This week was my highest volume of training yet this year. My total training time was 23 hours and 15 minutes. For the week I ran 61 miles which was more than I have run in a week since I was running cross country at Augustana over 6 years ago. I also had my highest bike week this year with 140 miles. For swimming I was able to get in 12,000 yards over three swims. I also lifted weights 3 times, did speed drills and strides 3 times, lunges, and plyometrics twice, and core work 6 times. I was excited by how well I was able to recover from this high volume. My plan is to keep the volume up for two more weeks before backing down a couple weeks while my family is on a cruise for Spring break. On Thursday I received ART treatment from Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care and that had me feeling great when I left his office! I had a couple good bike workouts with Jeff Castro who is a local triathlete that finished very high at Ironman Kona in the late 90's. The workouts with Jeff were on a computrainer (a fancy device that measures the watts, or power you are cycling at). On Monday we did 5x5 minutes at 300 watts and it was a killer. Friday I did a long run of 13 miles and then finished with 4x200 in 35 seconds on the track at PV. Following that I met Jeff for another 5x5 and my legs were pretty tired. I managed to hold the 5x5 at 270 watts. My favorite workout of the week was actually in a local road race on Sunday called the Chili Chase. It took place in Davenport, Iowa.
Before this run I did my last swim workout and then headed straight to the race. I wanted to get 9 miles in so I warmed up for 3. The race was a 4 miler and it was pretty cold...about 13 degrees with the wind chill. My plan was to tempo run the first 3 miles at 5:40 pace and then race the last mile hoping for a 5:20. The first mile started down a bit of a hill but then came back up a hill and went through a snow covered street and I hit the mile mark at 5:47 feeling very relaxed. I was in 4th place and could see the leaders about 10 seconds ahead of me. The second mile was slightly downhill and I ran it in 5:31 still feeling very relaxed. I was right back on the pace I had hoped for crossing the 2 mile split in 11:19. The leaders were about 6 seconds ahead of me at this point. In the 3rd mile I caught the lead pack of 3 guys and stayed with them waiting to hit the 3 mile mark when I would start my hard mile. I came through the 3 mile mark exactly where I had planned at 17:00, a 5:40 pace for the first 3. I changed gears right away and started running the last mile hard. It was flat for the first half mile but then finished up a long gradual hill nearly 1/2 mile in length. It hurt but I ended up running it in 5:11 and won the race by about 10 seconds. I was really excited about running the workout exactly as I had planned. I didn't think I would be able to run 5:20 once I saw the course finished up a long hill so I was very pleased with the 5:11. It left me knowing I'm in better running shape than I've ever been for triathlons. I was especially glad to be able to do that kind of workout at the end of a week where I did so much training. It was also exciting to watch my wife Jen win the women's race. We each received a gift card to Chili's Restaurant for our wins. It will be tough to stay away from the Chili's Loaded Cheese Fries but I read somewhere that's one of the worst foods you can eat with 3 days worth of fat so I'll have to remember that when we go there. 3 months until my first big race in Memphis...It's coming fast. I think about it every day and it motivates me to lose my last few pounds and to train hard. I have no doubts my biking and running will be at the level I need them to be but I'm still scared to death about the swim...Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!