I’ve spent the year saying that I wasn’t training for anything important to me. Not really. Not yet. Napa was an interesting checkpoint, and Wildflower was a celebration of others’ success, but neither of them was my race, my real race.
And then last Monday, it hit me: there are no more distractions, no more thinking it doesn’t matter how I train or what I do. In just nine weeks, I have 70.3 miles to cover. That’s a whole lot of miles.
I’m nervous — terrified! — but I’m also so excited. I looked in TrainingPeaks yesterday and I could see the sketches of my schedule starting to trickle in — a few big weekends, a note that it was “time to start adding up the miles.” I’ve been happily bookmarking 50-mile bike rides and calculating run mileage and finally getting the quick-release kit set up for my Garmin. July 14 seems way too soon — and yet, this is the work I’ve been waiting for since the moment I submitted my registration form back in November.
(We’ll see if I’m saying that after I run the Escape from Alcatraz course, sand ladder included, the day before an Olympic tri or do a half-marathon the day after a 70-mile ride.)
This week was a transitional one — I didn’t need Wildflower recovery, per se, but considering that I trained straight through Napa, I was probably due for a cutback week. So I took the start of the week easy — then met my training group on Saturday for our first ride and run, got my next 10 days’ marching orders, and started quaking a little in my Ravennas. But only a little. Mostly, I just feel ready.
Bringing back the weekly recaps, Vineman edition …
Monday: Rest after a late return home from Wildflower.
Tuesday: 1920 yards of swimming, including a ladder of 500-400-300-200-100 trying to get faster per 100 yards in each set.
Wednesday: Took a week off from track and ran easy around Stow Lake in the morning with a podcast in my ears. I wanted to do two loops but left late after cleaning up some various messes my cats made and ended up with just about 3.3 miles.
Thursday: First, 10 bike miles including 3 El Camino Del Mar repeats. Then, a quick shower and another 5.5 miles to work for my first Bike to Work Day. Later, 6.5 miles home, including a stop in the middle for a meeting. I thought I’d missed the “Energizer Stations” after the first mapped location I passed had no sign of one — if you know me, you know I’d have been pissed to miss free stuff — but there was another one a bit farther down the road, and I scored a wonderful, tiny San Francisco bike map and some other goodies.
Friday: Rest. I think I planned to aquajog, but it didn’t happen, and that’s OK.
Saturday: First group ride of summer training: 28-ish miles, including 1900+ feet of climbing via Chapman Road repeats and Paradise Loop. The day got off to an unpleasant start about a mile into the ride, when we realized a brake pad had popped off my friend’s bike and was nowhere to be found. While the rest of the group headed down into Mill Valley post-hill-repeats, she and I gingerly picked our way back to my car. She did a long run while I rode Paradise the other way and found the group in Tiburon, just a few minutes ahead of me. Hooray for still being in TAG Captain troubheshooting mode! Chased the ride with a 20-minute run on the bike path. I had a few low moments on the ride — I tire of Paradise really quickly (har har) — but I reminded myself to keep eating and drinking, and I eventually snapped out of it. I think my favorite moment in all of Northern California cycling is when Paradise turns from a potholed, rutted shitshow into a nicely paved, perfect road.
Sunday: Met up with some Golden Gate Tri Club folks for an early Aquatic Park swim and felt good in the bay for the first time all year. Turns out, it’s lovely not to be fighting a surging tide! Garmin recorded just under a mile in 34 minutes. Drove home to grab a parking spot before the weekend park surge hit (and so I could run in dry clothes for once), then ran 8 miles through the park before the fog cleared. That’s my first time over 6.5 miles since February, and it was clear — but not as rough as I expected it to feel. I’ve decided to go back to running without music/podcasts until Vineman’s over, and I believe this was my longest run without music or friends ever.
Zero Week in a Nutshell:
- swimming: 3640 yards
- cycling: 50 miles
- running: 13.6 miles
- strength-training: nope
- yoga: nope
- most proud of: bumping up my long-run distance
- need to focus on: getting back to yoga
- can’t wait for: a 40+-mile ride next Sunday