Early Season Thoughts

It’s strange to be calling these “early season” thoughts when I have four running events behind me already, but this is the first week of training for my only triathlon this year. It makes me feel beginner-ish.

I’m using a stock sprint tri training plan from Garmin Connect. It’s frustrating. First, Garmin Connect doesn’t take the workout I upload and plug it in with the scheduled workout – even when I used the workout on the 510. Training Peaks does – I think I just decided it’s worth paying for Training Peaks! – but that means I have to enter each planned workout in Training Peaks. And because the workouts don’t transfer well – they’re described on the calendar, but if you open them on the workout page it shows the time, but not the goal – I have to edit each workout on the workout page in Garmin Connect.

Today’s workout was supposed to be a Brick. I decided to just ride (more on that later). Here’s an example of how a workout is described:  “Bike, easy effort, 45 minutes. Bike, moderate effort, 15 minutes. Repeat 2 times. • Cool down, 5 to 10 minutes. • Stretch. • Ride on hilly terrain. Don’t worry if HR exceeds prescribed zone on hills.” Today, each one of those time blocks had a cadence goal: 85 RPM, then 80 RPM, then 95 RPM, then a cool down with no specific goal.

First off, it’s damned near impossible for me to be that precise with cadence, and if I told the 510 my goal was 90 RPM it would be buzzing at me every time I was at 89 or 91. That would be so frustrating I’d shut the damned alerts off. Second – and this is the bigger issue – there’s zero guidance as to what I’m supposed to do when my cadence is too high or too low. Cadence too high – do I pedal slower, or shift to a harder gear to slow down my pedals?

This is summer’s lone triathlon is a sprint, and it’s a course I know. I don’t care much about improving my time, I just want to be fit enough to enjoy the race. So using this training plan and adjusting it as I chose will work. But, lesson learned: it’s worth it – to me – to pay for a coach. If I do decide to train for the Badger Mountain 50K, I plan to hire CC to coach me for that.

I was scoffing at the run workouts. A thirty-minute easy run? Huh? But I reminded myself that I am training for a sprint. Yes, I ran a half-marathon earlier this year, then a 10K, a 5K, then Bloomsday. Yes, thirty minutes is a short run workout. But I’m certain my body is going to welcome those shorter workouts. And as I progress, perhaps I’ll get faster since I’m focusing on shorter distances.

I’ve also decided to use this training plan as a loose guide. I’ve done enough sprints to know what it takes to prepare. I know the swim is my weak spot, and that once I survive that I’ll be great. I know me. It would be foolish to strictly follow a training plan written by someone who knows nothing about my athletic experience or my strengths and weaknesses.

I did the bike workout today, but I plan to have more fun on the bike , as opposed to stressing out about the workouts. I can always turn my commute into cadence or high gear drills. It may mean I never accomplish riding a century, let alone an epic ride like RAMROD or Seattle to Portland, but the bike is supposed to be fun. So fun I shall let it be.

Although I messed up on the swim (I didn’t write it out properly, so I missed a 50 yd leg that I was supposed to do five times), it was kind of nice to being a workout instead of just swimming up and down the lane.

The day after Bloomsday, I rode my bike. Ahhhhhhh. I miss riding in Spokane. I didn’t have to deal with any assholes in vehicles – a lucky break. I rode the Centennial Trail out to Mirabeau Point, and then back into downtown via the Industrial District. I always found the Industrial District to be a great place to ride in the evening & on weekends – good, wide roads with little traffic. I rode 22 miles, which is probably my longest ride so far this year, and it didn’t even feel like work.

I’m short on sleep. I didn’t sleep well last Saturday night. I got to sleep late Sunday night, and I woke up when Jim got up at 5:30-ish. I tried to go back to sleep, but once he left I got out of bed. I rode that evening, and I didn’t get back to the hotel until around eight p.m. Because the lunch at the conference wasn’t very good, and because there’s no fridge in the Davenport Grand Hotel’s rooms, I was starving after that ride. I ate at the restaurant in the lobby, which meant I got back the room around 9-ish or so. I gave myself permission to sleep in on Tuesday, even if it meant missing part of the conference. NOPE! I was awake at 5:30 again.

I slept pretty good at home Tuesday night, but once again I was up at 5:30 after only getting about six hours of sleep. I got up early to swim on Thursday, and Friday was another 5:30 a.m. wake up.

We went out to dinner last night. I’d hiked Badger Mountain. The Sage Rat Run is in a few weeks, and I’m doing the 15 km trail run. It’s straight up into Horse Heaven Hills – there’s no way I’m running up that. I decided I needed some practice walking up hills. So I made myself walk, NOT RUN, Badger.

After all that, and because I have a canker sore on my tongue that makes chewing painful, I wanted macaroni & cheese. I was dressed a little too casually for Fat Olives, so we went to Magills. The mac & cheese was good, but not great. And it did just exactly what I expected it to do to my digestive tract. I’ll spare the reader the details. I couldn’t sleep – it was as if I’d had coffee with dinner – so at about 2 a.m. I gave up and went out to the futon. I eventually fell asleep, but that meant I didn’t wake up completely until nearly ten this morning. It’s not around 8:30 p.m., and I am looking forward to going to bed.

If nothing else, I hope this is the training season I finally get enough sleep.

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