Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today's Workout: Back in the pool

Up at 4:30 AM today to join the Masters swim class. Abs then off to the pool.

I cannot believe how winded I still am. I had a 45 minute workout which was not very difficult but I was sucking some air. This is still an active recovery week and I will be back to normal training next week. Despite the reprieve, I am feeling my body recover. 1,900 meters of form work today.

Tomorrow, the plan calls for a 45 minute bike. I can't help myself. I will probably bike and do a tiny run and hopefully bike into work. No rest for the weary, the Cancun Half-Ironman is just around the corner.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stay Tuned

I'm still recovering, mostly just sleeping. Slowly but surely I am starting a little bit of exercise. Today I hit the abs and rode my clunker bike to work. Everything felt great. I'm looking forward to getting back in the water and lacing up my running shoes.

As for my blog, I will continue to keep it updated. I have one more race this season, a half-Ironman in Cancun, Mexico. Last year the heat index was 125 degrees and yet I have vowed to return and shave time off of last year's performance. My "shoot for the moon" goal would be to qualify for the National Championship 70.3 in November. I'm hoping that if I squeeze my time closer to 6 hours, my new age group may have a roll down slot for me.

Look for updates on my Cancun preparations beginning within the next week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Road to an Ironwoman, done!

What a tremendously long day. We arrived at KR's place at 4:30 AM. Her place was nicely positioned next to the swim start so we rendezvoused there and began the process of dropping off our special needs bags then heading to the transition to put food and drink on our bikes. We were done by 5:45 AM (trust that these two points are not close in proximity to one another) and we headed back to KR's for some last minute stretching and to put our wetsuits on. We were on the beach to see the women's pro swim start at 6:25. By 6:30 we were in the water for our 7 AM start. I was not too pleased that we had to get out and tread cold water for 30 minutes but the race officials were adamant that everyone be positioned early.

The swim
I lost KR in our swim out to the course. Everyone looks alike in their goggles and cap. Nonetheless I positioned myself toward the front and in the middle. I tried to find a school of women to swim with but with so few in the race this was impossible. The cannon went off and I put my head down and started swimming. Immediately I was swept up in the draft of 2,200 competitors which meant for the first .6 miles I was swimming but with very little effort on my part. At the turn I found someone's feet and stayed on them drafting the entire length of the return. I popped out of the water on to the beach heading for my second loop at 43 minutes, slightly better than I anticipated.

In the first loop I had my goggles pulled off twice, once on the way out, once on the return. It was odd, I was swimming along calmly and in a flash my goggles were off. Mercifully they were under my cap so while they did not cover my eyes they were still on my head. I did not panic when this happened, it happened at my last race so I knew to just calmly take a minute and get them back on. Last night I discovered that one of those incidents created a black eye but during the swim, I felt no pain.

In my second loop I lost the feet I was drafting off o and swam too wide. I kept trying to cut back but kept drifting. I hate when that happens. My total swim time was as predicted one hour and 30 minutes exactly. This despite the fact that for three-quarters of the swim my teeth were chattering uncontrollably. The water temperature was maybe 69-70 and the air had not hit 50 degrees.

The bike
Out of the swim the wetsuit strippers helped me get out of my wetsuit and I headed to transition teeth chattering. I had to have assistance getting changed because I was shaking uncontrollably and then some volunteers spent a few minutes rubbing my arms and legs to try and warm me. Heading out on the bike I was freezing and continued to shake for the first 15 miles.

