5:15 came much earlier than what seemed appropriate this morning, but come it did. Today’s training plan called for a ride in the morning and a swim in the afternoon/evening. My work schedule threw down the gauntlet, with an early morning meeting that kept shifting 15 minutes back and forth in the schedule. I finally decided to get started a little earlier than I would have preferred to make sure I got most of my ride in regardless of what happened with the meeting; hence the 5:15 wake up.
One of the challenges of training in two places is moving all the pieces and parts around with me. If I wasn’t so cheap, I would keep a complete set of gear in each location. However, I am as cheap as dirt and tight as wallpaper, so I pack my accessories with me when I shuffle between Little Rock and Tampa, hoping not to forget anything significant.
One thing I did leave in Tampa by mistake was my headlight. That meant the first 15 minutes or so of this morning’s ride were illuminated only by the streetlights along the main road. Not an optimum situation for seeing or being seen, but I was determined to get the ride in. The Ion headlight that I use is relatively inexpensive, so I could certainly afford to keep one in each training location. Given the shorter days on the horizon, it’s probably worth the price.
My primary route is still under road construction, so I stuck with the alternate course with the really long, steep hill. It’s a good workout, and helped make up for the fact that I could only do 15 miles this morning instead of 20. When I count that hill both ways, and the climb back into my neighborhood, I got three good climbs in, plus a series of rolling hills along the way.
The evening swim was my first real endurance effort in a couple of weeks. Having the privilege of a full-sized pool, I decided to do a 2000 yard main set after a 250 yard warmup. The pool was mostly empty when I got there, and I had a lane to myself for the entire time. Go figure, 5:00 Friday evening is not a busy time for swimming laps. Sometimes it pays to be obsessive. The swim went well, although my times are still pretty mediocre. I’ve accepted the fact that, having just taught myself to swim last winter, this year will not be marked by dramatic speed improvement. Speed will be my focus next year. Fellow triathlete Elisariva has been using the Total Immersion method to improve her speed; I have the DVD set from TI, but haven’t really given it much of a chance yet. To be honest, I didn’t feel like I could afford to take the time away from the swim workouts I could fit into the schedule to dedicate to the drills. Again, maybe next year.
Tomorrow is a bike/run brick, which I’ll try to knock out early in the morning before it gets too hot. It’s been a good week of solid training so far, and the brick will be a nice finale.