Week twenty-four and twenty-five. June 9-22, 2014- Last big workout, taper and naps lots of naps

Week 24 was all about getting through the last big workout.  3 hour on the bike to be followed by an hour run.  Kristin and I wanted to do the CDA course on the computrainer so we scheduled it with Andreas and we were set for 11:00 time.  Since the session was fro 3 hours we met early to get the other 3 hours on the road.  We followed with the run and the worst was done.

The next day we followed up with a 2.5 hour run and a what was supposed to be 1 hour and 10 minute swim.  Liz joined us in the morning.  The run went great and we were all pretty happy with our results.  As we headed in the water we noticed tons of sea urchins and given how many of us have stepped on these and  some even having surgery to get them out we were a little slow getting in.  The current was also very strong which meant the way back was going to be tough.  We swam a couple of buoys and by this point I was over the whole thing. I put my foot down and said lets go back.  This is ridiculous.  Liz and Kristin caved in to me.  I was happy I did not have to use the I am old to be your mother and you need to listen to me strategy.

It felt so good to be done with the big workouts.

Week 25 started our tapering part of our training.  We have been waiting for this for quite some time so we were all very excited.  The workouts were short but we had something everyday.

It was really strange to be doing 30 minute workouts or 1 hour ones but thats what tapering is all about.  This week I also experienced extreme tiredness.  Every afternoon I felt like I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I would lay down for 5 minutes which really ended up being 3-4 hours and only because I forced my self to get up.  After about 3 days of this I was getting worried.  I texted Andy and he told me it was normal and that I was lucky that I could actually take the naps.  So I kept up with the naps.  I was sleeping like 12-13 hours a day.  Then all of a sudden on Saturday I woke up refreshed.  When I got to Key Biscayne for our workout it seemed everyone else was feeling the same.  Tapering was working.

Sunday was a 2.5 hour ride.  I decided to do it on my hybrid.  That  bike has not been used since I started training.  OMG the entire time I was riding I was wishing I had my road bike.  2.5 hours on the hybrid was like 4 on the road bike.  It was tough to run after that.  Again thank god it was just 30 minutes.

This week we all had to take our bikes in for transportation to Coeur d Alene.  This meant we needed to go use a spin bike for our training.  Monday morning I met Eduardo and University of Miami and took a spinning class that Liz was teaching.  It was fun and the first session without our bikes was done.

This week I also wanted to make sure I had everything I needed for the trip so I checked and rechecked my lists.  You would have thought I had gone mad.  I packed and repacked 3 times but I did manage to get everything I needed.  My race day gear bag was actually bigger than my clothes one.

Given that I am now about 3 days away from the race I had decided to add up all my stats just for shits and giggles.  And this is what I came up with:

planned  actual

What I learned these past 2 weeks is to trust the training process especially the tapering.  I never knew I could get that tired and actually listening to my body was the best thing I could have done.  I also learned that I could get used to the naps.  Hell I want one now.

Quote for the week:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Lao Tau

I thought this was such an appropriate quote seeing that this journey has taken me on a lot of miles.  It is hard to believe that on January 1st I was just taking my first step on this incredible journey.  On June 29th I will be taking the last 140.6 miles.

Week twenty-two. May 26-June 1, 2014-Getting better

This week started with a 3-hour run that I did not manage to get in last week because of the tenting.  It was Memorial Day and it was not easy to get up but I did and managed 12 miles so the week started off great.  I proceeded to get all my workouts in but I was worried about the weekend.  We had a 6 hour ride and although I had done one already I was still freaking but also excited to see what I could do.

This week I also got my test results that were done to try to figure out what was going on with my stomach. It was confirmed that the abuse I am putting on my body is taking a toll on my intestines. It is not what I wanted to hear but it is what it is. My friend Karen came up with a plan to get me through the race before we start real treatment after I am done. I am confident with this plan and I know this issue will not interfere with the race.

On Saturday we had a 1 hour 10 minute swim scheduled to be followed by a 2 hour and 30 minute run.  Joe from the team suggested we start at 5am for the run and follow it by the swim so we could get finished early.  I agreed although I hate getting up so early.  I know my teammates that are married and have kids are at a point where they need to do everything to keep peace at home.  It has been a long 6 months and I can only imagine the flack they are getting from their spouses and kids.  I am lucky I do not have to contend with that so I go along to support and well I like training with them.  I figured I would just go back to sleep when I get done.

