Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 11-17: Picking up the Pieces.

I knew this was going to happen. It happens every year.

My work and coaching schedule are insane in January and February. It turns out that this year, I was gone from home for 30% of the first 10 weeks of the year. Unsurprisingly, last week, after months of flying all over the country, cramming in workouts before 5 am, and working over the weekends, my body finally quit. 

It happened during Monday's bike trainer workout, which was the morning after four very tiring days of traveling with the team I coach. About half an hour in, I started getting sick. I dismissed it as a fluke, and stopped taking in fluids so that this wouldn't be an issue. But once I confirmed that I couldn't keep down water about 55 minutes in, I quit. Because nothing good happens when you try to push through a tempo workout totally dehydrated and unable to process fluids.

And then, the priority became getting to sleep that night (not the rest of the day because, despite being sick, I had an important meeting with people from halfway around the world at work, and had to pull myself together for that). And the next night. With some naps thrown in as possible, and as necessary. 

Towards the end of the week, things were mostly better. I still feel lame for quitting the bike trainer workout, but the guidance I give my own athletes is that skipping practice is permissible if one is vomiting, or if one has a triple digit fever. I suppose I met that criteria, so all there was to do was prevent it from happening again, and nail the other bike workouts for the week to squash the doubts about my fitness that crept up as I climbed off my trainer.

I really hope all this is behind me. I do, after all, have a half ironman in four and a half weeks.

Monday: An hour on the trainer, which was supposed to be 1:30 and was also supposed include lactate threshold and tempo intervals. About half an hour in, I started getting sick, so I stopped drinking in hopes that my stomach would settle down. No luck. Once you stop being able to keep down water, nothing good happens, so all I got was 2x10 minute lactate threshold intervals before giving up for the day and hoping that some sleep at night would resolve the issues shortly.

Tuesday: Feeling a bit better, I got out for a 5.74 mile run (8:57 pace) and logged 4000 yards of swimming with DCRP masters – in the fast lane, hauling along at 1:16/100 yard pace for the main set. They haven’t lapped me or kicked me out yet, so this change might be permanent.

Wednesday: A windy track workout of 6.62 miles, including 4x(2x800). The pace wasn’t all that stellar (7:15-8:00/mile) and some of Monday’s nausea crept back near the end.

Thursday: In the morning, an hour on the trainer with some zone 3 power intervals, followed by 45 minutes of strength training. In the evening, another 4200 yards of swimming in the fast lane at DCRP Masters practice, including 50s descending down to :35 send offs, which I just barely missed. It’s OK, though, I was making the :40 send offs on :36. Speed is happening.

Friday: Rest day. Including a post-work nap.

Saturday: Before cheering on the RnR USA Marathon/Half Marathon runners at Calvert Hill, Rachel and I ran ALL THE HILLS in upper NW DC.

In 8.25 miles, we covered 600 feet of elevation gain at a 9:25 pace. Some of those hills are killer, so it was totally appropriate to run that route before cheering at the longest hills on the RnR USA route. After about an hour of cheering, I headed over for 3300 meters of swimming in the fast lane at DCRP masters.

Sunday: I had yet another meet to coach, but it was over early enough that I got to go log 35.05 miles of biking at Hains Point – yep, that’s 11 loops there. It gave me an opportunity to evaluate my power output outdoors, and made it clear to me that I need some more practice at that before the half ironman in Charleston next month.

Next month? Yikes.


  1. I heard some serious complaints about the RnR hills.

    I'm glad you knew when you to step back and just relax during the trainer ride (though one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog is how real you are). Half ironman, wowza that makes me cringe just thinking about. I know you'll rock it though. Do you have any plans to do the 2m swim this summer? (I know way far off)

    1. Hmmm...I'm not sure if I'd call running to the sink to puke and then getting back on the trainer "relaxing." But I did at least stop before I blacked out.

      The 2m swim is probably too close to IMMT, but Beth would probably let me turn it into a training weekend up there...

  2. Gross about all of the hills...not my style! So much swimming though -- love all the fast lane!

  3. Err, yes, I think not even being able to keep down water is a perfectly good 'excuse' to get off the trainer! We already know you're going to do very well indeed on the run part of the half! Plus, you're an incredible swimmer, and I'm sure getting off the trainer before you died won't impact on your performance on the bike section ;)


  4. So glad you took a step back and didn't power through the workout. Even though it's tempting to push, you definitely make the right decision. Also, those hills look absolutely miserable.

  5. Lame - hope you are feeling better! I've given up on workouts for much less than puking. Nice job being fast in just about everything and killing those kills!