After a day off Monday to rehydrate and recover it was back to work yesterday to continue my build to peaking for CDA. On tap for Tuesday was an hour long swim with a main set of 4 x 300, a 300 kick and 6 x 50 at "relaxed speed." More on my mind was a 40 minute run with 20 minutes of zone 4b running. Although I was 99% sure that Sunday's run disaster was due to a major dehydration issue as almost any athlete will tell you, confidence doesn't come back until you prove it on the field.
When I go to UVA's pool I shared a lane with someone who was obviously a hard core swimmer. This girl was about 5'10 with an unmistakeable swimmer's build. Her looks weren't the most remarkable thing though, as I stretched on the deck I noticed that she had written pace times on her kickboard. At first I didn't pay much attention to it until I saw a 100 in 1:06 - I thought wow that's pretty fast for a 100 freestyle, not super fast but pretty fast. Then I looked a little closer and realized it was for 100 breast!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me a 100 breast in 1:06! The UVA pool record is like a 1:04 or a 1:02. At one point we happened to start a set at the same time - me, freestyle her, backstroke. With her doing flip turns and me doing my oh so remarkabley athletic grab and turn our pace was identical at what appeared to be a pretty moderate pace for both of us - insane. I'm continually amazed by how effortless the hardcore swimmers at the UVA pool make swimming fast look.
Then in 80 degree temps with thankfully pretty low humidity I headed out to Sugar Hollow for my 40 minute run. My legs are still shaking out the lactic acid from six months of strenuous workouts but they felt way fresher yesterday than they had in some time. I set off at a 9 minute pace to warm up and was happy to see a heart rate in the low 140s (right where it should be). I gradually built up to an 8:30 pace in zone 3 then at the 15 minute mark it was time to hammer out 20 minutes of zone 4b running.
The big issue in Sugar Hollow is that the road runs along a river bank; in one direction it's a slight downhill, in the other a slight uphill so one direction is about 15 seconds per mile faster for me than the other in the same heart rate zone. But in zone 4b my times were solid, unlike Sunday where a 10:40 pace had my heart racing to more than 165 bpm, I was holding steady at a 7:30 pace on the flats at 162 to 164 bpm. My speed varried a bit depending on the terrain, averaging just under 8 minute miles for the 20 minute stretch - I'll take it! It's not as fast as I was running prior to California in late March, but much faster than I had been running in the VA heat and humidity. As my legs continue to come back to me my pace should continue to slowly build over the next couple of weeks.
The peak period is going well, today is a nice hour long chill bike ride, Thursday and Friday are test days. Miles to go before I sleep but the big day is getting close!