The week started with a nice surprise when I stepped on the scale and it read 159. That meant down 4 lbs. for the week and down 12 through my first 6 weeks of training. I can really tell the difference especially in my running. Super Mom thinks I need new jeans as I can now put them on and take them off without unbuttoning them. My belt is hanging out like it was last year but I'm still a ways from where I'll need to be on May 7 for Ironman St. George. I had some people ask me this week what my goal race weight is and I'm thinking 148. The biggest key for me however is to get there without sacrificing power. If I lose muscle mass and power on the bike it will not be worth the trade in weight.
Week 7 was another great one. My confidence is growing with each passing week. For the week my total training time was 21 hours. Through 18 workouts I put in 160 miles on the bike, 45 miles running, and 10,100 yards swimming. I also lifted weights, did lunges, push-ups, speed drills, and strides all 3 times, plyometrics twice, core work 9 times, and jumped rope once. My swim goal was 10,000 yards through 3 swims but I expected to surpass that like usual but had a tough week in the water because the high school team had meets on the 3 days I swim and the Fitness Center pool was out of commission forcing me to go to the YMCA where they have swim lessons basically all day and the pool is rarely open for lap swimming in the evening. They have 1 hour from 5-6 for lap swimming and the guards were standing at the water flagging me out at exactly 6 so I was only able to get 1 hour workouts in on Tuesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday I ventured over to my alma mater, Augustana College to join the track team for a tough indoor track workout at the Pepsico Center. They have a tremendous distance program and I wasn't sure I would be ready to run with them but I'm trying to overcome any fears about competing with other guys this year so I knew I better join them. We did a 5.5 mile warm up and then hit the track for 2x 1200's, 2x 1000's, and 2x 800's all with 2 minutes rest between each. The 1200's were at 5:20 mile pace and I hit those a bit under with ease in 3:58 each. The 1,000's were where the workout got tough. They were to be run at 4:55 mile pace and I was able to hit them but they were not easy. 4:55 pace is faster than any intervals I've done so far this year. The 800's were to be in 2:24 (4:48 mile pace) and I began to suffer. Try as I may I could not hit the times as I came in at 2:25 and 2:29. It was the first running workout since last February that I've really suffered in. My form was falling apart and every muscle in my legs was on fire. I was excited to finish the workout with the guys and will be joining them for more punishing sessions after break is over. Hopefully with a couple more weeks and having one under my belt I'll be better prepared for that kind of pace. This kind of workout should feel easy in another month. Another good running workout was my tempo run on Friday. I broke it up into 2x 3 mile tempo runs with 1/2 mile easy jog between each. I ran 17:54 on the first one and 17:20 on the second one with mile splits of 5:55, 5:49, and 5:34.
The coolest update of the week is that I purchased a super sweet new trainer from Healthy Habits this week. They are running great prices on all their Cycleops trainers and I bought the Cycleops Powerbeam Pro trainer which is ridiculously awesome. It has a wireless remote that straps to the front of my bike and lets me adjust the watts at any time during the ride. Watts are how much power is being put into the pedals. The coolest thing about this trainer is that the remote hooks to my computer where I can download workout data and even enter my own workouts which I did twice. On Saturday night I programmed in a 5x5 minute workout that is one of my staples. I set it up for the first 10 minutes easy with a couple pickup periods to get the legs ready to roll and then put in 5x5 minutes at 300 watts following each with 5 minutes to recover at 160-180 watts. The workout went awesome and I hit the 300 watt segments without killing myself. I bumped it to 310 on the last one and I'll do all 5 at that next time. There is so much more cool stuff I can do with this trainer like adjust the slope I'm riding which of course simulates climbing hills. I think I can even input rides from my outdoor power tap and ride the same simulation on the trainer. I think this trainer will really help me dial in my cycling in preparation for St. George.
The next 2 weeks will be big ones as I'm only working 2 of the next 14 days so I'll have a lot of extra time to get good training in. I can't believe I'm only 49 days into training and I feel as good as I do. It has gone better than I could have expected or hoped at this point. I'd like to wish everyone an awesome Christmas. It's a great time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for...family, friends, health...etc. I know Payton is super charged for Christmas although she is deathly afraid of Santa and doesn't want him coming to our house. Owen is just beginning to want to walk all the time but can't do it on his own yet...maybe by New Year's. If you're looking for last minute stocking stuffers a massage from Laurel Darren would be a great one. She is running a great deal right now for the holidays on 3 one hour massages. All 3 for only $100.00. Most massage therapists charge 1 dollar/minute so that's a great price and she is the best I've ever been to! They help me with recovery but would also be a nice thing for a spouse who may just need to be pampered a bit. Laurel's contact number is 309-230-2484. Thanks for reading and enjoy the holidays! DREAM BIG!!