Monday, April 19, 2010

A Weekend to Myself

This past weekend, my wife took a mini-vacation with some of her friends to Las Vegas.  So, I was on my own.

I need to come clean on one thing first.  Last Monday I posted that I was just beginning a 20-week training plan from We'll as I was downloading the next 19 weeks of training details, I noticed that the plan left me 2 weeks short of the Ironman date of September 12.  Well, this genius here is so bad at math, he couldn't even add up the time between April and September.

In any event, I'll just do weeks 1 and 2 of the plan, and then start over with week 1 again and move forward (this time for real). 

Friday was my first official 'Rest Day'.  Hooray!  Granted, even through the fall and winter, I've gotten used to taking Friday off, but man, it feels good to have an 'official' break.

First, I had to get my things together.

1. Pajama Pants...check.
 This rest day has been brought to you by Dr. Pepper.

2. Recliner...check.
3. TV Remote and XBox Controller...check, and check.
4. Trusty Sidekick, AKA, "The Bark 'n' Sniffer"...check.
She barks.  She sniffs.  She's a Bark 'n' Sniffer.

Then all I had to do was execute my routine.

1. Locate Recliner and insert ass.
2. Watch all the guilty-pleasure TV that The Wife doesn't ordinarily approve of (South Park, Family Guy and Star Trek) along with the weekly creature-feature on Sci-Fi.
3. Periodically pet The Bark 'n' Sniffer and/or rub her tummy.

Good times.

Going along with the plan, I had a swim and a bike on the agenda.

The swim was mean to improve my speed.  Yay.  I like speed.

warmup: 200y, 4 x 100 - 50 swim, 50 kick (on my new kickboard)

8 x 100 (25 easy, 25 build, 25 easy, 25 hard)  This was my first try at the 'EBEH' style of swimming.  Usually I do my repeats at a steady rate, so alternating intensities was interesting to say the least.  It required more mental discipline than anything else.  It was easy to get into a run and forget where I was. 

300y cooldown

I headed out for what was supposed to be about an hour long bike ride.  I was supposed to warm up and cool down with easy spinning, so I headed West towards County Road 24 in Plymouth and the course for this summer's Tuesday Night Time Trials.  It's got some good rolling hills.  They're not quite the roller coaster ride that I'll find on the Madison Ironman course, but they'll do for now. 

Once I hit the course, I shifted into the big ring and tried to hold a steady pace.  Not hard, just steady.  The ride out was straight into the wind, so I kept low on the aero-bars.  I covered the 5.4 miles in 17:54.  That's an average of just over 18mph.  Not fast, but I'll take it.

The ride back was quite a bit faster - a 20mph average.  Okay.  That's better.  Then it was just a matter of spinning back home.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day for a ride.

The only thing on the schedule for Sunday was a 90 minute ride.  Again, it was another GORGEOUS day.  You could tell from all the fair-weather athletes out on the roads.  Which, by the way, if you're going to hit the road, at least learn to read a stop sign and put on an effing helmet!  There sure are a lot of potential organ donors out there.  Sigh.

I headed South into Minnetonka towards Mount Willy.  It's a hefty uphill on Williston Road between Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 7.  It's also a favorite of the Wednesday night rides for the Twin Cities Spoke.  I did a couple loops up the little bugger and then headed home.

 A view from the top.

This is my last day of being Wife-Free, so I could still train on my own schedule.  You know, without having to be home at a certain time to start up dinner.

Today was supposed to be a 'long swim'.  The meat of the workout was 4 500-yard repeats.  It wasn't anything crazy, but I suppose that's not the point this early on in the season.

The run was similar to last week - 45 minutes at about a 3/10 for effort.  The only change was the addition of :20 'strides' every 5 minutes.  The idea is to take 20 seconds to build into a higher cadence with a focus on good form and fast foot strikes.  It's not a sprint, but it's supposed to teach my body to get used to a faster pace.  Here are the splits:

Mile 1...9:46
Mile 2...9:31
Mile 3...9:39
Mile 4...9:28
Last .57...5:05

I felt sluggish for the first mile or so, but I think it was a matter of being a little waterlogged from earlier today.  In any event.  It's a long week.  We'll see how things go tomorrow with a run and a bike.  Hopefully I'll even have time to visit the OPUS Crit Races.

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