I loved traveling during marathon training. Adored it. Relished it. I did my first post-injury-break 6-miler in Philadelphia, my first 8 in Chicago, some hot and humid runs in Michigan, and a 15-miler in Madison. I got to run with friends, and run to things, and run around places I wouldn’t have otherwise gone. It took a little planning, but only of the “maybe two drinks instead of three at this wedding reception” variety, and it kept training fresh. I almost wish I’d done more of it.
Traveling during 70.3 training is a different beast. It’s logistically challenging. It requires stuff — bikes! — and facilities — pools! swimmable lakes! — and the weather to be halfway decent and others to be either OK with you disappearing for several hours or crazy enough to come along.
When I first hit on the idea of going to Seattle over Memorial Day weekend, I envisioned some kind of triathlon training camp — kind of like my “Berlin Marathon training camp” in Madison in which I took a long flight, slept very little, ran a bunch, and then drank beer and ate sausages. But there were a few problems with this, namely: 1) it rains in Seattle; 2) a bike and a wetsuit are a lot tougher to travel with than a pair of damn sneakers; 3) if I was going to devote the weekend to swim-bike-run, it would not leave a lot of time for the real reasons I wanted to go to Seattle, namely seeing our friends and meeting their babies and eating things and drinking other things.
So, I tried for balance, or some version of it. I emailed Rebecca for training suggestions, rented a bike for two days (initially — though it turned into three once the rain pushed our ride start several hours later and I didn’t want to worry about returning it on time), convinced a friend who’d never ridden more than 20 miles that 50 would be totally doable, and squeezed in a long run before leaving San Francisco. In the end, I only skipped one of the scheduled workouts (the shortest of the swims), though any benefit that was meant to be derived from doing things in a particular order certainly went out the window.
I’m traveling again this weekend — to a beer festival — and so am shifting workouts around yet again. Most of my group is racing this weekend, and I’m clearly not, so I think things are going to feel discombobulated for a bit. After this, I’m not going anywhere till Vineman, so as long as I don’t dig too big a hole, it’ll be OK … I think?
Tuesday: In the morning, 2080 yards of swimming including 3×500 in fine but not-as-fast-as-when-I-swam-with-the-fast-ladies times. I was intending to bike to some errands and then to yoga in the evening, but the wind was terrible — maybe the worst I’ve ever biked in — and I badly missed the start of class after miscalculating how long it would take me to ride in those conditions. I was slightly disappointed but mostly relieved to be able to get home and out of the wind sooner.
Wednesday: Track around the outside of the track again: two .7-mile loops, then two double (1.4-mile) loops, with the double loops clocking in at 11:40 and 11:39.
Thursday: I took advantage of a weird work schedule to get in a longer morning swim: 2760 yards, including a main set of 400 pull/400 swim, 300 pull/300 swim, 200 pull/200 swim, 100 pull/100 swim. I did pull sets all the time last year but haven’t done them in a while, and it was crazy how dead my legs would feel when I started kicking again. I got home too late to drive up to computrainer class, so I hung out in the garage for an hour making up a trainer interval workout and watching Scandal.
Friday: 10 miles before work through Golden Gate Park and along Ocean Beach, average pace 9:48/mile. Not much notable about this run, actually, other than its start time; it was a gorgeous morning, and while I did let myself listen to podcasts as an extra bit of encouragement to get out of bed, I probably would have been OK without.
Saturday: Rest. Initially thought I might make it to a Seattle public pool, but when the time came, I chose coffee and scones with friends, and I’m happy with that choice.
Sunday: 50 miles through Seattle and around Lake Washington with Pete, our friends A and J, and Michaela! More details to come, but — other than the two times I toppled over at extremely low speed on my rental bike trying to make tight right turns — I found Seattle to be an absolute biking paradise. The weather did not look like it was going to swing in our favor, but it only rained in the last five minutes, which was pretty remarkable since — including all stops — we were out there for five hours. I talked myself into skipping a brick run (it would have meant either heading sharply uphill or sharply downhill on slippery sidewalks), but after discovering the flat sidewalk path by the lake the next day, I wish I’d just gone down the hill and gotten it done.
Week Two Stats
- Swimming: 4840 yards
- Biking: 75ish miles (50 real miles, 10 commute miles, 15 trainer miles)
- Running: 15 miles
- Other: nnnnnnnothing. fail.
- Most proud of: Getting in all 10 miles of my long run, though I’d already given myself permission to cut it short before I even started
- Need to focus on: Not ignoring core and stretching
- Can’t wait for: Swimming again — I hope in the pool soon (waiting for my scraped-up knee from the bike fall(s) to heal a bit more) but also in open water this weekend, finally finally.