I had the bike course mentally broken down into 5 parts: the downhill, the road to Jay, the road to Haselton, the "finger", and the Wilmington to LP stretch. My plan was to be conservative in my first loop, settle into the bike, feel out my legs. No one hill is difficult but cumulatively the hills can destroy you. Once I was off the downhill (where my heart rate is pumped out of fear) the road to Jay is tiny rollers that you can stay in aero and catch speed on. The turn toward Haselton features a 3 mile uphill, I was passing folks there like they were standing still. The finger is more difficult on the way out due to grade and rollers, it is quick on the return. As I was entering the finger, KR was coming out. I knew then I could not makeup the hour of distance between us for a joint finish but I was so pleased that she had killed the swim and was doing the same on the bike. My favorite part of the course is the 12 miles of hills back into Lake Placid. I was spinning like I was on the Tour de France. When I reached the top, unlike in Ironman camp, my legs felt great so I decided to hit the second loop a little harder and leave it all out there.

That plan changed as a result of two things: an accident and the wind. The wind had picked up and we had a crosswind on the downhill that was pretty strong. A guy in front of me wiped out on the second part of the downhill, I think he was blown over. It was rather serious as they were administering oxygen to him when I was able to ride by. I didn't look but I did mentally file that in my caution drawer. I was incredibly pleased to get to the bottom of the hill unharmed. The road to Jay gave us a headwind which cut my speed by 3 mph, that kind of stunk. The finger was uneventful until the end. A woman in front of me must have looked at her watch or something and just fell right in my path. I was able to avoid her but I stopped to make sure she was ok, pull her bike to the side, find her some shade while one of the other competitors rode ahead to get medical aid. She had some minor road rash on her face but it was an important lesson that because of your fatigue it is the simple things that can cause you to fall. The hills coming back to town were more difficult but I was pleased to still be spinning and passing folks.

The run
This can be more accurately described as two runs. The first half of the marathon went as planned. My timing was perfect, I walked through each aid station. Since the last part of the bike, I was having difficulty eating and drinking. Despite this, my stomach felt fine but I could not really swallow so nutrition was a huge concern. I also was concerned that I was not sweating so I had some coaching on the course. My coach thought everything was fine. She felt I was sweating some and that the cooler temperatures of the evening were why I was not sweating as much as I thought I should. As long as I felt well, which I did, everything seemed in order. That lasted maybe another mile before I was definitely sick. From there on out I could run in spurts of a half mile before getting the dry heaves, pleasant. I ended up doing a walk run combination with Steve, a skeleton sledder from Wilmington who works for the Bobsled Federation. This was his first triathlon--yes, I said triathlon.

On the run course, I ran into my high school PE instructor/coach who volunteers at the race every year. Once she knew I was competing she met me out on River Rd or what I refer to as Death Valley. This is a long stretch where there are no spectators. She came out and gave me encouragement and a big hug which really lifted me to get it done.

The finish
While the run was not pretty and did not go as planned, I am a finisher. I was joined in the last 100 yards by my nieces who ran with me across the finish line. A lot of folks were watching on-line and called us to say that they saw me finish. What an accomplishment. Having gutted out a very long day I feel incredibly strong mentally and physically. Would I do it again? Yes, definitely but as for now I will enjoy my accomplishment and let the challenge of this event and the incredible amount of training fall to a distant memory.

Was it worth it? Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever.......you betcha.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Today's Workout: A final word

This will be my final post until Monday. Finally, finally, it has stopped raining. I'm sitting here watching the sun slowly rise and reflect off of Lake Placid. There is some fog covering the mountains, just a beautiful day.

I'm heading out for pancakes in a few minutes. From there I will do a short bike and run, drop my bike off in transition, and also leave my bike and run transition bags. This is it. 24 hours from now I will be in the water hopefully close to finishing my first lap of the swim. My plan is to take everything slow from a mental perspective. In the swim I'm thinking of it as four 20 minute intervals. On the bike I will probably segment the course in 10 mile segments. The run I'm taking one mile at a time. With any luck I can catch up to my riding partner KR on the run and we can encourage each other to the finish line.

I intend to feel every mile of this experience emotionally. I will meet other athletes and volunteers, I will take mental snapshots of every mile on this beautiful course, I will be talking to my Dad a lot. He has served as my inspiration on this journey and I know he will be with me on the course when I need him most. As a kid when we were challenged by some event or injury my Dad would say, "Be tough as nails." It made sense at the time but as an adult I've hammered a few nails that bent, nonetheless, they did not break. Tomorrow I will write this on my hand in my Dad's honor and when the going gets tough I will use it as my mantra.

