Thursday, June 16, 2016

Surviving the Big Weekend of Training

Well I survived.  Week 15 of the training plan was a doozie.

I wasn't sure what to expect so I have broken things down day by day for future reference.  I was very nervous about how things would play out with each big day, not that each one was unattainable but the combination of the 4 days had me worried.  I probably made it way harder on myself mentally because I was so freaked out about how it was going to go down.  It seems very important to record this so I will know (and others also) that things may seem really difficult but we get through them and that in itself is a huge accomplishment- the new mental perspective that then encourages us for the future.  Perhaps a non-consideration for those who have many times completed an Ironman distance triathlon, but the mental aspect for newbies seems pretty big.

Thursday- swim day 
3200 meters in 1 hour 35 min
I feel that I am getting better in the water and more comfortable but I don't think time reflects this. I am not going to focus on the time right now as it is more productive to know I can feel comfortable in the water and cover the distance necessary.


  • This was split between 2 swim sessions, long one in the morning and shorter one in the afternoon
  • It takes almost 1000 m before I start feeling a rhythm

Friday- long bike
92 miles in just over 6 hours

We left from home very early in the morning with about +16 temp and rode for a couple hours of rolling hills and into the wind.  Had all our water and fuel needs along with us.  This sent me off with 2 large bottles of UCAN fuel (3 scoops powder in each), my front xlab water bottle full with water  and 1 Nuun tablet as well as 3 additional water bottles full each also with water and 1 Nuun.  I was planning to have my xlab water empty every 1 1/2 - 2 hours then refill with one bottle that I was carrying.  I carried this all in a small backpack.  Each UCAN bottle was to last 3 hours.  3 big mouthfuls every 45 minutes.  I also brought along a quest bar, peanut butter sandwich on gluten free bread and a banana.  I felt like I was struggling a bit mentally as I was truly unsure how I was going to make out.  When those little voices of doubt just don't stop, you have to work so hard to stay focused and positive. Traffic was pretty good.  We have no bike lane nor paved shoulders so we try to go on roads early in the morning to avoid traffic as much as possible.  The traffic on this particular road we knew would be heavier coming toward us not with us.
Stopped at the 2 hour mark for water refill, bathroom break and banana.  Felt good and glad to have a change of direction and a bit of a break from the wind.
The remaining portion of the ride took us straight south through some bigger hills.

A wonderful road, smooth, without a lot of traffic and a nice shoulder to ride on.  Elevation gain just over 2500 feet.

 Stopped again around the 4 hour mark for a quick snack (sandwich) and bathroom break. We actually rode over the mountain and were back again on pretty flat prairie and the wind was now very strong.  We decided to turn around and do the hills twice rather than continue with the wind so strong.

 The wind seemed vicious back over on the other side and I started feeling like I was well on my way to "spentville".  I had a my quest bar and tried to drink more water.  It was getting pretty warm and the challenge certainly for me has been when my fuel starts to get warm, it tastes very unappealing.  It was a real push the last part up the hill to where I needed to turn off.  Hubby stayed with me for the first 2 hours on the busier road then we rode our own pace but met up after the next 2 and then again once I was up the hill and at the turn off to go to our destination, it was a huge relief to see him coming back for me.  Those last 4 miles were going straight into the wind and I found myself starting to have an emotional breakdown.  It was so hard and I felt there was no way I could have still done another 20ish miles and ran 26 after that yet and this possibility seemed to be my undooing.  We barely had our bikes parked at the vehicle and he came to me and hugged me and the tears let loose.  I kept saying that I wouldn't be able to do it and he said I would that this was a very hard ride with the wind being as strong as it was.  I calmed down and we continued to get everything loaded up.  We planned on running for close to an hour after this but we changed our minds and ran/walk for about 20-25 min.  Our daughter who picked us up went to get us each a hamburger and a G2 for the drive home.  Funny how I don't really every drink G2 but can't wait to consume one each time we are exercising in the heat for a long period of time.


