Break Week 2–Foreign Territory

I’m going into week 2 of my break and it’s like the twilight zone.  It was a bit of a let down for me to have to scratch 2 weeks of training going into my ITU Chicago race at the end of the month, but it’s better to take it now and maybe a 3rd week if needed so that I don’t lose those weeks during my IMAZ training.  It’s a bit odd waking up in the morning and having to tell myself that I can’t go do a training run or ride.  So instead I tried pouring that bowl of cereal and reading the news… it’s boring!  After almost 2 years of some type of training I’ve come to realize that normal is pretty boring and you feel like you’re stuck in the same rat race every day.

Sunday I did the Beastmode Swim Series #1 with TCSD and Energy Lab Training… There was approximately 70 swimmers going from La Jolla Cove to Wind and Sea Beach.  It was a 2.5 mile open water swim.  It was funny going into this swim because the non-athletes immediately thought I was crazy and it’s considered a workout.  I didn’t put out any effort at all, and I could have swam another 2-3 miles at that pace no problem.  In fact I just might start doing it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.

Today I rode my old road bike into work today and let me tell you that after riding on a light tri-bike for so long it felt almost foreign to me.  I didn’t try for any speed records and it took me 1 whole hour to ride 15 miles… yikes!   Going to be an interesting time once IMAZ training kicks up but by then I’ll have my tri-bike back and won’t be riding the tank as I call it.  So most likely I’ll throw in a short run once I get home.  At this point I almost can’t wait to get back to training.

It’s no wonder American’s are becoming more obese.  What they consider normal is the same daily rat race routine.  I got home and again told myself not to go out and do some type of training routine since that’s what I was used to.   So I made some dinner and watched some TV… again.. boring!   I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.

Totally Tapped Out!

Well that’s a wrap and I was hoping that I wouldn’t get to this point.  But when you play with fire sometimes you get burned.  The last race really took a lot out of me and pushed me over that ledge of overtraining.   My body’s banged up and I’ve been mentally checked out.  With an average of 5 hours of sleep a night it finally came yesterday after what should have been a seemingly harmless fitness test at the FitStop.   It was only a 20 minute bike test that I didn’t even make 20 minutes on without my hamstrings and abductors not wanting to work.  Shortly after arriving at home I started to have a bowl of cereal and I all most feel asleep with my face in the bowl.  I couldn’t even finish the bowl of cereal, so I laid down in bed around 2:00 and woke up at 6PM.  Got up and hit my IMAZ training meeting at my coaches house and then once I got home I was asleep again by 9:30 and slept till almost 7AM.   I’m sitting here ready to fall asleep at my computer… ha ha ha.   So it’s time to take a rest before I start training for IMAZ.

I have a race in 3 weeks how is this going to set me back?  I asked myself that question all day today and I only have 1 answer.  It’s best to take a long break (2-weeks) from any intense workouts and take the hit at ITU Chicago and be 100% for IMAZ.  I certainly won’t podium at ITU or Life Time Tri: Minneapolis so I’ll race them at my training pace instead of race pace.  Training for IMAZ kicks off June 23rd the week of the race so even if I need to take that week off I won’t be far behind and I’m prepared to do so if needed.  How does this affect my NYC Triathlon race?  It won’t I’m hoping to be 100% by then and because of the location it will most likely be a lot of running.  I found out from my bike test that currently I’m just not efficient at burning fat for fuel either which really explains why I felt totally beat during my race.  I found that I’m burning approximately 11 calories a minute during exercise and only 3 calories of that is from fat.   That is NOT a good ratio which means I’ll burn through my approximately 2000 stored calories super fast.   So I’ll be doing a LOT of Zone 2 bike rides (YAY NO HILLS) and runs during my IMAZ training.