As I sit on the precipice of this achievement I feel so blessed. Thanks to all who brought me to this point, now the baton is clearly in my hands. I fully intend to cross the finish line or die trying.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Today's Workout: Nerve Control

In the water today at 8AM with my coach, Shandra three and a half weeks after she welcomed her daughter Madison into the world. I was soaking in as much last minute coaching as I could before Shandra took off like a speedboat.

The water temperature dropped two degrees today to 68. To say it had an alarming effect is an understatement. My wetsuit is sleeveless so the cold temperature on my arms did make me feel my pull a bit more today then yesterday. KR, Dave and I practiced swimming side by side and bumping into one another. We made a sandwich each taking a turn in the middle. This will be incredibly helpful on Sunday when I bump and swim with 2,500 other athletes. BTW, the ear plugs seem to have helped with the vertigo I experienced in yesterday's swim. I was fine after one loop so I hope for the same result after two loops.

After the swim we went for a 30 minute run on Riverside Road, the loneliest stretch of the run course. We saw some lugers and ski jumpers before making our turn onto Riverside where the road gets long and lonely.

We ended the evening with a pasta dinner with the athletes and their families out at the horse grounds. There were inspirational videos and stories. The oldest male and female competitors (70 and 67) are married, pretty cool. A blind athlete is competing for his Dad who is in his final days battling ALS. I thought I heard that there are 800 first time Ironman competitors, I am among them. 57 of the 2500 competitors raised money through the Janus Charity Challenge. The evening was one of inspiration, angst, and comaraderie. I'm glad it was tonight and not tomorrow but I'm certain that is purposeful.

For my fan base, my number is 2418. I am the youngest in the 45-49 age group so I will try to beat a few of my elders. Tomorrow, a final bike and run tune up and pancakes with a local church group.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Today's Workout: Bring an umbrella

My riding partner KR, her friend Dave and I hit the water at 7:30 AM today. While on the beach we ran into Paula Newby-Fraser, 8-time Ironman World Champion. I said hello to her and I was tempted to ask for advice but everyone mocked me for being so brazen as to say hello. Hey, how many people recognize her--I should be thanked.

The water was a chilly 70 degrees and most likely will get colder before race day. Nothing but rain expected until Saturday. The swim course was busy, lots of athletes getting in their practice swims and dare I say there was physical contact. I'm amazed that people can run into you when there are several hundred swimmers stretched the length of a 1.2 mile course. Just rude if you ask me, then again maybe I should have the slow moving triangle on my feet.

I had a little vertigo after the swim. That makes me a little nervous but I think I know the reason. In cold water you can get vertigo from swimming due to water coming in your ears. I hope this and perhaps staring at the line that runs the course were the primary factors. I stopped in Ironman village and bought some ear plugs which I will try in my swim tomorrow. I do not want to get pulled from the race for vertigo--it has happened once before in a 1 mile swim when the water was 64 degrees. It took me 15 minutes to walk properly.

Out on the bike for a short ride, in theory. We rode down to Riverside Dr. and road the run course out to Route 73 then road back into Lake Placid on the bike course after climbing little cherry, big cherry, mama bear and papa bear. That only took 29 minutes so we decided to go back to Riverside Rd and return. KR and Dave have zipp wheels so they lost me fairly quickly. I didn't see them turn around so I repeated what we did the first time. Apparently, I passed them within two minutes of our restart but I never saw them. They had stopped to talk to someone. Oh well, I enjoy the hills so it felt great.

I could not drive the bike course and put my dedications out on the course today because of the rain. Tomorrow does not look any better. This may have to slip until Saturday or I will use my backup plan and carry the names with me. I had a picture of my Dad taped to my bike but it fell off in the rainstorm we went through yesterday during our commute. I have a backup plan for that too--I carried and extra picture just in case.

