Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chicago Triathlon Training: Week Eleven (marathon week 13)

I'm tempted to just skip this week's recap. Maybe it's been the lack of oxygen to my brain because of being sick or maybe it's something more, but I spent the entire week feeling totally exhausted from morning to night. I skipped almost every workout this week and still felt exhausted. Logically I know this probably means I needed to skip them, but it doesn't make me feel any better about it with the race now 6 days away.

Since the race is Sunday, my priority this week is rest. I believe I'll complete the rest of my training schedule without a problem, since it's the final taper week and things are easier. That said, I need my body to be able to carry me through three hours of push on Sunday, and I wanted to feel successful when I cross that finish line.

That little thought aside...this week was terrible. Here, just look:

Monday - easy swim 1.6, weights rest

Tuesday - 4 miles rest

Wednesday - easy OWS, 8 miles weights
Somehow I managed this in the morning:

After work I felt like dying though, so I went home and did nothing.

Thursday - hard bike 55 rest
Thursday was an especially not-great day. Though the following sounds way worse than it actually was: I blacked out in the shower on Thursday morning. I knew it was coming and managed to sit down before it happened so I didn't smack my face on the shower and kill myself, but it left me feeling woozy and sick almost all day.

Honestly, I feel like it was a mix of dehydration (from being asleep) and the doxycycline I'd been taking for four days. Apparently it's not unheard of to black out like that from doxy. Thursday was my last day of the antibiotic so I just pushed through it, and I've been fine since - but it lead me to skip another workout. All day long I felt like my blood pressure was off and my heart was skipping beats...a bike ride did not seem like a good idea, and I got some extra sleep that night instead.

Friday - short brick tempo bike 50-tempo run 30

I actually did this one (mostly)! I wasn't going to skip my last brick workout, because a) I've skipped a lot of them and b) I'm starting to feel like I won't make it through the bike on Sunday...

The brick went fine. I tested out an aero helmet that my coworker leant me, and I plan to use it on race day. I rode one loop of the hilly trail near my work, then did a two mile shakeout run. I was definitely tired at the end, partially from the heat and partially from being exhausted to the max all week, but I managed:

After that I went to the gym, showered, and then dropped my bike off for a once over and tune up before the race. Things are getting real for sure!

Saturday - tempo swim 1.6
Didn't happen. The Swim Bike Fuel meetup was Saturday, and I got up at 5 to make my way down for it from 7:30-3:30. The meetup itself was fun and informative, and it was great meeting so many other SBF ladies (and Mere and Mere!).
Swim Bike Mom herself, Meredith Atwood!
It wasn't exactly a rest day...there was a moderate amount of walking, some yoga and jogging, and general alertness required...but it was not any training level either, for sure. The humidity and early rising had me feeling pretty sluggish all day though, and I was glad I didn't try to get up at 4am to make it downtown for an open water swim in the lake...I would have crashed and burned if I had!

Sunday - 12 miles

Didn't happen. I felt like crap, super tired, totally worn out and exhausted. I took another day off. I'm feeling like a major slacker at this point.


Race day is Sunday. Until taper, I was confident it would go well. Now I'm having second thoughts because I feel like I've been so inactive during taper. I know this is normal, and I've heard other people express this sentiment before, so I'm trying to ignore it.

Like I said...this week is about rest, hydration, and race prep. I just need to focus on getting myself downtown and calming my nerves this week. My mantra this week: Race day will come and I'm ready...!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Chicago Triathlon Training: Week Ten (marathon week 12)

I went into last week knowing I was going to play around with the early week of the schedule, mostly with the runs, although I'm bummed I only got in one lift day. However, at this point I'm realizing it's okay for the next few weeks until the triathlon is over to only be hitting the weights once a week if that's all that happens.

Honestly though, it feels like everything fell apart this week, due to overall tiredness, lethargy, and some fun health issues that started on Friday. But I'll talk about all of that down below.

Here was the planned schedule vs actual:

Monday - weights, max swim 1.2
Those weights did not happen Monday morning. Honestly though, after a 15 mile run who's surprised by that?

But I did hit the pool after work for 1.2 miles (2100 yards)
I went in with a plan...and then I scratched that plan about half way through because the "2100 yard" workout I'd printed out was WAY more than 2100 yards. Like, it was 3300 yards. I don't know who did the math on that one, but they were super off.

So I did 2,100 yards and called it a day.

Tuesday - 4 miles, easy bike 60 weights
So first...I knew that 4 mile run was not going to happen. My shin was bothering me a bit, and I was exhausted when I got out of bed (I really need to work on getting more sleep). Regardless...I got up early for lifting on Tuesday, but I was totally wiped after work so I just went home and did nothing, rather than that bike ride. Whoops...

Wednesday - 8 miles easy bike 60
I slept in a bit on Wednesday, swearing I would do my bike ride after work. It was ridiculously hot out, and when I checked the weather as I pulled into the lot for my bike ride I saw that there was an air quality advisory. That basically means it's so humid that your lung function is diminished. The air was literally too wet to breathe. So I said 'eff that' and went home and did my ride on my trainer.

