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The 5/3 Monster Brick

This morning’s workout was the infamous “5/3 Monster Brick” that our coaches have been telling us about (meaning 5 hours bike, 3 hours run). I chose the picture above because you know what? The monster was probably more afraid of the IronTEAM than we were afraid of it. We were a bunch of fearless teammates who will take on whatever the coaches give us!

The coaches intentionally chose Westlake Village because of the expected heat this weekend, which will simulate what it will be like on raceday for us Vineman racers. For the Louisville team, they had to even wear cotton shirts under their normal gear because it will be even more humid & hot over there. Yikes! I was really looking forward to this workout because it was the last major build of the season, plus I installed my new 11/28 cassette last night so I wanted to see what difference it would make (it made a HUGE difference in climbing). The majority of the bike course was all that we’ve seen before, so the biggest variant was the heat, so our hydration strategy had to be dialed in. I actually felt really great on the bike – I even got up to 42mph at one point, a new season high! In the 5 hours, I managed to ride in about 78 miles, which wasn’t too bad considering all the hills 7 heat.

It was the run where everything started to break down. I don’t know exactly what I did wrong. Maybe it was the lack of sleep the previous few days? Maybe it was not enough water? Maybe I didn’t set up the nutrition on the bike well enough to power my run? It just wasn’t my running day. I felt tired early on, and was I really bonking at mile 5?! I did quite a bit of walking, as this was probably my most difficult feeling run of the season. I was so hungry that my stomach was growling. I even yawned at one point. Really?!? I talked to my coaches and they said I probably didn’t have enough carbs. That’s something I’ll have to double check, and it really goes to show how important calculating nutrition is, especially on really hot days, where things can go really bad if not planned correctly. Through the aches and pains, I eventually got through the 16.5 miles with life-saving SAG stops by teammates Traci and Elizabeth, then a moving SAG by Kristi who helped with my hunger with some yams that she had in her bento box. If this was a true taste of what’s to come at Vineman, this definitely humbled me a bit, as I can’t take things for granted and really have to pay attention to the details. Oh, the weekend isn’t over yet! Open water swim + run tomorrow. Bring it!