A weekend of failed training…

Sunday morning.. I should be out running 14-15 miles (easy).. but I’m not. In keeping with the spirit of my failed training weekend, I’ve opted to stay in bed and blog. Actually, that sentence makes it seem like I’m being completely unproductive this morning, in terms of my training goals, but that’s not entirely true. More on this later.. First a recap of the weekend.

I was ecstatic to get out of work on Friday. Not so much because I don’t like work (that would mean years of schooling has lead to many decades of dissatisfaction and unhappiness), but that work consists of my sitting at a computer in my 8’x8′ cubicle all day, where the only sunshine I see comes from the 30 minutes I spend outside for lunch. It’s draining. Works makes me tired. Humans aren’t built to sit at a desk all day staring at a computer screen. Humans are built to be out hunting and foraging and building fires and such. Anyway… on Friday, I was supposed to get in an 8 mile run at race pace (which for me is supposed to be 9:00 min/mile, but is completely unsustainable over long distances because I don’t put in enough effort to run). At the first stride, I knew my run was doomed. I don’t know what I did over the week to deserve this, but my legs were killing me. Not shin splints (thank God!), but my calf muscles were incredibly tight and felt like they were going to cramp up right from the first step. I ended up cutting the run in half (4 miles) at an excruciatingly slow pace (inconsistent, but averaging to  11:43 min/mile).

Saturday, Minh and I were supposed to get in a 50-mile road ride. I had a funeral to go to at 12pm, so we attempted to get up early and do it in the morning. I figures 3 hours would be plenty of time to get 50 miles in (that would mean an average speed of 16.6 mph). Well.. it became very clear about 30 minutes into the ride that that wasn’t going to be achievable. I thought I was going strong, but then my legs just became extremely fatigued. I could barely spin anymore. So Minh had the great idea that we should just spin in a lower gear and work on cadence. We did that for about 20 minutes or so.. then kicked it back into gear. By the end of the ride.. I was so drained. All I had to eat was half a banana and half a Powerbar, 1 GU, and some Mototab water. I was starving and had little energy to finish the ride, but I pushed myself to get it done because I felt a little bad that Minh was just “cruising” with me when I was putting in all this effort to go a little faster. We got back to the house and Minh had drank only about 2 sips of water the whole time, and kindly told me that he “wasn’t even trying that hard.”  Here I was, sweaty, tired and starving, and Minh hadn’t even broken a sweat. ::grrr:: Worst part was that I forgot to start my Garmin back up when we turned around to head home, so a lot of the “strong” cycling that I did after the turn around was not recorded. In the end, we got about 30 miles in about 2 hours. I went home to get ready for the funeral…. and because of that, had nothing to eat until about 3pm. Trust me.. I was starving. Here’s a quick picture Minh snapped of me at the turn around (all decked out in my new team jersey!!):

And not only was I starving, but little did I realize that I was also incredibly dehydrated. All that riding with no nutrition, then heading to the funeral with no food or water, then standing outside at the cemetery with no water, then only drinking about a cup later.. it was bad news. We had some small snacks out at the cemetery once the service was done, but it wasn’t enough. Minh was kind enough (after all my bickering and yelling at him this morning about how I hate riding with him sometimes) to pick me up a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s. I still didn’t realize that I was dehydrated, so I didn’t take in much water. Only 20 minutes later when I went to the toilet did I realize how bad it was… my urine was ORANGE! Like seriously orange. It was bad news. I downed some water right away. By bedtime, my urine was an OK color again, most likely because I drank a lot of water during dinner, but this morning was another story.

I got home a little later from dinner last night than I was hoping, and didn’t get into bed until 11PM (omg.. I feel like an old person rather than a 20-something young’un). Rather than lose the precious sleep that I catch up on during the weekend, I opted to ignore my alarm clock which went of at 6:40AM to tell me to go running. I eventually woke myself up around 7:20AM because my bladder was telling me, “Tran, you better get up now or else you’ll have some serious bed cleaning to do later.” I got up and answered it’s call.. only to find that, once again, my urine was orange. Granted, not as bad as yesterday’s debacle, but tinged more orange than yellow. This is when I decided it would probably be smarter to skip the run this morning, and maybe get it in later today (after book club perhaps). So here I am, sitting in bed blogging, ate a banana, and downing as much water as possible so that nothing orange comes out of my body today.

I’m also trying to align/update my 2010 Race Schedule and Training plan with the Triathlete’s Training Bible by Joe Friel. Hopefully a little more focus will lead to a little more motivation, which will lead to vast improvements in meeting my set goals, and then perhaps exceeding the goals. ::wishful thinking:: God and Minh both know that I’m seriously deficient in the motivation department.

Also, yesterday, Minh and I watched some youTube videos about Lance Armstrong swallowing thermometer pills and Dr. Allen Lim’s (former sports physiologist for Team Garmin Slipstream, not working with Team Radioshack) tips for race nutrition. The first set of videos are entertaining to watch, but not all that informational when it comes to training. The nutrition videos are actually extremely helpful, and I would highly recommend taking a look at them. Minh and I are going to try to employ some of the nutrition tips in our longer rides and see if that helps. I’m always starving by the end of a ride, and sometimes I just can’t take anymore GUs.

Recipes to try out for workout/race day nutrition:

  • Boiled potatoes with parmesan cheese
  • Hawaiian roll sandwiches (with cream cheese, ham, and jam)
  • Rice cakes – with eggs and ham or other variants
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