IMoo Loops: More Than I Can Chew
I'm not sure if today was an act of insanity or stupidity. I'm leaning toward stupidity. I'm leaning heavily toward stupidity.
The plan was a 7.5 hour workout. I know it sounds long for March, but my first 'A' race of the year is a half iron in early June and I'm about to start my build phase. I wanted to end my base period with a big workout, mainly to give me a benchmark and see where I'm at and what I need to do to accomplish my goals.
The big problem with this workout, which become obvious early on, is that I didn't really do the proper workouts to prepare for it. The original plan was to swim for 30 minutes at the Y, drive home, bike for 100 miles (two loops of the IM course) and then run 10 miles.
The swim was good. I swam with my H2O Audio, which I haven't done in a while. I forgot how cool that thing is. I had a good playlist going and kind of wanted to swim longer. I didn't count laps, but I did check my pace occasionally and I was consistently around a 1:35 pace so I estimate I swam 1850 yards (a tad over a mile).
The bike was a disaster. It started out with me discovering that the firmware update on my powertap computer made it an ANT+ computer and it no longer recognizes my hub (which isn't ANT+). I screwed around with it for a few minutes hoping I could load the old firmware and be good to go. Nope. So I grabbed my Garmin so I could collect my data, but I don't have a Garmin mount on my tri bike so I stuffed the computer in my pocket. So I rode without seeing data. No power, time, speed....nothing.
Early into the ride my sunglasses got caught by the wind and blew off and broke. $200 sunglasses....gone. This workout was quickly going downhill. So I stuffed the pieces in my pocket and continued without glasses. I ride without glasses a lot so it's not that big of a deal, but it was only 38 degrees when I left the house so my eyes were watering a lot without glasses on.
My expectations were low for the bike since it's early in the year, this would be my first century for the year, it was cold and windy....lots of reasons. I figured my speed would be between 18-19 mph, hopefully closer to 19, but I would've been really happy with 18.5. Every time I checked my computer: 17.5-17.8. Crap. Without my power meter, I wasn't sure if my power was low or if I was slow because of the wind (which I swear was ALWAYS a headwind). I like to think it was the wind, but I think the truth is that I just wasn't riding hard enough.
17.5 was the number I saw the most when I checked my computer so I figured I'd try to hold that pace the rest of the day. Around the 75 mile mark, I began to realize how dumb I truly am. This was my first ride on my tri bike this year, and I was hurting. 100 miles for a first ride on the tri bike is not a good idea. My neck and shoulders were really sore from the aerobars and I had to sit up quite a bit. My legs were getting tired, and the climbs were getting to me.
In the end, I was on the bike almost 6 hours. My average speed ended at 17.1. My legs were really tired, and I could tell I didn't take in enough calories. Not having the time in front of me reminding me to eat proved to be a problem. I still had a lot of calories left on the bike, and I didn't bring enough for a 6 hour ride in the first place so I suspected I was pretty low on calories. I was also really cold. I was warm for the first 30 minutes of the bike, cold for the rest. I hate spring in Wisconsin.
The run was terrible. I wanted to run an 8:30 pace or better. I also wanted to do 10 miles, but since I was on the bike so long I cut it down to 7. I didn't want to the workout to go longer than 7.5 hours. Clearly, I wasn't ready for a workout that long, so going longer wasn't going to help matters. Plus, I start my new job tomorrow and I don't want to be completely destroyed.
I only managed a 9 minute pace. And I was still freezing. I couldn't warm up. Long workouts in 45 degree weather is not a good idea. It's hard to dress for that. Never again.
Looking back on this workout, I think it was a mistake. I wasn't ready for it. I learned a few things, but I also feel very discouraged. It's early in the year, but I feel like I was way off pace and should have been faster if I'm actually going to achieve my goals. I keep telling myself there's a lot of training time left, but I also keep telling myself that qualifying for Kona is way out of my reach. I feel like I set my sights too high. I was hoping this workout would go fairly well and I'd be encouraged to put in hard work and get where I need to be. Instead, I'm discouraged.
I have a lot of work to do.
On a positive note: I just finished a good base building block. For three weeks I did every workout and hit all of my goals - except today. I did 16 hours, 18 hours, and 20 hours. Next week is a recovery week so I have 11.5 hours on the schedule. And tomorrow is a rest day, my first rest day since Feb 23. I'm looking forward to a day off, but I start my new job and I'm kind of nervous about that.