Week 17 was my 2nd week in a row at high volume. My total training time was 22 hours. For the week I ran 63.5 miles which again was my highest since competing in cross country for Augustana College in 2002. On the bike I hit 111 miles. I had planned to ride 30 more Sunday but the volume had me worn down and I decided it best to rest up Sunday night so I could get some good quality this week. In the pool I had my most yards since week 9 when I was on winter break. I swam 13,000 yards this week over four swims. In addition to those totals I lifted three times, did strides and speed drills three times, plyometrics and lunges twice and core work 5 times. I had a few great workouts that really helped me gain confidence this week especially considering the volume.
On Wednesday I was able to ride outside with the slightly warmer temperatures. I went 40 miles from my house through the hilly roads past McCausland and back home. For the 40 miles I averaged 21.3 mph. After looking back at last summer's workouts that was faster than I ever rode 40+ miles. Upon returning to the house I did what they call a "brick" run. This is a run immediately following the ride. They call it this because your legs feel like bricks. I went 9 miles and averaged 6:09 per mile. I was REALLY excited about this to say the least. To put this in perspective...last year at the QC Triathlon in June I averaged 6:15 pace in the race that was only 3 miles. This 9 mile brick run was in training shoes as opposed to lightweight racing flats and half of this run was on gravel which slowed my pace. This workout made me think I should be focusing more to the 1/2 Ironman distance which ends with a 13.1 mile run. I feel like I could run 6 minute pace for that distance in a race. The workout reinforced to me that my fitness level is higher than it has ever been for triathlons.
On Friday I was able to get two runs in. The first was 5 miles easy. The second was a workout with a 3 mile warm-up, then 5x 1 mile fast with 3 minutes rest between each. My times were 5:34, 5:27, 5:22, 5:18, and 5:12. I was hoping for 5:40's so needless to say I was really pumped about this workout. I did it all alone which also makes it tougher. I hate running workouts where I get slower because it is a sign of not running smart and not being strong. Being able to get faster as I went was another sign of how good my mental and physical conditioning are right now. On Sunday I had my longest run so far, 13.5 miles and it was about 10 degrees out. I originally planned to do 1 more week at high volume but I have a very busy week planned outside of training so I think I will cut back the volume but get some very quality workouts in. I'm hoping to ride outdoors more with the weather warming.
When I began this journey I wasn't sure if it would be possible to place top 3 at the Pro-Qualifying races which is what I need to do to turn professional. Each week I look at those results from last year and they appear more attainable. I'll find out in 11 weeks in Memphis where I stack up. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!