Thursday, August 14, 2008

Actual running during a brick

Tuesday night I swam with Claudia and Phil at the San Ramon pool. Since it was warm (hot) outside it was much more crowded than it's been and we all shared a lane. During the slower parts of the workout that wasn't a problem since many rest breaks were included and I'd catch up while they rested. But then the intensity increased, along with their speed. Ok, my speed increased a little too, but my level 7 speed is oodles slower than theirs. So they kept lapping me. Not a problem, I think I was only about 200 yards behind them at the finish. Nevertheless, I still managed to finish 2500 yards (with some of the rest breaks included) in a bit over an hour. If you think that about 6 minutes is "a bit."

Wednesday night was another brick training, this time in hotville. Why is it when the weather cools we end up in Alameda, and when we have a heatwave we're in Orinda? It was about a million degrees when we started (but it's a dry heat so it only felt like a thousand degrees) and a light breeze picked up during the middle of the workout. We were scheduled for a warmup run, a bike ride, run, ride, run, cool down ride.

I had been given permission by my therapist to do a run/walk, as long as I kept it slow (ha! that's my only speed) and easy (double ha! because of the weather). I thought our runs would be like they have in the past, 10 minutes, so I was supposed to walk 2 minutes, run 4 minutes, walk 2. It turned out that we were doing 6 minute runs so I decided to improvise.

The rides were a short out-and-back of about 4 miles. We were supposed to take it easy on the flats and go up to level 8 on the hills. As I was riding the first time our Coach rode with me for a while, asking me how things were going, how my back was, how my knee was, how my training was going, etc. He asked if riding hills hurt my back and I admitted that it did; he said to take it easy on the hill. I laughed because it normally takes me a level 8 just to get up the hill, even when I'm not trying for the intensity. When he asked if I would I would have liked anything different with the training, I said no, just a different body. Good luck with that.

I busted a gut going up the hill and breezed down, turned around and started back up again. The return isn't as steep so it was easier but I still ended up in my granny gear. When I reached the top I bombed the downhill. I was in my drops and just screaming fast until I realized that it would be a very bad idea to lay my bike down a couple of weeks before my event. I sat up, slowed down a bit and regained a little more control. But it was fun as hell while it lasted. I used to be able to handle going that fast but I need more experience before doing it now.

I mixed up the middle run with walking, didn't do more than 3 minutes of running. And I started with a run instead of a walk since I wanted to feel a real transition. When I got back on my bike again I still felt like I was out of breath from my first ride so I took it even easier on the flat. When I got to the hill I again powered up (all things being relative), sped down, climbed back up. But when I got to the top it had gotten darker and I couldn't see all the flaws and bumps and ridges in the road so I went slower than the first time (again, all things being relative).

The last run I decided to see how much I could do without hurting my back. I ended up running 4 minutes and it was wonderful. I wanted to run the whole thing but that little voice in my head told me not to. One last transition and then a very easy cool down ride. I kept it slow and spinning and was happy to finish.

It was still very warm when I finished and I was drippng and tired and very happy that I had, for once, completed a full set of the bricks. I know my body isn't up to a sustained run, or a run at my normal speed, but every little bit counts.

Since it's still a bazillion degrees out with slightly scummy air, I'm glad that tonight's workout is at Shadow Cliffs. I'll take swimming in a scummy shallow lake while wearing a wetsuit over any other activity while it's this hot.

Well, maybe not any other activity. Drinking margaritas counts as activity, right?

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