MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




Thursday the 16th…

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thursday Feb 16th was an adventruesome day, indeed. My buddy Todd decided to take the day off from work to join me in the life of a professional triathlete. We opted for an early start to get a jump on the pending 83 degree day! Love those Austin winters!

We walked down the hill for a short swim workout at Stacy. Who can beat this commute: three minutes walk across the street to the pool, if you walk slowly! This free city pool is heated and 100ft in length. The city has a couple of these odd length pools, so you have to get used to swimming three laps to the 100. We did a nice 45min dip, and headed–gear in tow–to Austin Java Co for some breakie… and java.

Pancakes and breakfast tacos (and Latte!) on board, we zipped over to our start point. Our goal was to ride long: six hours even. Since leaving Austin, I’ve not done as many over-distance rides like this, as I found that the intensity was suiting me more these days. This was to be a different ride: long, moderate, and hilly terrain. Me and Todd pushing each other like the old days.

Well, we made about thirty-five miles of this before coming to an abrupt halt. It seems that the extreme quantity of riding I had been logging over the last several days finally caught up to my poor bike frame. My super smooth, superlight, performace CAROBN road bike had met its limit. The folks at Javelin make an incredible line of bikes, but it would appear that this one, as sweet as it is, is not for me. I pushed it to its max, and managed to snap the frame in two! Oops.

I was only stranded for about 90 mintues, as my friend Lon was kind enough to retrieve me. Rather than drive me in, he actually provided me with his back-up bike, so I got to notch another couple hours. The 100+ miler turned into 80 for me. Todd still swung the 6 hours, and we did finish together, with just the break separating us for a while.

In retrospect, the 30 miles I missed on that ride were probably not needed, as I still hit 500miles for the seven days I have had in Texas. Combining that with just under 70 miles running, I think I hit my goal of a solid training camp.

Finishing the ride, I only had about three minutes to spare before I met up with a small group for a run. I had planned on having at least 30-40 minutes to ‘transition’, but alas, I did not.

Shoes and hat, singlet and shorts, grab a gel and go. I booked it over to the meeting place to find I was one minute inside the ‘window’ of acceptable lateness. Our session today included some HILLY, and I mean HHHIIILLLYYY mile repeats. Really it was a five-mile tempo run, as there was no rest between each loop.

My goal was to run steady, as this was some of the first faster running I had done all year… actually since pre-Hawaii. The sea level thing kicked in–as did the Latte!–so I felt pretty peppy. I tried to stay strong and to keep Cassie (my marathon trials hopeful and good buddy!) on pace. I think we went out to fast, as the workout was easily a good thirty seconds per mile faster than prescribed. I can’t complain myself, as it was just perfect, but we definitely pushed each well. I think that normally Cassie and I have very comparable paces, normally when I’m off the bike, and she moderately fresh. It’s a great training partnership.

We cooled down, and I mean this literally, as we were all sweating buckets in this February weather: 83 degrees, no joke!

Next up was a dip in Deep Eddy pool: another 100-footer, but this one is a crisp 72 degrees the whole year ’round. It’s the perfect way to finish a run: soak and splash. I notched another 500 yards after linking back up with Todd.

We were done for the day, minus a fun dinner at Ztejas: margaritas, steak and a lot of laughs.

Friday will be a down day for some recovery and rest: moderate workouts in all three, plus more mexican food!

Until next time.

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