I’m still going to go out and help with the Beginners Open Water Swim (BOWS) group on Thursday since it’s not a workout and I am still going to head out into the water and do some swimming… LOTS of swimming.   Swimming, you might ask?   Swimming has always been easy for me and a way to escape and completely unplug from the digital chains of modern society.  Some people run and in all honesty I could probably go out and run an easy paced 5K or 10K but I prefer to swim. 

Bass Lake Triathlon–Race Report

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Well this ultimately was a fun race.  It was very scenic and very challenging for me.  All I can really say is HILLS!  So Bass Lake is located up by Yosemite National Park at roughly an 3,400 feet.  Going into this race mentally I wasn’t prepared and I certainly wasn’t physically prepared either.  I’ve been riding that fine line between fatigue and happiness.   The show goes on though and in 3:02:00 I pulled out a first place finish by more than 20 minutes.  The triathlon itself is a very small field and it’s a small locally put on race which made it feel relaxed and a good small town race.  So here is the report for my second Olympic distance triathlon.

The Swim:  26:50
It was in Bass Lake and it consisted of 2 loops, I was not happy about having to get out of the water and then run all the way through the exit arch only to run back into the water.  For once it was nice to not have the taste of salt water in the mouth and the water temp was so great I regret wearing the wetsuit.  I was drafting behind another guy in my wave who started out strong but slowly lost his energy before the first turn around so this is where I ended up leading and not being able to find another draft partner but over all I felt like it was a solid swim at a decent pace.  There was a 1/4 mile run up from the lake to the transition area so I stopped and completely got out of my wetsuit to run up.  It was at this point I could start to tell that the gulp of lake water wasn’t going to go well.

The Bike: 1:23:51
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Did I mention hills?  So right off the start you climb uphill and it wasn’t an easy one.  As I started to settle in I could start to feel my left hamstring tighten up but I kept a solid pace and tried not to put too much effort to keep speed going downhill cause I knew after mile 9 it was going to be an uphill battle…!  Right around mile 10 I was switching gears and I dropped my chain which made me even more frustrated.  Thankfully it took me about 30 seconds to get it back on but having to climb from a stop just sucked.  The upside is that this course was extremely scenic going through the mountain side and on the lake.  During the ride though I kept fighting back the fact that I had to pee and my stomach was not happy with the lake water and the mixing with my usual carb drink.  Rounding the final turn thankfully was downhill but at this point it was just about enduring the hills of the run.  Into and out of transition in about 1 minute.

The Run: 1:04:14
Running out of T2 I was looking for a place to take a leak but to my surprise there was nothing!  This was a 2 loop run course as well, so I already wasn’t happy about having to run through things 2 times and endure the hills 2 times!  By this time my left hammy was tight and I kept to a what seemed to be sluggish 10:30 mile and I kept thinking that this sucked and why am I not able to maintain a much faster pace, oh yeah HILLS!   Around mile 2 a fellow triclubber who was just finishing up his race mentioned that he’s hurting with the hills so all I could do is just think… if I’m having this hard of a time the 2nd place guy has got to really be hurting!  Every time I would start to settle into a pace I’d encounter another hill and during the 2nd lap my left hammy said enough and cramped right up.  I walked it out and didn’t have to come to a stop but my pace slowed to about an 11:00 min/mile.  Everyone on the course though was friendly and the Team Challenge people that I knew cheering me on helped out a LOT!  Of course at mile 5 all I could think about was having to pee and after crossing the finish line with just over 3 hours I was a bit disappointed in myself.

Conclusion:  1st Place Clydes and the proud winner of a huge salt rock!
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It was a very challenging race for me because I don’t really train hills.  I absolutely hate them, and part of that is because it’s not easy getting 220lbs up hills.   I kept comparing my performance this time around to my first Olympic distance at SD TriRock.  I shouldn’t be, simply because TriRock is flat and fast so I probably would have had a much better time.  I don’t think I’ll be back next year since I want to do Escape from Alcatraz.  What I am taking away from this race though is that I need to really do more brick workouts after long bike sessions and get my legs used to it all.