Training Recap: April (Weeks 13-16)

Racing, Vacations, Injuries, Illness, oh my.  Let’s recap April’s shenanigans.

Week 13:

Leah notes:

Weights – I’ve moved on to the point where I do strength maintenance 1-2x per week, and not on race weeks.  This week is a race week that I’ve decided is at least a B, so I’m going to skip it and resume next week.  I do the same sets (leg press or squats, rows, incline sit ups with twist, calf raises or hammie curls, and pulldowns) at 60/60/80% of my 1 rep max that I established last month.  For the rest of the year, this is about maintaining the pretty huge gains I made the first 3 months of the year, and the strength work will move into sport specific stuff (hill work, speedwork, force work, drag sets in the pool, etc).

Swim – I’m still kicking my butt in the pool on Wednesdays with speedwork, and feeling strong, but I’ve been finding that it’s hard to get there on the weekend after the increased hours on the bike/run and it’s just a little too early for lake swimming.  Again, I’m thrilled with the gains I’ve made in the first 3 months of this year, and I can take a little stalled progress here if needed.  And right now, it’s just that Sauron’s eye has turned a little more to the other two sports.  Once the lakes are in the 70s and it’s a billion degrees outside I’ll be back at it full force.

Bike – My trainer speeds are off the HOOK (I’m at 3/5 resistance and pulled a 30.5 mph avg at a lower HR than I did 28.9 miles at 2/5 resistance earlier this year).  My outdoor speeds suck.  But my outdoor rides this year have been a) after a 10 mile run w/2 mile tempo b) a metric century (61 miles) c) in traffic d) hill-tastic or e) first ride of the year, trying to remember how to not fall down.   My legs feel pretty strong this year, and my stupid hilly ride this weekend at the roller coaster called Pace Bend was not so, so bad (15.1 mph over 19 miles of non-stop hills).  I just need to ride outside more, so we’re planning on doing one supported metric century per month as training.  The love is coming back to me with cycling this week, and that makes me happy.

Run – I feel like I’m just getting off training wheels here.  I spent 3 months running super slow.  I have done my requisite speed work and ran some hills and did some tempo work in the last few weeks, but I am racing 10 miles on Sunday, and I’m gunning for a PR (last year was 1:41-something).  I feel like I have it in me to sub-10 min/mile pace it, but I don’t have much experience at that pace since all my work minus the run tests have been in a lower zone than I plan to run.  I want to put the hurt on this race.  It’s my home turf, I know the elevations and what’s cool and what sucks about it.  It’s about convincing my mind that my body has more when it wants to quit.  That is most of what I want to do.  I want to hurt for about an hour and 40 minutes, give or take.

I hurt pretty bad running the mad hills at Pace Bend last weekend.  I stopped having fun at mile 4 but I finished out the 6 miles complain-y but strong.  I’m going to take the rest of my runs easy this week, and see what my legs have in them.

I’d say I’m loving all 3 sports right now, probably giving running or biking the edge depending on what day it is and what type of workout is planned – and I’m tired of weights but still doing them.

By the days:

Monday: Weights: SM Day 1 of the rest of the year 00:45, Swim: Easy Laps + Drills 1200 m 00:27
Tuesday: Run: Ruuuuuninng in the rain 4.15 mi 00:48, Bike: Trainer + End of Star Trek En… 19.07 mi 00:45
Wednesday: Weights: SM Day 2 00:45, Swim: 3x300m with some farteleks? 1800 m 00:45
Thursday: Bike: Cycling Test 17.78 mi 00:35, Run: Easy After Work Run 3.1 mi 00:37
Friday: rest, relaxing, setting up camp
Saturday: Run: Pace Bend Hill Run 6.03 mi 01:07 Bike: Pace Bend Hill Ride 18.66 mi 01:14 Run: Brick 1 mi 00:10:45
Sunday: rest, taking down camp, 20 mountains of laundry.

