Monday, July 2, 2012

June 25-July 1: Impassable Roads

We had a few weather issues here in DC last week. Sure, there was the unbearable heat, which obviously impacted my training – not necessarily negatively, though, since I do have to deal with heat acclimation. But more notably, there was the violent thunderstorm that swept through Friday night. I live on the 12th floor of my building and my windows are totally exposed to the wind, so it did wake me up, but when I got up at 5:15 am on Saturday for my five and a half hour brick workout, I saw that my power had stayed on throughout, and figured all was well.

No, not so much.

That ride was a little difficult, as we had a lot of debris to negotiate, but neither of us died, crashed, or even came close to falling over. We did, however, witness a lot of destruction throughout Montgomery County. After the 8th set downed power lines I noticed along River Road, I pulled up alongside Rachel and said “You know…a lot of people are going to be without power for a very long time.”

Yep. And that included the two gas stations that folks usually depend on for water refills on the Poolsville route. Faced with the choice between potential mid-brick dehydration induced by a 100+F heat index and the option of refilling my water bottles at a bathroom sink in a questionable, dark gas station bathroom…well, I will let you guess which choice I made.

In addition to the weather-related destruction, I finally went back to the PT to get my atrophying left glutes looked at. The road back to normal is shorter than it was last time, but there’s still some discomfort to be dealt with in the meantime as they strengthen again. Better now than in mid-August.

All that aside, the week didn’t go so badly.

Monday – Rest day. PT appointment to get the glutes re-activated with dry needling and electrical stimulation. 28 needles later, and they were reluctantly firing.

Tuesday – A 3000 yard swim, heavy on the drills, at Wilson in the morning.

Wednesday – In the morning, 45 minutes of strength training, with a lot of effort coaxing activity out of the recently re-awakened left glutes. They felt sore. Success. In the evening, a 4 mile track workout with 8x400, where my hip got a little more sore with each repeat as my glutes protested being called on to ACTUALLY work for a change. Lots of foam rolling and trigger point work with the tennis ball when I got home.

Thursday – A 90 minute swim-run brick in the morning - 3000 yards of swimming, 3.5 miles of running at an easy recovery pace given the previous night’s track workout and the lingering hip soreness.

Friday – In the morning, headed down to Hains Point for a 90 minute bike workout and found this.

Cobbled together a stretch of Ohio Drive west of the point for the steady efforts and harder intervals, then biked home to make it a total of 33 miles for the morning. 45 minutes of strength training, including working on the lazy left glutes, in the evening.

Saturday – A five and a half hour brick, starting with a pre-6 am bike of roughly 60 miles with Rachel, which involved dodging a lot of debris and some flat out scary scenes, including a part of MacArthur that was completely blocked and only passable on one shoulder. About 10 miles in, we wondered if we should turn around, but decided that we may as well just get on with it since we were already out, and going home would require backtracking through those same scary scenes. Stupidity/stubbornness prevails yet again. Immediately after finishing that, Rachel headed home to relax (smart) and I headed out for a 90 minute “run” in the 90+F degree heat (less smart). Since the heat index had crept up to 100F, per coach’s instructions, I kept an 8/2 run/walk ratio the entire time and finished feeling like I could have run more.

Sure, it was an 11:40 pace, but I was alive. You have to pick your battles.

Sunday – A one hour open water practice in Reston with Andrew and Eric, led by Mei Mei’s Kayak. I doubt we even covered 3k, but I got plenty of chances to work on important open water skills like sighting, buoy turns, and staying on a line.

And drafting off Andrew. That’s a very important skill.

In addition to the super-light training day, I got even more relief when I got out of paying two tolls on the way out to Reston because the power along the Dulles Toll Road was out.


  1. no tolls FTW!

    Also - the streets were crazy on Sat. I also actually had no idea how hot it actually was until I was finished riding.

  2. Nice ride after that storm. I take tyalonal pm and fell asleep around 8:00pm on Friday and slept through the entire thing. When I woke up Saturday, I didn't even realize there was such a big storm (our power had gone out).

    Drafting is the most important skill to learn. ;)

  3. My guess is you filled the water bottles. Nothing is worse than dehydration.

  4. A 5 1/2 hour brick! Crazy! Although I guess with training for an Ironman, that's what you gotta do. :) Hoping you guys are saved from that crazy heat soon, can't make for fun training.

  5. The debris was everywhere. I'm surprised you didn't flat.

    Next week is supposed to be cooler weather!