We (Leo, Joe, Liz and Eduardo) took off on the run.  Eduardo took off like a jack rabbit as usual but the rest of us hung tight as a group.  We really did have the best time.  I will not go into the details of our conversations but just know it was worth getting up that early for the conversation.  We followed up with the swim.  Let me tell you that I now know why the swim is first.  My legs and actually my feet were cramping up the entire time.  Seriously, I never knew the bottom of my feet could cramp up.  But the water was cool and felt great so I kept swimming and managed 1.7 miles.  Really the best part was being done by 9:30am.  I had the entire day ahead of me.

We had all decided that we would meet up on Sunday and leave Joe’s house at 5am for our 6-hour ride and then our 1-hour run.  It’s a great place to start and ride south which is a very safe place to ride and we have plenty of options to add mileage.

The day was great.  I got some errand done and before I knew it the time had come to get to bed for another early wake up call.  At around 8:30 pm I get a text message telling me to look on our Facebook page where we got these messages from our coach:

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.28.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.28.35 PM

Oh my, really.  First of all I was on my way to bed and second of all the nerve.  Well there was no way I was going to Shark Valley.  It is an hour drive and well you know how much I just love the alligators so off to Joe’s house I went.  We took it easy to Black Point Marina since it was dark and it had poured so the roads were wet.  I was a little freaked out that my brakes were not working but I powered through it.  After Black Point Joe slowed down to tell me about their route which was different than I what I usually take.  He mentioned that the last turn was not signed which worried me so we ended up deciding that they would go their way and Liz and I would go the way I knew and hook up at Starbucks to hit the bathroom and fill up on water. Before we took off Joe said to me, “just work on being in aero and do what you can do.  I know you can do this.”  I love him for his encouragement and how he makes sure I am ok.

I wanted to stay with the guys to see what I could do but I was scared of missing the turn so our decision was good.  I rode like a crazy person and basically rode in aero the entire time and to my surprise I got to Robert is Here 13 minutes faster than I have ever done before.  I was so excited.  I told Liz let’s just keep going and then head back since the guys would not be at Starbucks for another 30 minutes or so.  We ended up running into them, which was perfect.  At this point they decided we would head out to Everglades National park, which was 5 miles from Robert is Here.  I was like ok great we can add some mileage.  As we took the turn we ran into Derek and Elizabeth so they ended up joining us.  I was determined to draft behind them and keep up.  Well it only lasted for about 3 miles but I was happy because for those 3 miles I was riding in aero and at 20 MPH.   After that 10-mile loop we met up at Starbucks.  I knew I could not keep up so they went their way and Liz and I went my way and we met up at his house for the 1 hour run.

When I got back to his house I was like OMG I did an additional 17 miles since the last 6 hour ride just 3 weeks before.  I would say that is a huge improvement.  I was so happy that even though it was like a million degrees out and we were totally over heating on the run I was happy.  He are some of us after the run.  Eduardo is always out and back and misses the pictures.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.29.34 PM

Yes we were hot and sweaty but Joe’s pool was the perfect way to cool off afterwards.  Joe you really are the best for letting us crash your house.

When I got home I posted this and the encouragement I got was priceless.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.29.05 PM

This week I managed 90% of training time.  I am happy with this since Monday I was making up a workout from last week and is not included in this weeks stats.

▪   Planned workout duration:  15:40

▪   Actual workout duration: 14:10

What I learned this week is that sticking to the workouts is apparently working. I have been working super hard on the bike since it is my weakest sport and for the first time since January I do feel like I can actually do this.

What was reaffirmed this week is I have great teammates and friends. They have followed me through this journey and they are behind me 100%. I can’t thank them enough. I really do appreciate your patience and your encouragement. It has made this journey worthwhile.

What I have noticed this week is that I am missing some of my teammates that started the journey with me but have been missing the last few weeks.  Where are you Christy and Robert?  I miss you.

Quote for this week is mine and for the first time since I started I actually believe it.

I got this-Espe Suarez Kelly