Last week I took the entire week off training. It was great. I ate all the terrible foods I pass on throughout much of the year. The only training I did was a 15 minute bike ride...yes, minutes. I did that on Thursday to loosen my legs up for a 1/4 mile sprint up Brady Street hill. They lowered the Master's age division to 30 and up this year for the Brady Street sprint so I decided I would take a crack at it. I knew my legs were like logs after not doing anything for 3 days so I rode the bike 15 minutes and then warmed up 1 mile before running the 1/4 mile sprint and then doing a 1/4 mile cool down. That put my weekly training at about 30 minutes with 5 miles biking and 1.5 miles of running. It was great relaxing every day, spending more time with the kids and Jen. The 1/4 mile sprint is WAY out of my element. I was reminded that I have about no top end speed. I qualified 2nd in the heat of 12 runners on Thursday and they take the top 5 to the finals which will be televised live locally this Thursday night. I'm not even sure what time it starts...maybe 6 or 7. I was in about 8th place 50 meters in and had already given up a huge lead to the leaders. Some of the guys ahead of me dropped out and one pulled up with an injury close to the top of the hill. My time maybe wouldn't have even qualifed last week when it took about 75 seconds to make the final. I was 76 seconds I think. The men's master's race had a lot of runners both weeks so it should be a full field of 10 on Thursday. I'm hoping with a little training this week my legs have a bit more snap in them. I felt terribly flat and couldn't get into a sprint mode...perhaps I only have one Ironman slow speed these days??
Today I woke up excited to get back to training. I have put together a training plan that is quite a bit less total volume than earlier in the year. The focus is on more quality workouts and in the pool I'm really cutting back my yards. It was beyond frustrating to put in 29 weeks of way more swim yards than I ever have only to see minimal gains. I'm going to find out if I can swim nearly as fast with 1/2 the time committment in the water but focus almost entirely on technique. I'm going to run the Bix with Jen this weekend but she may drop me like a bad habit if my fitness does not come around quickly. In my week off I went from 155 lbs. to 163. That wasn't nearly as bad as I expected because I weighed in on Friday just to check in and I was 167. Just lifting weights today I could tell my heart rate was higher than it normally gets on a bike interval workout. I have one of those later today and I'm excited to find out how high my heart rate will get with rested legs and an out of shape aerobic system. Super Mom won another race this past weekend. She won 2 races last weekend and this weekend set a course record for a tough 4 mile course with some of it on gravel roads. She ran 23:40 and picked up another paycheck. They pay out to 3 this week for the sprint finals up Brady Street. I think I'm seeded 7th but if I snuck into the top 3 I already decided I'm going to donate it to members of the Live Uncommon race team because this race is certainly something Uncommon for me. As for a return to triathlon racing I will see how the next couple weeks of training goes and then start to fill out the schedule. I've got a long list of possibilities that includes Pigman Longcourse, Ironman Steelhead 70.3, Great Illini Challenge 1/2 Ironman, Rev 3 Full...and a couple other smaller races I'm considering. I'll know more as I find out what kind of shape I have in a couple weeks. It feels good to be back on a regular training program although the break was physically and mentally refreshing. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!