Monday, March 7, 2011

Week 8 / 20

This was an "easy" week in terms of training (except for a tough BRick = Bike+Run workout on Sunday) but it was a hard week in terms of dealing with obsessions - perhaps the surplus energy I had was translated into excess brain activity... I finally admitted to myself that I was unable to maintain the aero position as I had it set up for more than a few minutes - let alone the 5 hours plus that the Ironman would entail. I started to convince myself that the only solution would be to buy a Triathlon specific bike, which has a geometry that allows you to get down low but, at the same time, be relatively comfortable. I went as far as going to a bike shop and getting a quote for a Cervélo P2 (which, by the way, in Spanish is pronounced "pedos" which means "farts"). I felt like I was cheating on my bike. I'm sure it was already getting suspicious after I washed it the other day for the first time in ages, as if to make up for my wayward thoughts, and it has been acting very sensitively lately. Luckily the bike shop attendant had more sense than I did and certainly more than his desire to sell bikes. He said I should get properly measured up before taking the plunge (again) and that, in the process, they could set up my road bike properly. Once I realized that it wasn't so simple as just walking out of the shop with the perfect bike and that I would have to wait (something I am very bad at), I decided to fiddle about with my bike some more and see how long I could tolerate the aero position on the turbo trainer. I found it helped to separate the elbow pads a little and to angle the bars up slightly. It looks less like I am fighting against the geometry of the bike and instead accepting the slight upwards slope it enforces. Although the main objective was to get more comfortable, I think I end up hunkering down slightly more than before and the straw of my drinking bottle is now in the perfect position to take a sip from. I've seen even top Ironman athletes with a position as "upright" as mine so, as long as I can hold it, it should be fine. I really probably should do a bike fit at some point but I am worried they are going to convince me I need to buy some ridiculously expensive orthotics for my bike shoes - I have no problems with my legs on the bike (touch wood) and I have a prejudice about orthotics from running, although this is a different thing altogether I suppose.

The Sunday session was just what I needed to restore my motivation: a challenging but mostly enjoyable outing of 4 hours on the bike at easy pace followed by an hour and 20 minutes mostly running at around half marathon intensity. Although I don't seem to be able to find a decent bike route that doesn't take me through the fugly town of Brunete, I did manage to find a fairly flat route where I could practice my aero position. At least, I thought it was flat until it was time to turn around - it was too good to be true to be able to hit a steady 40kp/h at easy intensity! In the end, what was supposed to be a 3 and a half hour ride turned into a four hour ride but my legs were still fresh enough off the bike to hit my first 20 minute medium intensity run at 15kp/h (the second and third were quite a bit slower...).

I almost forgot that I started the week off with a bit of a cold, presumably from my "controlled over-training" from the week before: my coach had warned me about this. I followed his advice and started taking Inmunoferón, Echinacea + Propóleo and Vitamin C pills. I'm now taking 15 pills every morning (one of which is over 2 grammes - not milligrammes!) and it feels like I am trying to take an overdose. But the extra measures seemed to help and the cold lasted little more than a day or two.

I've got a harder week ahead, building up to another peak in a couple of weeks, so I think I'll plug myself into the Compex tonight to try to shake out my muscles and ready myself for what's to come.

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