Saturday, May 01, 2010

Only 5 weeks until Mooseman...crap.

So I've suddenly gone from feeling good about where I stand, to concerned. Well not suddenly, April's been demanding, mostly because of the new job, so I suspected I wasn't that far ahead of things anymore. Nonetheless things are moving in the right direction, largely a product of my finally establishing something resembling a routine. Today I did exactly the same workout as last week, with the goal trying to reduce the effort a little and simultaneously minimize the loss of speed. All in all I did pretty well with that. On the ride I surrendered 51 seconds week over week (after 54 miles), but in return I got back 5 beats per minute or 780 beats of my heart (and I negative split the last lap...score!). Likewise on the run I was 13 seconds slower after 6.03 miles, but got back 6 beats per minute or an roughly an additional 250 beats. So for a cost of one minute and 4 seconds, I recovered ~1000 beats of my heart. That indicates my heart is strengthening and the stroke volume (the amount of blood moved by each beat) is increasing nicely. With only 5 weeks to go, though, we'll see how much improvement can be made.
The other key metric of mine is how rapidly my heart rate responds when exertion is removed or applied. Today it was moving nicely. I'd drive the rate up when climbing, but the moment the terrain flattened my heart rate dropped. Also this pattern was sustained for the entire ride. A very welcome sign.
There were a few mitigating factors to the drop in overall performance today, as well. I did not have any more gels packets, and instead made due with solely chews. Chews are okay, but they don't really give me the kick the way the gels do. Also the legs were tired. I ran Sachuest yesterday afternoon and they felt a little tapped. This was actually interesting (in a geeky kind of way) because the muscles that were tapped were those used to drive the bike hard on the flat roads. The second I started climbing load shifted to other muscles as well and I was very smooth. I actually did my best in the saddle climbing of the year today. I believe I have the TRX to thank for this. The ability to climb well in the saddle is a combination of strong legs and a very strong core to keep the body steady.
Next week I'm in Connecticut where I will be taking advantage of the longer hills to get some climb time in. In two weeks I will be back on the Sandy Point loop to get another assessment of my form. Until then the plan is just to train consistently.

One final note: Daddy athlete is back in full effect. I followed my workout today by refueling and then taking the kids to the pool for 90 minutes. I also cut the lawn. No naps. I swear this has been instrumental in the development of my "durability."

Sandy Point Ride (note the long transition resulted from coming back to the kids being on the deck painting. Can't be a good Daddy if I just take off for my run w/o checking out the portfolio!)
T-run Indian Ave to 2nd Beach

PS: Turns out being good for the long stuff is more important than one of my "bucket list" items; namely to win something overall one more time in my life. I had a golden opportunity to run and dominate a 5K near my house today, but turns out the longer session was more important to me after all. I guess it's time to drop that item from my list.