Oh Dark Thirty

My body is adapting to Ironman training. I can workout hard during the day, go to sleep a little later at night, and wake up earlier the next day.  Take today, for instance.  I woke up at 5:20 a.m.  Well-rested.  Refreshed.  Not groggy.  On seven hours' sleep.  When my training ramped up in intensity last month, I was sleeping eight to nine hours a night.

Since I was awake so early, I decided to make a push for the pool and cram two workouts back-to-back.  Two brick days in a row.  The swim portion was pretty tough: 2,600 yards with 300 warm-up, 500 drills and then three sets of five 100-yard intervals at T-pace.  Throw in a 300-yard cooldown swim for good measure.  During the intervals, I established a new personal record for fastest 100, 1:48.  My T-pace is usually between 2-2:05.

My buddy Dustin showed up early too, which was nice.  He's been busy with work lately so we got to catch up for a few minutes prior to my workout.  One of my Fortius teammates, Lisa, was also swimming.  She's a rockstar though and had greater distances than me to cover.

After the swim, I quickly swapped clothes and bundled up for a 45-minute interval run.  The main portion consisted of five three-minute intervals keeping my heart-rate between zone 4-5a (up to around 168 bpm).  It took a few intervals to get there, but I did.

I also tried out a new product today: injinji's Performance series tetrasok.  My friend and training partner, Ann, swears by them. So I figured I'd give them a shot. Picture running on mittens for your feet.  The socks are designed to reduce blisters and enhance traction, best used for trail running.  Outside of a little awkwardness trying to fit my little toes into each individual opening, the socks performed fine.  I'll wear them again this Sunday on our group run and share my thoughts.

The best part of the day though, as usual, had nothing to do with the training.  For months, I've been frustrated by not finding a way into the beautiful man-made lake park behind the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center.  It had what looked to be the perfect running path, but the gates are always locked.  What to do?

I found the entrance inadvertently, by running a much longer path around a block and a new stretch of road I hadn't explored before.  There, I saw the true entrance to the park, with no gates!  At last, I could run with a tranquil morning view of lakefront homes, geese, ducks, swans and the mist rising off the lake.  A beautiful sight indeed (pictured).

Sometimes it takes a roundabout journey down unexpected paths to find the view you've been seeking.

Seems like a running theme lately.

285 days and counting.