Monday was busy. Without a morning workout and the additional time that would have been spent driving, preparing for and cleaning up after the workout, I started my day early and finished late. But all was good by this morning because I had a great night of sleep last night knowing I tackled a lot on my to-do list and I woke up with a body filled with unused energy from Monday.
This morning I had a workout on my schedule that I was concerned about. Run-bike-run. Ugggh. I am NOT a duathlete, Karel!!!
But, there is always a method behind the madness so instead of starting my doubts and excuses, I went ahead and tried it.
2 mile build run + 1:15 interval bike + 4 mile descending run.
The first two miles were OK. .Actually, the first mile was OK and the 2nd mile was great. I was sure to do extra dynamic stretching before the run to loosen up the hips and to get the blood flowing but for someone who requires a long warm-up, 7:37 went by and I was making my way back to my car in Nocatee to finish my two-mile (out and back) run. The 2nd mile came in at 7:12 and it felt much better. I am finally learning how to think about my form while running which keeps my HR better-controlled and helps me focus on efficiency and economy when running. The strength training and hip work pays off with every run as I feel myself landing on one leg - relying on my core, hips and glutes for stability and then doing it again with the other leg. Over and over again. Oh the little things we take for granted when we just train for miles. Thank you body for being strong.
After the run I got my bike out of the car and was happy to see Karel about to start his ride. We have been driving 15 minutes down the road to Nocatee to train because the roads are the safest we can find here in Jacksonville and the area makes us feel like we are someone away from "home". Sometimes a change in routine is good for the mind.
Karel is doing 2-days of road racing this weekend. Actually, he is doubling up so two races each day. He has spent little time on his road bike as he is loving his new triathlon lifestyle but I also know he is excited to be riding with the cat 1 guys (and Masters 35+) for a weekend of crit racing and pain.
My main set started as soon as I got on the bike. 10 min Z3 steady 5 x 1/1 (1 min ON - fast cadence 110+ rpm, 1 min OFF - EZ) 10 min Z3 steady 5 x 1/1 10 min Z3 steady 5 x 1/1 10 min Z3 steady Z2 back to the car (a few minutes)
This is a great set to help with pacing and to teach the legs to pedal at a higher cadence (A work in progress for me in the past few years). In the past month I have done a lot more "strength" at lower cadence on the bike so that is also paying off for my Z3 intervals. Because I "race" a half IM at Z3 low to medium effort, I am working on my speed and cadence knowing that by race day I will be able to perform "faster" at the lower interval zone due to having more power in my legs. There's a lot of work to be made but I'm lucky I have the energy and motivation to keep on working at it.
The legs burned a bit on the ride for the higher intensity intervals and I knew I'd feel it on the run. I do a lot of brick runs and feel most comfortable running off the bike so mentally, I never have to talk myself into running off the bike. It just comes naturally as something that I do in the build phase of my training. I didn't do any bricks from Sept until Jan so it was a nice welcome back for the legs.
The set off the bike was 4 miles descending. The last mile was suppose to be under 7 but I cut myself a deal. I just love this about being an athlete. Here I am, all alone with no accountability for my workout completion except a Garmin to upload onto Training Peaks. Only a piece of paper "telling" me what to do. So, I started my run and all the thoughts went through my head. How about 3 miles tempo and then walk and 1 mile fast? How about 2 miles EZ and call it a day? How about 4 x 1 miles with 1 min walk in between? I figured regardless of the run distance or effort, I'd be happy with anything after this workout. So, if I could get through 3 miles and descend to a fast pace and not break good form, I would "allow" myself to walk and then run the last mile EZ. Could I have done all four miles descending? Maybe - but this morning I I knew I'd be just as happy with 3 miles descending as I would with 1 mile EZ off the bike.
Mile 1 - 7:37 Mile 2 - 7:21 Mile 3 - 7:11
2 min walk Mile 4 - 7:37 (Amazing what a little walk will do. I thought I was running EZ and when looking at my watch, my perceived effort low comfortable but pace was still good. I'll take this one with me to Ironman Lake Placid as I have nothing wrong with walking if it allows me to resist fatigue as much as possible to maintain consistent pace).
As soon as I got home, I went right to the trigger point roller, the ball and my yoga mat. The workouts are getting tougher and I can not afford to overlook anything that will help me reduce risk for injury.
Last night's dinner must have fueled me well for this morning's workout. I hope you enjoy it!
Broccoli (steamed in microwave) Chickpeas (rinsed and drained from can) Leftover whole grain (I used my toasted barley - cooked in a little olive oil on medium heat in small skillet - pressed down like hashbrowns and cooked for 8-10 minutes until crunchy and golden brown) Mushrooms (sliced, washed) Corn (frozen) Ginger powder Soy sauce (1 tsp) Tofu (firm, cubed - about 1/4th container per person) Farmers cheese (or your choice cheese) Cashews (or your choice nut)
1. On large skillet on medium heat, drizzle with 2-3 tsp oil (or up to 1 tbsp for 2-3 people). 2. Add tofu, mushrooms, corn and chickpeas and stir every few minutes to evenly cook all sides. Tofu should get golden brown. Add a little ginger and your choice seasonings. 3. Remove veggies and tofu mixture from pan and add broccoli and drizzle with a little oil to give it a little bit of a grill taste. This should take about 3-4 minutes. 4. Turn off burner and place 1/2 - 1 cup barley in your shallow dish and add your veggie, tofu and broccoli mixture to create your plant strong meal. Drizzle with a little soy sauce and sprinkle with cashews (broken in your hands, 3-4 per person will be a good amount for a nice crunch) and farmers cheese.
TIP: Plan for leftovers so that you have enough for lunch tomorrow. To save time, use frozen veggies and cook in microwave and assemble with 10-minute cooked brown rice and make it a "hot" dish not prepared on stove top. Add your choice of protein. If you have picky eaters in the family, you can prepare some veggies on separate skillets and then prepare your protein in the oven (and a mix of proteins if you want, but plan for leftovers) so that everyone can make their own plate. I recommend serving grains/starches separately so that everyone can portion for their own individual needs as they create a plant strong meal.