June 3, 2009

Killer Bees, Missed Training and General Malaise

What a busy few days I've had, and not necessary in the good sort of way. After the half marathon I rallied and went out for my long brick, a 78 mile ride followed by a 5 mile run. It was supposed to be a 6 mile run but I was starving and called it quits after 5. All in all not a bad effort considering I'd raced my best half marathon the day before. But the distance isn't what made Sunday's ride interesting. Here are some highlights:
  • It was my first-ever solo long ride outside the city. I rode from Brooklyn to the George Washington Bridge and then up to Haverstraw and back. I've always been a little afraid of riding alone so this was a big step.
  • I finally faced the actual scene of my accident and the hospital I was taken to and it didn't bother me one bit.
  • I only got a little lost once.
  • I rode through a massive swarm of bees on Riverside Drive on my way back through the city. I saw this cloud up ahead, but figured it was that cottony stuff floating through the air making my allergies miserable. Boy was I wrong. Suddenly I was in a cloud of bees, bouncing off my face, arms, chest, everything. I swore one went into my shoe. It was all I could do not to lose control and crash. I stopped as soon as was safely possible, freaked out a little and checked for clinging bees. Miraculously I wasn't stung. It felt like something out of X-Files.
  • I gently ran into a parked car thanks to some idiot cutting me off in a Corvette and then blocking the entire bike lane. She stuck her arm up to wave at me and courteously let me know she was cutting me off. Gee, thanks.
  • Some stupid kid doing tricks on a skateboard shot the board right in front of me. I rode up on it and nearly bit it. I managed to clip out and not wipe out. He heard a few choice words from me.
All of this was in the final 14 miles of a really long, exhausting ride. After this, I've decided I will never again ride back home from the bridge and risk all these ridiculous obstacles. My coach agrees. He'd rather see me not have a brick workout than have to dodge bees, sports cars and loose skateboards. I will take the subway back from now on and then run when I get home.

Monday was rest. I needed it and loved it.

Yesterday was supposed to be a bike and optional swim. My friend Jeremy was swimming in the morning so I decided to join him and do the optional swim before work. It was another super short catch and pull focused session with 10 50s at anaerobic pace. I logged my best swim times ever during this workout and really enjoyed it. It makes me want to keep working on technique and form to get more of that "free speed."

After the great swim I was looking forward to the bike, but then I worked late and by the time I got home I was hungry and totally wiped. I decided to eat first, then bike, only the bike never happened. It was past 9 p.m. by the time I was ready to start and I just didn't have it in me. I was feeling really sluggish and just wanted to go to sleep.

This morning was another swim, a longer anaerobic session. I woke up exhausted and hit snooze twice. I felt like I was sleepwalking on the way to the train and had a hard time staying awake on the ride into the city. The pool was packed with dog paddlers and breastrokers so getting up to speed was tough. I managed to feel pretty good during the swim and kept on pace easily, but afterward I went right back to feeling tired. This lingered all day long and into the evening. I made up yesterday's missed bike, which was supposed to be an interval workout, but I had a really hard time getting my heart rate into the anaerobic zone. My legs were completely fried so I just couldn't put in the hard effort needed. I did the intervals and had the option to extend this to up to 1.5 hours, but stopped after 45 minutes. I was toast.

Maybe I'm getting sick, or maybe this is another slump. Training for an Ironman is like being on a roller coaster. The highs are so incredibly high while the lows couldn't get much lower. I have been struggling with my weight (which I spent a lot of time reflecting on today and will do a separate post on that this week), trying to get enough sleep, keep up with the training and perform at work as if I'm not doing any training at all. So while I feel really great most of the time, there are times where it all catches up with me and knocks me down a few notches.

My big Lake Placid training weekend starts next Thursday so I need to kick whatever this is. I'm hoping tomorrow will be the start of my next high.

Biking (Sunday)
Distance - 78 miles
Time - 5:02:25

Running (Sunday)
Distance - 5 miles
Time - 43:49

Swimming (Tuesday)
Distance - 1,000 yards
Time - 17:46

Swimming (Wednesday)
Distance - 1,750
Time - 31:58

Biking (Wednesday)
Distance - 10.97
Time - 45:00

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