It's Week SEVEN!  Here are some of my notes from the past two weeks:

SATURDAY RIDE + RUN - This week I tackled 63 miles with Erica, Jen, Allison, Andrea and Melissa. It was hot and muggy and our course was tough. I'm not feeling strong on the bike right now. It feels like my weakest link.  I've been struggling with that mentally but today's ride was still fun and challenging and strong.

Sunflower Sutra

Sunflower Sutra

SUNDAY SWIM - I slept in! And by sleeping in I mean I woke up at 6:15a. Renee and I met at the beach for an easy swim. It was therapeutic and I really enjoyed the push from the current. Plus, I could really feel the water today. I was catching the water and enjoying the ride. Renee called me JenniJetPak and I felt fast in the water.

MONDAY BIKE - I cycled today at the pain cave. I loved the workout with Matt, Jenny 2.0 and Jenny XP. It was a pyramid that built by power. It was raining when I left and I opted not to run.

TUESDAY SWIM & RUN - This was a hard day. Loved the swim. It was challenging - mixed strokes, shorter rest between sets and some serious kicking. Midway through the second set I was praying for thunder. I was doubting myself and pushed through. The run was tough, too. My plan called for an hour and ten minutes with 2 x 15' build to 5K pace. I thought, well, I'll do the 2 x 15 and just run and hour. I am proud of myself for getting out there, doing the work and running the whole workout. I even turned down an extra street in order to get in the entire 1:10. I even saved an alligator turtle.

Baby Alligator Turtle. Not Cute.

Baby Alligator Turtle. Not Cute.

WEDNESDAY RUN TEST & CYCLING CHALLENGE - There is a trickle of fear that every southerner feels when they wake up to find condensation on the window panes. There is a lightening bolt of fear that even an IRONMAN feels when you wake up to a run test in that kind of heat and humidity.  I headed to the track today to try my hand at a regression rate test. For long course athletes, the test is: one mile all out + complete recovery + two miles all out. It helps you find your rate of regression (how much you'll slow down) in longer races. I was scared to hurt. But I'm in the BIDIA club (but i did it anyway). It was hard and I didn't do as well on the test as I'd like. It's a good gauge of what I need to work on to meet my goals and I'm glad I did it.

I also needed a bike that day so I headed to the pain cave. I tried to bribe the coach with a birthday card and gift (three Gu's - one for every decade), but it didn't work. He had us do progressive hills. I was worried that my legs might give out, but rode like I was in an ironman - I kept my power in zone 2 and low zone 3. While all the boys (and Jenny XP) were pushing 100% of their watts, I was steadily climbing. Jealous, but doing the work.

THURSDAY SWIM - I swam again today and was relieved to do less than 3000 yards. I am toast. I wore my drag suit and it was appropriate for how I am feeling. It's been ten days without a break. I can tell I'm overreaching. I'm tired but can't sleep - I wake up before my alarm (yesterday at 4:30, today at 4:15). I feel like I might cry at any minute and I'm going to hulk out on my husband if he chews too loudly at dinner (again).

I also had a pilates lesson today that was truly amazing. I've said it before, but pilates is such an amazing sport. And I have an incredible instructor. I asked for some arm work and some stretching - especially on my left side - and I left feeling taller and stronger. She was able to hone in on what I needed and although I looked at the clock several times during a few of the tricep exercises/torture she put me through, I was amazed at what we fit in to help me unlock some of the tight spots in my body.

FRIDAY SWIM - An open water swim with an awesome current this morning with Kristen, Ace, Sprunt and Connor. We started in the dark at Blockade Runner and swam south of the Coast Guard Station (1.45 miles) in about 33 minutes. It was fun and fast and was just what I needed to stretch move without pushing too hard.  I was supposed to run after, but forgot my shoes (oh, oops). I was going to take tomorrow off, but I think I'll get my run in, bike long on Sunday and take Monday off completely.