Somehow Shenandoah Valley has turned into a giant outdoor sauna. If I was hanging out with a pair of slippers, towels and super models on each arm the outdoor sauna might be nice. However since I'm running and biking my butt off as per Coach E's orders the outdoor sauna is nothing over than a gift from the devil. Last week was also the start of second year courses at Darden, so the sauna was a bit of a pressure cooker - I forgot how tough it was to fit everything in!
The humidity in Charlottesville was topping 80% last week, so each workout performed was way more sweat riddled than it should have been. Even with the extra challenge my blood sugars were fine during exercise! I had a few dozen lows throughout the week during class and other non-exercise times, in large part to my declining basal rate. My basal rate has dropped more than 2 points since I returned to C'Ville 17 days ago. Currently my base line insulin is at 10.4 units per day, a far cry from the 17 units per day my basal rate was in January. The combination of diet and exercise has led to my body becoming more responsive to insulin again.
Now back to the training, on Tuesday I had a 2 hour bike ride which I did between my Sustainability Innovation & Entrepreneurship course and Leading Strategic Change course. I tried to design my class schedule to either start late enough in the day to work out in the morning (early week) or with a large gap in the day to have a few hours to fit in a long run, bike or swim (late week). Last week that schedule worked pretty well, Eric did have to alter one exercise for me; he had an hour bike followed by an hour run for Wednesday, but I had my second year coaches course (a 10 session course over the semester) and there was no way I had time for 2 extra hours of workouts having gotten out of class at 8:30 pm.
The 4 hour gap I have in my late week schedule provided an awesome opportunity to get in a great mid-day ride. The temperature was above 90 degrees and that cool blast of wind I look forward to as I scramble down a hill was anything but cool. With the high humidity and high temperature I felt as if I was riding on the edge of a volcano - holly cow! I was soaked through and through from sweat 20 minutes into the ride, but overall it was pretty solid. And A SNAKE TRIED TO BITE ME!!! I was riding on a slight uphill during a zone 2 recovery from a hard effort, looking at some horses at a farm I was rolling past. I look down on the road and see a small snake, that lifts it head off the road hisses and lunges at me! I'm also pretty sure it wasn't a garden snake - thankfully it missed, because dying on my bike from a snake bite is a pretty embarrassing way to go out!
After 5 days of classes it was time to celebrate Darden style, which means individuals in their mid 20s to mid 30s who were successful before coming back to school acting like college juniors again. Friday I had two of my good friends, Rob and Kent (who happens to be a world record holder in cycling) over for some buffalo burgers, grilled portabellos and drinks. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to drink an entire bottle of Rioja by myself, and then we headed out in Charlottesville. I didn't drink a ton the rest of the night, but getting home at 2am with a 50 mile ride and a 1 hour swim on tap for Saturday had me going to sleep pretty wearily.
Each weekend my goal is to wake up by 8am to get my long ride in and still be able to enjoy the day - um yeah I didn't get my hung over butt out of bed until 11:30 am. Amazingly even with the hangover my blood sugars were only slightly low. I downed the banana - berry - chia seed - odawala super food shake I've been having pre workout and got out the door by 3 pm for my ride. 30 minutes into the ride, I was in rough shape. Sure I was hitting my speed goals, cadence instructions and heart rates but it was hot, I was getting dizzy and I had a huge headache coming on. I checked my blood sugar, was slightly high and took in some insulin. 100 minutes into the ride I decided I needed to take a break, find some shade and rehydrate. I stood in the shade for about 10 minutes letting my view come back into focus and hoping my headache would subside. I rode another 15 miles, and stopped at a deli for a snickers bar and diet coke before I finished the final 8 miles of my ride. That night I was the designated driver, after rididng off my hangover the last thing I wanted was another one! That night my friend's found it hilarious that I had eaten an entire flat bread pizza after my ride, then stopped for an enormous sub at Little Johns in between designated driving bar stops; the benefits of tri training!
Sunday I woke up early as I had an 11am meeting to discuss the business & public policy club I'm founding. Coach el diablo had a 90 minute run on my schedule, with 10, 2 minute intervals at a 7 minute pace, and an instruction to finish the last 10 minutes of the run at a 7:25 pace! With my legs heavy with lactic acid from the low cadence, high speed ride the day before I set out on my run on the flats of Sugar Hollow. I actually felt great at the start of the run, one, two, three interval sets rolled off, and I idiotically held paces of 6:30 for them - ugh I really need to learn to hold back. Interval four became a bit harder, five was arduous and six was painful. But that paled in comparison to intervals 7 and 8. On interval 7, after 70 seconds my legs stopped, my arms kept moving but my legs refused to go, so I walked the next rest interval rubbing my quads hoping to make the lactic acid dissipate. Interval 8 wasn't any easier, actually it may have been the most painful 120 seconds of my life, so painful that I had to hold back vomit; that one last only 55 seconds.
Thankfully I had some extra water with me and was able to recover for intervals 9 and 10 reaching my goals. I ran at zone 2 for 15 minutes and then hit the gas for my 10 minutes at the 7:25 pace. I was shocked that I had enough in the tank to push the pace, must be the chia seeds. 5 minutes into the set I started to slow a little and thought "no way, not today, I'm finishing this thing." I threw everything I had left in the tank and pushed as hard as I could for the next 5 minutes - my pace never slowed past 7:55 at that point - freaking awesome!
With tired legs I tried to fit in my hour swim that I had skipped on Saturday but I couldn't keep my hips up without a pull buoy, 1000 yards into the swim I couldn't keep my arms up anymore and figured if I survived the snake attack, I shouldn't tempt fate and decided to leave the pool. Eric is pushing me harder than I've ever been pushed before and I'm loving it. I'm getting leaner, eating healthier and every workout is faster than the previous. Whatever Coach el diablo is doing, its working.