I postponed yesterday's tempo ride until early this morning. I hoped by doing so, I'd be able to go hard enough to keep my heart rate at 143 bpm during today's session.
I also didn't do yesterday's blog post until later today, I was too beat. I don't know why, but I felt bad about not having it up earlier.
It's funny, on Saturday, John Barclay gave me shit about being late with the blog post. It was like his paper boy didn't deliver his paper on time and he wasn't happy about it.
All I have to say to everyone is donate to theTPPF baby . I need some loving and that's spelt "B-E-E-R". The cost for the new Zipp 404's have come out of the household beer, cigar, food, clothing, electricity, and gas budget. As an added bonus, all who donate before Kona, have a 5% chance of getting a postcard from Hawaii.
It was one "tough ride", perhaps the toughest I've EVER had. I went hard the minute I got on the bike and with each pedal stroke my quad's burned and hurt. For the entire ride, not once, did my muscle pain subside or get masked by endorphins.
This was NOT a mailed in ride. I even decided to take the harder route with hills and spent more time going into the wind than not. All I did was look at my heart rate monitor and if it fell below 140 bpm, I pushed the pace. Even on the downhills I was able to keep the heart rate high.
There was no greater joy than when I finished. I was relieved it was over. I was also pleasantly surprised I averaged 33.4 kph. Although, I've never pushed that hard at such a slow speed. Even when I've averaged 36 kph or more in 70.3's I wasn't in near the same amount of effort and pain as today's ride.
I doubt today's ride will ever be forgotten, it was a "gut it out" and "gut check" ride. I can't stress enough how much pain I felt and there was lots of mucus coming out of my nose. I assumed it was from yesterday's ice cream. I didn't even take one drink from my water bottle the entire time.
Since yesterday, I've set up my office on the mezzanine level of the house. With Reid back at school, the area is now not being used. I think it may be the best move I've made. It's a great way to keep regular working hours. I think it may also help me lose weight.
When I worked on my computer from the kitchen table, I found myself constantly working and eating. The worst part of eating when you're on the computer is that you don't know how much you're eating. Then, when you stand up to stretch or go to the bathroom it seems only natural to check out the pantry for food.
In only two days since moving my office from the kitchen, I find myself getting into a routine and I like it. I'm out of the way of Alice, the pantry and I feel more focused.
Later in the afternoon I went for my tempo run. The one thing I like about running versus biking is it's easier to get the heart rate up to 143 bpm. Surprisingly, even after this mornings "brutally hard" bike session, I ran faster than anticipated.
Again, my recent training "ups and downs" are completely unpredictable.
I am really concerned about this weekends 70.3 race in Syracuse. If I continue to feel flat, it's going to be a "long" race. If I was able to do it "fast and hard", it would be the perfect speed session leading up to Kona and would give me a confidence boost.
During my run I was listening to the IMTALK podcast. They were interviewing a pro-woman and she was discussing the winds and heat in Kona. It hit me at that moment, "don't expect to set any PB's". I underestimated the heat in China and got a "wake up call", heat just sucks the energy from you. Add some wind and it's NOT going to be an easy day.
I really wish I knew a place with a sauna or steam room that I could use. If I was smart and motivated, I'd spend some time everyday in some sort of "hot box". They have them at the YMCA, but I don't have a membership that allows me in that area.
The more I think of it, I really regretted not spending time in "man made heat" before China. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and figure out where I can go to sit in the heat and suffer. Better now than later.
On the new Zipp 404 front, I can't tell the difference if they are faster or slower, I have no energy to push it hard. My hope is that they will be better descending wheels and help me avoid "self induced speed wobbles". If that happens, they are worth every penny.
I also sent an email to Mark Allen asking if my exhaustion is normal at this stage of the training. He said it was and recommended some slight adjustments to my schedule and reiterated to keep getting more sleep than normal. This week I've been really good at the more sleep part.
The one thing I'm proud of right now is I'm training hard and not coasting. On my run I was thinking about other qualifiers and thought it would be easy for a lot of us just to take it easy, after all, qualifying is what it was all about. For most of us non-podium contenders, the race is secondary, we just want to finish and say we did it.
My motivation right now is to show up to Kona with no regrets. The last time I did Kona, "I suffered Big time", I couldn't even walk after I crossed the finish line. I have three goals for Kona. The first, is to finish. The second, is to finish strong. The third, is to beat my previous best Kona time of 13:23:43. If I do that, I'll be a happy man.
Okay, I lied, I only have one main goal and that's "to get to the start line healthy and to finish". The other two are just bonuses.