Joel notes:

So it turns out I had 1 more kidney stone, the doctors put me on some medication to see if I could pass it normally, but they wanted me in to the hospital the next week if I hadn’t passed it. So for this week I did Monday and Tuesday according to plan, minus some weights on Monday, squats hurt with a stone. Then Wednesday I was in some pain again so I skipped the whole weights and swim deal. I felt better on Thursday and got in my run and trainer ride. Then Friday off and we set up camp out at pace bend park. Now, that was awesome. 1 loop of pace bend park going counter clockwise, that was the smart way to tackle the hills but then we did 3 loops of it clockwise on the bike so we had to struggle up the big hills. So much fun, we followed that up with a 1 mile brick run at the end, then I crashed into a 6 pack of lone stars and sat in the sun reading my book. Not a shabby Saturday, and I didn’t have any stone pain so a super plus on that.

Week 14:

Leah Notes:

This week it was just all about getting in the hours.  After last week’s crazy 2.5 hours of hills, and the ensuing soreness, and the knowledge that it was a fully loaded week, and a race I actually cared a bit about this weekend, I cut everything down to easy miles and skipped weights in favor of extra stick and stretching time.

It was a challenge with all the other commitments – had to be up at 5am for transportation and came back home at 7:30 and then biked for 1.5 hours and then had to leave again, ran at lunch that day, and then hopped on the trainer as soon as I got home to finish up some more time.  I had a dentist appt Thursday early, so I had to squeeze that day too.  I ended up going a little light on swimming and running in favor of extra bike time, but I got in my time (for the most part).

We now are all signed up all the tris (minus Austin 70.3, which we are still deciding on):

Rookie Super Sprint Tri: 5/5
Playtri Olypmic Tri: 6/2
Pflugerville Sprint Tri: 6/16
Buffalo Springs 70.3 Tr: 6/30
Couples Sprint Tri: 7/14
Jacks Generic Olympic: 8/4
Tri Rock Olympic: 9/2
Kerrville 70.3 Tri: 9/29

We will be throwing in some supported ~50-60 mile rides about once a month (Armadillo, HotterNHell Hundred, etc), and hitting up splash and dashes as often as it makes sense with training.

Besides the race commentary from 10/20, don’t have all that much else to say.  See below:

Monday: Swim: EZ Laps 1500 m 00:36
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Josie and the Pussycats. 29.01 mi 01:26, Run: Neighborhood Lunch Loops 2.72 mi 00:30, Bike: Trainer + Rest of Josie 12.01 mi 00:35
Wednesday: Swim: Laps 1800 m 00:45
Thursday: Run: EZ Lunch Run 3.1 mi 00:34, Bike: Trainer + Fringe 14 mi 00:40
Friday: Outside Bike: Neighborhood Loopz 5.3 mi 00:22, Bike: Trainer + Bobs Burgers Butts … 7 mi 00:21
Saturday: off
Sunday: Run: Austin 10/20 Race 10.13 mi 01:40 Bike: Trainer + Les Mis 51.4 mi 02:31 Run: Bricky Brick 1 mi 10:17

Joel notes:

Wow, that feels like so long ago! So 10/20 was great, I got a PR by 5 minutes over 10 miles, so that’s huge! Its even that much more amazing to me when I think that the Tuesday before the race I was in the hospital having them blow up a kidney stone that was too big to pass on its own. (OUCH) I took all of Tuesday and Wednesday that week off of training, but on Thursday I got 2 trainer bike rides in and a 3.1 mile run at lunch. Then Friday I biked in the morning and evening. Took that Saturday off and then had the epic day of Sunday. So yeah we did 10/20 then a LONG bike ride, then a brick run. I didn’t even get a mile into the brick before I called it. Just too much that day.

