I must say this week has been extremely busy at work which caused me some issues working out a few nights. I think I am getting a taste of how life will be in the future months. Two people are leaving, one from my old area, and one from my new area, leaving me to do both, and try and train 2 other people on both areas.
Since St. Paul was last Sunday, I figured I would have a light week at the start, but found myself pleasantly surprised at how fast I recovered. The most sore area was probably my shoulders, see previous post about the wetsuit fit. I think I am going to try and store it over the winter with some towels stuffed in the shoulder areas to stretch it out a bit more.
I started out Monday with a nice 1300 yard swim, working on form and trying to glide through the water causing as little turbulence as possible. This was not the case for the lady swimming next to me. She was a quick swimmer, and by quick, I mean she was faster than I was which is by no means a standard of measurement of a swimmers ability, just their perceived speed in relation to mine. This swim was supposed to be nice and easy to loosen my muscles up after the race and it turned into more of a training activity of group swimming. There was water splashing everywhere, waves crashing over the ropes, and what felt like a large current below the water. I was not even able to use this as an opportunity to practice drafting, but more fighting through rough waters. It was fun!
We had Caesar salads on Monday, but I do not mess around when having salads. I prefer to load mine down with meat and noodles. I put together a nice sized salad along with some cottage cheese for additional protein and left enough salad ingredients to have another one for lunch the following day.
Tuesday night I went for a run with Heather as she is preparing for the Twin Cities 10 Mile. We ran 3 miles together and then I ran the same loop again for a total of 6 miles. It helped me to run with her and keep my heart rate in a lower zone, although it did drift out towards the end. I see a long winter ahead of treadmill time trying to get used to the lower zone heart rate training. Running needs to be my main focus for the next 5-8 weeks. With the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon rapidly approaching and my mileage nowhere near what it needs to be, I have quite the journey ahead of me to build up my distance. I want to do all of this while maintaining what I have built for triathlons as well. I think swimming and biking twice a week each, plus three runs a week will get me there.
As I get a little closer to the race, I will post what my goals are… I say that like I am competitive at 26.2 miles HAH! I have a rough number in mind, but need to see how some of my longer runs go to see if I will manage to hold a pace for the entire distance. My time last year was 4:48:28 chip time, 4:52:04 from when the gun went off. My goal is for improvement, how much is another question.
Wednesday was a good bike ride, out and back just over 16 miles. On my way out, I could not help but think about my last trip out on this path. I think it resulted in a flat and getting a new rear tire after a phone call to the Mrs. Biking is going to be my big focus over the winter months. I want to go into next year with a stronger bike time. I am not sure what I can realistically expect to gain, but it better be on the strong side of 20MPH average. We had dinner with Heather’s sister on Wednesday where I made a new pasta recipe. It turned out very well and everyone loved it. It will be going into my list of keepers, and I will eventually post it up here with some pictures to do it justice, lets just say it was very good and there were no leftovers between three of us although it was supposed to make 5 servings.
Thursday I got stuck at work later than expected before heading with Heather to a work function at the Casino/Horse Track. I have never been to a track before, but had a good time, and we ended up a few dollars, not enough to buy me a new bike like I had hopped, but every bit counts right?!?!
Then comes Friday, I knew when I woke up in the morning I had to decide when I was going to do my long run, 12 or 14 miles, TBD. The plan was to run it on Saturday, but about halfway through the day, I decided it would be better to get it out of the way. I also looked at the weeks to come and decided I better run 14 if I could manage as my time is limited to build the miles. Headed out of the house at 4:30 and started off. This was the first time this year I used my Fuel Belt with newly purchased bottles since my last ones got left in the car and molded last year. The goal was to finish my 14 miles, keeping my HR in my roughly calculated Z2. This meant much slower miles than I was used to running recently, but after a while I got into the groove and just started running along.
The run was broken into two sections, and 8 mile loop starting and ending at home, and then another 6 mile loop after refilling my water bottles. I run with 4 8oz bottles, so I intended to drink 8 ounces every 2 miles. Since the temp was cooler and there was a pretty strong 10-15 MPH wind it was much nicer running than I have done in a while. The first 8 miles went well, although when I got home I started noticing my left knee (same leg that had the sprained ankle) was starting to get a bit sore similar to how my right knee felt last year during marathon training. I decided to keep running and luckily ran into Heather on her run when I was at mile 9. A little “Good job baby! You look good, keep it up!” was all I needed to keep me going. I pressed on, although I started noticing my knee getting more sore as I went on.
I managed to complete the full 14.2 miles in 2:31:40, not bad considering it has been since July 7 when I ran 12 miles that I ran anything over 6 miles. My time was slower than the 12 mile run, but I
am going to stick with the lower HR training in hopes that it pays off down the road. I got home and was walking with a limp as my knee was sore, but after a little ice and relaxing the rest of the night after getting the $20 combo at Chili’s, it started feeling a bit better. I felt my calves start to cramp up after showering so I had Heather hit them with The Stick. I wrapped up my legs in ace bandages since I went to purchase some compression socks to try them out as I was told Walgreens sold them for less than 10 bucks. No such luck they were around $35 dollars, for that price I would rather purchase a pair from DeSoto, Zoot, or 2XU.
Although Heather said I looked like and old man with both legs wrapped in Ace bandages, I slept with them on and woke up in the morning. I must say I was very impressed with how good my legs felt and almost no pain in my knee. This gave me some extra hope for the marathon training. I decided to purse something I have been debating for a while. Stuffed Cupcakes! Some pictures below will show the process, not bad for a first attempt. The batter turned out a bit more like a brownie, but I love brownies! The filling was not quite as much fudge as I expected and will need some tweaking, we topped them with some chocolate cream cheese frosting which we bought at the store and would say they turned out pretty well.
You can see below the filling is white and the top ones are after being covered again with some of the batter. Although the batch said it would make 30, I think I ended up with about 20, must have made bigger cupcakes than intended.
Sorry for the moderate pictures. I took them on my phone since it was right there. I should have spent a bit more time to make them look more appealing, but wanted to get the post up.