I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. Its not because I have nothing to write about - there are two posts in the works. Its just that I have been too busy finishing up the school year. Teaching at one of the top high schools in the country has a tendency to drain you during the month of May. June is almost here!
So, about the training. It is going as well as can be expected. The transition from Olympic distance duathlon training to the long distance event specific training is easier than going the other way. Well, it is easier for a 40-something, no-leg-speed guy like me. I have spent almost 20 years working on a 15-mpw running schedule, so the experts would say that I should slowly lengthen my workouts. No way. Not enough time. Besides, my minimalist approach allows for maximum recovery. I continue to train on Tues, Thurs, and Sat with some Sun bike rides.
Those weekday sessions have been intense! Tues is fast run day and Thurs is fast ride day. I have not changed the pattern and build-up of those sessions as I have increased the BS sessions. Admittedly, I was surprised that it took almost 4 weeks for fatigue to set in. And that fatigue was undoubtedly due in part to the stress I encountered. No, problem. Athletes must simply make adjustments when life gets in the way. I use my run/ride sessions to reduce stress by making certain that I focus on the positives (and ignore all negatives!) before, during, and after the sessions. Putting it another way, I view those few hours I train each week as relaxation therapy. I'll explore that in another post.
Last Saturday brought a weird ending to week four of the build-up. Just after sunrise, only 10 minutes into the run and moving downhill on a single track , I turned my ankle badly. Mere inches before planting my left foot I saw a 2-inch box turtle move where the foot was about to land. A crazy mid-air jerk saved the turtle, but caused the foot to land while moving across a root. The sound it made was like tearing fabric. Not good. Some cursing, rubbing, and stretching ensued. A few attempts to run indicated that I could not "run it off." The planned 60-minute run could not happen. I limped home and carried out the first of 5 icing sessions over a 36-hour period. The 90-minute ride was also called off.
I am so glad that happened on a down week when I did not have a BS planned. On the bright side, the ankle meant that I would get maximum recovery. :) By Sunday morning I could extend the toes without too much pain, so I taped the ankle and rode. Those fresh legs caused a few mid-ride turns that resulted in the longest ride of the year - 58 miles with 1900 ft elev. gain at a 21 mph pace. Sunny skies, clear air, and beautiful scenery allowed for an enjoyable ride. More icing was needed to remove the new swelling.
An abbreviated fast run on apshalt Tuesday afternoon allowed the ankle to heal even more. By the weekend the ankle pain had subsided, but the soft tissue was still quite vulnerable to rolling. So the Saturday long run was forced onto the roads. The 3:18 run was on a hilly marathon course I'd previously measured. Minimal water on a warm and muggy day caused me to slow a bit in the last two miles. It is worth noting that I drank 40 oz of H2O from a Nathan Magda 1.5-L Vest, emptied three gels from a flask, and still arrived home weighing 9 pounds less than when I woke up. Later, after much drinking, I felt mostly rehydrated and I rode a casual 60.5 miles in 3:02.
BS is over 6 hrs with six weeks to go before Muncie. I am still getting stronger and faster. And now it is summer break and I can take naps!
Upcoming trips (and posts) will include a winery loop getaway, a rafting/climbing trip in WV with students, and an adventure in the Boone, NC area. Though the planning of it added to my recent stress, I am excited to lead 22 students on the rafting trip on the New River, but a bit anxious as we still need an adult female to sign on. The Boone trip is going to be mostly spontaneous and weather guided, so I am giddy about taking on that unknown event.