Just like when you start a new workout (or restart an old routine) and it’s not the day after the workout that hurts, but the day AFTER the day after that you are the most sore, I fully expected my second week on a dedicated plan of higher intensity workouts to be harder than the first. Not as much physically as mentally. When you are tired and hungry all the time and are having difficulty sleeping (an unfortunate side effect I have after hard workouts), it’s easy to get down. The alarm noise is more cruel than usual. You are still looking up at 8 weeks of hard training. It’s normal to question your sanity. Luckily I never had that in the first place so it was one less thing to question…
Of the 12 workouts I had scheduled this week, I made 10 of them. Hill repeats night on Wednesday was 104 degrees. Um… No. I took my son to the gym and did 45 minutes of spinning. Not the same intensity, but I’m just not that stupid. The Saturday easy ride after the run didn’t happen either for a couple of reasons. I was supposed to run 11 miles beforehand but ended up adding an extra mile so that was harder than it was supposed to be and I was tired. The second reason was that traffic in town was a nightmare from city limit sign to city limit sign. It would have just been a frustrating disaster. Again… not that dedicated.
Although I am definitely tired, I keep waiting for the pain and muscle soreness that used to accompany my long runs (15+) but for the most part it is just not there. I see that as a big positive. One less thing to bring me down! I will say that it seems to be taking me a lot longer to get warmed up though. I didn’t feel comfortable on my long run until I was 5 miles in!
When you train this much (and yes, I consider TWELVE workouts a week a LOT), one thing you have to consider that I had not given enough attention to is preparation. Not of the workout itself (because my workouts are not that complicated) or even nutrition (which just has to be a constant), but just making sure you are ready. I have filled more water bottles, mixed more Gatorade, cleaned more workout gear and done more maintenance than I think I ever have. And it’s not just making sure you have the right stuff at the right time. I find that the only way to fight the excuse demons is to prepare for the next workout completely before I go to bed. This means having clothes, shoes, towels, bikes, goggles, etc. in a neat pile and ready to stumble into first thing in the morning. If I am doing two workouts in the same day, this also means prepping for both. If I run in the morning, go to work and then ride in the afternoon, I have to have both workouts stuff ready to go. This is especially challenging since I don’t have 10 pairs of tri shorts or shoes so I have to make sure those are clean and dry (in the case of my shoes) and ready. If I forget, I’m screwed. And nothing will ruin your groove quicker than running in wet shoes or forgetting something (like your helmet).
Because of this, my car has become afflicted with triathlonoma. Smelly, cancerous growths of old clothes and shoes I forgot to get out yesterday so they sat in the hot sun all day. As well as various empty water bottles, Gu packets, old towels and other unidentifiable pieces of race swag, crumpled numbers, sunscreen and chain lube. I knew it was stinky when the 8 year old begged to roll the windows down in the 100+ temps last week. I have also discovered that the smelliest piece of equipment I have seems to be one of the smallest… My bike gloves REEK!! But, hey, with that much crap in my (very tiny) car, when the zombie apocalypse comes at least I’ll be ready. I’m not sure what for… but I’ll be ready.
So for week three I am making a few adjustments. I am definitely taking Mondays off from now on. I’m also not sure about doing back to back bricks on Saturday and Sunday. Oh, I’m sure it is the right thing to do… I just don’t know if I can do it. Especially riding 25 miles after a 12-14 mile run on Saturday. There is a reason they do the run last… and after I finish that long run, I’m pooped. I might do a few of them, but not every week. I think it’s just a bit too much for me right now.
Next week will be a challenge as I am in Los Angeles all week. I do have one VERY long run planned at my favorite place out there called Sycamore Canyon State Park. It’s an out and back that goes from Newbury Park down to the ocean. It’s about 17.5 miles and the back half is all up hill! The last 3 miles are HELL, with one 3/4 mile stretch rising 800 feet! Anyway, the goal is to run down to the ocean, splash about a bit and then run back up. Kinda like my own Hood to Coast… 🙂 Anyway, it will be my longest run since I ran the Kansas City Marathon in 2007!