Tomorrow, a swim (1 loop) and a 30-minute run. I'm hoping to get some last minute tips from my coach tonight at dinner.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Today's Workout: Fevered Pitch

We hit Lake Placid today and things here are at a fevered pitch. I have never, ever seen so many bodies with 0% body fat, it is incredibly intimidating. JB says that we all look like that but I don't see it.

A day of rest today to travel and settle into LP. The location where we are staying is perfect, just off the main drag. Within walking distance of the start and yet far enough away from the angst of town to be just right.

Tomorrow, an early morning swim in the lake (1 loop of the course) and a 45 minute bike.

Today's Workout: Resting in Rhinebeck

Up at 7 AM. I'm trying not to think about the rain falling down outside on my bike. I also understand the current forecast in LP calls for rain Sunday. Hey, you can only control what you can control. Rain beats a 125 degree heat index anyday.

Enjoying our visit with friends and family. Heading north to LP later today.

PS Thanks to my bike guy, Tom Stokes, he contacted the owner of Elite bikes who is waiting in LP for me and has some zipp wheels available for the race. I will try them on a test ride but I'm reminded of my fellow Ironman friends who would say, "nothing new on race day." I hear you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today's Workout: A tiny swim

Up at 4:30 so I could join the Masters swim team in the pool one final time before I leave. Abs then to the pool.

A mere 1,550 meters today. I remember when I did sprint distance triathlons and that was the extent of my workout. Now this is a luxury the I find quite enjoyable.

Time to pack up and begin the trip North. I am glad I took yesterday off to organize and I did enjoy my hour long afternoon nap. Once the car is packed, I'll be off to my 90 minute massage then just point the car northward. First stop is to see some friends and their 3 kids, then to the Brothers-in-laws and Ms. C for an overnight. The march begins.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Today's Workout: Rest, sort of

Up at 7:45 AM today, that felt awesome. Today is a day off but I wanted to test the tweaks on my bike so JB and I went on a short ride. My gears are shifting so smoothly and my aero position is perfect. Everything is right where I want it to be.

I also spent time meticulously packing. I have my gear bags all setup with equipment, food and clothes. Just a few more odds and ends to get before I can say I'm ready.

Tomorrow, a 30 minute swim then a 90 minute massage. Afterward we will head to Rhinebeck, NY--our mid-way stopping point. The heart she is a racing.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Today's Workout: Being normal

Up at 7 today and out the door at 8 AM for a 75 minute run. I was expecting tempo run but the plan called for 40 minutes tempo then 10 x 1 minute zone 4 followed by 2 minute zone 2. Not only was this unexpected but it was also exhausting. I was a bit unsure I could do it but I just stuck to the plan knowing how short the run was. In the end, I hit all 10.

On to the pool for a 45 minute workout. It was the type of workout I would have loved at the beginning of the season, nice and short with short sets. The last set was 10 x 100 meters. I was at number 3 when I thought this stinks. I was really winded which was alarming to me one week out.

Mercifully, two friends who have earned their M-dot told me that being winded is normal for this time period of my preparation. Once confirmed, I embraced (perhaps for the first time in my life) being normal.

Tomorrow is supposed to be an off day but I'm going to just take my bike out for a short spin to make sure everything is how I want it for race day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today's Workout: Caution or the work around

Up at 4:39 AM today, thank you Buddy. I thought I set the alarm for 5 AM. Off to ride for two hours with KR then a 30 minute run. We laughed that this was such a light day but others might find 2.5 hours burdensome.

Despite my better judgment I did make a tweak to my bike last night that paid off today. Suffice it to say that my saddle was a bit uncomfortable. One minor adjustment on angle and bye-bye discomfort.

