Tuesday Run: 6km @ 32min (Ottawa River)
Since my successful race on Sunday, I've taken it back a wee bit and allowed a bit of recovery time as well as a bit of reflection on how things are going. My ride/run transition was smarter, and I held a solid focus to a ~5min/km pace in the run (which I never do). T1 was very slow, but I was out of the water in 10min without the wetsuit - another positive. And after the race, I felt very good - very positive!
Some of the fatigue started to settle in on Monday, but I forced myself to get to the last fall/winter session swim. I knew it would be more of a fun set, and given that my right shoulder is a bit angry with me (where'd that come from?!?) I felt that lots of drill work would be good for me while offering a bit of recovery. I had a whole lane to myself to get through the 1500m workout - everyone seemed to stay at home - until someone joined me near the start: our coach. I had forgotten she said she'd swim with us on the last session! Sarah, who is literally half my age (and half my width) drops in and starts warming up. "Don't worry - I haven't swam all year" she tells me. (Can you see my eyes rolling?) So now the competitive old man in me gets into it and I think "Alright, kid. Let's see what you've got."
Apparently, she's got a lot. I kept up with the free swim warmup of 200m. But she rapidly left me behind for the 200m pull, 200m kick (she nearly lapped me), and the 200m IM drills. The 4x75 decending set wasn't even a competition as she could have towed me with waterskis on.
But the 8x50m golf set brought us a bit closer. This is where you count your strokes over 50m, then add that to the number of seconds it took to do the 50m. She was hitting mid-60s, but I was close with my best of 71 (my stroke count was 24 on that one). It was a hard effort to do each one, and I just could not break that 71 (let alone hit the mid-60s), but it was cool to know that I wasn't that far from the coach's performance. Got a mental boost out of that.
Today's run was pretty unstructured for me, but I knew that I wanted to get some harder tempo work in. Blair came with me, and was really my motivation as I was rather content on my office chair. We picked it up right from the get-go, and were quickly in tempo territory for me. Surprisingly, I held up well, even with the added heat and humidity that the day brought. We both brought up the HRs and suffered a bit in the heat - but it was kind of fun. I held up much, much better than I thought, continuing to build on Sunday's success. Blair said something that others have told me before - "You're holding yourself back mentally. Now you're getting into uncharted territory."
And finally I'm believing them. Slowly but steadily, I'm pushing further and further, harder and harder, and realizing just what potential is there. And it's a good thing, 'cause the half iron is less than 3 weeks away! (I guess I had better register!)