Training has Begun

Weekly Training Summary
{May 13-19}

{May 20-27}

Tour of California
After a lovely weekend celebrating Chelsea's Bachlorette Party I returned home to start the Tour of California on Trainer Roads. I had received an email a few weeks prior to participate in the tour and it seemed like a great idea to build up my biking base. 60-90 minutes of biking each day for eight days + incorporating my HIM training plan from Mike seemed daunting but doable. Adam had done the Tour of Sufferlandria back in January so I had a mild expectation of what to expect.

Stage 1 (Sunday): Since it was the first day, I was excited. All of the "switchbacks" were very manageable and even the sprint and the KOM weren't too bad.
Description: The opening stage of 8DC builds toward a long, Alpe d'Huez-like climb meaning there are numerous switchbacks on a long, sustained climb with difficult but not extreme grades. Following a long, fast descent, the race is likely to come down to a field sprint. There's one intermediate sprint and a single KOM on the finishing climb. {Source}

Stage 2 (Monday): This day got rather tiring just because I dislike long continuous climbs. I would so much rather do small intervals!
Description: Stage 2 of 8DC includes 2 major climbs. The first is long and mid-race with a long, but steady descent afterward while the second is short but steep and concludes the race; this is where we are likely to see a challenge for the GC. {Source}

Stage 3 (Tuesday): The week got progressively harder! My heart rate definitely was high on this ride as it was tough!
Description: Today is a barrage of shorter climbs, and each of them has it's own unusual twist when it comes to format & intensity. There are 4 KOM's, each coming at the end of all 4 climbs, and there are 2 intermediate sprints within the latter half of the stage. {Source}

Stage 4 (Weds): I had a swim TT scheduled for this day as well as my weekly personal training session. By the time I got home that night to ride I was exhausted. Adam hadn't quit the tour yet so he was guilting me into continuing. Somehow I managed to get on the bike that night around 10:15M as I didn't want to be a quitter. I turned my percentage down for the ride to 85% and really just had an easy spin out ride.
Description: A shorter stage with short, punchy climbs will require shorter, more intense efforts than the preceding stages. There's plenty of downtime between these short climbs giving riders the opportunity to recover and then really attack each of the climbs. There are a total of 2 KOM's and 2 intermediate sprints. {Source}

Stage Five and Beyond: By the next day my body was simply exhausted from the Swim TT, 30 minutes of strength training and another hour on the bike. As much as I wanted to keep going towards my goal I opted against the ride on day 5 and I dropped out :( I was a bit disappointed in myself but at the same time I realized my end goal is ultimately to do well at Augusta, not burn myself out and/or injure myself.

1000yd Swim TT (Weds)

Oh man what a whirlwind this was! When I saw my training notes for the upcoming day I immediately went into a panic and considered skipping it. Not only were my legs starting to get exhausted from all the biking, but also I simply wasn't sure if I could swim 1000yds continuously! I probably researched every article on swimming 1000M and read every blog possible that had this information. I was on information overload but I needed to read about others who had similar fears and how they conquered them.

For my warm up I only did the 4 x 50. I didn't want to "waste" my energy and honestly I was just ready to get this show on the road. I started my watch and off I went. This was honestly the first time I had swam longer than 200yds continuously. It's not that I couldn't, it's just I love people watching, even in the pool! I have a tendency to get to one end and just stop because I want to analyze what everyone else in the pool is doing. I guess even in the pool my self-diagnosed ADD still kicks in.

After 400yds, I had to take a 20 second rest before continuing. I didn't stop my watch and I just watched the seconds keep ticking away. At one point a lady came and sat on the steps of the pool so I thought she was trying to rush us out of the pool so that kept me motivated to keep on pushing. I took two more smaller breaks around the 600yd mark and again around 800yd. With 50yd to go I started to realize the women waiting around the pool were all there for the Aqua Fit class. Luckily I was able to get in those last two lengths before we were officially kicked out of the pool. I managed to finish in 22:16!! I have a long way to go for Augusta but mentally this was a huge road block I had overcome.

1st Real Outdoor Ride w/Fiona

That following weekend was the 1st biking/running GTS. This would be my first real outdoor ride on Flipper {my replacement road bike}. Luckily for me we were riding Columns Drive which is a 2.5 mile flat course that we looped a few times. This was a perfect way for me to start to gain some confidence again on the bike without having to worry about hills and crazy traffic.

GTS Swim - Total Immersion Swimming 
Since our couples small group meets on Monday's I wasn't able to attend the first two group swims but they had a swim clinic last week for those new to or uncomfortable with their swimming. I knew this was exactly what I needed! Yes I can get back and forth in the pool but it isn't pretty. I have a hard time keeping my face looking down in the water and also not sinking when I come up gasping for air. I expected us to be swimming freestyle the entire time but was surprised when we were doing this thing called "Total Immersion".

Turns out this book that teaches TI has been sitting on our bookshelf so I started reading it this week to supplement my learning. This Book says TI will change your swimming because:

  • You'll learn to be Fishlike.
  • You'll learn the qualities of beautiful swimming as well as the mechanics. 
  • You'll achieve transformation along with fluid strokes.
  • You'll master swimming as an art.
Obviously when we got in the water I was skeptical. Yes I can float on my back, stare at the ceiling and kick to the other end; but, I wasn't exactly sure how this first move - Back Balance - was going to translate to my freestyle swimming. Sure enough we progressed through the drills - Sweet Spot then Skating then Zipper - and things started to change. When it was time for our freestyle cool down I was amazed at how much of a difference it had made on my swimming in such a short time! If you are struggling with swimming, I'd definitely suggest checking this book out! 

First Sprint Triathlon 

After all of this "pre-season, base building training" I decided to pull the trigger and register for my first sprint triathlon. I had been debating since February participating in the Tri the Park - Blalock Lakes Sprint Tri, but I didn't want to officially commit until the time got closer. While I've watched Adam race in plenty of tri's and seen more transitions than I can remember, there's something about experiencing it for yourself. I am not concerned about my time for this race, more so just completing it and getting an idea of what it's like to do all three sports in one event.  The race is this upcoming weekend June 1st so wish me luck!

Restaurant Review: Miso Izakaya  
Since this whole post as been pretty training heavy I thought I'd throw in our most recent ATL restaurant experience/review.

We decided to go to dinner with some friends to try Miso Izakaya in Old Fourth Ward. It is a Japanese tapas restaurant and it was delicious! It had a cute, modern atmosphere although maybe a little over priced. The duck and pork buns were absolutely fantastic and the kale salad also delivered.

<- Kale Salad

Tonkatsu Bun ->
{delicious! we ordered another round}

<- Scallops
{rather over priced, $12 for this little thing}

Spicy Tuna Hand Roll & Ahi Ahi Roll

Gyoza (below)
{Tastes very similar to Gam's recipe so I approve}

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