Half Ironman Training, Week 3

8:31 PM

There was a lot to be thankful for this week: turning twenty-six and getting a lot of love from friends and family both near and far, spending time with Greg's family, and exploring a beautiful new place. It has been a difficult year for me (personally, professionally, athletically), so it's nice to take a step back and remember the important things. 

Monday 11/21: Weights--starting to increase strength. Focus on standing lat pull downs, leg press, seated row; also did hamstring curl and core. Fueled by birthday cake from my boss.

Work birthday cake
Later that evening, Greg's family made a delicious dinner (skirt steak, pebre, potatoes, asparagus) had his mom made my favorite birthday cake that has been a tradition for the last few years.  His sister and her family came as well, and it meant a lot for everyone to take time out of their days to come over and celebrate with me.

Tuesday 11/22: Swim--warm up, drills, 20 min test set. The pool lanes are set up for short course yards, so that is a LOT of laps. I lost count (a lot) but did some "quick math" and figured that I was holding just under a 2:00/100yd pace (1000 yd total). I also got to use my birthday present from one of Greg's sisters: she was so thoughtful to send a gift of swimmer's shampoo and conditioner, and some other skincare items. Love ya Mern!
Went for a run during my lunch, and managed to run 3.07 miles in 28:28. My run fitness is not where it should be, so right now I'm just trying to get my legs moving again and get some mileage.

Wednesday 11/23: Took the afternoon off because I was so tired. Spent my usual workout time on one of the treatment tables at the office, and wrapped up in a hot pack. My back has been really bothering me lately, and I hope it's just the cold weather (instead of a disc issue, as suspected).

PM--went for a swim with Greg. It was a pyramid workout, which is one of my least favorite workouts. The main set was particularly rough, the water was cold, and I never really felt "warmed up". Somewhere in the middle of the 400 interval, I got really negative and honestly felt like getting out of the pool and calling it quits for the day. It was great motivation having Greg in the same lane. Even if the pool is completely empty, he will still share a lane with me. And lap me multiple times, no matter how much of a "head start" that I get!
My current feelings about running.
Main Set Fun. Not.

Thursday 11/24: Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with Lu! It was a high-stress day, just because we had many things to do that day in terms of traveling and plans with family. First on the list was Greg's nephew's FIRST EVER RACE. And honestly, I think it was my first ever "Turkey Trot"!

We crossed the starting line and got out of the initial crowd pretty smoothly. Once he had enough room, he started to sprint! This kid was FAST. I had to work to keep up with him for a good few strides. He settled into a steady pace heading into the first turn, and then took a pretty impressive racing line, accelerating out of the turn and everything! He started to get a little tired, but once we rounded the corner to the finish line he got a second wind.We had a pre-race "pep talk" in the corral. He was a good listener, knew the course, and even did a few push ups at the starting line! There were a few younger kids doing the 5k (we did the 1k) and he was immediately inspired to try the 5k distance next.

He ended up maintaining an 8:30 mile pace for the 1k! I forgot to tell him that he would be receiving a medal...after his victorious finish, he walked right past the volunteer who tried to place the medal around his neck!

Lu is a great kid, and I hope he enjoys running for many more races to come. I am honored that I was able to be a part of his first experience in the "running world".

The best finish line photo, ever.
The rest of the day included packing and traveling. We packed up our normal gear, our bikes, bike gear, and headed to the Central Coast for some family time.

Friday 11/25: Dear Santa, please bring me cold weather cycling gear. Also--wine. Love, Rebecca.

We had big plans to do a brick workout at first light, but we checked the weather and it was scheduled to hit 50 degrees F at 10am. Um, what? We took our time heading out, and finally braved the cold. I am fully aware that there are many places that are actually considered cold, but we had been experiencing Santa Ana wind and 80+ degree temperatures recently--so this was quite the shock!

Greg and I set off along the beautiful roads of San Luis Obispo, thanks to his brother David who recommended this route. We were excited about the wide shoulder, generally clean roads, and cars that were actually courteous to cyclists. Many moved over and gave us more than 3 ft while passing, and sometimes heading to the opposite lane. The weather was cool, slight headwind, rolling hills towards the coast. We made great time and made it to Morro Bay in less than an hour. While riding along the embarcadero, we followed behind some slow vehicles and pretended that they were pace cars! We ended up averaging 15.8 mph and making the 30 mile journey in less than two hours.
We returned to SLO, changed into some wine-tasting clothes and tried to make the best of our helmet hair, and headed off to Paso Robles. My boss highly recommended Denner, so I had called ahead to make an appointment. We arrived after fueling up on post-ride burgers, and headed off to the winery. Val helped us out and explained each selection. It certainly did not disappoint! Every single pour was my favorite. I don't typically like white wines, but I did make an exception for the viognier. After a lot of deliberation (and revisiting our top choices!), we ended up taking home a bottle of Ditch Digger. We had such a great time, and hope to return again soon!
Castoro Cellars and Peachy Canyon were our next stops, before returning to Greg's brother's home. We started taking an interest in wine this year, and really enjoy learning and tasting different kinds of wine. After lounging around and hanging out with family, we all went out to dinner for some Korean BBQ. Thanks for not judging my kimchi consumption, you guys <3

Saturday 11/26: OFF. Another day spent with family enjoying movies, before finally packing up and traveling back home (after reluctant goodbye's). It was cold and rainy, and Greg developed a pretty bad toothache once we returned home. The rest of the evening was spent panicking (me) and frantically calling dentists and making multiple pharmacy stops.

Sunday 11/27: Bike ride, indoors. Hill workout 1:00:00. It was not pretty. But not all bike rides can be fun and outside, especially when it's 28mph wind gusts and generally bad weather.

To take our minds off the stressful toothache fiasco, we put up our tiny Christmas tree! While we were in the Central Coast, we were inspired by his sister-in-law Krystal who made their home feel like Christmas already.

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 2:00:00, 4600 yd
Bike: 2:54:13, 45 miles
Run: 28 min, 3.07 miles

Goals: Bike + Run more. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Incorporate more Central Coast family/wine/training weekends in the near future.

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