Well, it was quite a week for me. Following my marathon last Sunday I could hardly walk for two days. I have never felt so wiped by a race and frankly my legs have never been so beat upon since my hardcore kettlebells workouts with Charlene at Main st cardio.
So this week was supposed to be my recovery and then a get back at it - the only problem was that I was scheduled to race Niagara today (i have a whole slew of pictures if I can figure out how dan gets them on the web).
Monday was an easy going swim day, thank goodness I dont use my legs when I swim (triathletes are supposed to save their legs for the bike and run - we kick only to have them float more than they sink when we swim). Beyond having to take the stairs to get into the pool, I had a nice easy 2k swim, 500 swim, 500 pull, 500 swim, 500 pull. They were all done on 8:30's, so nice and smooth.
Tuesday was a rest day. Despite my most favourite ride on tuesday, i couldnt even fathom throwing a leg over the bike and riding it. I was still barely climbing the stairs in our house. I did manage to spend about 25-30 minutes on my tri-bike getting a new fitting for it with Paul. We spent about 2+ hours working through the fitting on the computrainer and then worked the dimensions onto my cervelo. Looks like my current fit was reasonable in the cockpit, but we increased the seat height and moved it slightly forward. this positioned allowed me to generate a consistent 310 watts for his time trial test, a level that he was quite comfortable with. Now I have to put some miles on it and see how things feel. I will use the next month or so to dial in my aero-position and then we can retest. Hopefully this gets me to my target 5:25 bike time in August.
Wednesday was back on the bike for a solid spin session, about 40 mins of good but not aggressive spin class. Focus on just getting the legs to work again. They were still hurting to walk but felt ok on the bike. Had a massage that night to try and work out the last vestiges of knotted muscles.
Thursday I was back in the pool for 2.9km this time. I had just a fantastic set. The benefits of a blog or a training diary is the ability to continually benchmark where you are. Many times I rely on my coach to keep me on the straight and narrow, but I do go back over time to get a gauge of where my training is. Well this set was a long one, but also fast. Warmup was 200 +50 pull x 4 on 10 sec rest, then 300 drill. My drills are largely taken from total immersion swimming. What I always find with drills is that my body position gets better aligned in the water and my times go lower - ALWAYS. And so it was today. The main set was 10 x 100 done as 1 fast 100 and 1 easy 100. I blew my 100 PB out of the water with 1:21.7 and a series of 1:23/1:24s for my fast sets. This is 6 or 7 seconds faster than ever before and consistently 5 seconds faster than previously sustainable. A great morning indeed!
Friday was another spin class recovery ride for 45 minutes, nothing tough but just a solid set.
Saturday was an hour run, the first time I really felt like I could get on the legs and push them. I did an easy workout of 11kms of flat running, save for the climb up kingston road from queen to vic park. Not tough and the legs felt ok aftward.
And then comes sunday. Race day at Pelham Ontario and the wonderfully tough Effingham Hill. I picked emile up at 6:15am with Austin in tow as the photographer and off we went. We got to the race site about 45 minutes prior to start, enough time to get registered, numbers applied, washroom break and a quick little ride. It was cold. About 5 degrees at race time. I had three layers on top but only the shorts and knee warmers, with booties - no cap under the helmet. There were over 100 riders in the senior 4/master 3 group and about 5 darkhorse flyers with James in BCC colours. The race is a 5 loop track that ends each time at the top of a 100m climb, over about 2 km, with the steepest grade (19% according to the garmin) over 500m as you reach the top. Darkhorse and Emile in particular was in the thick of things the entire race. He was in the top 5 for almost every lap, including being 3rd in the King of the Mountain category. The peleton was just not looking to break out and there was a lot of scrubbing speed with the hands on the brakes. On the third lap we took to the front, but nobody was coming and again on the fourth lap as we headed away from the top of the hill, Emile was in the lead and I jumped up to try and lead him out. Unfortunately everyone just latched on and nobody was prepared to work in order to try and break the group apart. This lead us into a fairly significant group that headed into the last 2k of the race. Emile had found a strong position in the top 10 and my legs just couldnt get me there. The last climb was enough to put a good hurt on them once again. The value of a training log came in handy again as I compared this year to last year's race. My time was 3 minutes slower (as was the fields), i finished 14th of 74 in the m3 category (11 of 58 last year) and 25th of 96 of the combined group (22 of 82 last year). Overall a solid race for the BCC contingent in M3, Emile was 5th, QB was 14th, Peter Cahill - 15th, James Young 16th, Andrew Wanie was 25th. In the later races, Marc Booth was 15th in the master 2 men and Jamie was 21st in the Elite 1&2 women.
What i know is that hills of this size are not my strong suit on the bike - today. Next year, I will do some specific brimley road training for the weeks leading up to niagara and I am changing my cassette. Overall a good week, given I could hardly walk when it started!