Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2 Months in Review - April and May by the Numbers

April 2011
Swim: 29,350 yards
Bike: 533.65 miles
Run 100.9 miles
Weights: 5 kettlebell sessions
Other: 3 hours
Total Time: 56 hours 54 minutes

I finally got back on track with my scheduled 3 swims per week. Mostly pretty short, in the 2000-2700 yard range but at least I was finally getting my ass to the pool. This was progress. Lots of miles on the bike, unfortunately still all on the trainer. Solid running all month with another 100+ mile total. Third time ever (March 2011 was the second time).

April was a month of ups and downs. I named the month - "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

The Good - Big Day - On Patriot's Day weekend I did my first "Big Day" - 2200 yard swim, 56 mile bike, 1 hour 30 minute run. I nailed it. Seriously. It was awesome. Swim felt easy. Ride was steady, held a pace just a smidge faster than my FirmMan pace from last fall (and it was way easier - although its hard to tell given that it was on the trainer). Lastly, I went outside and smoked the run. It was seriously amazing. I never fell apart. My pace held through the whole run (8:30-8:35). I was feeling so good there was a part of me that got very tempted to push on for the 13.1 miles. I was smart though and stopped when I was supposed to. I think the big lesson here was the nutrition. I often do not eat enough on the bike. Don't get me wrong, I eat. But it might come out to somewhere around 150-200 calories an hour. On this ride I was super diligent and took in 900 calories. I think 300 is the magic number for me - my energy was just so steady. I need to keep this in mind on long rides and when racing. My stomach held through the run as well. Gu and I have a rocky relationship but on April 16 we got along.

The bad - Registration for Patriot Half Ironman closed crazy early and I didn't get in. Was super bummed and spent the second half of April unsure of what I would do for my first big A race of the season. This seriously screwed with my head...training all winter and spring for something and realizing you don't get to do it SUCKS. Lesson learned. If the race is important, register early, no dilly-dallying.

The ugly - Great Bay Half Marathon on April 3... Didn't realize at the time but was entering a migraine cluster that lasted 8 days. Was delirious for much of the run, afraid I would fall, walking when I didn't mean to. The first hour it seemed I might still do okay but then in the second hour the wheels fell off in a way I have never ever experienced. In some ways I was quite surprised I finished. It was very bad for morale and confidence. Think I'm not yet totally over it.

May 2011
Swim: 34,200 yards
Bike: 609.15 miles
Run: 110.55
Weights: 4 kettlebell sessions
Total Time: 63 hours 9 minutes

Some very good swims this month. Still mostly not swimming fast but 3000+yard swims started getting sprinkled in and I put in a few tempo efforts that felt pretty good. Tried to go to Walden for a swim mid month but was stupid and didn't bring a swim cap. I couldn't put my head under water so I only swam a few hundred yards. Had my first outdoor rides of the season, 2 of 50+ miles, 2 shorter with a co-worker. Like riding with company very much but find it hard to gauge effort so far.

[Sidebar: This friend spent a number of years at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado (?) in his twenties for rowing. He's just post back surgery but a total badass. He has these crazy ideas about my potential as a cyclist which are amusing to listen to In fact, today at work he told me he wants me to help him pick an Oly for last summer/early fall. He started saying that I am gonna be super competitive soon, given my biking. As I said, he's insane. When I countered that I'm a slow runner, relative to my fellow speedy age groupers, he calmly stated that I just need to do more speed work like "Do 2 19 minute 3 mile runs with 10 minutes of rest in between and you'll increase you're aerobic threshold." I laughed outloud and tried to explain that I would never run a sub-20 5k. He felt sure I was wrong. It was funny. He's nuts.]

This was my highest mileage running month ever. I only had two runs over 10 miles (13.1 and 14) but put in a lot of solid mid-week mileage and 5 bricks with 5-8 miles runs on the back end. Am pretty happy with how quiet my posterior tibialis has been through these past 2 months and 200 miles. Maybe the form work and slogging slow running through the winter was worth it in the end.

After weeks of torturing myself deliberation I finally picked a race. Mooseman Half Ironman in Newfound Lake, NH. June 5, 2011. My Birthday. Decided it was a fitting way to spend the day. This is a very hilly bike course. I conferred with my brother (a strong cyclist) who scared me shitless about it initially ["think about the craziest hill in Sugarbush VT from when we were kids, then extend it to 3 times its length"] then came back with more support ["forget the time, it'll be a huge accomplishment to finish it and then you'll never be afraid of hills again..."]. This pushed up my training plan by two weeks and suddenly I was peaking.

Now its May 31, I'm in full on taper, which I hate, and the race is in 5 days! Amazing how time flies when you're having fun. If I get inspired I will try to write a goals/pre-race thoughts post before I head up to New Hampshire on Saturday.


  1. Hi Rachel, my name is Steve. I saw your comment on "teeta means booby in spanish" I think that is how it goes. Anyway, I liked this blog post, and think I will add you to my list when I get time. Super lazy now. Hope all goes well with your race. :)


  2. Total bad ass and I agree with your crazy work friend. You've made so much progress. Running will come. Plus, you seem to run much better off of the bike, and that is what you need for the HIM. Good luck and I will be virtually cheering you on!

  3. Awesome numbers! You are totally going to rock Mooseman! Embrace the hills. You are ready for them.

    Happy (early) Birthday and Good Luck!

  4. kick some butt at mooseman! yes, there is devil's hill there, but you will be fine! we will HAVE to meet up this season!