Saturday night was one of the roughest night of sleep I can remember. My skin was itching, smoldering, goose bumped, and otherwise completely lacking in ability to control temperature. Meanwhile, my insides were churning, I had to get up to pee 6 times during the night, I discovered what it would feel like to have the roof of your mouth sun burnt (and some other parts that donâ€™t normally see much sunlight). But by morning I felt 25% better, and went for my â€œlong runâ€ of just 90 minutes. It was the slowest long run of the past 2 years of training. I could not get my heart rate above about 140, my legs wouldnâ€™t turn over faster than about 85 steps per minute (all this is measured on my Garmin 310XT), and every slight incline felt like trying to climb K2. Luckily, I did my run on my own so I could get it out of the way before the sun came up. Had I been with the rest of the group, I would have felt much worse about myself while watching Simon drop Kyle drop everyone else while running well under 6 minute miles (all of them) for nearly an hour. I might have cried.
After the long run I went for a 90 minute "base rideâ€ which had similar physiological discoveries to my run: no power, no speed. I finished early and sat around waiting for my skin to heal for most of the day, and by the time the rest of the guys were ready for their second run I was actually feeling like it might help. We ran 30 minutes and when I came back my ankles, feet, and hands were noticeably less swollen than before. Hooray!
Today, however, was a whole new world. We swam in a public pool with 27.5m lanes (the other side of the bulkhead was measured to 25 yards, but was crowded). We did a 5k set, which was really a 5.5k set, during which I was reminded that I was never particularly good with a pull buoy (still confuses me that I can be a bad kicker, bad puller, and somehow put them together alright). I stayed with most of the guys for the workout, but Andrew McCartney (AMac) is unquestionably part dolphin â€“ he kicked my butt.
The main workout of the day was this afternoon. We rode a little over 2 hours, with 60 minutes where we split into groups and were supposed to ride together at a hard tempo â€“ breakaway simulation. I was put with the B group, which ended up being the most confused group of all. None of us had done the workout the previous week, so we didnâ€™t know the loop. All of us have had health issues weâ€™re getting over. And we were all at various stages of feeling good. I kept feeling better during the ride, AMac misheard the coach and thought he was only doing 20 minutes, and Jeff felt terrible from the start and was dropped back with the girls group. This meant that after 20 minutes I found myself doing a solo TT into a headwind â€“ no fun at all! I saw the coach pulled over on the side and stopped to ask what I should do, and he said some heated words in French, then told me to wait for AMac, who was not supposed to stop after 20 minutes after all. I did and we ended up working together pretty well for the rest of the ride. All except the part where we were on a false flat downhill and I decided I felt good enough to do a 34mph pull for 4 minutes. Thatâ€™s where I found myself alone the second time. Oops.
So all in all Iâ€™m feeling 80% better. Still a little puffy, but nearly back to Seattleite pasty skin again. My run tonight was still a bit slow, but I felt in control of that slowness, and not forced into it like yesterday.