Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fightining the Inferno

Saturday morning Kim and I said goodbye to each other as I was beginning my long drive back to Charlottesville and she was headed out on a bike ride. You learn a ton about yourself while living with someone and this summer taught me alot; more than just putting the toilet seat down! Although I don't know if I'll ever pick up my test strips to her satisfaction.

I was excited to head back to my parent's house for the week. It would be the first time I'd have an opportunity to train in the Westchester/ Putnam area since Lake Placid so I couldn't wait to go on some of my favorite bike rides. I was refitted on my bike by Jay Courant at Stage5 cycling in Arlington, MA a couple weeks ago and wanted to see how well I could hammer on the new fit. Jay is a former physical therapist who has since switched his focus to biomechanics - he knows his stuff and the fit is incredible. We dropped my front end almost 6" so my back is now totally flat and although I'm riding a less steep angle now (from 82 to 79.5) I'm still steep enough to post on slowtwitch!

Saturday's ride called for 3 20 minute intervals of riding in my hammer zone with a cadence of 80 to 90. Coach E wants to see if lowering my cadence during training will help reduce the stress on my back by evening out my pedal stroke. Normally I ride at a cadence of above 95 (thanks to Coach Egg busting my butt last year) so riding at an average cadence of 85 feels like a constant grind on my legs. However, during my 2.5 hour ride on Sunday I experienced almost no back pain and only minor stiffness in my hip - plus I didn't loose too much speed! The new fit is freaking phenomenal, my power transition on it is stronger than before and the more aero position gives me greater efficiency to pedal harder, longer. In short, I'm getting faster on the bike so I'm psyched about it.

Best part of the ride was my blood sugar dropping to 128 after my second interval. Rather than panic, stop on the side on the road and wait, I continued on my 20 minute recovery after eating half a clif bar and downing a little extra nutrition mix. I tested prior to my next speed interval and was happy to see a blood sugar of 167. I'm starting to understand that extra water helps in the absorption of carbohydrates so that a lower blood sugar than desired doesn't have to end a training session.

Yesterday, a 2 hour run was on tap, a 2 hour run on the hottest freaking day of the summer. I had to wait for UPS to arrive with my nutrition, so my run was delayed until 5 pm. I messed up my pre-workout nutrition a bit and started with a BS of 357; I knew a low blood sugar wouldn't be a problem on this run! However the heat, that was a big problem!

30 minutes into the run I was soaked from head to toe, and not soaked like sweaty, soaked like I had just stood under a firehose. 45 minutes into the run my shoes had filled with sweat and were shooting out water with every step. I had to stop for a minute to ring out my socks they had become so heavy! An hour into the run I believe my skin was starting to slide off as I had lost so much water! Yet I still had speed intervals left to run.

An hour and 20 minutes into the run I hit my first speed interval, of course this just happened to coincide with reaching the 3 mile low grade uphill climb on the Northcounty Trailway. The first 4 intervals were all great, I had maintained a pace of 5 minute miles for most of the speed intervals and slowed to a 12 minute pace during the recovery intervals. On the 5th I finally understood why this week needed to be a recovery week. 30 seconds into my fifth and final speed interval my legs stopped. Much like the time when I tried to run with Moose and he simply dropped down onto the grass refusing to move any further, my legs came to a pounding halt and refused to move. They had filled with so much lactic acid and had become so heavy they might as well have been stuck in cement. I was happy with the effort and began to walk during my cool down.

20 minutes later I was back at my parents house after a combination of fat man shuffle and walking to finish up the run. After jumping into the pool and downing 4 glasses of water, I weighed myself and still had lost 8 lbs on my run!!!!! Needless to say I probably should have brought a little extra water with me.


PJ said...

Those are the types of runs I like to call character builders. You were probably a little depleted of water before-hand starting with a sugar that high too.

Amanda said...

WOW! At least you got through it. I totally bonked an hour into my long run in that heat. Nice job, though.

Kim said...

losing that much weight during a run is NOT good!!!!!! more hydration! especially on a day as bad as that one. like amanda, i definitely bonked during my 1:10 run monday!

Train-This said...

Isn't it funny that you stay with coaches of the "E" nature? HA HA! I love that his approach is working, I am learning a lot from your journey, because Ed does not fit any mold...... and you know what I'd say about 8 pounds!!!!!!!!