Vineman 70.3: Week Three

Week three: commence freakout(s).

Specific freakouts: that I’m not doing enough. That the weeks of group training I’m missing or altering will mean I don’t finish Vineman. That I’m not riding hard enough. That I’m not running easy enough. That my stupid swimming base pace has been the same for the last 18 stupid months.

All of these thoughts are easy enough to tamp down with a workout or a cookie or a moment of looking at my training schedule and really counting the remaining weeks. There’s a lot of work left to do; I shouldn’t be ready to cover 70.3 miles today; dailymile shows numbers going up and graphs don’t lie, right?

And yet. It nags at me that I haven’t done one of those really key workouts yet — a tough ride over 50 miles, or a day on the Vineman course, or a big, meaty brick. They’re coming, I see that, and I trust my coach and know I’ll get there when it’s time. I also know that the changes I’ve made to the schedule are crucial for keeping my life in balance. But it’s still hard to see the rest of my group ride the Vineman course one weekend and race the next when I haven’t done either.

Rational brain says this: I’m plugging away. I’m doing the work. I’m doing things other people in the group aren’t doing. I’m making this plan fit my life the way I like it. I know I can ride 56 mostly flat miles. I’m about to prove, again, that I can run a half-marathon. And swimming? In that river? That’s what I spend every summer longing to do. The pieces will fit. It just takes time. And contrary to what I see when I page through TrainingPeaks, I do still have time.

Here’s how I spent week three:

Monday: Rest, though I did walk a couple of hilly and drizzly miles to retrieve Seattle Memorial Day indoor picnic supplies.

Tuesday: Mini brick: 13 miles of biking with hill repeats (1300′ of climbing up El Camino Del Mar and Clement), then a mile transition run. When I got home from work, the weather was sunny and still; by the time I got my stuff together and figured out how to reinstall my bike pedals, it had turned cloudy and windy and made for a rather scary descent down to Ocean Beach.

Wednesday: Track workout — warm-up, 4-5×1000 with 200m recovery, cool-down. I’m still getting my legs under me for these relatively longer track intervals and ran 5:18, 5:28, 5:27, 5:19, 5:19. Totaled just over 5 miles by the time I got home.

Thursday: In the morning, I lifted some things and put them down in the living room while watching the French Open — about 20 minutes of squat and deadlift variations. Here’s how often I’ve “lifted weights” since we moved in October: the weights live on a built-in bookshelf, and when I picked them up, some of the bookshelf paint came up too. In the evening, I swam 2200 yards in a crowded pool where some people refused to circle and others said they would but really just wanted to chat and mostly it was all stupid. The workout included a whole bunch of 40s with different prescribed paces, but I just swam what I could when I could.

Friday: “Long Ride,” Part One. I’d thought about trying to ride long on Sunday after the beer festival, but when we worked through the logistics, driving the bike down seemed like a terrible idea. Instead, I decided to split up the miles into two rides, Friday and Monday. This one was ~23 miles including two laps around Lake Merced, finishing with a 20-minute transition run. Lake Merced isn’t the most challenging ride, but frankly neither is Vineman, so I got a little “race pace” practice in. I had a presentation at work that morning and gave myself permission to cut the run short before I’d even started, but for some reason the phrase “this is what your house is built on” popped into my head as I ran, and I decided the extra 10 minutes would make more difference for Vineman than for the presentation. Also, I think the word I was looking for was “foundation.”

Saturday: Rest via tastes of many beers, with the New Belgium Prickly Passion Saison surprising me as a favorite. It was nearly 100 degrees and I was sweating just standing around, so I’m happy with the decision to take this as a full rest day.

Sunday: On the way home from the festival, 1.2 miles in Lake San Antonio, sans wetsuit. The water temperature was probably high 60s, but the air temperature was still in the 90s and the idea of putting on a wetsuit made my brain boil. I finished just under 50 minutes and was not thrilled with that time, but it gave me something to reference when I think about going wetsuit-free for my (hot) races later this year. I closed out the week with a 10-mile run once we got back to the city, cheating on my no-music rule to make sure I’d get out of the house.

Week Three Stats

Swimming: 4350 yards
Biking: 39 miles
Running: 18.5 miles
Other: lifting things for ~20 minutes
Most proud of: Getting up with a 5 on the clock and riding when the sun came up on Friday. I could have let the timing of some work stuff derail my plans, but I didn’t, and while the ride wasn’t as long as I initially wanted it to be, I can confidently say I made the most of my time.
Need to focus on: Time in the damn saddle. That’s where I most feel like I’m playing from behind right now. Luckily, partially owing to Long Ride, Part Deux on Monday, week four’s bike miles will be relatively huge.
Can’t wait for: Racing again this weekend, more to come …..

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