Sunday, 25 May 2008

It's all coming together...

I've had a great week of uber quality training this week. It's been the best feeling to be training without the physical and mental fatigue that has been slowly creeping in over the last few weeks and slowly chipping away at my swimming, cycling and running times. It's very hard to get the balance right & I still believe that you have to teeter on the edge and sometimes tip over it to find your limits. I found mine, I went over them and now I'm back and I feel all the better for having been on that journey.

As last weeks jubilant post said, I survived the Etape Du Dales and I'm really proud of that. It's all so easy to dismiss races that become 'just' part of the training when actually they're huge achievements in themselves especially for someone like me who was a complete non cyclist only two & a half years ago. So with tired legs on Monday I rested instead of the usual 5km swim and hours easy run. Tipping over the edge has made taking a step back easier to do and I can feel the benefit from it already.

So with renewed vigour this week I set myself some goals. The Pool Triangle (our local 20km Time Trial) was going to be approached with new attitude. I was going to hammer it all of the way round, go on my heart rate and stop letting my legs tell my brain they hurt too much. Time to over-rule the legs and give it some welly. I missed last weeks through being ill and the week before was so atrocious after having a very hard day of training and no time to recover. So, I stepped up to the plate hammered myself all of the way round and on a windy night with the Etap very much still in my legs I clawed back a respectable time. Not close to my pb but far enough away from the time I did two weeks ago and that was the goal. Tick!

The next goal for this week was to keep my head on when out cycling, particularily when I'm out on my own and have every opportunity to bimble. Thursdays session after the early morning swim set was a 50 mile ride. Strong, focused, not pushing it but working and maintaining an even heart rate when possible... tick!

Friday's session had been worrying me for a while. It was a big brick, 40 mile ride/18 mile run. The bike was short enough not to concern me but the run did as I haven't done anything longer than 13 miles since the London Marathon about 6 weeks ago. The idea was to work hard on the bike and to run off it at Ironman pace. The sting in the tail was that in the middle of the 18 miles was a hill session taking in Kirkstall Hills not only once, but twice! (Kirkstall Hills is a series of 17 streets in quick succession, each street on a hill, our local running clubs use them regularily as hill sessions.) Looking at the profile of the run on the Garmin afterwards it showed I took in 2000ft of climbing and boy did I know it. I felt good though and got into a nice rhythm tapping up and down each hill (35 times!!!) I averaged 8.48 min miles which is well under my 9 min mile target for race day and with a good taper and no hills I'd like to think that I could run a sub 4hr marathon.

Saturday was another rest day and Sunday was hammer time again with the first triathlon of the season, Wetherby Tri. When I woke up on Saturday my legs didn't work at all. The quad smashing on the up hills and down hills had taken it's toll and I was thankful for the rest day but not sure my legs were going to be fixed for today's race. When I got up this morning my legs weren't much better but I was looking forward to putting all of the disciplines together so I had to ignore the pain and get on with the task in hand.

Today it all came together. I swam well nearly beating Tom but my female sense of direction thwarted me at the last minute :( and for the first time we were in T1 together (see above pic.) That was a great feeling because that never happens. Out onto the bike and time to see what was left in my legs. I worked hard, over-ruled my legs begging me for mercy and pushed on, I was enjoying the day too much to let mere quad pain get in the way! The worry was whether or not when I got off my bike I would just fall over like a weeble. Consequently my legs didn't appear to be in any working order for at least 2km and they were very very painful. Kirkstall Hills very much still in them I ploughed on and just got used to the feeling and actually felt strong (don't get that mixed up with fast though!) Jubilantly crossing the line 5th girl and in a respectable 2.29 my last goal of the week was achieved and I feel great (that's me not my legs, they're still not speaking to me.)

One of the best weeks of quality training to date and I'm looking forward to next weeks before flying out to Vancouver for the World Championships on Saturday.

Before I sign off I just want to say well done to Pauly P who conquered his first Olympic distance tri today and a big thank you to our on course supporters Ben, Lies and the very beautiful Charlie. Loads of our tri club (Leeds & Bradford) were racing today, well done one and all it's great having such great team spirit out there on the course. And a huge well done to Alison, Alan and Nathan who all raced well, hope the season goes well for you all, see you in the pool soon ;)

Time for bed to prepare for another quality week of hammer time before Germany pokes it's nose close enough into the training and the taper starts.

Night night. H. x

1 comment:

Jevon said...

Great result H... fantastic to be with Tom in T1... good luck in Vancouver... I'll be watching out for you.
Look out for my mate Iain Parsons who's out there.