Week 15:

Leah notes:

This first week of vacation was supposed to be our peakiest peak week of this cycle at 11 hours of training.  We mitigated some of it with 3 hours of brick training the day before we left, and just tried to get in what we could.  I got about 9 of the 11 hours in here (if you count 2 hours of scuba as sort of cross training), but then on Sunday I woke up with the tendon of doom.  I really enjoyed the run on Tuesday in FL. I did NOT enjoy the run on the treadmill on the ship on Thursday, it was very rocky.  I was afraid I would injure something.  Ha!

The highlights of the week was definitely scuba diving.  Both places were awesome, but I think I had just a little more love for Bonaire.  The descent on the first dive was frustrating (I had trouble equalizing, took me an extra few minutes), but even so, it was breathtakingly gorgeous descending into the clear blue water down to the reef.  I’ll remember that forever.  The low point was obvious – waking up with the pain of a thousand white hot suns in my knee on Sunday.

Monday: off (1 mile walk)
Tuesday: 4.5 mile ez run in 52 minutes, 1000m swim in 30 mins
Wednesday: weights and an easy 45 min spin on the stationary bike
Thursday: 3.7 miles in 43 mins (easy run), 7 min walk
Friday: scuba
Saturday: scuba
Sunday: off (owwwww)

Joel notes:

The run in Holywood FL was cool, we went through a kinda sketchy neighborhood, but it was as school was getting in for the day so there were police all over and what not. That was fun. Then vacation! See Leah’s notes for that. It was a blast and the Scuba was amazing. I liked Aruba better, just because I thought the wrecks were just amazing to see, oh, and I found treasure! and by treasure I mean a 200$ dive light on part of the wreck, and good thing too since my dive lights had all died early in the month. Here are the links to the dive videos. Dive 1 Dive 2 Dive 3 Dive 4 . The info on each location is in the description for each video. I know they are long, but hey I loved doing it, maybe you would love watching it. I used a GoPro Hero 3 White edition with the Snap on red filter from polar pro filters.

Week 16:

Leah notes:

This was supposed to be a recovery week with a metric century on Saturday.  It became an “injured, but doing whatever I could without hurting myself” week while on vacation, and then I got sick with a cold (broke my streak of not being sick for almost 17 months, boooo), and coupled with a hurt knee, I just crawled into my couch when I got home and died.

The week’s highlight was definitely snorkeling in Princess Cays.  I love fishies and swimming with them.  It was a great great day (and one of the first days I wasn’t throwing myself an injury pity party and feeling a little better).  Honorable mention was checking out the scenery in St Thomas at Paradise Point.  So pretty!  The low points were a) missing Dominca because my knee wasn’t feeling up to doing much and b) DNS (did not start) ing the Red Poppy Ride.  It was the right call both times to keep myself from further injury, but it doesn’t mean that it was any fun. 🙁

Monday: off (still owww)
Tuesday: weights, 20 mins handcycle
Wednesday: 20 mins handcycle, 25 mins easy, easy spin
Thursday: 2 hours snorkeling
Friday: off (sick)
Saturday: off (sick)
Sunday: off (sick)

Joel notes:

While Leah was recouping, I did get off the boat at Grenada to buy some knick-knacks to give to friends and to attempt to find some open wifi network for my phone. The in-laws and I decided to walk out of the protected touristy area, because my mother in law had been there 40 years earlier and remembered it being safe and easy to walk around it. Not so much we ended up turning back a few blocks in and went back to the ship. I dropped off the goods in the room and went and got Leah some food, then proceeded back to port to attempt to find wifi again. I went left instead of right and found a “bar” kind of place on the 3rd floor of a building and had to walk up some rickety scary stairs to get up there. Music was pumping out loudly, but they had wifi with drink purchase, so I got a slightly grimy can of sprite zero for $3.oo US, and then went out onto their scary balcony and caught up on the internet. I also used the wifi calling feature and called my parent to fill them in on the vacation adventures. Just a note here, that grimy can of soda I think got me a stomach bug, because it wasn’t 3 hours later and I couldn’t keep any sort of food down for the rest of the day. Oh well lesson learned.

