Well, I suppose I made the most out of that weekend.
Saturday: 7.33 Hrs of Training
Long ride. My goal was to get in 130 miles with some Ironman pace intervals thrown in, then perhaps 20 minutes of running if the knee could hack it. Some good ol’ Ab Ripper X to finish it up and I would be golden.
Phillip Rowan and Chuck Boulineau were both up for some mileage. Phillip was being vague about how far he wanted to go, but Chuck was good for a solid 110. And then the day before, Dave Mirra decided to throw in with us as well, since he had a 3 hr ride planned with short intervals. So we all headed out together and spun for an hour at a sorta easy pace and then hit Dave’s intervals: 6 x 6 min at 280 watts with 6 min rest in between. Dave was the only one with a Power Peter so he led us off and I got some practice at maintaining the minimum legal draft gap according to Ironman rules. Phillip and Chuck tucked in behind me.
The intervals were fast and went great, but when we were done I was ready to ease into a pace more conducive to Ironman training, especially since I still had 3.5 hours to go. Dave asked what my intervals would be for the rest of the ride and I said, “Oh, something like 22 to 23 mph for 45 min apiece.” Then I looked down at my computer and saw we had been going that pace for the last hour. So much for intervals.
After we split off from Dave we stopped by my place to refuel. Phillip had enough fun so he took his ball and went home. Chuck felt great and he stuck with me. It took me another hour before I started feeling “great” myself. Right about then, Chuck began feeling “not so great.” We stopped at a gas station at mile 100 to refuel again and both about bonked when the guy in between us at the counter ordered a cheeseburger. Man, that would have been great! I think as soon as we left he probably said to the cashier, “Naaah, I don’t really want a burger. I was just saying that cuz those pansies in the tights looked starving.”
I got stronger as the ride progressed. I was tired, particularly in the quads, back, neck, calves, hamstrings, abs, biceps, shoulders, chest, fingers, butt, and left temple…..but otherwise felt great.
I managed 20 minutes on the treadmill with no knee pain, nailed the ab routine and felt a mixture of exhaustion and elation the rest of the evening!
After that long workout, I was somewhere between these two feelings all evening.....
Sunday: 2.33 Hrs of Training
Well, I knew there was no way I was going to get my 20 mile run that I had planned. The knee just wouldn’t take that. But I opted to give the treadmill another go and see if I could take an hour of that since it had a softer landing than the pavement. I was feeling great, running like a champ with no pain whatsoever, and even planning a second hour on the treadmill……all the way until minute 41 when a shot of pain went through my knee. Dammit.
A few hours of ice, Tiger Balm, and nursing my bruised ego and I was reluctant but ready enough to go for a swim and see about this aquajogging thing. I snuck my sneakers out of the house with me so Angie wouldn’t know and immediately started with the treadmill at the gym first. I was surprised it didn’t hurt and was hoping I could get the 19 minutes I was short of an hour from my morning attempt. I got 15 and then the knee flared up again. Dammit.
I tucked my tail into my jammers and hit the pool for an easy 2000 yards, all the while trying to figure out how I could transition to aquajogging without tarnishing the reputation I surely had with the cute lifeguard for being the most athletic specimen she had ever laid eyes on. Hey, it’s my story……I’ll tell it my way. So, I hopped out and asked her where the aquajogging belts were and, without even looking at me (she must have memorized every curve of my chest already), yawned and pointed across the pool. There they were. And they were pink. As if that weren’t enough, they were at the entrance to the girl’s locker room, almost daring me to test if my invisible masculine neck collar would shock me by venturing that far out of the range of the manly side of the pool.
At least I fit in the small size floaty belt. Sigh. As I strapped in somewhat sheepishly and hopped in to the non-lap swimming side of the pool I noticed a couple of the grannies doing water aerobics eyeing me with that “fresh meat” look. “Aren’t you the guy that swims in the lane closest to us and splashes up water that gets our hair wet?” Uh ooohh…….
I aquajogged for the other side of the pool as fast as I could, but the propulsion one gets from running in deep water surprisingly isn’t enough to even keep up with the pubic hair I saw floating away from me.
Once I had arrived safely out of the territory of the pride of water aerobic grannies I settled into a rhythm jogging back and forth. Every now and then I checked on the lifeguard to see if she was checking my moves out. Nope, still asleep. But I had caught the hang of this thing. I knew I had probably upset the record for longest aquajog session ever accomplished in the Greenville Aquatics and Fitness Center and checked my stopwatch. A minute twenty seconds. You gotta be kidding me! Back and forth, back and forth, jog jog jog, turn on a dime, back and forth, back and forth, check out the cute lifeguard, jog jog jog, turn on a dime, back and forth,…….
I lasted 45 minutes before I couldn’t stand it any longer. All told, I had at least accumulated over 2 hours of aerobic activity for the day, escaped an angry hoard of grannies, and my knee felt okay-ish. It was at least enough to keep me from a fit of depression over not being able to run. One day at a time. Suffer today so you don’t suffer race day.
Thanks for reading.