After the bike and run, JB and I headed to Leesburg to my bike guy Tom Stokes. I was having three problems: my neck has been killing me in aero, my field of vision is limited to 10-15 feet in front of me, and my arm tends to slip off my pads when I am tired. Tom and I talked about the options and decided on adding new aero bars. A week out of my big race I did not want to do something so drastic but I also could not imagine riding 112 miles with these limitations.

Now I must ride as much as possible to get accustomed to these new aero bars. They are set wider then my others to accommodate my broad shoulders. It's a gamble for sure. Normally I would be too cautious for such a move so late in the game but again, this is a very long race and I must maximize my level of comfort and safety.

I ended the day with a chiro adjustment. The hips are still in alignment, everything is moving pretty well. All good news. Tomorrow, a 75 minute run and 45 minute swim.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Today's Workout: Nada baby

My second day off this week, slept in until 6. That felt soooooooo good (of course the two benadryl that I took before bedtime didn't hurt a bit).

I took Della for a walk today, oh yeah, and the crazy dog too--the latter is not so pleasant. A beautiful morning for a walk, cool, no humidity--it would be a perfect race day. And speaking of that, only nine days until Lake Placid. Yikes, now that we are in single digits the pressure is really on. Working on my final preparations--strategy, packing, refreshing my web page, getting my inspirational photo for my bike, etc..--lots left to do.

Tomorrow, a two hour bike and 30 minute run followed by a chiropractic appointment. I hate to tinker so late in the game but I may also make some fitting adjustments to my bike. Dangerous to be sure, but if I could get my neck and buttocks to feel better on the bike the 112 mile ride will be much less painful.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today's Workout: Protection Mode

Up at 4:30 AM today. I thought this would be my last early rise before the race but I'm planning to swim with the Masters team on Tuesday so no need to adjust the alarm yet.

Abs then off to the pool. Among other reasons, I love swimming with the masters because when they are doing kicking drills the water gets really choppy. It more accurately reflects an open water swim. The other day when I was in the middle of a 1,000 meter free set they were doing group kicking drills that varied in speed. I'm pretty sure I saw white caps. This allowed me to practice raising my head a little higher to breathe. Today they were mixing it up pretty well too. Loved it.

I stuck to my Coach's anaerobic workout today....which I dread. I don't ever see any gain from sucking air big time at the wall after completing each set. However, believe in the plan I must. The plan called for 2,000 meters of mostly speed work today. I added an additional 500 meters for grins and giggles.

Tomorrow, my second day off of the week. I think I will take Della for a nice morning walk. I'm hoping tomorrow will be as glorious as this morning, 69 and no humidity. Wahoo!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Today's Workout: Back to old school

Up at 4:30 AM today, another sneeze infested night from whatever allergic reaction I have to swimming in the pool. The benadryl bottle is starting to run low.

Abs then on the bike trainer for 45 minutes. I watched the Lake Placid Spinerval video while bouncing between zones 2, 3 and 4 and trying to keep a fairly decent cadence. I remember this course from training camp pretty well but I like watching the video to help me with my pre-race visualization. Off the bike, I went on a 40 minute zone 3 tempo run. It was fairly muggy this morning so breaking a sweat was not difficult. I decided to run without my ipod shuffle because the entire marathon portion of Lake Placid is old school, no music unless you want to collect a penalty. While I have used my ipod to help me through some of the monotony of training, it was nice to enjoy the environmental noise during my run this morning.

Tomorrow, back in the pool with the Masters. I leave you with an inspirational quote that I'm saving for race day for all of you Star Wars fans: "do or do not, there is no try" Yoda.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today's Workout: Resisting Temptation

Up at 4:30 AM today. Not a restful night so my eyes were mere slits today. After blindly fulfilling my animal kingdom duties, abs then off to the pool.

The plan called for a 45 minute workout totalling 2,150 meters. It's Tuesday, I like to go long on Tuesday and 12 days out I still think I should. I had planned to ab lib but after one set of 1,000 meters I gave in to my coach's better wisdom....sort of. Ok, I couldn't resist and I went 2,500 meters but for me that is not a bad deviation.

