Shake It Off – Work it out

As soon as I got back from Monterey, it was 100% focus on XTERRA season.  It was a very abrupt shift from 3x mountain bike races to staring down 7x XTERRA events in a row.  With a couple weekends off.  I spent the Monday after Ocean Weasel in Monterey enjoying sunny, hot temperatures with a cruise down the waterfront staring at fat, sun tanning seals and gorgeous ocean vistas.  I feel so lucky to do this because that was the most wonderful day I have ever had in Monterey.  I have had one great race at Sea Otter in about 10 starts (maybe more!) so doing well or doing crappy at this race is really not a big concern for me.  This year half went well, half went sideways.  I am pretty sure I am better than last year right now so even if my mountain bike results are spotty the form is still there.  The sunny, warm conditions made the weekend overall pretty great.

I then went for a swim at USC, packed my stuff and headed to SFO.¬† After a very late arrival into Victoria I got a nice, sleep-in morning and regrouped.¬† This was going to be a week of speed focused training to start shifting from aerobic fitness to race specific speed.¬† Perhaps it sounds a little late, give we are heading straight into race season but I felt that it would be better to be a bit under-done going into the first race and build from there rather than going out all guns a-blazin’ and susceptible to injury or illness.. we’ll see how the plan pans out..¬† so read more for the nerdy training deets of this past week…

I swam Tuesday in my wetsuit in the pool.¬† I was pretty happy… my Profile Design Goldcell didn’t feel nearly as heavy on my shoulders¬†as it has in the past for my first wetsuit swim of the year.¬† Then I did a long easy run and a bike ride with Ross with some 15s sprints to clear out the legs.¬†

Wednesday¬† started with an hour of power session with Ross and Jasper Blake followed by 3x8mins off the bike running.¬† The hour of power went insane.. 35:07 for this session when I did 36:26 ten days out from Sea Otter.¬† So I guess Sea Otter didn’t go well¬†race-wise¬†but the training was good!¬† I also never went faster than 36:30 last season so I am feeling pretty good about the mountain biking this year.¬† AND I am waiting to do specific¬†speed work.¬† I really hope to bring a little more snap in my legs during the coming weeks.¬† The run was indicative of a hard bike workout with some heavy legs.. not anything great.¬† I did another swim in the wetsuit, 3km with a bunch of best average 100s (not awesome 1:14s but whatever), then took it off for another 1.5km no wetsuit with 1000m pull and 500 drill/swim.¬†¬†

Thursday started with a smash myself session on the treadmill of 3mins at 5km¬†race pace (at 1% incline), 2¬† mins rest,¬† then 3x1min with 1 min rest at wouldn’t it be nice? pace and 1% incline, three times through the cycle for a total of 18 minutes of high quality.¬†I went on 10.5 and 11 mph.¬† I swear the Woodway hands me my butt every time I get on the thing.¬† I can run at least a half mile an hour faster an any conventional treadmill but my Woodway seems WAY harder – maybe it is the cool snowmobile tracks.¬† Whatever, as long as the work is done but that is my excuse for the paces ;).¬† So by the end of that workout I was not dying by any means but it was getting harder by the third set.¬† I went to the pool and did 8/7/6/5×100 on 1:30 (I was struggling to hold 1:20s and resorted to paddles by the end of it) and then hopped on rollers to finish the day.

Friday I swam in the morning with a bunch of sprint 50s and then 30x50s on :45 with paddles.  I had the Finis tempo trainer in my ear trying to get my turnover up because I am really lacking some arm speed right now.  This set was not spectacular.  Sprinting 36?  I was swimming 39s on :45s.  Yuck.  I almost wished it was short course that day :).  I had Brent McMahon making me feel even slower than I was as he zipped past.  Swimming is frustrating!  After that I did an easy 1.5h spin on the waterfront enjoying the sunny weather. 

Saturday morning I was a wreck from¬†too little sleep and too much socializing.¬† It wasn’t the correct Friday night for an¬†athlete.¬† ¬†I did the local group ride and had NO sprint in my legs at all.¬† The ride gets really hard with some tough attacks and on one steep hill I just didn’t have what it took and got dropped.¬† I chased for like 5km but still didn’t get on.¬† I was feeling sorry for myself for the entire 3h¬†that my legs felt so crappy and also mad at myself for having totally screwed up my recovery the night before.¬† It probably would have been the same regardless as the treadmill workout I did was the culprit for my lack of legs.¬† Every time I start ramping up speedwork it takes a few weeks for me to adapt to that so two days to recover from that workout is not unheard of for me.¬† I will be back!¬†¬†I had a nice long nap after the ride and then finished the day with an easy run with 5x strides. ¬†I wanted to keep my frequency and be ready to run the next morning.¬† It was like running on tree stumps.¬† Awful.¬† Some core, stretching and an ice bath completed the day.

The next day I raced the Times Colonist 10km.  My goal was 36 minutes.  Very soon after I started I knew it was not going to be a 36 minute day as I was still running on tree stumps.   I ran semi-comfortably in the 36 minute group until approaching 5km and more hills.  Then I quickly faded as we climbed out of Ross Bay and headed towards the finish.  Just as I had no power in my legs on the ride on Saturday I also had no power on the run Sunday and the hills seemed harder than necessary.  Time to taper down a little.  I ran 37 minutes and change which a year ago would have been fantastic and now is just good for being a bit overdone at the moment. 

So after two juice boxes, a yummy muffin and treating myself to coffee at Bubby Rose’s Cafe, a soak in the ocean for 15 minutes, some healthy food¬†and a session on rollers I am packing it in for¬†the week.¬† I planned to do another swim but I have decided to rest and do a bit more quality tomorrow than normal.¬† Thursday I leave for Vegas!¬† We’ll see what everyone has been up to this winter ūüėČ and it will be a MelRad Racing team kickoff.¬† Totally exciting.¬† Until then… keep it rubber side down!

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