St Thomas was a blast, I convinced the fam to take a ski lift type thing up to the top of the tallest mountain on the island, there was supposed to be shops, and a bar and restaurant. Once at the top, there was 1 little shop, in a space they were remodeling to be space for probably 10 shops, and from what I saw the “bar” was a guy selling cans of beer out of a cooler. Needless to say we didn’t stay too long. There were lots and lots of stairs up there and Leah needed to not do so many stairs. I think my fitbit said I did about 30 flights that day up there, so yeah.

Princess Cays was amazing, I love snorkeling, I think just as much if not more than diving. I got some great video and Leah got amazing pictures of the snorkeling, but I haven’t published the video for that still and that was over a month ago. It was like 3 hours of footage, and well, a lot of it was peoples butts. We don’t need no Bob’s Burgers Butts going on here.

Leah Summary:

April had some major highs and lows.  I’m hoping I don’t forget how to be a triathlete as I’m still not back to 100% yet, but my mantra for the early season is going to be “courage, not confidence”.  I stole this from Jesse Thomas’s blog.  By my season opener June 2 (rescheduled from May 5), I should be healed but I’ll be missing a lot of training.  I need to have the courage to push myself to paces I know I can hit, even if I don’t have that much practice at them.  I will definitely draw on my experience Austin 10/20 race day and the training day at Pace Bend Park.

Joel Summary:

And that wraps up April, It was a great month and a lot got accomplished (8 books read, new PR, many new countries visited). I didn’t put it on there but I did hit the gym many times on the cruise but the garmin data for that is of course off, so I will leave you with a link to my 3.5 mile run on the cruise, that was 15 miles since that’s how far the boat moved while I was doing it.  Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned folks, as we have 3 races coming up next month, including our first 70.3 of the year, and lots of fun May training to recap!


Training Weeks 7&8


I know, I know, this post is late. But, you have it now! Between tri training, scuba lessons, and birthdays and I finally have a night to finish putting the video together.  Hooray!

Week 7:


Leah notes:


Running:  Getting better by the week.  It’s nice to be running in the 11s, running longer than 10k, and getting in a little speedwork finally.  Oddly enough, my HR drops a little even with the same effort after a sprint, it’s like “hey, this isn’t nearly as hard as I was working before”.  Feet are holding up alright, they were a little tender after the pounding that was Sat and Sun, but nothing that lingered.  I can actually wear shoes again besides my running shoes and my black tennies, which is making my work wear a little more varied. I’ll be excited when it goes away completely, but it’s definitely better.  Also, all this perfect running weather (60s and sunny) isn’t hurting my run mojo.

Bike: Feel sort of stalled here until I get to get out and ride more.  I’m varying up my resistances and doing drills, but I don’t feel like I really am going to make that much more progress until I start doing more outdoor rides.  March will be my month!

Swim: Ahhh, I just love the pool lately.  Drills are starting to be things that just help me count laps, as my form is getting better (and with that, my times are).  I am looking forward to getting some lake swims in, because it does take a bit to adjust from the nice pool to the murky, nature-having, no side to push off like, but I think I’m setting myself up for a good season.  Also, taking my fins to the lake and cruising around the buoys sounds like a blast!

Weights: Yep, super heavy weights are fun, and work in a completely different way.  I lift, and I’m like “ok, that’s it?”.  Then, after the session, it’s like BLAM.  I feel it.  Oddly enough I’m crushing the upper body goals, but I’ve got a bit to go (+50 lbs to my squat, +150 lbs to my leg press?) to hit leg goals, but it’s fun to pile on the weight and I get thumbs ups from the trainers at the gym so there’s that.

