I have a child who is almost 19 months old.  She loves spending a few minutes every once and awhile watching the Wiggles on TV.  Well, they have a song that I have heard many times over the past few months – and this morning it was stuck in my mind and I couldn’t figure out why.  It has been at least a few weeks since I heard it – but this morning, there it was… on repeat in my mind.  ugh.  There is nothing like getting ready for a workout at 5:30 am with a song that is written for infant and toddlers stuck in your head.  It was terrible.  But alas, I did my workout – even with the song in my head.

Today was my first ever brick workout.  A brick workout is where you combine two disciplines into one workout, back to back.  The idea is that you are able to practice running with tired legs and an already warmed up body and even possibily an elevated heartbeat.   This isn’t anything I have tried before, so I wasn’t sure how my body would react.

My brick was scheduled for a ride of 70 minutes and then a quick 10 minute run.  Unfortunately, I was up later than I wanted to be last night by around an hour, so I pushed my alarm back by 30 minutes and decided to cut my ride down to a 40 minute ride followed by a 10 minute run.  I would push my bike for the full 40 as hard as I could, so as to make sure I had tired legs before I went for the run.

This plan worked well – and even with the cold temperatures (41* when I started) – I persevered and pushed through all 40 minutes of the bike – hitting an average of 16.5 mph.  This average mph appears to be my normal rate right now.  About three weeks ago, I was at a 15.5 mph average, now 16.5.  It would be great to get to a 17-18mph average before my first race in June.  I just need to keep pushing it, spend more time in the saddle – and STOP cutting my rides short!

After the ride, I pulled into the garage, took my bike jersey and helmet off, switched from my cycling shoes to my Brooks running shoes, threw on a sweatshirt (still very chilly out!) and took off.  This was also my first practice at a transition – and while I wasn’t trying to be fast, I definitely wasn’t taking my time.  I finished my transition and was on the road in 1:47.  At least I now have a time to beat during my next brick workout.

My run was strange.  My heartbeat was high – about 10 beats per minute higher than it usually is during my run.  I thought maybe I was pushing it too hard, but my Garmin 310xt watch indicated I was actually slower than usual.   I decided to just focus on a steady cadence and a smooth breath.  After about 30 seconds of that, I was able to lower my heart rate back to its normal rate.  This made me feel good – I was able to recognize that my heart rate was high, put together a plan, and adjust my run to lower the heart rate. — After I had the heart rate figured out, I was surprisingly able to push my pace and still control the heart rate.  This was great.  I hit the 5 minute mark of my run and turned back towards home.  I got home just shy of the 10 minute mark (which means my return split was around 20 seconds faster than the outbound split).

For my first brick workout, I am very pleased.  Things went well, I pushed it hard (although, I probably should have run faster!  After all, it was only a 10 minute run!).  I made it through the transition well.  And I felt like I learned a valuable lesson on controlling my heart rate.  I am very happy.

As for that song that was stuck in my head.  Well, it is a song called “The Bricklayer Song”.  It is funny how the mind works, isn’t it?  Today I laid my first brick in this training program… and I feel good about it.

Today’s workout:

Plan: BRICK – 70m bike/10m run

Actual: 41:50 bike ride (16.52mph), 1:47 transition, 09:38 run (10:28/mile)