Sunday, May 25, 2014

IMMT Training Weeks 17 and 18: Everything is possible

I remember the last time that I said that I had 2 brutal weeks. It was just one month ago. I could probably say the same about the last two, but the difference is that they didn't feel so brutal anymore, despite the workout volume going up significantly. It must be due to the "easy" week that I had before, most likely it recharged my batteries well. I cannot guarantee that I will feel the same in 2 weeks, but I am enjoying riding this wave for now. Here are my last 2 weeks at a glance.
Truth to be told, they were filled with enough excitement and that made a big difference in how I approached them.


I had all kinds of swims on the schedule. Starting with my longest swim to date (3300m), to masters swim with the tri club, to time trial in the pool, to simulation swim, to swims that could have been... but ended in a bare minimum.
Simulation swim to start the day
For my longest swim, I did this on a Tuesday morning when I was feeling motivated:

300 swim 20 sri
2x200 kick with fins :30 sri
4x100 @ 2:30
2x500 pull 30 sri
3x100 @ 2:20
2x400 pull 30 sri
100 cool down

However, two days later with the tri group, it was more intense (a lot more!) because that's how we roll.

400m done as : 200m swim, 100m drills (50m SAD, 50m 6-3-6), 100m swim
4x100m kick with fins (50m front kick, 50m dolphin kick on the back)
300m pull + paddles negative split
100m alt stroke
14x50m ([1 ez + 1 fast], [1ez + 2 fast], [1ez + 3 fast], [1ez + 4 fast]) all fast ones with 5 sri, all ez ones on 1:20
150m ez swim

All this work must have helped because on Thursday of this week, I had my second time trial in the pool since I swim with these folks and I was really happy to see some progress compared to year before.

May 23, 2013: 750m in 18:37 (2:28min/100m)
May 22, 2014: 800m in 17:45 (2:13min/100m)

So basically, I am swimming 15sec/100m faster than last year. I am still in the slow lane, but I'm getting faster!! Not sure how and if this translates in open water, but I'll take it!


I LOVE MY BIKE! That is all.

Ok, ok... I'll let you in this love affair while we're still in the honeymoon phase.

On Mondays I had "recovery" 2h bike rides. I went outside, on my own and didn't die. I even enjoyed them, despite the hills and and wind. Recovery, sorta. I beat my PR on Strava with the fastest bike split on one of my most frequented segments. Could I be getting faster on the bike too? Maybe, maybe not.

Because now I haz racewheelz.
And these are my best times on this stretch of the road, windy conditions or not.
Verdict? It was windy, alright, but so were all these rides below in the 34-35kph range. I went over 40kph this time. These wheels work. They do, it's magic. And they "only" cost $800 (compared to $2500 for Zipp), shared between my hubby and I  and they are made custom in Canada. Good investment me thinks! Thank you 3Sixty5 Cycling!

Armed with this new kind of fast, I did most of my rides outside. I can't stop this feeling!! I'm such an adrenalin junkie... 2h here, 3h there... and I ended doing 5h this Saturday and biked over 132km in one setting. I even woke up at 5am and was on the road by 6:30, like a good and dedicated Ironman in training (thanks to Michelle Simmons for the reality check). After all these hours I had no pain, no chaffing, no crotch numbness and no muscle soreness. I could have done a century or more. I felt so amazing afterwards, I am still pinching myself to make sure I still have nerve endings. Maybe I don't know what's going to hit me, but anyway... let's not go tempting the devil now.
Here's me going all around and up and down Caledon, literally.
Caledon is hilly, alright.
My shadow and I, the only souls on the road
Farms, farms everywhere.
This one is super!
No man's land, cyclists' heaven
The houses here have tree fences
All rides are better with friends! 3h with the tri group

Good news is that my ankle has not hurt since I went to see my massage therapist. He's also magic. The runs off the bike are becoming more the norm, and we started hill repeats and speed workouts on the track.

The most memorable run was two weeks ago on the track and I had to shorten it because I got caught by a thunderstorm of epic proportions. It all started innocently enough with a few drops...
 Then it got more menacing and quite interesting for photos...
But then I took this panorama and realized that I was about to get swallowed by a monster and I wasn't sure that I was going to make it back home in time...
The sky was changing above me while I was watching and taking pictures mesmerized, stopped in the middle of my 4th speed interval.
And then it started pouring. HARD. I took shelter under the wooden stairs of a portable building, hoping it would be a quick one...
Yikes!! It's getting WET!
But then buckets of water started dumping all around me, including on my head, so I decided to find better shelter because mine was getting useless.
I ended running back home... another fast interval. Soaked to the bone, but glad I got it done, at least partially.
My face must have gotten stuck in that weird grin
Thankfully no other wet runs after this one - but they are fun sometimes!!

So much more fun than the treadmill, even though I chose the latter earlier this week for hill repeats. Yes, it was raining again, but I had to squeeze this run between work and masters swim and there was no time for hesitation. You gotta do what you gotta do: 4x3 min @ 6% incline with 15min cooldown and warmup in a stinky, stinky gym that makes my stomach turn.

But don't you worry, I got my revenge today at the Woodstock Duathlon (race report to follow) where I ran my shorts off and then some more!
It's the tale of my multi-sport debut this year with some tan sleeves as accessory... It will be worth the wait!

In a nutshell

So much happened lately, and my smile has returned. I realized that I have to keep trusting my training and nip the panic in the bud. There is no reason to believe that I am going to break any time soon. Life is good, the wheels keep turning, and I move along with them. There is a always a solution to problems, you just have to look for it hard enough. Most of the time, it's all in the smile and in your attitude towards life. Two words and a hashtag: #heartandcourage


  1. Great training! I was going to say you are smiling in all your photos...that's awesome. Nice work!!

  2. You triathletes are nuts. I'm tired just following your training!

  3. Terrible weather on the run, but you got some gorgeous pictures out of it!

  4. You are rocking it, lady! Whoop! And, I'm so happy to hear that you not only are loving the bike (because isn't it the BEST?!), but, most importantly, that your smile has returned :) Keep moving forward! #heartandcourage

  5. AMAZING recap of great weeks! Can't wait to hear about your race!!!