Can you believe I've finished 12 weeks of trainig for this half-ironman already? I'm feeling much more confident in being able to finish the distance. Now I just want to continue building my base and getting stronger.
One thing that has been frustrating is to watch my speed die. I've been steadily getting slower and slower. It's so hard when I show up to group workouts, and I'm the slowest person there (and it's everyone elses 1st workout since the off-season!).
Here are my stats for the past 12 weeks:
Basically, I think I'm right where I should be as far as my plan goes. I'm training a total of 9-12 hours a week, with 3 workouts in each sport, plus weight training. I've actually been able to complete the workouts I set out to do, which is, in my mind, incredible. I'm biking between 80-90 miles total/week, running 20 miles, and swimming ~5000 meters. My long bike is 40-45, my long run is 12, and I've done a few long swims of 1900 meters to "test the waters" (bad pun). So it's coming together nicely.
I've definitely noticed that since I started phase II of base training, I'm more cranky. Most of the people I train with are much faster and have better endurance than me so I get depressed at how hard I'm working and how slow I feel in comparison. Then, I remember that I'm only beginning my 4th year of triathlon, and I've only done some Olympic tris and a few half-marathons so this is still new to me. When I put it in perspective of where I am and how far I've come, I realize I'm right where I should be. But it's so hard not to compare myself to others. I'm just so sick of being the slowest person at club workouts.
On a more positive note, I've had some stellar workouts these past few weeks. I'm feeling less tired after my killer weekends and am recovering faster. Plus, it's easier for me to go to bed early and wake up earlier. Sleep and nutrition are definitely key. So are massages and stretching. And wearing the orthotics in the right shoe (another story). I'm also taking in more fluids, calories, and electrolytes on the bike and somewhat on the run. I can drink 1 large water bottle on a 40-mile bike with Elete electrolytes added, plus 1 scoop of Carbo Pro (which I'm hoping to boost to 2 scoops and 2 water bottles by race day on the bike). I'm supplementing with salt tablets (1-2), fat-free Fig Newtons (~5), and Cliff Blocks (3-5), which ends up totaling about 300-500 calories. I think calorie-wise, this will set me up really well for the run. Then, on the run, I'm drinking water + Elete but haven't felt the need for calories. I know I should but my stomach can be so finicky...
After my stomach bug and returning from Nor Cal, I decided to resume training that weekend, even though it was technically an R&R week. I ended up doing an invigorating 40-mile ride Saturday with a cycling enthusiast friend of mine. His "recovery" ride was my long, exhausting workout ride. But it was good. Sunday, I got talked into doing a long run and we ended up going 10 miles. But we went very slow, and I didn't feel trashed at the end. Actually, my long runs make me feel kind of good afterwards.
Last week was the first week of Base 2. I hit it pretty hard but finally felt like I was hitting my stride with the workouts. What did me in was a 30 mile bike Friday morning, followed by a 40 mile bike Saturday, and a 5-mile brick run. I was pretty beat on Saturday night. We did a 12-mile run on Sunday, after which I took a very long nap. By Monday morning, I actually felt pretty good, surprisingly. Go figure.
This morning, we started our formal masters swim program at UCSD. 7:30 am, baby! I know, that's kind of late for masters swimming. The coach was really awesome. He put me in a lane where I fit right in speed-wise. The workout was very fast-paced and invigorating. He watched me this time and told me we'd work on my stroke next time, which I desperately need b/c I've gotten slower on the swim too, and that's just ridiculous! I told him I want to become more efficient. I think he's just the guy to help me do that so I'm pretty stoked about it.
Our workout was:
WU: 500 free
(1st/3rd 50 bilateral breathing; 2nd/4th stroke)
100x4 descending (base time)
50x4 stroke (rest 10)
100 kick hard (rest 30)
I wasn't able to do the last 100 kick but finished everything else for a total of ~3500 meters (most awesome).
Gotta go home and get in a session on the trainer!