gear, and headed to the pool.  We both had a great swim - 3200yds for me and 3400yds for Anthony (and he still finished a few minutes before me!)  It was super nice to swim short course yards instead of short course meters and I felt strong, smooth, and steady in the water.  We both sipped on sports drink throughout the swim and split a CLIF bar on the drive back to the house.  

My workout:

WU: 500 mix of strokes
Snorkel, strap, buoy
150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 50 75, 100, 125, 100 smooth build as you through the intervals to finish at 85%
All 15 sec rest
Recover before MS. Get your mind ready!
4 rounds of:
100 smooth swim at 80% 3 sec rest
100 moderate effort at 85 to 90% 3 sec rest
100 strong effort, fast swim at 95% 20 sec rest
Stick to the rest cycles. Enjoy that 20 sec "full" rest before repeating.
Additional set:
500 smooth swim with buoy.

Note: I am by no means a "fast" swimmer (fast is all relative anyways, right?) But, I love reflecting back on swimming even just 6 months ago, but more so when training for IM Lake Placid, if I broke 2:00/100yd as an average pace for a workout, it was a good day and for IM Boulder if I broke 1:55-1:50/100yd average it was a good day.  Making the effort to be in the pool 4x per week since November has really paid off. I love swimming, I'm getting faster and feeling stronger and smoother every day. 

After our swim, we had a good lunch on the patio outside and then lounged in the lounge chairs for a bit while chatting with Charlie as he took a break from his yard work - our host is one hard worker.  Anthony also helped Charlie with a small task in the yard that needed a bit extra muscle.  As we let our lunch digest, the wind picked up more and more.  Brutus enjoyed laying in the yard with the wind in his face making his ears flop - happy dog. 

With the winds being so strong and our rides both being just nice, fairly easy/low key endurance rides to "warm-up" for the next few days of camp, we opted to take a short ride from the house to hop on a nice path instead of being on the roads with cars while there were 20-30mph gusts.  The path seemed to protect us a little bit from the wind and felt much safer... for the short duration we were on the roads getting to the trail the winds were pretty awful and deafening. The path was pretty flat which was really nice in addition to the extra oxygen :) I was glad that we opted to ride on the path and pleased that it wasn't very crowded at all. 

Total riding time for the day was about 2.5 hours.  After the ride, I stretched, had a bowl of cereal, played fetch with Brutus for a bit and then showered and started working on dinner.  Today was the perfect warm up for the next 4 days! 

For dinner, I made a quinoa, veggie, and chickpea salad and Anthony and Charlie grilled up some chicken.  Brutus helped with the fire wood for the "grill" and then got cozy next to the pool and watched the guys grill.  

While the boys grilled, I took in the views and cleaned up a bit in the kitchen.  After dinner I did some light foam rolling and now I am just relaxing and hydrating until we are ready for bed.  Despite the few curve balls, today was a great first day of camp and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week!