Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ironman Training Day 20: The Zombie Apocalypse

I like Fun Runs. Give me a theme (New Years Eve run, the Muddy Buddy, the Shamrock Run, etc.) and I'm happy to don a costume and go get sweaty with a bunch of other like-minded, fun-loving athletes. (Though I draw the line at Underpants Runs and the World Naked Bike Ride. There's some things the world just doesn't need to see.)

So, when Cecil sent me an email with the subject line "re: Zombies!!", my curiosity was piqued. It didn't take much to persuade me, as well as our partners in crime Lynne and Jill, to sign up for the Zombie Apocalypse 5K Run.

The only question was: Zombie or Survivor? Just like running from a grizzly bear, I figure I don't need to be the fastest runner to survive and escape from the Zombies. I just need to be not amongst the slowest! And really, the only Zombies I care about being faster than are Lynne & Cecil, so with a 2 minute headstart, Survivor it is!

I'll let you know if I survive the onslaught.

++Click here to see The Oatmeal's take on the Zombie Apocalypse. Warning: link is not work-friendly or for those with delicate sensibilities. But then again, zombies are neither delicate nor sensible...++


Had a great run this morning. 4.4 miles in 46 minutes, with just 2 minutes of walking. Knee started talking to me at mile 3. Must take care not to do too much too soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ironman Training Days 17-19: Stick a fork in me

Monday, Day 17

After Sunday's long run, and only 5 hours sleep, I wasn't expecting to have a great cycling class on Monday morning. Despite my low expectations, however, I had an *amazing* class and hit all the target numbers. Who woulda thunk.

This workout was all about building power in Zone 4 (105-120% of Threshold Power). We did low cadence (60-70rpm) climbing intervals, spending ~30 minutes of the hourlong workout in zone 4. We finished the class with 4 shorter (30-60 second) intervals at Zone 5 or higher efforts. Our final effort was an all-out 30 seconds. I averaged 381 watts for that last one with a max of 462 watts. Whew. Stick a fork in me, cuz I'm done.

Tuesday, Day 18

Jeff & I stayed up late on Monday night making HOMEMADE Pumpkin-Sage Ravioli. The results were fantastic. But another late night, after more than a week without a rest day, meant that I made the decision to blow off the morning's swim and take a rest day instead. Good call.

Wednesday Day 19

I got nearly NINE hours sleep last night. Pure HEAVEN. Of course, that meant I was sound asleep by 8:30pm. Late night party animal I ain't.

Had another great class at C-Velo this morning. We rode with Robbie Ventura again, which is always fun (I could look at that man's legs all day). We spent the class working mostly in zones 3 and 4, following along as Robbie pacelined with his team (low zone 3 in the draft, high zone 3/low zone 4 when pulling), simulated bridging gaps to chase down race leaders, etc. It was a fast paced, constantly changing class that kept us on our toes.

I'm getting to know some of the folks in class a bit (it's always the same crew). One of the other gals is in her 60s. She's very inspirational: runner, triathlete, and in the kind of shape I'd like to be in "when I grow up." We're both signed up for the Pacific Crest Half Ironman in June, so it will be fun to compare training notes with her as the season progresses!

Ironman Training Days 15-16: Busy Weekend

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend!

Saturday, Day 15

Saturday marked my second weekend taking Rick's 8am cycling class at C-Velo, followed immediately by Jennifer's Yoga for Cyclists class at the same studio.

Rick worked us hard, and we spent most of our class working on building power at higher cadences. It really taxes me aerobically to work at cadence intervals of 95, 100, 105 & 110 rpm. But these drills definitely work. When I had my VO2 Max tested 2 years ago, I could barely hold 80 rpm during the test. But now I do threshold power tests comfortably at 92-94 rpm. I've always been something of a masher, but Rick is quickly turning me into a spinner. See, miracles ARE possible!

After Rick made jello of my quads, Jennifer proceeded to make jello out of my core. That, of course, is not very difficult, because the wimpy, weak muscles around my middle aren't even deserving of being *called* a "core". Oy vey, have I got some work to do.

After class I ran some errands (including dropping some serious cash at the Bob's Red Mill store - I just don't know how those Paleo people survive...), then returned home. Having just had my tri bike fit completed, I was anxious to take it out on the road for a real test drive.

The new fit is fantastic. I was only out for just under an hour, but I had NO trouble staying in the aerobars. The tweaks Stephanie made to my saddle hight, fore-aft position and the angle of the bars really made a difference there. The only thing I'm not totally sold on yet is the cleat position on my right shoe, but I'm going to give my body time to adjust to it.

And the bike really moves. I predict good results this coming season! :-)

After all that, did I sleep well on Saturday night? Why yes, yes I did.

Sunday, Day 16

For my 40th birthday 2 years ago, I ran the Girlfriends's Half Marathon in Vancouver, WA. It was my first ever half, and having just lost nearly 40 pounds, it was a very emotional day for me. Last year and this year again, I signed up for a repeat. Last year I took alot of time off my first year's result and was thrilled. Fast forward to 2011...Boy, what a difference a year makes.

I quit running in June. On top of all the mileage for PBP (upwards of 1000 miles per month from May to August), the tendons in my legs just couldn't handle the additional stress of running. I had to give it up. I was hoping to resume running in early September, after PBP, with the idea that I could salvage enough fitness to at least *finish* the Girlfriend's Half. Sadly, that was not to be. With the tendonitis in my left knee unhealed, I made the decision a month ago that I had to pull out of the event.

On Sunday, I carpooled to the start of the race with Jill & Catherine. My original plan was to go for an hour long run while they raced, then to join them at the finish. Instead, I decided to start the race with Catherine. I matched her pace for the first 3 miles, then short cut the course on the way back, for a total of 7 miles. I walked a bit in the last 4. My knee started talking to me somewhere around mile 6. Best not to push too hard yet.

In all, 6 of my girlfriends ran on Sunday. I'm so lucky to have such active, fun-loving friends!

Catherine (left) and Jill pictured above, wearing big smiles post-race.