Sunday, March 15, 2009

And it was the perfect end-of-winter day. Week one of 12 week HIM training done.
On the schedule today was 2 hours riding in zones 1, 2, or 3, and trying not to go into zone 4 as much as possible, but still riding a rolling course.
That's a lot to ask of the first ride of the season, but somehow? Got it done! I really couldn't believe it.
The temperatures were predicted to be at least 50 degrees, and in this climate, 50 degrees or more at this time of the year is a heat wave. And for some reason, 50+ degrees in the spring is a WHOLE lot warmer feeling than it is in the fall.
Despite the spring-like temperatures, Don and I still dressed like we were going for a winter run: tights, headband, gloves, 2 shirts, jacket in addition to the bike shoes and helmet.
We debated where to ride, since so many of our bike routes are along the river, and the river has been high since the first of the year. I argued with him that the White Pine Trail route was at least partially under water; he disagreed. However, with me as the driver today, that argument became moot and I went to an alternate parking spot, other than the park. And sure enough, once we started out, we could see that all the low lying areas were still seriously flooded. "Okay, you were right." Of course, was there any doubt??
Riding in zones 1, 2, or 3 for me meant not going over 145 heart rate. And surprisingly I found that easy. Granted, I wasn't riding at any stellar pace, but it is early season and I know with time my intensity will build, but for now it was just going to be an easy, enjoyable ride on a glorious March day.
Everyone apparently had the same idea we did, about getting out and enjoying the warm day, sunshine, and fresh air because honestly I have never seen so many people, families, dogs, skateboarders, rollerbladers, strollers, wayward children, walkers, bikers, runners, etc. on this route ever! Of course, going in mid afternoon you are just asking for trouble with the crowded trail, but today all was forgiven, since everyone was entitled to enjoy the weather, and I would put up with it for today.
I couldn't remember how far this route was, and after a while started worrying I woudln't reach my 2 hour riding goal, but that fear was put to rest when we reached the turnaround and were at around the 1+ hour mark. As it turned out, we rode 27.81 miles in 2 hrs. 8 min. Somewhat slow but okay for early season, and within all my allowed zones. I'm pretty sure I wasn't riding this far last year at this point, so I know I'm ahead of last year's fitness level.
Have I said how much I love this training program I'm doing?? It is ideal for me: 12 weeks to a half ironman distance race. What I love is the fact that the weekday workouts are low intensity for the most part and are pretty consistent, with the weekend workouts building on time/distance over the 12 weeks. Perfect for me since I work.
Saturday's workout, for example, was a 1 hour run and a 45 minute swim. Since I have been doing a base-building program for the last 2 months, it was easy peasy!
Saturday was also a very busy day, however, with the run, swim, and appointment to get my hair done (necessary!), massage, and then grocery shopping. I pretty much had to keep on schedule or risk being late or running behind, so I never gave it much thought as to what I had to do working out, except I will say now that my swim was about 30 seconds faster than the last time I did a 1 mile swim. I can't explain why I swim faster after a run workout, but I almost wish the triathlon was set up differently: run, swim, bike. That would work a whole lot better for me!
I would really like to make a decision on which half IM I am doing, but that will have to wait until tomorrow to see if a trial will go as scheduled for the Monday following both races I would like to consider. And I need to figure out my later season races, but for now, I am waiting until tomorrow!


Sunshine said...

Oh wasn't the afternoon just glorious!!
Congratulations on your training schedule.

Marlene said...

We had similar weather this weekend and I saw so many runners, walkers and bikers out and about. Spring is in the air!

Sounds like an awesome ride!

Marcy said...

Great job! That's the one thing I hate about the beginning of warmer temps. Everyone and their Momma is out. Very stop and go LOL

ShirleyPerly said...

Wonderful to hear you have decent weather to be outdoors!

And I avoid bike paths like the plague now and ride pretty much only on roads. I'll take my chances riding alongside cars over kids, skaters, etc. any day. You're brave!

Calyx Meredith said...

Glad you got outside! For once I think you had warmer weather than we did. Great job getting through the first HIM training week.

Lily on the Road said...

You know spring is on its way when you see a snowmobile and motorcycle within feet of each other while your on the trail next to the road trying to cycle!