AHHHH! Training!

Do you ever have those workouts where no matter how hard you mentally convince yourself it's going to be a good day, it turns out to be one of your worst possible workouts? That's how my weekday workouts have felt lately {I guess to be fair mid/late season is usually when I hit about two or three weeks of just being burnt out and mentally not in the game}

Trying on the TNT wetsuit I'm borrowing for the race

Last week I woke up with a slight tickle in my throat and an overall feeling of a total body ache. We were ridding the Augusta bike course that upcoming Saturday so I had no time to be sick! I followed the advice of Karen Duffy and that helped to keep it from turning into a full blown cold.

I think all of the training from the previous few weeks had finally caught up with me and it was my bodies way of saying...SLOW DOWN. Riding 50 miles, then racing a sprint tri the next day, and then following that up with a hard swim let to one exhausted body. Needless to say I took off a day and a half and I felt so much better afterwards!

Another key aspect of my exhaustion I believe is attributed to my nutrition. With all of this training I haven't been consuming as many good calories as I should be or hydrating enough. I purchased a planner back in June from Plum Paper Designs and have finally started to use it consistently.

Maybe I went a little over the top with the personalization but the cuteness factor and color pens have definitely helped :) Hopefully this will help me to get better about my nutrition and be a little more conscious of the things I am eating and the training I am doing.

Once I managed to get myself feeling back to normal and back on my training schedule, it was time to head down to Augusta to ride the full 56 mile bike course my the other Team in Training members. Since we stayed down there on Friday night it was nice "sleeping in" until 6:15 on a Saturday morning.   We stopped and grabbed a bagel from Einstein's on our way and were all set for the day. I was a bit anxious about the ride but was excited at the same time.

During the first 18 miles or so it was amazing how flat the course was! I had heard there were rolling hills but didn't study the elevation map as much as I normally would have if this would have been a race. The flatness gave me plenty of opportunities to keep up with my hydration. I'm still learning how to drink/eat on the bike so this is sometimes a challenge. Usually I slow down to an almost stop, reach for my water bottle, a peddle a few strokes, gracefully take a few sips of water while coasting, peddle a few more strokes, then slip the water bottle back into its cage. It's still rather time consuming so if anyone has advise on mastering the drinking while riding I'm all ears :) I've tried convincing Adam I need clip on aerobars so I can have the water bottle shown below [hint: my birthday is in 2 days ;)] but he says I'm not ready for that yet... 

This week I also was set on getting in control of my nutrition. The week before I didn't start eating until nearly mile 24 and I quickly started to bonk near the end of the ride. This time I decided I'd take a GU every 15 miles. I had forgotten to purchase my favorite flavors earlier in the week so I was stuck looking through our nutrition box in our cabinet and the only reasonable flavor I could find was a GU Peppermint Stick Gel from Christmas 2012. I took about 2/3 of that around mile 15 and surprisingly enjoyed it. Around mile 18 we started the rolling hills and they weren't nearly as bad as some of the other hills in Atlanta. We went up and down and up and down and finally we were nearly the 30 mile mark and I knew I had to eat again. I wasn't hungry but knew I needed something. I decided to finish off the last third of my first gel and had some Gatorade. At about mile 39 we hit our water stop and I decided to enjoy one of these Buddy Fruits that had a brought home a few weeks back. A few sips of the Strawberry Apple Sauce Buddy Fruit and I was in heaven! It was smooth, refreshing, and had a good consistency. It has 60 calories in it and was exactly what I needed at that point!

We continued on the course and around mile 45 it was time to eat again. I had my second Peppermint Stick GU and definitely needed it at that point. Overall my nutrition kept me feeling strong and by the end I wasn't feeling wiped out or completely drained. We had rode nearly 58 miles in just under 4 hours
and I felt it was a good experience to better prepare me for Augusta. While my average speed wasn't anything impressive, I gained confidence by riding the course and hopefully in the next 6 weeks will continue to get stronger to be able to ride it much faster!

Coming up next week is a special guest blog post from my very best friend and husband - Adam Coy - as he's set to embark on his first Ironman in less than 10 days.  In the meantime here's an interview with him from May 2010, when he was the D3Multisport Athlete of the Month. He had just finished his senior year of college where he was on the 2010 Collegiate Triathlon National Championship team and had won the University of Colorado Male Club Athlete of the Year award.

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