I’ve been hitting the bricks hard this past week and loving it! A “brick” session in triathlon refers to doing two or three disciplines in succession, to simulate race day. Thoughout my months-long training cycles I have done every combination you can imagine – – swim/bike, bike/run, bike/run/bike/run – – you get the idea. Last Friday I also completed the whole damn thing and had an hour swim, hour bike and 20 minute time trial run. Let’s see how that went, shall we?

 

WEEK OF APRIL 18, 2016

RUNNING

I feel like I was able to run a lot and run well, all on tired legs! Almost every time I went out to do a run, my legs felt heavy and my mind went to a place where “I’m not sure I can hit my paces” lives. But, each time, I pushed though, hit my workout goals and had a huge smile at the end. Things are getting good…

Rehydrating after the hill/speed session. Ahhhhh.

Rehydrating after my hill/speed session. Ahhhhh.

Tuesday: Speed and hills! I posted this workout. It’s a killer but makes you feel super strong when you’re done! I covered 8.2 miles including my warm-up and cool down and averaged 7:52 pace

Thursday: 4 x 5 minutes @10k effort with 1 min rest in between. This is one of my favorite runs! I don’t look at my watch during the 5 min segments and try to run by feel. My splits – 7:37 (uphill), 6:25 (downhill), 6:41 and 6:48. Total of 5.75 miles with a 7:30 average pace.

Friday: 20 min 10K pace time trial as part of my swim and bike brick. It was HOT but I managed a 6:50 pace and got *this close* to 3 miles – – 2.93.

Total miles = 16.95

CYCLING

I know you’re probably sick of me bitching about the wind but seriously, I’m so over it! Almost every single ride I had this week was into massive headwinds. I’ve also stopped believing that I will get a tailwind. I just seem to get wind directly in my face or from the side, no matter what. And, I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to come out of the pool and get on a bike and ride into gale force winds.

Let’s just say that if it’s windy and cold on race day, I will be just fine. But please, please triathlon gods do not make it so!

All bundled up and smiling because this crazy windy ride was DONE!

All bundled up and smiling because this crazy windy ride was DONE!

Monday – I rode to the Y, swam and rode home. The only problem was that I was supposed to ride a total of 40 minutes that day and it took me 30 minutes to get to the gym and 38 minutes to get home. Guess which way is hiller? 1 hour ride, 18 miles

Wednesday: Hilly, one-hour ride after swim, 17 miles

Friday: Same one-hour hilly ride after swim and before run but the sun was out and there was almost no wind! #miracle

Sunday: Long ride with friends! Well, supposed to have a been a long run but things did not quite go as planned (see below). I did manage 28 miles so I’ll take it…

Total miles = 86 miles

Flat tires that refused to be fixed do not make for a good long ride day...

Flat tires that refused to be fixed do not make for a good long ride day…

SWIMMING

The pool has been kind to me and, as part of yet another brick session, I had a 25 minute free swim after a 20 minute warm-up. The idea was to mimic my mile long swim in the triathlon which is probably going to take me roughly 25 minutes. Open water and pool swimming are obviously very different animals but, since the water will be cooler (boo!) wet suits will be allowed (yay!) so I will at least have some extra buoyancy.

Monday: Short and sweet 2,000 yards in between biking back and forth to the pool.

Wednesday: Force swim with mostly all pulls before bike – 2,500 yards

Friday: one hour, mostly steady swim, before my bike and run – 2,300 yards

Total = 6,800 yards

Swim, bike, run and DONE!

Swim, bike, run and DONE!

GEAR

It’s FINALLY a new season and my friends at KUHL have hooked me up once again. This time I was sent the Airkraft shirt and Kontra short. My review is up on the KUHL blog site and I talk about why these clothes make me feel like a fraud, but they are so comfy and breathable, that I’m just going with it.

Obviously anyone who wears sunglasses needs this shirt. Check out the built-in sunglass lens cleaner! #legit

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FUEL

I think it’s no secret how much I love pretzels, right? So last week after I had my colossal brick session, it seemed only right that we go to Artisanal Burger in South Windsor and get the colossal pretzel. You must eat your way though it.

Look ma, its as big as both of our heads!

Look ma, its as big as both of our heads!

As if that were not enough, they had a special burger (I think just for me) with fried tomato, goat cheese and arugula. It was as amazingly fantastic as it sounds, with a side of sweet potato fries. And a Sam Adams Summer Ale because I was so excited they already had Sam Summer.

THINGS I LOVE

Learning new things! I try and teach this to my kids because already, at age seven, they are complaining about school! They are in for a rude awakening…and so was I when I signed-up for a bike maintenance class at my local bike shop. I can barely change a tire on my bike and, when I hear something wonky going on with my gears or brakes, I haven’t the slightest clue on how to identify the issue, let alone fix it. So I decided to empower myself and take a class.

This guy has been doing bike repairs for 15 years! He knows everything about maintenance and it was very cool to watch.

This guy has been doing bike repairs for 15 years! He knows everything about maintenance and it was very cool to watch.

So far, this is what I learned:

  1. Disc brakes are coming soon to road bikes which will be amazeballs for keeping them clean and reducing brake fade.
  2. You can get as many as 2,000 miles out of your bike chain before it needs to be replaced
  3. You shouldn’t hose off your bike because it strips it of grease and essential lubes. There was a lot of lube talk. A lot.
  4. How to clean every conceivable part of my bike which I will mostly not do but, some of it was very helpful.
  5. Step by step instructor on how to change a flat and why every cyclist needs a Crank Brothers Speed Lever.

There’s one more class next week and I cannot wait to learn more. #BikeNerd

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

The side eye I get from my dad when I use my new mug:

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I mean, you have to at least crack a smile at this no matter your political views.

READING

Every once and a while I write something that gives me a nervous stomach and makes me feel extremely vulnerable. This was one of those because it was so personal and something I’m not very proud of but, I was tired of having some of my friends who are excellent moms, worry so much about negatively influencing their daughters body image:

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You can read the article HERE and I hope will pass it along to anyone who can relate. Sometimes it’s just good to know you’re not alone.

PODCAST

In a rare unrelated moment to all things swimming, running and biking, I took the time to listen to ESPNW’s Sarah Spain’s podcast, That’s What She Said, when she interviewed one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity. It’s such an interesting listen! For example, did you know:

The creators of Cards Against Humanity hate the idea of Black Friday so much that the first year the game hit stores, they raised the price specifically for that day. The second year? They sold actual boxes of bull’s shit. It sold out in two hours. You clearly need to hear the full story on that one and why this is a great game to play with pretty much any crowd.

A rare moment of me sitting and listening to a podcast!

A rare moment of me sitting and listening to a podcast!

MUSIC

Don’t forget to enter a chance to win the WaterFi waterproof iPod shuffle and headphones! The winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday. Good luck!

RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The first thing I do is lube the nipples.” – bike maintenance instructor during class. I had no clue that the place on the wheel, where the spokes meet the rim on a tire, are called nipples. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing because I’m that mature. And he kept saying it! #willpower

How was your week?

Do you ever brick train?

Have you ever eaten a food as big as your head?

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