Thursday, May 15, 2014

5, 4: Rest Week and an Endurance Push

Monday April 28.  1200 yard swim.  After feeling quite stiff all day, and additionally tired in the legs and back, I contemplated bailing on this workout.  But an easy swim always seems to help with leg mobility after a race, so I went out anyway.  Slowly speeding up through alternating freestyle and breast stroke 200's, I went through a number of more intense stretches that are easier to do in the pool.  Intuition was right.  I felt much less stiff, but still tired, after finishing.  As far as road marathon recoveries go, this is the easiest one so far.  Trail marathons and 50ks are easier, since they have less repetitive motion, and it's the repetition that gets me.

Tuesday April 29.  10.0 mile trainer ride.  And a massage.  And some yoga.  And some mwod.  And some rolling.  Back on the bicycle, but initially to get moving and work out stiffness.  I kept a very easy pace while reading, and I noticed lots of random muscle tingles come and go.  After the ride, my legs felt very tired, but much less stiff.  Enough to push myself through a handful of flexibility-motivated yoga poses that I wouldn't have been able to do earlier.  I like the second recovery days the most--I can't really tell what's a transient thing vs. something I need to focus on, body-wise, until getting myself moving again.

Wednesday April 30.  3.1 mile run.  An unexpectedly quick jaunt around the Huckleberry loop.  My legs have been feeling unbalanced and out of whack, and I've found getting an easy run in as soon as I can after a race helps get things back to normal.  But I felt better than expected and ran decently fast.

Friday May 2.  200 yard swim and 6.3 mile run.  Both workouts were unexpectedly fast.  Being a deliberate recovery week, I make a point to not let any workout feel like it's taxing my body, but I also make a point to let go of most of the training plan and have fun.  It felt right to move fast today, and I feel much better for it, both physically and energy wise.  The swim was a number of fast 50's mixed in with longer sets in an up-and-down distance ladder.  The run was the Huckleberry/Sibley route.  I made a point to run it at a fun fast pace until finishing the Round Top climb, and I set a couple Strava segment pr's on the way. I picked up a pair of Lone Peaks this week too, and I took them out to break them in.  First impression is that they're great for everything but taking steep downhills fast--my feed slide forward too much inside the shoe in this case.  But that might go away as I adjust the laces and break them in.

Saturday May 3.  26.5 miles/2:17 kiting.  First time out for the season, a late start.  MC has kept me wary of water time where phones don't go.  It was quite windy in Alameda, low 20s, I was overpowered a bit on the 11.  The beginning and end were sloppy (long warm up to start, tired at the end).  The middle hour was great.  Longer jumps than last season, something psychological has shifted.

New beach!
Sunday May 4.  3.9 mile hike and 17.8 mil ride.  We took MC for a hike.  For some reason, I put a 5k goal in the back of my mind, to help PL with getting back to normalcy, and we ended up being out for much more than the typical 20 minutes.  I then went out for a 10 mile ride and went way over when I decided to make the Grizzly Peak climb and head out to Inspiration Point.  For some reason I can't fathom, I turned up South Park drive on the way back.  That was hard.  But worth it.  I haven't been down there on my bike, since the closed gate through the winter, along with its reputation, was enough to make me ride around it.  Oh yeah, and my abs hurt like crazy today.  Kiting involves much more dynamic core work than typical home or gym workouts, which are more strength focused. I should probably change that, since jumping always leaves me sore.

Monday May 5.  10.1 mile trainer ride.  Short intervals at max effort.  Max effort on cycling is muscle bound more than aerobically bound.

Tuesday May 6.  1400 yard swim and 7.2 mile run.  The swim was hardish--my upper body was all sore and tired from kiting on Saturday.  The run was intended to be easy hill time, but I ended up taking some flat sections and downhills much faster than intended.  And I just kept going.  I did succeed in forcing myself to walk uphills, with a couple intended exceptions.  I'm learning a lot about what not to do before a race this year.  This weekend's half marathon is the middle of a three part endurance weekend.  I signed up for it since it's close to home and the training distance I wanted, but I also want to use it to test speed on a shorter race, something I've been itching to do after running a number of longer races.

Thursday May 8.  5.7 mile run.  A slow tapering run in Redwood, taking the French/Chown/Stream loop.  I've never run on the Chown trail.  For as many times as I've run in Redwood, it's usually been on the same few routes.  I added 30 seconds of strides every half mile.

Friday May 9.  2200 yard swim.  This weekend is an endurance weekend, covering approximately a half ironman distance over three days, starting with the swim.   The goal is to get the longest ride before Hawaii in, along with the swim and run distance.

Saturday May 10.  13.1 mile run, Wildcat Half Marathon.  I ran a strong effort, but kept pace down at any point it felt like I was hitting strength limits.  More elsewhere.

Sunday May 11.  51.3 mile ride.  I went out for a ride around Mt.  Diablo.  Starting in Alamo, I rode up through Walnut Creek and out to Clayton.  The ride over Lime Ridge was deceptively long, in comparison to an elevation chart I had looked at when planning this.  I was rather tired after Saturday's run, which made this ride much harder than it needed to be.  But it's the last long and hard effort weekend, and I expected it, so I worked with it.  Heading down Marsh Creek Rd, I started to get really tired and took a stretch break about 16 miles in.  Traffic here was unnerving--fast and on a road with negligible shoulder.  I was planning to add a short out and back before turning onto Morgan Territory Rd, but the traffic changed my mind.

Somewhere on Morgan Territory Rd.

Morgan Territory Rd  was not only hard,  but much harder than I expected.  Especially on tired legs and after four hours of sleep.  Hard seemed to be the theme for this ride.  It's a one lane road for about 10 miles, first heading up through the Marsh Creek valley.  Everything here was quiet and peaceful.  And hard.  The road got steeper as it went.  The road crossed the Diablo 50k route, and has the same feeling of isolation, tranquility, and outright windiness.

Done climbing,
Passing the ridge top, the ride downhill was very steep.  Very steep and very long.  And it was very windy.  Enough so that I stopped and walked the bike down through one pass, where the gusts were strong enough to push me off balance a bit while walking.  Good call, for reasons I'd find out later.

Waves in the grass.
The ride downhill passed through a number of ranches/houses/farms and ends up at Manning Rd, which is pretty much the middle of nowhere.  And it was still very windy and very gusty, so I took the ride slow.  A half mile up Highland Rd, I came across a group of three other cyclists, one of whom was on the ground, holding an iced shoulder in pain.  A sudden wind gust had knocked him down while riding.  On a flat stretch of road.  Good call on walking parts of that downhill...

Middle of Nowhere.
I waited until the paramedics arrived and had things under control, and I zig-zagged up through Danville and past this creepy fancy country club place called Blackhawk.  Where you have to have transponders on your car to get in, or something.  It looked like something Von Hammersplanck Industries would put together.  Reading up it later, one of the Motley Crüe lives somewhere inside.

Passing mile 40, I just wanted to be done.  Everything was tired.  Perfect endurance training.  I skipped out on the last 4ish miles, since I was certain that the pre-fatigue, difficulty of the route, crazy wind gusts, and extra time from riding slow made this significantly harder than the Highway 19/270 route I'm training for.

Oh, and here's the Diablo wind readings while I was out (7-12 AM):

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