Friday, August 07, 2009

Welcome to Iron Training

It's not supposed to be easy right, right?

Two weekends ago, I sailed through my long workouts thinking I'd conquered the heat. Last weekend, however, we were back at war and taking no prisoners:

Fri - 3500 yd swim (7x500, 1:17, no wall push-offs, 85 deg pool temp), plus a weight workout
Sat - 14 mi run (9:53 pace in 96-99 deg HI). Last mile a major struggle, though.
Sun - 85 mi bike (15.8! mph ave in 79-98 deg HI) + 4 mi run (9:44 pace in 96-98 deg HI)


What was the difference?

Perhaps the even hotter conditions and further distances but, more likely, I just didn't get to the weekend fully rested, replenished and ready to do battle. Besides not drinking enough after my super hot weight workout and also doing a couple hours of yard work, I also noticed that a lot of foods just didn't seem appealing to me. Hot foods made me feel hotter, dry foods made me feel thirstier and just chewing sometimes seemed to require too much effort. Ah, I'll just take a nap instead!

So by the weekend, I'm sure my fluid and glycogen tanks were not full as they should have been. And, of course, I realized this around mile 8 of my 14 mile run on Saturday when there was nothing much I could do about it except try to not make it worse. Yeah, right ... not likely while running in 90 bazillion degs! I felt my heart rate rising, legs starting to feel heavy, a bit of lightheadedness and queasiness -- Not good!

I managed to get the run done but dreaded the long brick (85 mi bike/4 mi run) the next day. I knew it was going to be even uglier (18 hours is not enough time to replenish fluid and glycogen levels) and, to make matters worse, Dave was gone over the weekend so he wasn't around to cheer me up or pick me up if I fell over from heat exhaustion.

But Sunday turned out to be where I've probably made the most gains I have ever in my iron training. I learned how to keep riding for an additional 55 miles when my legs were ready to quit after just 30 and how to summon a 7:36 mile out of myself after a grueling bike ride (Coach said the first mile was supposed to be hard and it was). Also, another remarkable discovery: there is nothing wrong with biking only 13-14 mph and running a 10-11+ min pace -- I'm still still going forward!

So three big lessons learned for me:

- Make sure to hydrate and fuel up well before the long weekend workouts as well as during and after. Heat is unforgiving.
- Bring a variety of foods/drinks. My stomach is very finicky in the heat and gets tired of the same thing after a few hours.
- Even if my body is near empty, I can keep going (albeit slower) if I stick with my nutrition plan (to come).

Oh, and another thing ...


60 degrees is frickin' freezing when you've been used to living and training in 85+ degrees!!


Dave and I (with 2 jackets on) at Johnson's Ridge, an observatory point for Mt. St. Helens (WA), which was hiding from us behind the cover of clouds.


Multnomah Falls (OR) from our tour bus going along the Columbia Gorge.

I'll be catching up with everyone next week when I get back from my family reunion. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

26 comments:

EndorphinBuzz said...

It's amazing how contrasting the weather can be and how much it can affect training! You still stuck in there and did a good job!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Take the lessons learned and you'll do better next time!

60 deg sounds lovely...

Cliff said...

hey Shirley,

That's good progress..I found that going long I get to understand and learn how to eat and drink and how my body respond to it.

Keep going long and you will hammer down the nutrition :o)

Stef said...

CUTE "freezing" pic Shirley. I agree the heat is unforgiving. Love your approach though and your attitude. Keep moving forward!

Hope your family reunion is fun.

Runner Leana said...

Oh no, sorry to hear the wheels fell off! Glad that you learned some good lessons out of it though. Keep up the good work with the training!!

Molly said...

Great job!!! Those hard days are lessons learned too and you still got all those miles into the Ironman bank!

Spokane Al said...

Those long runs in the hot weather are tough!

P.S. Glad to see you make up close to my neck of the woods in your visit to Mt St Helens and the WA/OR border.

DaveP said...

For those of you keeping track, I got a some revenge today. I was comfortable on the ride in shorts and S/S jersey while Shirley was hypothermic with tights and three layers. Not good for her, but I enjoyed the ride. ;-)

Susan said...

60 degrees - holy moly!

Brent Buckner said...

I remember 60 degrees....
(crossed it headed south in a boat in March)

Tough balancing act to train the body to burn fat while keeping topped up enough with glycogen.

Marlene said...

I'd be wearing a t-shirt in 60 degrees. :)

Sounds like it was a "character-building" weekend. Good for you getting it done!

X-Country2 said...

You take the cutest pics. :o)

Sherry said...

Shirley, honestly... you keep me SOOOO motivated in this FL heat. For a newbie like me, it pretty much goes like this, "If Shirley is struggling to deal with the heat as well, then I'm really not a freak and I CAN push through this!" Not that I want you to struggle and all... but I think you know what I mean. :o)

I totally, 1000% (if there is such a thing) believe what you said about just not having enough time to rehydrate/refuel between long workouts. I think this is a BIG problem of mine. I'm always behind the 8-ball on hydration.

Next gadget purchase for me: One of those scales that monitors hydration status. :o)

Keep you your AMAZING work and have a wonderful time in the PacNW... enjoy that cool stuff while you've got it and bottle some up for me to bring back to FL!

Missy said...

I've turned into a total cold weather wimp. I'd have 2 jackets on too. BUT, that heat! Dang, you get a prize for hanging in there. I may have folded...or puked.

Meg Runs said...

You are very TOUGH! I also like the "freezing" picture where you don't look quite as tough!

Have a fun reunion!

Regina said...

Wow, you never cease to impress me. I wish I could send you some of our ridiculously cool summer weather we have up north.

I was riding this morning and some guy passed my on his Bike Friday and it made me think of you (I'm sure you would pass me on yours as well) ;)

Black Knight said...

"we were back at war and taking no prisoners", I like this quote!!! You speak like the Black Knight!!!

lindsay said...

cute pics - great face in the first one :)

i have a hard time making myself eat after a long run, especially in the warmer weather. make sure you are getting enough fuel in to power your superwoman workouts!

lizzie lee said...

Shirley, why you didn't tell me you were around here? I would have managed to see you!!!

Now you understand why 70F is hot for us!!!!

The Alien said...

That pic is hilarious!! And congrats on finishing that brick on Sunday, seems like it was an awfully hard training weekend for you.

Petraruns said...

After 2 weeks in Greece I have total respect for you getting the workouts in in this heat Shirley. Wow! And yes sometimes just carrying on and training the mind rather than the body is the biggest result of all. I am SO impressed with you.

Enjoy those cooler temps now - and post more great pictures - they crack me up!

Smithposts said...

Shirley, you are such a star! Your training is going great and your efforts in the FL heat and humidty keep me motivated with my own h&h struggle.

Hope you had a great family reunion, 60's sound good to me!

Rainmaker said...

Looks like you just barely missed the heat wave in Seattle though..for better or worse. ;) And yes, a real heat wave - 105*F. :)

aron said...

ekkk that heat will just suck the life out of you! i cant wait for the winter :)

Jade Lady said...

Wow..that sure does look like some cold weather!

Road Warrior said...

That's just an insane schedule, bit clearly one that will get you ready for the full. I'm struggling a bit for different nutrition and would be curious how you vary it.