Sunday, July 14, 2013

HammerFest 2K13 and OWS

HammerFest is my annual rite of passage.  I like to think of it as a week every year where I become one with training.  But actually its just a week where I workout like a freaking idiot because the kids are gone.  I try to get it in every year.

HammerFest this year ended up being a little disjointed.  I didn't have my normal full week sans kids as my parents brought them home on the Friday of HammerFest.  But the week prior, I was up at my parents' lake house in Indiana as was obvious from my previous race report.  So I got quite a bit of open water swimming (OWS) in.
No, we are not talking about the small coastal town in Norway.
Syracuse Lake is almost perfect for OWS.  They have bouys all around the lake perimeter that is a no wake zone for boats.  The water is pretty clear and it is only 3-5 feet most every where you swim.  So it's pretty safe because you don't have to worry too much about boats and you can just stop and stand up if you get into trouble.  Plus I always wear an obnoxious yellow or orange swim cap so people can see me.  I would usually get out early, before 7am, when there are only a few fisheman out.  

GPS Mapping of my last swim
The week we were there, I got in 6 swims for a total of 8.31 miles or 14,625 yards.  The first couple of days I just did 1 mile to get used to it, then I did 1.5 miles each time.  It definitely felt better as the week went on.  I wanted to get a 2 miler in, but just didn't have the gumption.  I also had a good run week in with 45 miles total.

With the weekend of HammerFest being a little limited on time, I had to skip my usual 4th swim of the week on Saturday.  But that's OK considering the week I had prior.  I ended up with a 14 day swim total of 23,625 yards, so I was pretty pleased with that.

The plan for HammerFest week this year was 3 swims, 6 bikes, and 5 runs.

3 Swims, 9,000 yards, Time: 3:26

I did my regular 3 swims at the Y on Mon, Wed, and Fri.  I actually felt pretty good and I was relieved to be back swimming at my normal pace.  The week of OWS was great, but my times per 100 were quite slow.  I had some good threshold 100's on Mon where I average in the low 1:30's with a minute rest.  Wed was a big base workout where I got 3,300 yards in.  On Fri I did some good 300 repeats with the last being at a 1:40 pace

6 Bikes, 309.67 miles, Time: 14:10:36, for a 21.84 overall average for the week.

Ah the bike.  Easily the crown jewel of HammerFest 2K13.  The goal was 300 miles.  My previous best was 266 during last years HammerFest.  I felt pretty confident I could get it in with 6 rides planned, but the weather around here lately has been rain, rain, and more rain.

Mon was my usual 30M interval ride and it went well (22.8 avg). Tues was a 52 miler through Waxhaw (21.6 avg).  I lucked out as Mon and Tues it rained during the day, but was beautiful when I rode.  Thursday morning I got up at 3:30am, did my Tega Cay night right (then went for a run).  The roads were a little wet but wasn't raining.  It rained quite a bit that night though, again lucky.

Fri was my Tempo ride and I was a little flat.  I averaged 24.9 mph for the 20 miles and 23.6 for the entire ride. Two weeks before I did the same ride but with 25.1 and 24.0 averages.  Undaunted I headed out Sat morning for Rock Hill and Lake Wylie.  I felt good on that 61 miler and averaged 21.7.  Heavy rain clouds, but only got a few sprinkles.

So Sunday was the big one.  I left the house at 4:45 am and rode the Tega Cay 160 route until it got light.  Then I headed toward the Airport and up to Mountain Island Lake.  Streets were wet initially but only got a few sprinkles in the first couple of hours.  I didn't start out too fast (21.1 avg through 25 miles), but mostly just due to the early hour and the course.  Then the rains came.  It rained off and on for the rest of the ride.  When it did rain, it rained hard.  I got a good soaking and the streets had a lot of puddles in them.  But I persevered and did not turn back early.  92.2 miles in 4:20 for a 21.28 average. It felt great to have my longest ride ever cap off my biggest week ever.

5 Runs, 45 miles, Time 5:12:33, for a 6:56.7 overall average for the week.

I started out with my long 16 miler Tue morning.  It went well as I averaged 6:59's.  Wed I got up early and ran before my swim.  It was a little brutal after Tue's run and I averaged 7:56's but luckily it was only 5 miles.  Thu I did a brick after the morning ride.  I like doing bricks as I'm warmed up from the first mile.  I did that 5 miler at a 6:54 average.

Sat afternoon I did an interval run. It wasn't too hot out and I ended up with a 6:41 average for the 10 miles.  Sun afternoon's Tempo run did not go so well.  I ran at 4pm when the sun decided to make an appearance and it was stinking hot.  I was going to do a 6 mile tempo, but ended up cutting it short at 5 miles.  Even then I only averaged 6:22's for the 5 miles.  I jogged home with a 6:38 average for the full 9 miles.  HammerFest had caught up with me.  Either the 92 mile ride in the morning, or the riding all week, or the 10 miler the day before just took it out of my legs.  At least I know I pushed it to the limit. It's good to find the wall every now and then.  It lets you know you are pushing hard enough and not taking it too easy.

14 SBR workouts, 359.8 miles, Time: 23:34 (with 3 lifts)

All personal records.  I worked out out twice every day to get the 14 workouts in.  Nice symmetry. I lifted Wed, Fri, and Sat.  All in All a great HammerFest, and a great 2 weeks of working out.  It's cool to see my name at the top of the Slowtwitch Training Log Bike Leaderboard.  I was third in aerobic points (580) for the week as well.

So HammerFest 2K13, we bid adieu.  Until next year.  I will miss you, but I think of you often and the time we shared together.  It was great (except for the stinking tempo run!).