Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope the week was a great one. We had a great time with family at my mom's Christmas on Sunday. The week of workouts was equally great as I totalled 23.5 hours of workout time over 18 workouts. For week 8 I ran 50 miles, biked 170 miles, and swam 12,400 yards. In addition to those totals I also lifted weights, did speed drills, strides, push-ups, and lunges all three times, did core work eight times, and jumped rope and did plyometrics twice.
On Tuesday Jen was home with the kids on vacation and I got a call from her at school saying her and Payton were both puking with the flu so my help was needed. I was able to get a sub and get home to help out but unfortunately on Wednesday I woke up feeling terrible. My body ached and I felt completely wiped out. I drove over to Augustana to attempt my weekly track workout but was forced to cut the warm-up short and cancel all my remaining workouts for the day. I had definitely picked up the bug. Fortunately it only lasted 24 hours and I was able to sleep for 13.5 hours to get over it. I felt great on Thursday and put in my biggest training day of the year at 5 hours 40 minutes. On Friday I rode for 30 minutes in the morning and then did a tough swim workout before coming home to start my tempo runs. My tempo workout this week called for a 1 mile warm up followed by 2x 4 miles at tempo pace with an easy 1/2 mile between them. I did the first one in 23:57 (just a tad under 6:00/mile pace) and was on my 1/2 mile easy wondering if I could do the next one. I was really tired from Thursday's volume and the Friday morning workouts. I wasn't sure I could get 4 more miles of tempo in and I only had a few minutes to make up my mind. I began thinking about how tough the Ironman will be at points. I know there will be points in the race when I wonder if I can continue on at my pace. I'll be faced with the decision to slow to a "just finish" pace or continue on racing for the finish. If I begin throwing in the towel in training every time I start to wonder if I'm too tired it will be that much tougher to convince myself on race day I can keep going at my goal pace. I made my mind up that I was going to do the next 4 mile tempo and that I was going to run it even faster than the 1st one. I was able to do just that as I covered the 2nd one in 23:35. I think my legs felt even better on the 2nd one since I had cast away the doubts and told myself to just get it done. So often the mind wants the body to quit far sooner than the body really needs to quit. Learning these valuable lessons in training are perhaps the most important part of my workouts. I try to put workouts together that will allow me to build confidence and this was certainly one of those workouts.
My other great workout this week was on Christmas night when I did a 5x5 session on my trainer. I did this workout last week at 300 watts on the hard periods and this week I bumped it to 310 watts. It was very tough because I had already done two shorter rides earlier in the day. One of my goals is to be able to do the 5x5 workout at 340 watts prior to my Ironman in May. I'll do this workout at least every other week to monitor my progress. It's one of my favorites because counting the warm up and cool down it only lasts 1 hour.
This week should be my highest total volume in a week yet this year. I have the entire week off work so I should have plenty of time to get the workouts in. I'd like to hit 200 miles on the bike for the week and also run 55 miles. I'll add 1 day to my usual 3 in the pool. This will be my 4th week in a row bumping up the volume so I'll use next week as an easy training week to recover and let this most recent block of training set in. Things are going so well right now. I'm well ahead of where I thought I would be at this point. Jen and I have begun to explore the possibility of traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 19th for a professional 1/2 Ironman race. I don't know exactly whether or not I'll be as ready as I would like due to the lack of outdoor rides between now and then but I do think it would be good to get 1 race in before the Ironman on May 7th. The downside is the cost of flying to the race and shipping my bike. If I can find a way to reduce that I'll be in San Juan for sure on March 19th. As the new year begins this weekend it's a perfect time to set some goals for the triathlon season. I'll release mine next week. Best of luck. DREAM BIG!!