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Monday, January 5, 2009

I love the winter

I’m not saying I like the cold! I’m saying that I love the day-in day-out training of the winter. No worries, no stressing, just putting in the work and building the foundation for next year. I love seeing the transformation and improvement that comes through focused and patient training.

My running seems to be back to normal. This past week held my first “long” run since the IM – it was an hour long and felt great! I consider this to be a major improvement over being injured although I’d still say we’re rebuilding. The two biggest problems with my training last year (besides the late-season injury) were low run and swim volume. The goal is to get my body prepared to take on the work coming my way. I wouldn’t think I’ve made any speed gains with my running over last year at this point, but I think my body is ready to take on the training that will bring those gains. This week has an additional hour of running over last week including a 50 minute run, another 1 hour run, and a 1 hour 15 minute run. I’ll get a baseline short-course check of my speed in two weeks at the Red Nose Run 5k. It’s a hilly little 5k in downtown – not a PR friendly course.

Last week was another solid 17 ½ hours of training. Being a holiday week my swimming was limited to 9k but this week it is back to 12k. The week ended with a ride I have to tell y’all about …

Sunday was the annual New Year’s ride around the lake organized by my team/sponsor Harrell’s Bicycle World. Last year had 75 people turn out and was an enjoyable ride by all accounts.

This year it was cold and raining the day of the ride. I was the first one to show up and thought for a minute that I’d be riding alone. How many eventually showed up? 10. That’s right … 10 people, and seven were Harrell’s peeps! Don’t get me started … bunch of pansies! Pardon me, I didn’t mean to say that … anyway, with the make-up of the participants it was going to be a fast ride, there was no avoiding it. We lost the first man within the first 10 miles. Like I said it was raining which meant it was hard to see because glasses got splattered quick like. I tried riding without mine for awhile and ended up getting some dirt in one of my eyes that I had to put up with until the first SAG stop and the halfway point. Getting back on the bike after the stop was quite chilly! So being a triathlete and used to riding solo and not digging drinking the spray off other’s rear wheels I moved to the front pretty quickly and stayed out there for the first half of the ride. Not a wise move – I should have sat back and enjoyed the road juice cocktail. I paid for it later. At about mile 40 something Paul (Harrell) pulls up to me and mentions that he finally feels warmed up and ready to roll. Uh-oh. I’m feeling pretty spent. And roll he did. After getting through Chapin he caught draft off the lead-out SAG wag and time trialed all the way back to the DMV leaving the remnants of his team detonating in the remaining hills. Jamie, I and another Harrell’s rider managed to work together over this last stretch to bring each other home behind Paul. The rest of the group straggled in over the next 5-10 minutes.

It was a great workout and what I would consider interval training. I’m not accustomed to the recover / sprint style riding of roadies (and mtb-ers). I’m much more used to the long consistent steady output of time trialing. By the time Paul went off the front I had nothing left to match - just enough to hang on and get home. At the end of the day it was 3 hours 12 minutes in the rain for 64 miles and 4700 ft of climbing according to my Garmin – average speed of 20.13. Now I know why I like time trialing so much … I could have ridden that average alone on the Plasma without ever putting my HR over 155. For this ride it was 45 minutes in z2, 55 in z3, 45 in z4 (ouch) and the rest either in z1 resting or seeing stars with drool hanging out of my mouth in z5. I never dry heaved like I do when I race, but it hurt none the less. I nearly maxed out my HR at 179. Average HR 141. Good stuff! Great ride guys!

I woke up this morning and fully expected to be sore but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Today started off with a 1 hour recovery ride with an easy 25 minute run off the bike then 40 minute core/stability workout and then later a 3k swim, and maybe something extra tonight!

Train well!


Carolina John said...

Nice ride! i'm still laughing about getting sprayed with road juice. that ain't right.

TriT said...

Nice! Glad that you're getting in the long runs and sounds like you had a pretty great ride.

I'm jealous of your swim mileage...I think I better start to work harder now :)Dang it!

JB said...

That is why I avoid most roadie rides. I prefer the steady state riding too but once in a while it helps to mix it up w/ the roadies.

Palmetto Solo said...

Thanks Nick for coming out and socializing with us. Not so ideal conditions, but sometimes you need the change. Funny you didn't mention the dirt (mud) section.