We're already well into April, but somehow writing and reflecting a bit on March still seems pertinent at this point in the game. When Beth sent me a Google doc at the beginning of the month with the 16-week build-up to Couer d'Alene, things suddenly felt that they were going to get more serious. With the exception of running, I had been pretty happy with February's training, and the schedule did not overwhelm me. March felt like a different beast, and I know that April and May will bring on even longer and more challenging workouts. But, it was great to return to running in March, and I ended the month with a double digit run and weekly averages over 20 miles - WOO HOO! I still played it cautiously, however, not incorporating speedwork or hills and taking it pretty slow and steady (plodding along, really). In terms of swimming, I've yet to see major gains in speed, but hitting 3,000 yard workouts seems normal at this point, so at least I'm more comfortable with longer distances in the pool. I think about my training for Boulder 70.3 and Vineman 70.3, and I was pretty happy when I swam over 2,000 yards. So, yes, there is major progress there!
The bike has turned into my bete noire in recent weeks, but I blame that entirely on the less-than-inspired rides that I've had. At the beginning of the month, I loved cycling and wanted to do more! No doubt, 3 events over 3 different weekends built up that enthusiasm - between the Desert Tri, the Solvang Metric Century, and Malibu Canyon Half-Century (plus 10), I had bolstered my cycling confidence and really enjoyed, plus I learned from, each experience. However, since those rides, my enthusiasm has waned a bit, and many rides have felt tough both mentally and physically. And I've slow - like I am just slogging through the rides - which gives way to thoughts of not being able to finish the bike course on June 29. I know that where I ride influences my attitude about cycling, and I like that there are routes right out my front door that challenge me and that are pretty great, but I've also fallen into a rut with some of those rides.
Despite some negativity on my part regarding cycling, I ended March with a pretty big training block, taking advantage of spring break and rounding out that week with over 15 hours, most of that on the bike! For many people, a 15-hour training week wouldn't be a big deal, but I was plenty tired by the time it came to a close. And never before had I looked forward to a recovery week with such anticipation! As I trained over spring break, I also realized that I had made a very, VERY good choice to not spend my entire summer training. Being a teacher, summer is a great opportunity to train, but it kind of made me crazy to think that much about training. I think that I could/would quickly obsess about it without the structure that work gives me and without having other commitments that really are/should be my priority.
But this past week (no longer March, I realize) - the much-anticipated recovery week. To my frustration, while last week was definitely a lighter week training-wise, there was plenty of life-stress from school/work... Lots of meetings, and then I spent the weekend as a chaperone which was exhausting (and, no, I don't mean part of the weekend but THE weekend, pretty much). So, I don't feel as focused as I had hoped that I would be as I start this next major training block. But, with Wildflower right around the corner (okay, still about 4 weeks out - that still seems like it's almost here!), I am looking forward to some longer rides and runs.
And, finally, Wildflower... When I was there last year, the water levels in "Lake" San Antonio were pretty low, and then California endured a dry summer and a dry fall and then the rains did not come in the winter months. I signed up not really acknowledging the fact that the CA drought could very well play a role here, and I thought about it periodically, but did not spend much time dwelling on the swim portion of this race. Until a few weeks ago when I received an email about a course change - instead of swim/bike/run it is going to be swim/run/bike/run. It should be interesting!
In the meantime, I'll keep training and will, fingers crossed, keep injury at bay!