Friday, April 04, 2008

Tick-Tock, Back @ It

There are so many things to stress about that it is often easy to loose site of simple things that make I do triathlon for fun. Yes, I want to get better and put up some good results, but I get a kick out of it...the entire process. There, I said it. I often hear people say that "when you aren't having fun training, then you might need to take a break." I don't subscribe to this. As the number of workouts per month, per week, per day increase, the probability of having a workout that I simply don't feel like doing or don't have fun while doing is highly likely. The trick, for me at least, is to call a spade a spade and simply manage through what the cause of my dissatisfaction is. Interestingly enough, the more dissatisfaction I have (read: stress), the more opportunity to manage this dissatisfaction comes along...and...thus the ability to get better at managing it. Where does this leave me....1) at the tail end of a recovery week 2) nearly relieved of stress after a super mellow 2k drill swim / 1hr sunset mtb and 3) completely stoked for the weekend full of somewhat epic training. Epic to me = a) long brick day where b) I have to drive to the training spot...don't ask me why. Maybe it has something to do with packing up the Subaru with a bunch of stuff. Before I get into what is on tap for the weekend, I need to recap a somewhat troubling unresolved situation with my bike. The situation is this, I have to get faster on the bike and have been putting in significantly more time on it. Higher focus = higher expectations. I did a bike test on Thursday and did not get the results I wanted. I will spare you the excuses. Once I got home and downloaded my Powertap data, I kind of freaked out and embarked on a mission to truly understand all the data the cycling software, WKO+ presents. I started to comb the Internet for answers and delved, yet again, into Hunter Allen's and Andrew Coggan's book call Training and Racing with a Power Meter (a must have for those who train with power). Well, needless to say, I now know that I really have a lot to learn. Part of me wishes I could just pay Hunter Allen $2000/mth to solve my mental issues via a robotic like, mathematical masterpiece of a training plan that, in the end, might or might not be better than what I am doing now. Not so fast. Neither Rome, nor my fitness was, or will be, built in a day...or an evening going cross-eyed looking through forums about training with power. Looking back through my data file from the bike test it really wasn't bad. I like doing tests on a long steady hill. This course was rolling with some pretty decently long stretches of downhill. Maybe I just suck because "power is power", but trying to hold 330+ watts going downhill made me prematurely blow up....then fight the rest of the effort to find the pieces. Enough!

My first Xterra race this season kicks of in just a couple of weeks with the DCB Adventures Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon at Saguaro Lake, AZ. Last weekend, Tom Obrien, who will likely win the Expert division at this weekend's NORBA National here in AZ, did some training on the course. We did about 2800 of open water swimming in the lake followed by 2x laps of the mtb course and capped off the day by running the 5 mile run course. Tomorrow, I will be solo, but will start the day with an easy run of the running course at zone 1/2, 2x laps of the bike course at zone 2 and then another full lap of the running course at zone 2/3. Pre-riding the course is super important and I am happy I can do it so frequently. The bike course does have two hike-and-bike hills on it, one of which tore the sole off of one of my mtb shoes. These are the replacements, pretty sweet. I opt for the three-strap vs. the buckle to not only save time in transition, but buckles + sand/dirt = NO OPEN. Sunday has another sweet training day on tap. In prep for Ironman Arizona DCB Adventures puts on a 2.4 mile swim in Tempe Town Lake over the actual IM course. After seeing what doing 2.4 miles in a wetsuit is like and what the suit does to the back of my neck (pretty sure it will move well past just chaffing), I will hop on my road bike and do a 4hr+ ride on part of the IMAZ course and then head into North Scottsdale to find a couple thousand feet of climbing.