Monday, October 28, 2013

1 more big weekend down

John and I were able to get together for training this weekend.  We hit Hagg lake early Saturday morning for some (cold!) open water swimming.  I got in 2 miles, which is my furthest swim by a long ways this year.  Still, I felt fine.  I get a little better each time I swim.
Then we drove up to Banks and did a 16 mile out and back on the beautiful Banks-Vernonia trail.  I had a tough time for some reason.  The last several miles were pretty tough and I ended up running a good 10-15 seconds per mile slower than my normal cruising pace.   I think this can be attributed to a month of hard training.  It should get better from here on out.   Just hope I'm not getting sick.
I had some pretty bad knee pain for most of the run, which is a little worrisome but I think it will be OK.

Sunday was supposed to be another nice day, with maybe a slight shower or two for a bit.  We headed out west from my house at 8:30am.  The roads were dry and we both rode our nice aero wheels.  It started raining soon after that and didn't really let up until about 30 minutes after we finished.  Still we held a nice 21-22mph pace on the flats and only lost a little on the climbs.   I've learned that a GU every 10 miles works well for me.   I got in 80 and it was kind of miserable but not really very hard.  Bike fitness is pretty good.   My knee hurt with every single pedal stroke for over 4 hours.    But, it doesn't hurt at all today so I think it will be OK.  
I still maintain that the post-ride run is the most important workout of the weekend.   John got his in, but I just couldn't do it due to the knee pain.  Darn it.  

It's still 20 days out, but the weather for AZ is looking AWESOME!  High of 71 and overcast.   I'm so used to doing these things in mid 80's or above.  It would be SO nice to actually get to race in cooler weather.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Biggest weekend complete

Feels good to get the biggest weekend done.  There is still one more big weekend of training but it will be a little less than this last one.    On Saturday I got in an 18 mile run at my new cruising pace (7:54).   As always when you start to get some fitness, the first 5 miles are horrible, then you get about 10 good miles where it is really enjoyable, then the last 3 are hard again.
Sunday was 100 mile non-stop ride.  It was really foggy for the first couple of hours so I headed to the Banks Vernonia trail where I wouldn't have to worry about being hit by a car.  The trail was out of the fog and beautiful though the climb does a number on your average speed.   After 60 miles I met Rick and we did another 40 or so in the hills out west.  It was hard, but I felt better than last week.  I think my average was just over 19 again.
Once the ride was done I did a quick transition and ran 3 miles.  Man, that is hard.  Those 3 miles were easily the worst part of the whole weekend.  I hope it pays off because it sure isn't fun.  Running is the last thing I want to do after finishing off a long ride!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weather + workouts

Well, I guess we picked the right year to do a November Ironman.  I really thought I'd be riding for hours on end in the pouring rain (while John was hanging out in Kona).  But miraculously it's been beautiful weather for a couple of weeks and looks like it is going to continue for awhile.  
I have actually been to the pool twice now.   I hate the pool.  Enough said.
All real swimmers, and even most wanna-be swimmers do intervals.  I'm 100% sure that is the right thing to do to get fast.  But, I'm just not interested.  I just go and swim without stopping.   It might cost me 10 minutes in an IM swim, but I'm saving myself from many hours of torture.  It's a good trade off as far as I'm concerned.
The Garmin 910xt is really an awesome tool for swimming hacks like me.  It counts the laps perfectly, tells me how many strokes per lap, etc.  It's quite interesting to look at the data post-swim and see just how I fall apart.  I seem to get slower and slower in an almost linear way as time goes on.  That is proof that my swimming fitness is bad.  But, I can get better quickly.  I swam 1.2 miles the other day in almost exactly 40 minutes.   So, I can say with 90% certainty that my IM swim time will be between 1:15 and 1:25.   I can live with that.
I'm starting to dread the weekends, even with this nice weather.  I know it means a LONG ride and a long run.  I'm tired of those things, but these workouts ARE ironman.  Race day is just a celebration of the work you did in the months leading up to the race. These weekends 1 month out are the most crucial part of the whole ordeal.   So, I do them.
I did a 16 mile run Saturday at 7:53 pace and a 90 mile ride on Sunday at 19mph.  I'm getting better at both, but I'd still expect my ride to be more like 20mph at this effort.   It could well be because the legs are tired from the Saturday run.  
This weekend will be my biggest weekend with 95+ ride and 18 run.   After this, my runs will get slightly shorter.   I can feel the shinsplints, knees, etc. complaining.  Priority #1 is getting to the start line injury free.  I think I might do my long runs on the trails from here on out just to save the shins and knees as much as possible.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Good weekend

I FINALLY had a descent Ironman worthy weekend of training.  It's still light compared to where I'd like to be at this point, but it at least feels good to get is some decent miles.   Hopefully I can improve on this over the next 4 weeks.
Saturday was a 14 mile run pushing John in the giant stroller.  I just ran an easy 8 min/mile pace but it was still pretty hard for me.  I just don't have great running endurance right now.
Sunday was a long solo 85 miles on the TT bike.  The weather was beautiful but I just wasn't motivated for this ride.  I averaged 19.0mph which is pretty slow for a flattish ride like this, but it still really wore me out.   I think Saturday's run contributed to the fatigue, but the truth is that I've lost a lot of fitness since Challenge Penticton.  The good news is that I can get fit on a bike very quickly.  As long as my health and the weather hold out, I will be ready for the bike ride.