Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Double Brick

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are certain workouts on my schedule that I anxious about completing and prior to starting have no expectations of successfully achieving their expectations. I call these my “Michael, you’re crazy” workouts. Last night, one of those workouts was on my schedule. And, to top it off, according to it was 89 degrees at 6:45 p.m. when I started and the humidity was 90% [felt lik 116 degrees]. West Creek was a sauna.

Here was last nights’ plan – a double brick:

Brick: I want you to perform a pair of bike/run combos at zone 4 intensity [i.e. right below AT]. Run easy for 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes easy on the bike. Now, I want you to bike for 25 minutes followed by a 15 minute run - both in zone 4. Take 5 minutes rest and then repeat. Cool down by running for 5 minutes and cycling for 10 minutes easy. Recover through stretching and a recovery drink.

Before we started, I took 2 salt tablets to try and beat the heat (my attempt to be better at nutrition after last weekend). The first brick was hard but for the most part I felt good. I kept my Garmin displayed on cadence and HR to try and simulate race feel. Team Nature’s Path was also cycling around West Creek and I managed to hold them off during my first cycle segment. After a quick transition to my Newtons, I headed off on the run. I haven’t run in my Newtons for a while and each time I do I remember why I love them. They make my feet feel light and my turnover faster. At the mile mark, my watch read 9:38 and my HR was on target, but climbing quickly. I had to slow down momentarily to keep my HR in check and tried to focus on staying relaxed. Pretty soon my time was up and I was back at the car. Brick 1 done.

During my 5 minute rest, I changed the lenses in my sunglasses to clear since it was getting darker out, grabbed a big gulp of cold water, put 2 electrolyte strips in my mouth and changed back to my cycling shoes. The 5 minutes flew.

As I started back out to Brick #2, I was worried. I was certain I would lose speed this lap and my HR would be higher quickly. To my surprise, I struggled more to keep my HR up on the second bike brick than the first. The loop went quickly and the wind from being on the bike felt good against my hot sweaty self. Back at the car, I transitioned quickly back to my Newtons, grabbed my Garmin and set off. “Only 1 more run to go. Almost done.” The 15 minutes on the run felt good. I was relieved since I had such a terrible run last weekend and because it was my second run segment. Towards the end I felt like I could relax in my pace and my HR was staying constant in zone 4 where it was supposed to be.

Back at the car, I had a huge smile. I finished my “Michael, you’re crazy” workout. And, better yet, while I certainly breathed hard and sweated buckets, I felt pretty good doing it.
Post workout, I allowed myself to look at my splits - completely the reverse of what I expected. And, are these the splits from the same person who raced last Sunday?

Bike 1, 18.7 mph ave; Run 1, 9:45 mph ave
Bike 2, 18.3 mph ave; Run 2, 9:37 mph ave


OrangeBugly said...

Hi Bethany - Love your blog - I am living vicariously through you. Keep up the good work. :) Parker

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

What a tough sounding workout! But look at those great results!

Michelle said...

Whew! What a workout. Sounds like you killed it though! Great job!!