Thursday - rest 4 miles
So...Wednesday when I noticed that air quality advisory, I also noticed that it would extend through Thursday evening. And then there were some reports about female runners being killed randomly in different cities...

...so I went to the gym and did my four mile run on the dreadmill on Thursday morning:

I don't intend for news reports to scare me off early morning running...but I was not feeling it for this one. Regardless, those 4 miles got done.

Friday - weights rescued a dog, steady swim 2.3
Yeah, you read that right. Friday morning I got up nice and early, loaded up my car and was driving to the gym when I spotted a small dog outside that should not have been outside. No collar, running around sniffing stuff right next to the road...so I pulled over and put my hazards on and played dog catcher. The little dude wrestled an entire Clif bar from me and I only managed to grab him while he was horking it down.

I ended up scratching my workout to drive him to the 24-Hour Emergency Vet near my house, then went home with just enough time to get ready for work.

After work I hopped on over to the pool for my last loooooong swim before Chicago. I just kept telling myself that once I finished the 4,100 yards, I would not have to do a swim like that for a while (unless I want to).
I totally forgot to stop my watch until I was in the locker room so...whoops :/
That's why it's at 4,250 and not 4,100.
I did all of the long sets (600, 400 free) as pulls, since I normally pull in OWS. I (somehow) narrowly avoided foot cramping during this as well. I felt one coming on around 1500, so I hopped out to stretch and massage it, then got back in the pool.

Not a bad one, but I'm glad I don't have to do another swim like that for a while!

Saturday - long bike 120
Like many of my rides lately, I was not feeling this one before I set out. But like the day before with the swim, I reminded myself that it was my last long bike before Chicago. I had some issues with fogginess and my head felt like it was full of bricks, but I got out there and on my bike anyways, if only to say I did. I'd noticed some breathing problems the day before during my swim, and they started up right away when I got on my bike...so I decided that all I had to do for my long ride was hit race distance. If I could make it to 25 or 26 miles feeling as crappy as I did, I would be happy.
I was gross after this ride. Dripping in sweat and covered in dirt, debris, and bugs:

The shower after this ride felt great, for sure.

Fun story: What I did after this ride. It's pertinent to Sunday, so I'll tell that story now.

Remember that cold I had last month that kept me from completing my half on schedule and pushed me to take a few days off training? Well I've had a gross (read: productive) cough ever since. Friday during my swim I was having trouble breathing, and that redoubled itself on Saturday...and also my head felt like it was full of rocks. So Saturday I showered after my ride then headed to Urgent Care. My motive was two fold: 1) Find out what was causing the lung issues 2) get tested for Lyme's Disease. A few weeks ago I got a bug bite that I thought was just a mosquito bite, but after a week it swelled up again and developed a ring around it:
No bueno.

Anyways...to cut it short. They tested for Lyme's (still waiting to hear back on that) and it turns out I have a sinus infection AND an upper respiratory infection. So I got antibiotics to cover all three (whee...doxycycline).

Forshadowing: This is having an impact on this week's training, since I want my lungs good to go for the Chicago Tri in TWO WEEKS.


Sunday - 16 miles 3 miles
I'm sure this change isn't exactly surprising.

My lungs were working hard, so I decided to cut Sunday's run to 10 miles. I took Nigel out with me, planning to loop back after 4, but around 2.5 he looked like he was really feeling the heat. I need to learn that this dog, at 7 years old, can only take about 3 miles at a time. I turned down the street my friend lives on, hoping for a doggy bowl near their front porch (no luck), so I kept him cantering next to me until Mile 3...at which point I felt really breathless, lightheaded, and ready to pass out.

And that's when I called it. I stopped running, let my heart rate and blood pressure come down to normal and finished the half mile walk home. I knew at that point I was not going to healthily make my way to 10 miles, let alone 16, and sometimes the smart thing is to stop running.

It is now two days later, I'm still wheezing and gasping when I go up stairs (seriously, stairs are so difficult right now). My nose spent the last two days draining, and now I can't stop coughing. I also have a pretty persistent headache. Thank god it's taper time!

Now for some cute pics for listening to me whine! Nigel was so worn out that he let me take a picture (he normally gets up and walks away when the camera is on him!):
He also left me a nice little puddle of drool on the brand new bathroom floor :P
By the way - the bathroom is almost done. Just need a new shower curtain and sink accessories. It looks so great, and I'm loving it already!

Oh...and Nigel continued to sit there, not moving, while I got ready. At one point he starting thumping his tail against my legs too, which just warmed my heart right up:

After that, my mom dragged me to the mall to buy towels and I almost died from how tired I was (and not being able to breathe).

The end!

(Okay, not really, but at least until next time!)


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Just $20.

In college I had a professor who suggested donating just $20 a month to a charity. "Less than a cup of coffee a day over the month, you won't even miss it," he said. I didn't think I would ever find a charity that I would want to donate that $20 to every month.

And then Kayla was killed.

Today would have been Kayla's 28th birthday. Today I think about my friend, the violence that still exists in this world, and the heart she had to go thousands of miles away to let refugees cry on her shoulder and to help give them a better life.

Every month I donate $20 to the charity her parents established in her memory. That college professor was right. I do not miss it. I miss my friend. And I will never stop giving.
Remembering Kayla