Yesterday I started to familiarize myself with the Lake Placid athlete guide. Yikes! In the instructions that JB will send out to my fan base I told her that she cannot over-emphasize the warning: "under no circumstances may you provide any aid or even touch me while on the course". You can rack up points (strikes really, because you only get 3) toward disqualification quite easily. Some offenses that may surprise the average viewer include littering. Does it count when you drop salt tablets.....I believe they would be biodegradeable? Maybe my lawyering skills will come in handy in this race.

Tomorrow, a bike and run and hopefully a break from this oppressive heat.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Today's Workout: The bubbling of anxiety

Up at 6:30 AM today, it's like sleeping in until noon. Of course, it helped that I had one of my daily swim allergy attacks and had to get up at 2 AM to find some Benadryl.

I'm starting to have some anxiety dreams about the race. Last week I drempt that they reversed the sequence and started with the run. In the run, the trail was poorly marked and I had to climb over and through construction sites. Last night I drempt that packet pickup was on race day and a friend was not on the list. I was trying to find a race official so I could persuade them that she should participate which then caused me to be late. I also remember missing breakfast because my resulting tardiness meant that all of the restaurants were packed. Too funny.

I took a quick look at the week ahead and I have two rest days this week. Nice. Tomorrow, back to the pool.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Today's Workout: Done

Up at 4:45 Am and off to Prince William County at 5:45 AM. On tap today, a 3 hour ride and a 30 minute run.

KR wanted to ride 56 miles today (half of the Ironman distance) which we thought would take us about 3.5 hours given all of the hills. The hills were a killer and KR made me work on my downhill. I hit some frightening speeds but she is such a great downhiller I was trying to check my fear and open my body and mind to learning.

After our 3 hour and 40 minute ride we went out for a 30 minute run. We had intended to run 4 miles but I had to turn around after 15 minutes. My foot was bothering me and my calves were cramping. I did bag my 30 minutes but not much over that.

Tomorrow, I am resting and happy to do so.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Today's Workout: The Happy Birthday Run and Swim

Up at 5:40 AM today and out the door for an early, long run. The last long and lonely run left in my plan.

I remembered the salt tablets today so my run was better than last week but I definitely was feeling the peaks and valleys that I will feel in Lake Placid. There are just portions of your run that you know you will feel awful and you have to push through them to get to the feel good stages--the latter will come but you will have your doubts. Something went a bit awry with my nutrition plan today. I felt great at 2 hours and really crappy 15 minutes later. I was really thirsty but felt like I was a bit water logged. I'll figure it out but trust me the 26 mile run in LP will be loooooooong.

My swim was 45 minutes and I decided to add two laps to make it 45 laps for my 45th birthday on 07.07.07. I should play the numbers today. The swim felt great after my run but that doesn't mean I ran to the pool. I was dreading it but swimming is so kind to a sore body. Loved it.

Now off to get a massage and have my masseuse put a little emphasis on my complaining foot. Then a little Thai food and a brownie and my b-day wishes are sated.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Today's Workout: Fat Lip Flashback

Last night, as I was trying to settle into bed, I went to move Della off of our bed on to her own bed. She tries to convince you that she should get part of the King real estate. Della is 8 and as she ages she gets grumpier and grumpier when she is tired. As I went to gently pick her up she began her usual curly lip growl and for whatever reason she swung her head around and hit me right in the lips. Two places I hate getting hit (and yet another reason why I don't get boxing) the nose and lips. Pain factor-kind of high, blood loss-low, swelling-very noticeable.

My lip is swollen and bruised despite an hour and a half of ice, my two teeth kind of hurt a little too. It reminded me of 10th grade when Wendy Daniels and I were playing catch as we warmed up for a JV softball game. I was distracted and Wendy threw the ball hitting me square in the lips. Back then I had braces so there was a little bit more blood but same bruised and swollen result. Do you think anyone will believe how this happened--I have my doubts.

