Sunday, 3 April 2011

The balloon deflates...

This week hasn't been such a good week of training, culminating with my ballon of motivation going pop this morning. It was meant to be the final week of a serious of build phases before recovery next week. Stupidly I thought even though I was going away on a training course at work I'd manage to get enough training in. Ha!

Monday is my traditional rest day, however, after 2.5 hours in the car driving up to Stansted I just wanted to do something, so thought I'd try out the hotel pool. Now I knew it was going to be 10m, but I hadn't appreciated just how short 20m feels when you get in it. I amused myself for a while doing a few strokes, tumble, dolphin kick, 2 strokes, tumble, repeat. Then got bored and went in the steam room, then got hot and did and endless tumble turn thing again. I did notice that the water level in the pool was dropping. I think my turns may have been emptying the water faster than it was getting pumped back in. Whoops.

I had set my alarm to get up nice and early on Tuesday and then go and use the gym. Felt tired though, never sleep too well in hotel beds, so turned alarm off. Thought I set a 0700 alarm. When I woke up at 0719 I realised I had set the alarm for Sunday. D'oh. Scrabbled around and went down for breakfast. Nice breakfast, I actually resisted the cooked stuff as I'd been naughty in slacking off the gym. Naively thought I'd be going to the gym in the evening. Nope, course ran from 0830 to 1800, with a group dinner at 1900 so no time at all to get down to the gym. Wednesday I was good. I got up when the alarm went off at 0615 and was the first person there when the gym opened at 0630. Plan was to do a bike run brick with the gym bike and dreadmill. Man I hate gym bikes, it's like the saddles are made for elephant arses, give me my razor blade of a saddle anyday. Too upright too. OK so I'm a little picky. Still managed to do a 25 minute interval type session doing 1 on 1 off after a warm up. Then it was on to the dreadmill. Reinforcing why I hate the things. So boring, and so uncomfortable to run on. I really don't understand why my dad loves running on his one so much when there are all the lovely fields around there place. I was ready to bin it after 5 minutes, then 10, 15, 20. Pushed on and made it to 25 then quit sharpish. 2.67 miles covered -  I remember now, I run slower on them too. Treated myself to a cooked breakfast as a reward though. Then in for another 0830-1745 day. Dinner was a bit later so went for a swim. Again more endless tumbling. Although for some reason I didn't really care for swimming crawl. I was a bit of a merman (without the beard...) and just felt at home swimming fly kick underwater endlessly, with some tumble turns thrown in for good measure. The
α male in me came out after a while, some other guys from the company came and used the pool and were doing underwater lengths. Of course I had to prove I was the best. Managed to chalk up 3 lengths before surfacing. Not bad going, won by a few lengths of course ☺.
Thursday I made the decision not to train again, this time because I new I'd be up late. Friday. Hmm, well this brought my usual post work run at lucnhtime. The idea was to do a 7 mile fartlek set. This was going to hurt properly. As per expectations it did, in more ways than I'd have liked. Starting with the "University Run" in reverse we took a little detour. Through a rather hilly part of Southampton. Naturally all the intervals were timed to be up the hills. Good God it hurt, especially the 2 minute effort. The downhill recoveries were so nice. By 8km I could feel the blister coming back on my instep. Damn it. Having hitched a ride, and with all my stuff in someones car I couldn't quit early so perservered through some 'different' areas of Southampton, running is definately the right speed for them. More intervals up hills, and one timed to break me mentally apparently, up a hill and around a bend. the hill flattens before the bend so you would assume it is flat around the corner, but no, it turns into another f***** of a hill.  After that came a nice downhill interval, 60s on down the hill. The interval was cut short when I made it to the bottom after 50s. A split speed of 17.6 km/h. I felt totally out of control though, like my legs were getting away from me. Thankfully it all ended after 13.5k and 80 minutes. That just left a painful jog home. Instep blister was back and not pretty.

Saturday was going to be bike day, well the weather looked the best of the weekend days and a long run would have been stupid after 14.7k the day before. Planned out 90km route that took in a few different routes from last weeks 83k ride to lengthen it out and improve on it a touch. Decided to take the roadie out, it was summer weather after all. Of course that meant it needed a bit of work which was Friday evenings job, cue me redoing the operation of the front mech. Hasn't worked properly since I changed it after damaging the last one on the sportive in November. Having indexed it and got it shifting properly it was off to bed. On Saturday morning I went off and got the bottle cages it needed (put them on the cyclox bike) fitted them and by then it was 12. No time for lunch = mistake number 1, lack of energy may explain why my quads decided to die on me. t was nice getting out on the roadie though. Apart from all the little niggles. The spoke magnet was broken and kept twisting around. After 7 K I was so fed up I stopped and removed it, turns out the plastic is cracked and that is why it keeps loosening off. This bit me in the ass later when the Garmin decided my attempt at climbing the hills was so pathetic I'd stopped, and auto paused, I may not be worthy of the polka dot jersey, but I was still moving Garmin! Then my attempt at fixing the front mech failed when the cable slipped and I had to resort to using the STIs as if I were running a triple. An annoyance. Then my back hurt, then my quads gave in. So glad when I finally made it home.

That brings me to this morning, and my ballon of training excitement bursting. Really couldn't be arsed to go out for my long run. I had new socks to try, and a new way of lacing my shoes, but just couldn't find the motivation. Eventually I scooped up what little motivation I could muster and went out. It hurt, my legs hurt, I was sweating a lot, my heart rate was unusually high. All the signs were there that I should bin it. I didn't, after 5K things eased and I settled into my slow, slow pace. Similar route to last week, loops of the common with a large "University Run" loop thrown in to bulk up the distance without getting boring. Somehow I made it around. The price was a run where my HR was 10bpm higher for a 3% drop in pace. Should have listened to the body, high resting HR yesterday, sore legs this morning, salty sweat, then stopped sweating. Should have cut the run short at the very least. Oh well you live and (don't) learn.

The good thing was it was a blister free run. My new Hilly twin skin socks worked a treat, they felt great, and the new lacing method (Lydiard lacing) was also great, feet felt far more comfortable in the shoes, can sort of see why it is recommended for long distance running. Who knew how you tie your laces could have such a difference?

Weekly Roundup: Swim ??? (about 50 minutes, no idea how far), Bike 4hr 07 min (90km + 25min gym bike), Run 3hr 58mins (41.2km) Total 8hours 55 minutes

Mon pm - Swim 25 minutes
Tue - Rest Day
Wed am - Bike 25 min, Run 25 min (4.4k)
Wed pm - Swim 25 minutes
Thur - Rest Day
Fri pm - Run 1hr28m (14.7k)
Sat pm - Bike 3hr 42m (90k)
Sun am - Run 2hr 6m (22.1k)

Next week I'm going to listen to the body and actually rest properly, well almost, I've entered Ringwood Tri on Sunday. Distance wise it looks to be an OD with a short swim so think I can get away with replacing my weekends longer (60k bike, 16k run) sessions with a single event. And I can live with a nice taper too.

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