The training camp has continued to involve something hard every day. Tuesday we did a run / swim in the morning at the 27.5 meter pool. We keep doing the same workouts we would in the 25 yard pool, but instead of 5,000 yards weâ€™re actually getting in 5500 meters. Itâ€™s almost like free mileage because you donâ€™t really notice it when the walls are just a little farther apart. (btw, my hormone level must be getting messed with from all this training because I was watching 24 on Hulu last night and one of the actors said, â€œjust tell me how much further it isâ€, which annoyed the crap out of me because I couldnâ€™t correct her. Why canâ€™t people figure out the difference between fUrther and fArther? Maybe itâ€™s just me, Iâ€™m sure I make my own grammatical errors. And Iâ€™ve also bean craving chocolate, so it has to be the training.) Anyway, the afternoon run was a hard one. 4×8 minutes with 1 minute rest holding the fastest possible average. It was not unlike a 10k for time, and I was definitely the slowest of the boys still. It was after the first interval that I stopped for a quick second to retie my shoe when Kathy Tremblay caught me and I realized that I had better get my act together if I didnâ€™t want to be â€œchickedâ€ (when a guy is beaten by a girl â€“ quite the modest making moment when it happens at this level). I managed to outrun her on the last three intervals, but I was closer to her than I was to the next guy ahead of me.
Wednesday we did what basically amounted to a 5k TT on the bike. To clarify, thatâ€™s 5,000 vertical feet. We started on the side of Mt. Haleakala and rode 3×20 minutes with 5 minutes â€œeasyâ€ in between. The â€œeasyâ€ part, however, was still uphill and I never got my HR even close to a recovery rate. We actually finished the ride at about 4700 feet, but the total ascent for the ride was almost exactly 5,000 ft, according to my Edge 705. This ride marked the turning point for me. I started off conservatively on the first interval and found myself riding with Andrew Russell and Kathy (yeah, sheâ€™s crazy strong â€“ and really nice too). The three of us rode together for for the second interval at a stronger pace, then on the last interval Kathy dropped back and after 11 minutes I was riding solo as Andrewâ€™s legs started telling him about the past 17 days of training heâ€™s put into them. Itâ€™s pretty unbelievable to think that an hour at my best effort didnâ€™t even get me half way to the 10,000ft peak, but it was still a great training day.
Which brings me to today. Another double run with a swim in between. We repeated last weeks run workout of 24x 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds â€œeasierâ€. This time I didnâ€™t try to stay with the group leaders, Simon Whitfield and Kyle Jones. I started off with the main group and found myself running in fourth position with Kyle an Simon long gone and Jeff Phillips coming back to me ever so slowly. Eventually I passed Jeff, ran with him for 5 or 6 more intervals, then fell back as he found a second wind. It was definitely a successful workout, if only because I didnâ€™t do anything dumb like last week. Hooray for small victories!
(A quick plug for my K-Swiss Kâ€™Ona trainers. Iâ€™ve been really pleased how they handle fast running through uneven surfaces like the cane fields and on grass. I havenâ€™t twisted my ankle once, and normally Iâ€™m the type to roll an ankle easily when I pick up the pace on trails. Iâ€™m very impressed.)
Tomorrow we were planning to ride up to the peak of Haleakala, but since everyone seems fatigued weâ€™re going to do another 4 hour â€œbase rideâ€ â€“ which means a 4 hour hammer-fest on the Simon-Pain-Train. Iâ€™d much rather ride up the mountain at a constant effort, and get some cool pictures to replace the photo above, which I took from the peak in 2006 with my aluminum Felt (complete with the strap on bars and fold-up pads). Oh well. Looks like Iâ€™ll have to come back to Maui again to get in my crater ride.