By the days:


Monday:  Swim: 1200 m in 25mins (wore fins for some drills)(actually did this on Sunday, but counting for this week)
Tuesday:  Bike: 20.64 mi in 60 mins – first 40 mins lighter resistance (2 of 5) with 3×1 min one leg drills, last 20 mins higher resistance (4 of 5) Run: 3.91 in 45 mins. 153-154 HR average 167 max. Weights: 3×4… 290 lb leg press, 120 lb rows, 100 lb pulldowns. 3×20…. incline sit ups w/10 lb plate w/twist, 110 lb calf presses.
Wednesday: Swim: 1500m in 37 mins.
Thursday: Bike: 20.46 in 60 mins – First 25 mins at 2/5, 3x1min one leg drills. Next 20 at 3/5, worked on concentrating on the push then the pull (not set intervals). Finished with 15 mins at 4/5, just trying to keep up the pace as best I could. Avg HR: 127, Max 191? (probably a spike) Run: 4.12 miles – 47:51, 6×20 sec sprints. Weights: 3×4… 185 lb squats, 120 lb rows, 105 lb pulldowns. 3×20… incline situps w/10 lb plate w/twist, 65 lb hamstring curls.
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: 30 mins, 10 miles.  Avg HR 111, Max HR 132. Run: 7.4 mi in 1h 30. HR avg 151, max 171. Swim: 1050m in 25 mins.  Spin class: 45 mins of pain, torture, and awesomeness.
Sunday: Indoor Tri! Swim: 487m in 10 mins. Bike: 30 mins of quick spin. Run: 2.13 in 20 mins.

10 hours total, goal was 10 hours.  So yay!

Definitely definitely ready for the stepback week after this.   I felt a little fried.

Week 8:


Leah notes:


I really don’t have much to say about training this week.  I did 2 easy runs in or close to zone 1, 2 easy trainers with no resistance, 1 easy swim, and 2 easy weights sessions.

Run: My easy run pace is where my Zone 2 run pace was a month ago.  I’d like to see that improvement every month, thanks body and universe!  I was hoping that so much time off would totally heal my heel, but then I walked around with a 60 lb scuba set up all weekend on a rocky cliff with non-cushy scuba boots.  So, it’s FINE but it still talks to me every once in a while.

Bike: 1/5 resistance is really just like watching a movie on a slightly uncomfortable seat.  My average HR didn’t even reach 100 (it was 97) on Thursday’s 45 min ride.

Swim: The first swim was uneventful, and we even cheesed out on the second one because I threw a little tantrum about it and decided that a 30 min easy swim was not worth the mental fortitude is was going to take to get through it.  It was also the fifth day in a row without a day off and two of those were 3.5 hour training day and the race, so I needed it.  Instead we soaked in the hot tub for 20 mins and chatted with another lady.  That’s pretty close to the level of effort I was going to put in to my workout, so it was fine.

Weights: Decreasing weight by 1/3 makes things seem very light, though two months ago these weights felt pretty freaking hulk for me to hoist up.  I never knew that there could be such thing as a “recovery weights” session, but if there is, this was it.

By the days:

Monday: Weights: 2×12… 200 lb leg press, 80 lb rows, 70 lb pulldowns. 2×20… incline situps w/a twist w/5 lb plate, 50 lb hammie machine. Swim: 1050m in 28 min
Tuesday: Bike: 16.67 mi in 45 mins, resistance 1/5, HR avg: 100, max: 111, Run: 3.1 miles in 36:20 HR avg: 148, max: 167
Wednesday: Weights: exact same as Monday, except 105 lb squats instead of leg presses
Thursday: Bike: 15.88 mi  in 45 mins, resistance 1/5, HR avg: 97, max: 112, Run: 3.1 in 37:20, HR avg: 145, max: 157
Friday: off
Saturday: Scuba (one hour of actual in water, probably another hour of hauling around the tanks and equipment)
Sunday: Scuba (same)


Joel’s post is lost somewhere in the internet, and I don’t want to write it again. Sorry.

Question: anyone out there a certified diver?  What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen?  If not, where would you want to dive?