Newsflash - training for an Ironman is tough! :) Oh wait, you all already knew that? HA!
Not that I thought it would be easy of course. But boy are we getting down to brass tacks! (sidenote - I don't entirely understand what that saying means but I think I'm using it correctly :)
These next few weeks are the BIG ONES. I really only have about 4 more left before the taper! Scary but true! But in those final four weeks, there is much work to do and much strength to be gained.
Every day seems like a big day now. Add that up each week and then do it week in and week out and you have yourself ready for an Ironman! (I hope!)
Yesterday was a 3 sport day starting with a 2:45 bike. This bike had some intervals in it so I rode down to what we in Pittsburgh call "The Oval" (a 1/2 mile oval that is perfectly paved and does not allow motorized vehicles - absolutely awesome for bike intervals). Once at The Oval I noticed that there was a girl from one of the local cycling teams also doing intervals on her TT bike. Oh yeah! Without her knowing I could use her as a rabbit. Except she was moving quite a bit faster than me. On my 2nd hard interval her and I played a game (bet she didn't even know she was playing!). I started about 400 yds in front of her and made it my goal to hold her off for 2 laps. Then when I did that, 3 laps. Then 4! I was getting so excited! HOLD HER OFF! I pedaled harder and harder and was so excited to see my HR go up like it should! And then...(it's okay to laugh at me), I realized something. She was no longer at the track! HAHAHA! At some point she must have ridden off but I never noticed and the whole time thought I was riding hard enough to keep her behind me. Ooops. :) Still though, on that interval I achieved my highest HR for the day. :)
Also yesterday was a 50 minute run where I ran much faster than usual. The fact that it was 70 degrees instead of 90 (even in the middle of the day) had something to do with that I'm sure. :)
And finally O and I finished our day off at the pool with a 4500 yd swim. It's that time of the year when our YMCA is closed so we have to drive to the next YMCA over which is ~40-45 minutes away. It makes me sooooo thankful that I usually only drive 5 minutes to swim! Anyway, this Y has a really nice cold pool that I always swim fast in (I'm guessing because of the fact that there is about a 10 degree difference in water temperature) so I'm not complaining! I was so, so hungry when we were done though, I thought I might eat my arm off! We usually eat dinner at 5 so when we didn't eat until about 8 last night, even Oscar was starting to look awfully yummy... :)
This morning I woke up and laid in bed wondering what my body was going to do to me if I tried to run hard. No sense in wondering, let's go find out!
After doing a couple hours of work at home I set off for the day with my lunch box packed and my gym bag busting at the seams. First stop was my favorite trail for my hard fartlek. I covered about 10 miles total and felt a little like pooh the whole way. :) It was enjoyable to run easy but running hard was a bit messy. I figured that was going to be the case. :)
Next I headed to the (far away) YMCA where I got into the nice cold pool for my first ever 6000 yd swim! Woo-hoo! I felt good and strong but dang is that a long time to swim! The set was 5x800 (some straight, some broken) with some 150s tacked on at the end for good measure. This time I brought food with me. :) By the end my lats were screaming. And of course right after the swim I headed to the weight room to lift. Major ouch.
Anyway, that is a sampling of how the days have been. It's a lot for sure but I do really like it and can feel myself getting stronger. Particularly on the bike I can feel all those miles making a difference! For sure it makes me appreciate the training that many do year round training for multiple Ironmans. Those people are animals! And I'm also very, very thankful that I'm healthy thus far. What a HUGE blessing as this was my worst fear with moving up in distance.
Now let's just hope I survive the next few weeks. In one piece. Heck, I'll just be happy if I can survive masters practice tomorrow morning! :)