  • This was the longest ride I have ever done with hills and a very strong wind and I am proud of this accomplishment
  • My fuel was pretty much dead on for my needs, I think I would just like another solid food (bar probably) in the mix.  I have planned to use UCAN bars as well as the liquid fuel but my timing sucked and I didn't restock my supply in good time.  (FYI- my order came in on Monday)
  • I do wonder if my "hitting the wall" feeling toward the end was due to pushing myself beyond or because of a fueling insufficiency.
  • I have heard that the more you suffer in training, the less you suffer in the event.  I am counting on this!
  • A hamburger and G2 right after was really helpful in restoring my energy and balancing my emotions
  • Using Young Living Oils have been helpful in my recovery- today was no exception.  I used lemongrass, wintergreen and Cool Azul on my legs as well as magnesium spray.
  • I also elevated my legs for the 1 hour trip home.
Saturday-long run
We chose to do our long run today (rather than ride again based on the logistics of having your own business and not having that kind of time slot available for a second day)  Run was just over 2 hours and we started in the afternoon. (again due to the farmer needing to be on his fields first thing in the morning)  It was 25 C with a decent wind from the east as we started just after 4.  Made a bottle of UCAN with 2 scoops and divided it into a small hand held bottle and a glass.  Planning to use the fuel in the bottle in an hour and share the cups worth right now.  Ran straight into the wind for a couple miles.  Again, a good chance to mentally stay strong and not get beat down with the crazy winds again.  Our next turn had us going south, a nice change and a chance to start talking as we could now actually hear each other without yelling.  The road took us up a very steep hill, my quads were thanking me many times.  Turned around and ran back down and continued on our loop course.  

Our youngest daughter came out with cold water and our fuel bottle.  I was struggling a bit in the middle part but seemed to find my rhythm again.  My biggest complaint was needing to stop and pee so many times.  I know that I retain fluid when my body has some inflammation and due to yesterday's ride, I had a lot of dribble stops.  After we were done, I again thought of how many times I have ran 2 hours and more and it isn't a big deal, what did I have my panties in a wad about with this.  We had a recovery shake but didn't have an appetite for the macroni and hot dog meal the kids prepared in our absence.  I find that a lot of the time I am not starving after a big training session- the next day is another story but often a shake and something else (gluten free muffin and some fruit) is enough.  

  • Ran with the fuel and water to simulate race day strategy and felt good
  • Need to wear the clothing I am planning to wear to ensure it is a good choice.  I know many run the marathon with running gear and though my shorts are very comfortable, I was thinking of running with my tri shorts to have more pockets.  I like that they will be a bit of compression for my legs but I don't like anything tight around my waist and my tri shorts may be problematic in this area.  
  • Good strategy to run in the afternoon and deal with higher winds and hotter temp.
  • Used my recovery oils and elevated my legs again.  There was discomfort going up and down the stairs throughout the evening.   
Sunday- long ride #2
On the bike trainer this morning as the forecast of rain proved right.  I don't mind getting wet but safety is a bigger concern so the trainer and the television worked for me today.  Hubby couldn't get his watch to pair with his sensor and spent a lot of time trying to fix it.  Felt bad that it wouldn't work for him.  I plugged along for a 4 hour ride to get in 60 miles.  Legs weren't really sore but seemed a bit tuckered out.  My speed was pretty slow but I did keep a consistent overall pace for the first 2 hours then seemed to be able to pick it up after that a bit.  I had planned to ride 3- 3 1/2 hours but really wanted to get to 4 hours so I did.  I actually think my legs felt better as time went on.  My fuel was 3 scoops of UCAN and 2 bottles of water, so my fuel and water consumption was on the low side for the 4 hour ride.  I also had a banana and 2 peanut butter protein energy balls.  Recovery lunch was protein waffles and sausages.

  • Not really pleased with the pace/speed of this ride but with the accumulated training of the prior 3 days, I think it was ok.  A starting point I guess.
  • I was very happy that after feeling like my legs were dead weight Sat night, they felt really good on Sunday.  Tired but good.
  • Had a really sore neck and shoulders but only lasted a day.
  • Didn't use any compression gear; should try next time.
  • Overall, pleased with how things worked out.  I  had some tough conditions and worked through them.  
  • Not sure if the bike run bike was better/worse than the bike/bike/run combo would have been but it was what we needed to do. 
  • Would have liked a longer bike run brick after the first long ride.
  • Made a point of getting to bed earlier for a couple nights to get more sleep for recovery- was very important.
  • The skin on my face had a lot of salt reside on it after the first long ride and after the long run.  I had Nuun in my water so not sure if there should be 2 tablets instead of 1 or if that meant I needed to be drinking more overall.  
  • Took Monday as a full rest day and Tues was and easy swim day to aid in recovery. 

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