Monday, March 15, 2010

A Little Slice Of Heaven During The Training Week From Hell

Last week was THE WEEK, the big test heading into California 70.3. I had let Coach Orton know that I'd be spending my spring break in Charlottesville with nothing to do but train, train, train and train. He catered to my sadistic nature and gave me the following challenges:



Distance/ Tempo



Warm Up, 6 X 300, 300 kick, 6 X 50 (all done hard)


Bike, run

80 miles, 20 minute run


Track Work!

8 X 800 at 3:25


Swim, Bike

Warm Up, 4 sets of 4 X 50, 50 kick between each sets, 50s done at top speed; 30 minute bike


Swim, Run

Warm up, Pyramid: 400, 350, 300, 250, 200, 150; descending with 50 kick between each, no rest


Bike, run

3 hour bike, with 2 sets of 30 minute hard effort, 3 sets of 5a effort; 45 minute run zone 2 – 3



2 hours, zone 2, 1 and ½ hours, zone 3 20 minutes, cool down


All in last week I covered above 170 miles on my bike, 30 miles on my feet and well I can't translate all those yards into miles in the pool. I was chased by close to 15 dogs (and a pack of dogs while running), nearly got into two fights with drivers of cars, was aggravated by 3 people in the pool, ate close to 1,000,000 calories, dropped my daily basal rate by 1.7 units and could barely stand by the end of my run on Sunday. Given all that, it was by far the best week of training I have ever had and I surprised the heck out of myself by some of the numbers I posted.

The week just went incredibly well, each day I honestly felt like I got stronger, and amazingly my times continued to get faster. My legs were tortured (err I mean trained) in every possible way, endurance, speed, and strength. While fatigued my legs were tested, my mind was challenged and my body was forced to push through. At the end of my training week I wrote Eric a note on my training peaks account telling him my results totally blew my mind. Over the course of the week I only had one blood sugar low while training and that was probably more due to a higher basal rate than I should have had rather than not getting in enough carbohydrates.

Before I get into the highlights of my training numbers from last week I need to vent for a moment about dogs. I love dogs, I have a dog, Moose is one of the most incredible living creatures who has ever walked the face of the earth. I want more dogs in the future, I really enjoy dogs, I can play with dogs all day long, I will wrestle with dogs, I will play fetch with dogs, I'll even share a beer with a dog. But honestly if one more gd, mother fing dog fing chases me while I'm fing working out ever fing again I am going to turn around and bite the thing in the ear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was chased by big dogs, little dogs, fat dogs, skinny dogs, dogs that bark, dogs that growl, dogs with tails and dogs with nails. I yelled at dogs, I sped past dogs, I waived to dogs, I called dogs puppy and I called dogs a** hole. Pit Bulls, American Bull Dogs, Collies, Mutts, Farm Dogs, House Dogs, and Pack Dogs all chased me last week and I'm fed up. Dogs chased me while their owners watched from the front lawn, dogs chased me while I huffed and puffed up a hill, dogs chased me on flats, down hills, around turns, in the dark and in the light. Dogs chased me in the rain, in the sun, in the cold and in the warmth. Dogs chased me all the freaking time! The icing on the cake came during my run on Sunday; I was out on a country road about 5 miles into my run and a gorgeous brown and white dog comes tear assing out of its hard barking at me, I yell at it to go home and the dog seemed to be satisfied that I ran past its property. 20 or 30 minutes later I had to pass by the house again and the pooch was waiting – not just by himself either, with 6 of its friends!!! Mr. Tough dog sees me coming and cuts me off in the road this time, barking and snarling I yell at it to go home, to no avail, the dog keeps running along side of me and nipping at my heels (most likely trying to play); I yell again, to no avail. I then stop and put my hands out to show that I mean no harm and I think the pooch backs off so I go to jog again – nope right back on my heels, I then walk backwards for about 45 seconds hands open palmed out stretched so it can see again I mean no harm, this satisfied Kujo as it then lifted a leg to pee on a bush as I was able to jog away. Honestly people, please leash your dogs, its not safe to have them running into the street, they can get hit by a car, or cause serious damage to someone on a bike and to themselves. I'm pretty close to carrying mace with me or something because I've now had way too many close calls with dogs and its just a matter of time before I get bitten or a dog crashes into my front wheel hurting both me and it.

Now onto the highlights. Saturday and Sunday were two of my best training days in history. Saturday I covered just about 60 miles in the 3 hours of riding, averaging 18.9 mph – that included a few stretches of just hanging back and spinning as per Coach Orton's instructions. During my intense efforts on the bike Saturday my speeds on the flats were topping out at 28 mph, while I was pedaling along at what seemed to be an effortless 24 mph. I felt supremely comfortable in my aero position and my legs felt like they could have pedaled forever. I thought after that effort there would be no way I could have a good brick, but my 45 minute run on Saturday was incredible. I rolled off 8:20 miles like it was nothing and felt like I easily could have run 20 miles at that pace – no pain, no fatigue, just pure endurance fun.

The big shocker came on Sunday. My zone 2 pace for the first hour and 25 minutes of my run was a stead 9:05, just a solid easy run, no stopping, no slowing, just plodding away at 9:05 with my heart rate never cresting 146 bpm. At the one hour and 25 minute mark it was time to turn it on – fire up the legs to hit zone 3. When I loaded up the data from my Garmin my jaw dropped.

Mile 10 – 7:53 pace

Mile 11 – 7:57 pace

Mile 11.6 - 7:55 pace

I cranked out sub 8 miles in the last 20 minutes of training for the hardest training week of my life. On tired legs, and burning eyes from the sweat in zone 3 I absolutely crushed the run. I'm shocked by the training week I had, Coach Orton's comment to me today: "Your strength endurance is excellent." The 2010 season can't start soon enough – I wish Cali 70.3 was tomorrow because I'm foaming at the mouth, raring to go.


Anne said...

awesome, Ed! You are going to crush Oceanside!!

By the way, I spray water from a water bottle at dogs sometimes and it seems to help (sometimes). I feel the same way on the matter! It doesn't seem to be a problem too much here, though.

Anonymous said...


thought you might be interested in this LDN stuff. Some are considering it might act to preserve any beta cell function remaining.

Brittney said...

Sorry to hear about the dog problem. There is a PITA rat terrier that is always off leash outside its house at 5:00am that likes to chase me at the begining of my run. It is twice as bad if I'm running with my dog.

That said. What a grueling week. Nice job! :)