Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday's Triathlon Simulation

Friday after work, I took the three oldest kids to see the new Iron Man movie. It was pretty good. Afterwards, I found out my wife made dinner arrangements for the family at some friends house, which, ordinarily, would have been fine. But, I had big plans for the following day. We didn't get home until after 10:00. It took me an hour to get everything ready for the next day. I didnt' get to bed until nearly 12:00.

The next morning I slept through the 6:30AM alarm and finally woke up at 8:00AM. This wasn't starting off good. I scrambled to get everything in my car, which I've aptly decided to call T1/T2 because it's my impromptu sporting event transition point. I can't tell you how many times I've changed in-and-out of clothes in this car...but I digress.

I put the wetsuit on, which was quite a challenge getting the zipper shut. I did a little stretching, then I decided to jump in cold turkey and crack a 1,650 (swimming mile) just to simulate a tri start. My official start time was 8:55 AM. Something about the smell of the wetsuit brought back the race memories of the Redman (Oklahoma City Half Ironman) because I kept replaying that swim in my mind as a swam. I finished the first mile in 25 minutes--that's 20 minutes faster than my RedMan time. Granted, this was a pool without a current or wakes, but I was carrying alot of accumulated shoulder fatigue from the week's swim workouts. I was very happy. I gave myself about 3 minutes rest and launched into my second mile. This is when the fatigue really set in. I was tired. It took 35 minutes for my second effort. I warmed down with a 500, which gave me my 15,000 yards for the week. Sweet!

On to the next event: the bike. It was actually good that I got up late this morning because it was just starting to warm up. If I had gotten up as scheduled, I probably would have started the bike event wearing much too much and would have baked. Instead, I was able to dress as minimally as possible. It was still windy though...actually it was gusty. I couldn't tell from which direction the wind was coming. One moment a headwind...a tailwind the next.

I wasn't too focused on my transition times, just the core events. So I took my time getting dressed, fueling up, and making sure all my ducks were in a row. This leads me to one of the reasons for me to do the event; I wanted to dial in my nutrition needs.

I started the bike and headed out the traditional route, which is the flattest route I can find. For those of you who don't know Albuquerque, it sits at the foothill of the southern rocky mountains, which are to the east of the city. The mountains east of Albuquerque are the Sandia mountains, which crests at 10,800 feet. We're at 5,700 feet elevation--my house is actually. The Rio Grande river flows through (north/south) the valley at the base of the foothills and, west of the Rio Grande, the altitude increases again to endless mesas. The route I take primarily heads north/south along the Rio Grande, although this still ends up being a 2500-3500 foot elevation gain ride.

The ride was uneventful. My legs were tired from the accumulation of prior weeks' training. Right away, I wanted to bail on my plans of 90 miles. I turned up the Ipod and pushed that thought out of my mind. I hit mile 56 in 2:42, which is 5 minutes faster than my RedMan time. I was encouraged because I was riding my heavy training wheels, was not riding with my aero helmet (I'm hopeful it's as time saving as the claims), fighting the wind, hills and fatigue.

I was choking down a Cliff Shot Block every 15-20 minutes and drinking at the same duration. Every hour of riding, I would eat a Odwalla Chocolate Peanut bar. At about mile 65, I really began to blow up. I wasn't sure if it was a function of hydration or eating. I decided to trim 10 miles off my ride and get to the gym to save a little for my tempo run afterwards.

When I got to the gym I changed fairly quickly, filled my water bottle with cold water, ate a plain Cliff shot and started my run on the treadmill. I decided to run on the treadmill so I didn't completely blow up in the middle of nowhere and have to crawl back. My left leg was feeling OK--not great, but OK.

I ran at a 8MPH pace and threw in 4X5 minute tempo efforts at 9MPH. I drank my whole water bottle in the first 30 minutes and had to fill it again for the remaining 30 minutes. I also took another plain Cliff Shot at the 30 minute mark. When the hour was over, I ran 8.35 miles. My average heart rate was 145; during the tempo efforts, my heart rate got to 155. I think I could have easily lasted another 30-40 minutes if I wanted to (that wasn't part of the plan though). The key to maintaining the pace was drinking cold water.

Total workout time was 5:20. I was glad it was over too. I am so looking forward to a recovery week next week.

After the workout, I met Tanya and took the kids home while she went food shopping. I was going to go, but decided I would have been smarter with me not there. I would have bought everything at the store. She did bring me home a chocolate cake--did I tell you how well I married?

First thing Mia wanted me to do when I got home was pull her around the block in her wagon. I'm a sucker and I indulged her. We took in the warm day--and she got to watch her dad hobble around like a curmudgeon. Every house we passed, Mia asked me where the monkey lived. I wouldn't acknowledge the question hoping she'll forget the monkey by her birthday! Monkey's aren't good pets...I have four!

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