Monday, August 20, 2007

The training rigors of last week

After recovering from the Catoctin 50km, last week was a great training week for me and pretty much every workout that I had planned was completed (which makes a change, as weather and work normally try their best to derail the schedule). On Saturday and Sunday I made early starts to get out on the bike for a few hours. We currently have Vicky over from the UK and so I needed to get back in reasonable time for us to go hit the tourist trail (St. Michaels and the Eastern Shore). Saturday was 45 miles and Sunday 50 miles....not quite as long as I need but not too bad. I did one of my routes down into Deale and Churchton, which I always like and hadn't done in a while.

Monday as usual is swim day and for the first time in a long time I had to actually wait for a free lane in the pool. Now I will probably get slated for this comment, but does a water-aerobics class with 10 people really need two swim lanes? I'm sure that they can do exactly the same in one lane and give us swimmers another lane to use. Anyway after finally getting into the pool I was able to crank out an hour of speedwork and drills.

I am fortunate on Tuesday's that I have arranged with work that I can escape early to make the club ride at 6:00pm. Tuesday is normally a long "brick" day, where I do the club ride (about 44 miles door to door) and then follow that immediately with a 6 mile run. However, this Tuesday we had arranged to go watch the Bowie Baysox, so after the club ride I hopped onto Sarah's bike (I had forgotten how hard riding in flip-flops was!) and rode down to the stadium to meet the girls (I was designated as the sober driver for the night). Knowing that I wasn't going to run in the evening I squeezed in a short run before work in the morning and used it as a above tempo run.....4.5 miles in 26 mins.

During the summer Wednesday's are always my long run nights. Fortunately the weather wasn't too hot and humid this week and so made the run more bearable. With the MP3 player on and the Camelbak filled, I set off for a 15 miler (at just over 7 minute miles) and set off towards the Davidsonville Park and Ride along Governors Bridge Road. At the moment this is a great road to run along (except for the camber) and after crossing the main route of US 301, really gets out into the rural roads of Anne Arundel County.(Steps onto Soapbox) However, as Bowie develops and expands, these rural roads will gradually disappear and our relatively safe places to run and ride will dwindle and force us into more conflicts with vehicles. Through work (as a Transportation/Traffic Engineer) I get to work on a lot of development projects within the County and around the region, especially those where the State Highway Administration have jurisdiction over the roadways. As a cyclist and a runner, I normally try to at least get developments to focus on issues for all modes of transport, not just the automobile, and it is usually a struggle to get people to understand the needs of cyclists. One project at a time though and I might be able to get more developers to provide facilities for cyclists in the future. (Steps off Soapbox)

Thursday was a bit of a recovery day and constituted just a short swim in the morning as we were heading into D.C in the evening to watch the Washington Mystics play the New York Liberty, who drafted everyones favorite Terp, Shay Doron in this years draft. (Note: Sarah and I are massive Womens Terps Basketball fans and have been season ticket holders for a while).

Following another early morning swim on Friday, I had scheduled a long tempo run of 11 miles after work. As I had stated in a previous post, I need to get back some speed into the running legs after the ultra training. This tempo run was one of those runs to get the speed back and I knew it was going to be tough. The 90 degree heat and humidity didn't help, but hey, that's Bowie in the summer for you. After a warm-up the tempo run started and I had set a target of 6:30 min/miles for an hour. Gradually as I do more tempo runs I will set the target speed higher and higher to get that speed back. The hour went surprisingly quickly (bearing in mind I didn't have any tunes with me, for important workouts I tend to skip the tunes and make sure I concentrate on the workout) and I managed to keep the 6:30min/miles before cooling down for a total of 11 miles. The legs hurt a bit but it was good to run fast again and will be important for the Duathlon Worlds as well as the almost equally important Thanksgiving Turkey races :-)

Overall the week was a 12hrs 45mins of training with a total mileage of 175miles....not too shabby (training always gets interrupted slightly when we have guests). This coming week I have decided to train through the triathlon I have on Sunday August 26th in North East, MD and will not taper at all. This fits into my typical four-week training block of three hard, one recovery. Now what were those two packages delivered this week.......

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