Week Two: IMLP Training and Tales from the LA River

This week played out nearly exactly how I suspected it would. I assumed the previous week’s workouts would at some point catch up to me. The reality was that my legs, heart, whole body and soul held up until Saturday, and then I started to crumble. This was not a shock to me at all. I sensed the heavy eyelid, throbbing body moments were approaching, luckily my mind jumped in just in the nick of time to save me from selfish surrender.

 

There were a few highlights that I would like to share. On Tuesday, I met a lovely 57 year old cyclist named Debbie, while riding around and discovering new neighborhoods on my hill-repeat, pre-swim work out. She was so kind and such a charger, I hope to be as vivacious when I settle into my late 50’s.

Then on Wednesday I set out for my 10 mile tempo run on a course that I run a couple times a week. It is essentially a hilly out and back. It is not exactly a PR tempo course, but it is suitable for measuring my progress because I love it, and run it so often. Moreover, I had been looking forward to this run all week, because 10 miles is my favorite distance to cover, and I was prescribed to unleash my simmering speed.

The air was still, a luxury in my neck of the woods, and cool; overall the conditions were much more favorable than the previous week, and I completely took advantage. I pushed my pace where I wanted to, and was able to maintain a race pace for much of the run, but I was still shocked to discover that I sliced off 8 seconds from my average mile from the week before. Nice.

 

Another work out worth noting is more of a cautionary tale. On Saturday morning I decided to be adventurous and explore Griffith Park on two wheels. The weather was gorgeous, classic SoCal sunny and bright, but as soon as I started to spin something felt off. I think my confidence was shaky because there were so many cars zooming around the park, not a surprise since the Zoo is there, and it is a wonderful place to spend a Saturday. Nevertheless, I put my trust in the bike lanes, tried to relax, and just pedaled along toward the entrance to the LA River path.

 

The bike path is awesome. I had ridden there a couple of years before on my PEDAL training rides, so I knew it would be fun. Unfortunately, the path closed just south of Los Feliz Blvd., so I had to switch to cyclo-cross mode briefly in order to find my way back to civilization.

Soon I was back in Griffith Park and started riding loops which included a steep climb and a twisty downhill section; a necessary opportunity to practice my bike handling skills. The first lap was fine, but the second was not. Just as I was passing through an intersection, after stopping at the stop sign mind you, a large truck rolled through his stop and nearly mowed me down. I yelled out for him to stop and when I looked to my right I noticed he was a Park Ranger. Wow. I finished my loop, but my nerves were rattled, so I opted to end my ride early and head home to punch the punching bag and lift some weights. I added in a little basketball hoops as well, because this tall girl always finds her spiritual center underneath a basketball net. Next up, the heaviest training day of the week, Sunday.

 My late 90's Baller days 

My late 90's Baller days 

 

On Sunday morning I felt sluggish from the moment my dog Blueberry pawed at my shoulder to wake up, and feed her. I knew this feeling would take hold at some point this week, and it did not disappoint. Nevertheless, I made it to the pool on time, lapped the laps I needed to swim, and set out for another 4.5 hour jaunt on my bike. I was dragging at about 45 minutes into the ride, when my phone pinged with the text message alert. I stopped to check my phone just in case it was an emergency, and was beamed back to life when I read a message from my athlete reporting in after completing his first official work out on our year long journey together. Yep, you read that right, I am officially coaching my first runner with his sights on qualifying for Boston. I feel equally excited and calculated in order to help get him to Hopkinton.

Making the step to coaching feels like a natural progression for me, and I am honored that he chose me to help guide him toward his goal. On the flip side, reading that text message gave me the jolt of motivation I needed to persevere through the muck of fatigue, and complete my work out.

In all honesty, the ride was lackluster, but the transition run afterward was magnificent. I ran 2 miles in 15:50 min., a 7:48 mi. avg. What up. In my opinion, the recipe to a solid triathlon performance is being able to run off the bike well. I know that is where my experience shines through, because it is funny sensation, but once your body knows it, the race is on.

 My first run off the bike, Wildflower Olympic, 2005. 

My first run off the bike, Wildflower Olympic, 2005. 

 

On the health front, I watched a wonderful film on Netflix called Plant Pure Nation on Saturday night that I strongly recommend. It covers the positive effects of living a plant based life, but also shows an inside look at State legislature, and the embattled life of a Bill. I think that in our current tumultuous political environment, it is our responsibly as voting citizens to learn as much as possible about how our government operates, and seize our part to change it.

 

More needful information about Plant Pure Nation can be found here:http://www.plantpurenation.com/

 Thank you for your time, and Happy training!

Cheers,

Taryn