Thursday, July 19, 2012

Training Much? -- I'll Say!

I can't express (or write for that matter), how much fun training has been this summer, even though I am not signed up for any races.  It has been my saving grace, keeping me on an even keel with the stressors at work and thankfully it is also managing my weight. 
I took the last of my scheduled PTO (paid time off) days off yesterday and completed one of the most fun filled 5 days of swim, bike, trotting yet.  Saturday, I survived a 2+ hour run before the cavs and feet just felt too close to their limit.  I almost felt like a runner again. 
Sunday, after not being on my bike all week after my 100 miler, Daisy (and company) invited me to ride with E.P. for 70-80 miles all over the more rural side of northeastern ohio.  E.P. was riding across the country to raise money for cancer (check out and don't hesitate to drop $5 or even more if you feel so inclined!!  Initially, it was me Daisy, Mr Daisy and FastEddie.  We rode pretty much my tempo effort on the way out to Chardon (about 18 miles) and blew by a handful of amish buggies (now I know how "I'll have another" feels passing the competition ;).

 It started to rain and my shoes and socks were soaked.  We picked up a few CTC riders before stopping in Chardon to wait for the larger group that had left from E.P.'s shop in Mentor (The Bicycle Hub).  I took the time to literally wring the water out of my socks.  It was gonna be a long day if the rain didn't hold. 

E.P. and company rolled about about 15 minutes after we stopped.  Group pics and salutations were exchanged before heading back the way we came 16 miles.  We stopped at Linda's Restaurant and smashed some breakfast before rolling out at an albeit, leisurely pace.

We lost portions of the group from that point on, including ourselves when we hit Champion/Warren.  We said our goodbyes to E.P. and her escorts before turning around about 55 miles out and headed back to Parkman.  The pace, of course picked up with FastEddie pulling, but it was doable.  A couple times, I must have been sleeping and drifted back off somebody's rear wheel and had to push to get back up in line. We hit one of the steepest hills, I have climbed all year and I was forced to stand up a little over half way to the top.  We reached Parkman with another 22 miles logged in the Garmin bank.  Mr. Daisy had completed his longest ride ever, to boot -- Hell Yeah!!
We enjoyed some nice Busch beers, pizza and other bar food way too long and quite a few laughs to wrap up the day.  Oh and it DOWN POURED about 20 minutes after we arrived back to Daisy's.

Monday, I managed to pedal on out for a recovery, errr not-recovery ride, thanks to A-train bombing the hills and tyring to push my heart rate up to the northern end of the 130's, before inappropriately rehydrating for the second day in a row post-ride. 

Come Tuesday, I was all but retired, not only from triathlon, but from triathlon training.  I swam for a little over an hour trying to wash the post training celebrating out of my body.  I felt really strong in the water, but on land I was dragging, bad.  I almost bailed on the Tuesday night tavern ride.  Not fast enough to roll with the A group and not wanting to wait until 1830, I decided to just roll out on my own at around 1745.  The goal was to keep my HR 150-170 bpm and with the hills, heat and humidity on the way out, it wasn't a problem.  The loop was about 30 miles and I spent the first 8 miles pretty much pushing and panting (sounds like I am in labor).  I was feeling a little better every mile.  My thighs were burning and I was actually kind of liking the pain (WTF - was the heating melting my brain?)

I was about 17 miles out and had just started making my way back, when I heard that awful sound of my tire going flat.  I stopped and sure enough the front tire was done for.  I walked my bike back to the side of the road, just in case the A group came by and caught me before I fixed the flat (and thank goodness I did).  I ripped the old tube out and was trying to get the tire and new tube on when lo' and behold they rolled up, like knights on shiny steeds.  Daisy, J.D.  of, C.S. and N were able to get me back up and riding in no time.  I was glad they were there since the beads in the tire itself seemed to be a little faulty (I would have never noticed that).  Not wanting to flat alone again, I bit the bullet and "went to the cave," sucking whomever was the last wheel in the A group paceline for dear life all the way back to my car.  I couldn't pull, but I did manage to hang on and get back safely, sans flats -- Phew!!

By Wednesday, I was a training zombie.  I rolled out of bed at 0520 for a group swim.  My army of one and sometimes two (when Daisy and my schedules aligned), had now turned into four with FastEddie and B.O. joining in.  The lake was calm and quiet.  The ducks were out patrolling and the sun was just rising -- it was a perfect morning for a swim.  I felt a little wasted after the first loop and my arms were sore from the swim the day before, so really, really focused on my form.  I was good for about 45 minutes of quality swimming, before calling it a morning.  I got a cooking bug up my arse and toasted some bagels and scrambled up some eggs with veggies and cheese for everybody before we parted ways. 

I had planned on a recovery run or ride a little later, but my my body said "hey jackass, why don't you just take a recovery nap?"  It didn't take much thought and I passed out around 1000 until about 1630 when I ....

had to go back to being an adult and go to work, but I'll be back at this training gig on Thursday.

Like Macca says "Embrace The Suck!!"  (he should add but take a rest day once in awhile and rehydrate appropriately).

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