The biggest news for week 10 is that I'm officially registered for my first two races of the year...both professional events. The first will be the San Juan 70.3 on March 19th. The 2nd will be Ironman St. George on May 7th. I had been planning to debut at St. George but after feeling I'm way ahead of where I thought I would be at this point I began looking for an earlier race than St. George. For one, I would like to have one race under my belt before St. George just to make sure the bike is running smooth and to get my race legs under me a bit before attempting an Ironman. San Juan worked perfectly into the schedule. It falls exactly 20 weeks into training (I'm half way there now) and it also falls during my spring break week so I won't need to take any days off of school. Jen and I booked our trip this week. We are flying out of Chicago on Wednesday, March 16th and we'll be returning on Sunday, March 20. I'm very excited to find out where I'm at. It will have been nearly a year and half since I have raced a 1/2 Ironman event and since I did any race 100% healthy.
I began week 10 with my Monday morning weigh in and I was 158, down 1 lb. for the week and down 13 since I began training on Nov. 1. I hope to squeeze out 10 more lbs. of bad weight between now and May 7th for Ironman St. George. I'm hoping to be down to 152 or less by San Juan. This week was a recovery week following 4 weeks of increased training volume. For the week my total training time was only 16 hrs. 45 minutes. I ran 35 miles, biked 105, and swam 10,400 yards. I also lifted weights, did speed drills, strides, lunges, push-ups, and jumped rope all three times, plyometrics twice, and core work six times. Although I dropped the volume I still had some very quality workouts.
I did two very hard bike interval workouts with my best one coming on Saturday night when Jen and I had "date night" again on the trainer and treadmill. I was on the trainer and she was next to me on the treadmill. She followed the workout I was doing which was 5x5 minutes very hard followed by 5 minutes recovery after a warm up. I did the 5x5 at 320 watts which was my highest this year. It was very tough but I survived all of them and was very proud of the effort as this workout was circled as my single most important of the week. Jen ran her 5 minute periods at an impressive 6 minute/mile pace. One of my goals is to be able to do this workout at 340 watts before St. George. I'm well on my way to accomplishing that feat.
My toughest running workout was on the indoor track at Augustana College on Wednesday. Jen's college coach Ron Standley has been kind enough to help coach me through some of these grueling track workouts and after I warmed up Ron told me I would be running 6x (4 lap repeats from lane #6). Lane 6 is always the lane the team trains in because it reduces the tightness of the curve. Because the running is in lane 6 each lap is about 230 meters. 7 laps is equal to 1 mile in lane 6. The tough part of the workout is that during my 4 lap repeats I would begin lap 1 at 5:30/mile pace, then run lap 2 at 4:40/mile pace, lap 3 was back to 5:30 pace, and lap 4 was back to 4:40 pace. When Ron told me the target times for each lap it was one of the first times when I doubted that I would be able to hit the times he was asking of me. I haven't done any work yet this year at 4:40/mile pace. What I knew is that I would take the workout one at a time and work like crazy to hit them as long as I could. I was able to surprise myself and hit all of them. It was really tough changing speeds and dropping the pace down so much on laps 2 and 4 but I think the toughest part was lap 3. I had just finished running a lap at 4:40 pace and knew I could slow down a little bit. Mentally I wanted to recover on this lap but 5:30 pace is still quite a bit faster than I can recover so mentally I had to work hard to hit this "slower" lap.
I had my longest run since March 14th of last year this morning. I went 92 minutes outside when the wind chill was 3 degrees when I began the run. I felt great. I've been very conservative with how quickly I've increased my long run. I've added 5 minutes every 2 weeks. This was my first week at 91 and it ended up being 92. I may have to increase slightly faster to get to my goal of 2 hrs. 15 minutes by St. George but I won't have to add anything crazy to what I'm doing. I can tell I've gotten much stronger from the long runs every week.
My other big progression this week in training was that I bumped up the weights on 10 of my 20 lifts in the weight room. I track the weight I lift every time I go to the weight room and I had not increased weight since early last summer. It felt good to be strong enough to be able to bump up the weight in half of my lifts. One of my yearly goals was to increase all my leg weights by 10% and a few of the increases were enough to do that.
I'm 10 weeks in now. Each week I have a checklist of goals I want to accomplish in training. Through 10 weeks I've had 321 total weekly goals and I've hit every single one of them! I'm stronger, faster, lighter, and much more physically fit than I was 10 weeks ago. I am still not where I was mentally before my injury last year. Before I got hurt I had the mentality that I could conquer the world. I was completely fearless of racing in the professional division. I was so fit I didn't have any doubts. Although I'm getting closer I know I need to continue to gain confidence. I plan to do that with some benchmark races on the track, roads, and in an indoor triathlon over the next couple months. I'll also do a few of the same tough workouts I did last year so I can prove to myself I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm very pleased with how things are progressing. The biggest area I need to work on is getting more sleep. I have found a direct correlation between how tired I am and how motivated I am to train. When I'm not getting enough sleep I find I don't feel like putting in long days of training. I need to be more disciplined about getting my goal of 7.5 hours of sleep each night. If I can take care of that and continue everything else the way it has gone I wouldn't have anything more to wish for. I'll now begin a few weeks of increasing volume. I'll begin adding in some brick runs and some other race specific training as I progress through this next block of training. I'll be ready on March 19th. It can't come soon enough! Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!