Up at 4:50 AM despite my best efforts to make it to the 5 AM alarm. Buddy and Della were restless and neither of them is good at keeping that info to themselves. Abs then on my trainer for 45 minutes of biking. I have the new Spinerval Lake Placid DVD that has Troy Jacobson out riding the course. I thought I would refamiliarize myself with the course, work on some high cadence, and then finish with one legged drills.

I rode into work today to finish off my ride. Don't tell anyone but the humidity is not on. Tomorrow, should be a 3 hour bike and 45 minute swim (gotta love the taper). Waiting to hear from KR. I'll finish the day off with a massage. Not a bad way to celebrate my 45th birthday.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Today's Workout: Swimming with your clothes on

Up at 4:30 AM today, yep back to the usual routine. Post animal kingdom duties, abs then off to the pool to swim with the Masters.

Particularly cruel day in the pool but I loved it. We did a t-shirt swim today. I think that should be a new open water contest, swimming with your clothes on. What a killer on the arms. You would be surprised how much drag a little t-shirt can add to your movement and how much it slows you right down. 2,700 meters all totalled today including a lot of kicking. I preferred the t-shirt swim myself.

Tomorrow, a 60-minute ride. It looks like it may also be a good day to ride to work.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Today's Workout: A trio by choice

Up at 7 AM today, sweet. My plan called for an hour bike and a 40 minute run. To help JB and I both with our open water swim comfort, we headed to Lake Montclair at 8 AM. We were joined by several women, also jumping in for a swim. The water was perfect, very relaxing.

We went to my new favorite short distance park for a bike and run. It features some rollers and is fairly shady. After two laps of the park's loop I headed out for my 40 minute run. This was painful. It included 10 one-minute zone 2's and zone 3's, followed by 5 one-minute zone 2 and 4's. Basically you spend the whole time speeding up and slowing down, total killer.

Tomorrow, swimming with the Masters and back to work. Rats.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Today's Workout: What the heck is the matter with me?

On the way home from the pool this morning the thought passed through my head that all of this Ironman training, in retrospect, was not so awful and I would not be resistant (should I be successful) to attempting another at some point. It's official, I have lost my mind.

Up at 4:30 today. Abs after the animal kingdom then off to the pool. My plan called for 60 minutes at 2,700 meters today but I live in fear of not being strong enough for the LP swim. As a consequence, I threw in an additional 1,000 meters of pulling. It occurred to me that this level of activity could be addictive and I may eventually need a 12 step program.

Tomorrow, a bike and run are scheduled but I may throw in an open water swim.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Today's Workout: Rest

A well deserved day off. To be honest, I'm not horribly sore but I am tired. This is the last long week of training, the remainder are a bit lighter in content. I have to fine tune my plan, my bike, and all of my food and apparel. I want to control what I can on the race course and that means making sure my clothes are comfortable, I have the right food, my bike is working like a charm, my shoes are comfortable etc. So many things to tick off.

Now that we are in July this race is getting pretty real. 20 days and counting.

Tomorrow, a long swim which will feel so good on my weary bones.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Today's Workout: Skyland or Bust

Up at 3:50 AM, yes, ridiculous. Out the door by 4:40 AM on the way with my riding partner KR to Skyline Drive. We had a 6 hour bike ride and 45 minute run on the agenda.

KR set her sites on Skyland, at mile marker 42. Skyland is the highest point on Skyline Drive, let me repeat--the highest point. Sadly, we did not have a camera to document our accomplishment. A key highlight: it was a cold morning and I told KR I wanted to wear my arm warmers. She said I had to toughen up and to put them back in my bag. The uphill was fine, going downhill sleeveless we were freezing. At mile 25 we were so cold our teeth were uncontrollably chattering. Nonetheless, onward we went to Skyland. