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 😉 and it will be a MelRad Racing team kickoff. Totally exciting. Until then… keep it rubber side down!