Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So this week I'm flying off to a conference in Washington DC. I wonder what awaits me there beyond a week of work related stuff. I'm sort of praying for a little synchronicity and and an equal helping of divine intervention. Otherwise I could be in for a long week. I've sort of figured out what types of workouts I'll do in place of my normal triathlon training. I'm going to primarily focus on strength and technique work while I'm away. This should keep me occupied and uninjured while I'm out of my normal routine. I spent this weekend loading videos of my planned strength workouts and some yoga routines on my Ipod. Yeah, I'm geeky like that. Truth is I probably won't need to watch the videos that much in order to work out. But if I get stuck, there they are. No excuses, you see.
Post race my training has gone well this last week. I'm moving with more and more ease each day and my endurance is really starting to come around. Both my running and swimming paces are starting to pick up and my cycling is definitely stronger. Since my schedule at work changed I've been able to do long rides of 4 or more hours at least once a week. This is one of the areas I had identified earlier as a problem with my cycling so, it feels good to address it consistently.
The first weekend I was able to do this Du Shun had to come back after 2 hours to get to work on time. I was really annoyed because it was technically too late to find anyone else to ride with by the time we got back. I had all but decided to ride the last 2 hours by myself when my buddy Jason called. Within a few minutes I was back out on the bike and got in another 2:30 to get 4:30 for the day. Luckily for me Jason had done Buffalo Springs the weekend before and was still recovering. That guy is a beast on the bike. All I know though is after the ride was over I was really tired but I had this sense of euphoria that seemed to last for days. I suppose long rides make me happy...
This past Saturday I spent another 4 plus hours on the bike. This too was a really good ride for me. We hooked up with a couple of other cyclists as we rode south toward San Marcos. These guys, both racers, one a Cat 1, were winding their way down to New Braunfels to enjoy some tubing, drink beer and chill out at the music festival. Thanks to their presence as we shared pacing duty, I was able to maintain a consistent heart rate similar to what I would sustain during a time trial effort. I was also able to get a good sense of my fluid and nutrient requirement during the effort.
The interesting thing about the ride from my perspective is that I had been out late the night before because I allowed someone to drive me to a concert. Because the person driving had a little too much to drink, I didn't get home when I had planned. As a result, and because I intended to ride no matter what, I drank lots of water. So much so that whatever meager amount of sleep I would get was interrupted about every 30 minutes for another jet to the bathroom.
The next morning, I was running late and forgot to bring some packets of electrolytes I intended to try out. I do tend to ride without "sports" drinks for most rides lasting less than 2 hours. But given all of the circumstances surrounding this ride, I made sure to stay well hydrated and even used Gatorade at the 1:30 and 3:00 hour marks. Because of this (I suspect) I actually experienced the sensation of getting stronger as the ride progressed and found myself taking longer pulls in the front as the ride wore on.
Unfortunately this would not be the experience my riding partner had. About 4 miles from home his legs would cramp up so severely, he would not be able to move and I would have to ride home and bring a car back for him. My point here is while I observed the circumstances of the ride and watched the dynamics change with the addition of two young (they were both 22) and highly fit cyclists to our ride, I was forced to reevaluate the situation and make some changes both in how I road and in what I drank. Those two bottles of Gatorade have to be the first time I've had anything I could buy in a convenience store in about a year. My partner chose to hydrate using straight water the whole way and I think it caught up with him. As a result I'll be paying even more attention to what I eat and drink while training.