Every Ironman athlete has his/her BIG weekend of training at least once a month on the 1-2 months before Ironman race day. For myself and my athletes, I try to only schedule a few BIG weekends over the course of IM training so that the body has ample time to recover as well as avoiding the possibility of overtraining or injury. Although there are many physiological adaptations that occur throughout IM training, I believe that the mental aspect is one to be trained and that you need to do a few long workouts to prepare the mind, body and soul. I have 8 weeks until Ironman Wisconsin and my training has exceeded my expectations for this year. Not since my first IM have I raced and trained injury-free. However, since my first IM I have never felt this strong. Fast is a relative term and I suppose I feel fast at times but for an Ironman, I don't have to be fast in order to have a great finish. Success in an Ironman is not the fastest person but the person who slows down the least.
Karel left for Dahlonega, GA on Fri morning to ride the mountains with our Gearlink friends until Sun. Karel needed a guy's trip and although I was invited, I needed to stay home and focus on my dietetic stuff.
On sat morning I woke up around 5:30 and after coffee I took Campy on an early morning walk. I prepared my oatmeal w/ walnuts, banana and raisins and afterward I got my bottles and self ready for my ride. I had 3 bottles on my bike. 1 w/ water and 2 w/ 1 1/2 scoops strawberry heed and 1/2 scoop sustained energy (all by Hammer). I also had 3 Hammer gels w/ me and a handful of Endurance Aminos (Hammer). I left around 7:30am (a little later than I planned).
I gave myself a set for the majority of my ride and I tried to do my best at it, despite the wind not being in my favor and a temperature of at least 90-95 degrees for the majority of my ride. After 1:15 warm-up.... 3x's20 min @ 130 watts 10 min @ 115 watts 10 min @ 140 watts 10 min @ 115 watts 5 min @ 150 watts 5 min @ 115 watts 15 min easy spin
I can't download my data until Karel gets home with his computer (WKO+ power tap program) to see what my intervals looked like but I know I wasn't reaching all of my power goals. That's ok, I gave a great effort out there and never got discouraged. I actually had a lot of fun and the time passed by rather quickly. The endurance aminos really help me stay focus and help postpone fatigue so I was sure to take 1-2 an hour after the first hour. I took in 2 1/2 gels (1 an hour) after the 3rd hour of my ride and refilled my bottles w/ water around 2 1/2 hours. What a difference from last weekend when I was 100% discouraged at my performance and not mentally strong. I've also learned a lot about my body throughout this past year of training and I really pay attention to keeping my core temperature down, or as much as I can. Therefore, a lot of water goes on my body, in my helmet and on my face to keep me cool. I plan to have 3 bottles of Hammer on my bike for IMWI and grabbing water at every aid station to stay cool (depending on the weather, which you never know what the day will be like in Wisconsin in Sept).
After 4 hours and 55 minutes and 90 miles later I arrived home and happily accepted lots of kisses from Campy when I walked inside our place.
Campy told me he would gladly run a little with me for my brick run and I took him up on his kind gesture. Campy had a great pace for .6 miles but sadly, he hit the wall and had to walk/jog the last .4 miles. I told Campy that we all have good and bad days and likely, our 2 miles together on Fri probably toasted him for the weekend. Oh yea, considering that it was nearing 12:45pm, I think we both wanted to call it a day after .6 miles of running in crazy Florida heat. After I dropped Campy back at home, I gathered my fuel belt w/ COLD water and a gel and headed out for my run. HOLY HEAT! I made it 2 miles and needed to stop under a tree. I do a lot of mental talk while I train and race and it seems to help. However, at 1:15pm without a cloud in sight, my body and mind where screaming at me. I managed to hold a good pace throughout the run and took in 1/2 gel at my half way point. Before I left for my run I put several ice cubes down my shorts and top and that seemed to help for a few minutes. I plan to do the same at IMWI. Stats for my run5 miles 41 min 8:18 min/mile (including Campy's mile) Mile 1 (w/ Campy): 9:32 Mile 2: 7:57 Mile 3: 7:57 Mile 4: 7:57 Mile 5: 8:08 I'd say consistency was on my side for this run :)
After the run I came home and nearly died. Figure of speech but wow was I hot. It was nearing 1:40am and I was dying for a cold shower. After the shower (w/ my water bottle in the shower) I cleaned up, put on my ice shorts (1 ice packet goes on each quad and 1 goes on each butt/hamstring - great invention!) and made a smoothie. It was not the most appetizing thing after close to 6 hours of training but it was one of those tough it up moments. I added blueberries, strawberries and banana to my whey, milk and yogurt smoothie and topped it with a large handful of cereal. I had several small snacks and meals during the day after my smoothie and made sure I ate every 2-3 hours. I had lots of water during the day....oh how I LOVE water.
Well, early to bed on Sat after spending much of my afternoon doing assignments for my community rotation.
I slept in this morning until 6:10am and the morning was similar to sat except for a sandwich thin PB&J sandwich (w/ walnuts, raisins and banana slices) instead of oatmeal. It sits much better for me before a long run but on an IM race day, I always have 1/2 bagel (or bread) w/ PB and then a bowl of oatmeal.
Well, I wasn't sure what to expect this morning. I knew it would be tough for me to get going and I was stalling all morning. I finally made it out the door at 7:30 and placed a bottle of water in a tree for refueling. I started my garmin and off I went. This would be the longest run of the season and it was better than I thought it would be. My leg started to act a little weird around mile 7 but luckily I was getting close to the middle of my run so after a few miles of feeling a little weird in the psoas/glute region, I made a stop at my loop starting/stopping spot (in front of my apartment) to refuel my fuel flasks. After my fuel stop, my leg was back to normal and I was pleasantly with my energy. It was incredibly hot when I started my second loop and that definitely made it hard to stay focused. Since last week was my longest run this season, I decided to give myself a set so that I could control my pace and not run too hard or too slow. My set 5x's2 miles between 8:15-8:30 min/mile 1 mile between 8:05 - 8:15 min/mile
Well, despite a few mental comments of wondering "why this is so hard" and then telling myself "there's nothing easy about training for an Ironman" I made it home in one piece, with no pain/injury, and ready for a 20 min walk with my Campy. I had 3 amino's over the course of my run and 1 gel around mile 8. I had 6 flasks (starting w/ 1 heaping scoop heed in each flask) and then water (I refilled my flasks for the second time after 15 miles). The first 15 miles I was really focused for and the last 3 miles were just enjoyable, thinking about how amazing the body can be when we take care of it. Stats for my run2hrs and 30 min. 18.15 miles 8:16 min/mile Mile stats1) 8:16 2) 8:15 3) 8:04 4) 8:10 5) 8:16 6) 8:02 7) 8:19 8) 8:24 9) 8:05 10) 8:21 11) 8:27 12) 8:07 13) 8:21 14) 8:20 15) 8:07 16) 8:19 17) 8:31 18) 8:23
With open arms I welcome Recovery Week! The weeks are ticking by and I am really enjoying my 4th Ironman journey. I am amazed that this never gets easier but yet I find myself getting stronger and faster with each training season. I'm really enjoying myself and feeling really good with my recovery and my ability to balance IM training with the rest of my life. Well, back to some assignments and readings for week #2 of my internship. My preceptor has a big week planned for me and I even have a speaking engagement on Fri to a group of employees on corporate wellness and nutrition.