Thursday marked American Independence day, a forced, no-work, holiday in the states. Because this holiday fell on a weekday, one of my friends determined the best thing to do would involve a party on Saturday. For me this still posed an issue as the weekends are my long training days, but I am not usually one to miss a party or the chance to hang out at his lake house. But in true form I managed to do an open water swim and a long run earlier that morning. Toss on my Sunday household duties and wife time and a quick bike ride and this weekend proved to be very chaotic and busy weekend.
The week started out pretty good with a few consecutive days of running in the morning and swimming or biking in the evening. This last week was my first week of full workouts since taking a recovery and rest week a week ago. One issue I wanted to tackle was my flat running experiences I have had lately. After a year of running now I was only marginally better than where I was last October, still in the forty minute range for the 5k distance. So I devised a plan of smart running sessions that would work with some of the other bike and swim exercises and give me more time on my legs. Basically I broke my sessions into a medium run, a pacing session and a long session with quick two mile runs in between (often these end up being speed walking, but I digress). I moved these to the mornings as it is a bit cooler because the sun has not had the chance to heat things up yet. Of course being in the south it is still very humid, but removing one of the two, heat and humidity, I will have to take heat for now.
The week fell apart by Wednesday as I just could not wake myself and ended up only completing my swim for the day. Then I missed Thursday and Friday due partially to the holiday, but also because I was just having one of those weeks. By the time Friday evening rolled around I became determined to have a good training weekend. Things opened up when one of my open water swim groups decided to host a Saturday morning open water swim. The party was not til two so I figured time was available to get some open water swimming in. In true Triathlete/Endurance mind set I also decided I would have time to squeeze in a five mile or so run afterwards and I could do it at the park where I would be swimming. Eager to run somewhere different this sounded like an awesome idea. I would get my workouts in, go to the party with plenty of energy and have some fun. The one factor I omitted was that by nine at night I would be ready to crash and go to sleep.
On Saturday I got to the swimming spot and realized the water was really high, we have had Noah’s ark flood level rains in Georgia and the lakes are all pretty full or past capacity. I opted to stay in the 400 meter buoy section and practice some of my stroke I had been working on in the pool since I was given tips in my last open water swim, this would be a good place to practice it in open water. I did a couple of laps around the buoys and things felt good. A guy near me who I had been swimming with informed me that each lap was longer than 400 meters and was almost half a mile a piece. Of course, the water was higher than normal making the course a bit larger!
After getting in a mile of swim practice I was eager to run in a new locale. I decided to stick to the roads and changed into running clothes and headed out. The path out of the parking lot should have been my warning to the difficulty looming ahead as it shot straight up. For the first time I encountered climbs that were too large for me to run up, so I just hiked up them as fast as possible. For the next five miles I hiked the steep hills and ran when things either leveled off, went down hill or had smaller climbs. It was slow going but felt rewarding at the end of the nearly five and a half miles of hiking and running. The cool thing about the hiking was that it stressed my legs differently than my running did and I engaged some different muscles. Of course it was very forested and I enjoyed the entire experience!
After an hour and a half, I wrapped a towel around me in the parking lot and changed into some intermediate clothing to wear in the car til I got to the gym and a shower. After the shower and putting on clean clothes off to the party I went. It was a good time with food and conversation and fireworks. The energy rush lasted for a few hours but by nine at night I was crashing. I called it a night and went home and went to bed immediately. On Sunday I finished the week off with a quick 12 mile bike ride. While I wanted more hours this week I will take the bursts of brilliance and the quality of the workouts I managed to do. Overall I am pleased with my first of three solid training weeks. Til next time.
- First open water swim experience (thebusinesshippy.wordpress.com)
- Open Water Swim Advice for Beginners (iowatribob.com)
- Its Time To Race: Training Week 4 Wrap Up and Look Ahead (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Allatoona Triathlon Training Week 2: Looking Back and Forward (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of July 7 (fitnessandfrozengrapes.com)