Monday, July 07, 2008


Nothing too special to report on the weekend. Did a long run Friday, almost got caught up in a parade, but luckily didn't have to practice my parade wave.

Did a long bike on Saturday. The first here was being able to maintain 14.2 mph over 53.25 miles, with a total bike time of 3:45. I know that kind of a pace isn't fast to most people, but I had to work very hard to maintain that speed for that distance. Its not that I have never done it; its just that I haven't been able to do this pace for 2 years, so I see some progress there. The fact that I could push myself hard enough and long enough to reach that was also a first for the year. I was glad Don was willing to pace with pokey me. We also rode part of this on the road, instead of all trail for me, another first for the year.

I doubt I will ever feel 100% comfortable or confident riding on the road again, so it was pretty bold of me to suggest that we ride part of the ride on the road, a newly paved road. With traffic, although not too much. We found out that there was a serious accident about a mile from where we turned to head back to the trail, and later learned it was a fatality. What scares me about riding on these country roads is the speed of the cars, the carelessness of the drivers, farm tractors slowing down traffic and making drivers impatient, and the fact that so many people go through stop signs, hitting innocent people. Of course all of this was involved in the fatality, and we saw enough other stupid things on our own. There is also the general attitude of drivers that they do not have to yield to bikes, that bikes are just in their way. I can truly understand this feeling, especially when they are going 55+ mph and a bike probably no faster than 20 mph. But once again, they have to realize they are not the only vehicle on the road. One car attempted to pass 4 vehicles, and when I looked up it was headed right at me in my lane. The fool pulled over just in time. I actually came to a stop and got off the road. Scary. Don isn't phased by this stuff that much, but he has never been involved in an accident. Its different for anyone who hasn't. Of course everyone has scary moments, but I think for me even a minor scare is magnified based on past experience.

So yeah, I was happy with the ride. I was pretty tired after though, the rest of the afternoon and evening. Which led me to start thinking how I could ever hope to run 13.1 miles after a ride like that, because I will have to maintain that kind of pace to be confident of finishing in the half IM. A half marathon by itself is hard for me right now. So, I'm not sure of myself right now. I guess you have to wrap your head around the big chunk of time for each event and not think of being done until you are close.

Sunday was a first season open water swim. While the water was warm enough to not wear a wetsuit, I wanted to get mine on and adjust to it a few times before actually needing it. I assume I will be using it at Steelhead. Its Lake Michigan after all, totally unpredictable, but usually predictably cold. Where we swam, across the lake and back we have always estimated at 3/4 of a mile, and my time was right on for what I do in the pool, so that also could account for going off course some.

I was glad I had decided to use the swim day as a recovery day instead of another hard ride. I had not taken a day off since two weeks before so it was needed.

I guess my one dilemma now, being so close to the race is, do I continue to push myself hard for the next 2-2.5 weeks and then taper or work hard on the bike days especially and give myself easy days around the biking? I hear people say you have to push harder on the bike to get stronger, and I can see where that can be true. But if I push so hard I don't recover for a couple of days, is that too hard? Or should I just assume that I will will be tired and continue to train tired, or plan an easy couple of days after? I feel like I'm not where I'm at with my training yet, but at the same time I'm finding myself tired after the weekends, to where I want to slack off on Mondays.

Insight people, insight!


Lily on the Road said...

Oh I wish I could give you a pearl of wisdom, but alas, I just don't know Tri-ing....

glad you got all of that in, my gosh, you're a machine.

take care and rest'll know what you need to do...

Christie said...

Sorry, I have no insight for you. Good luck with your training and get some rest.

I just wanted to say that you're making me want to get a bike. But I'm scared to ride in the road. I don't trust riding with traffic. If a car gets too close, you wouldn't see it coming.

Sherry said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog the other day. I appreciate it!

Wow, what a bike ride! All of those things that you wrote about in regards to riding on the road... I have the same fears.

As far as the bike 'push' goes... I feel ya there too. I think it's very true that you need to 'push' on the bike to get better on it. I find this difficult though b/c bike rides tend to be so long and I get lazy legs. I concentrate so much on running (b/c I'm a snail) that I often neglect the bike which is the tri leg that I'm more naturally suited for compared to the running.

Yikes... you are caught between a rock and a hard place. Personally, with 2 weeks before your taper, I would just push things on the bike as much as you can. These two weeks should be peak training weeks anyway. Then you can enter the taper and trust that it will do its job with recovery.

Good luck to you! I can't wait to read your blog over the next few weeks... and of couse, the post-race report. :o)

chia said...

I could throw on a blonde wig and slip in unnoticed in t2... finish it up proper with some fresh legs ;-).

Great ride Vickie!! I got my new pedals and some other goodies to get my bike ready to romp. $45 later... I just want a new bike :-(. lol


I would advise you to stick to your plan. Mark Allen says "plan your race and race your plan." Only push on the bike if you feel you can. You've ridden 53 miles, that's enough distance-wise.

Don't worry to much about putting everything together at the race. The training is much harder than the race. The beginning of the run will be a little tough, but it's a great course and there will be lots of people there to encourage you. (I did Steelhead last year).

KNOW that you've done the training, and you CAN complete the race. Stick to your plan, especially the last two weeks of the taper--just as important as the entire training plan.

If you have any specific questions about Steelhead in particular, I'd be happy to help!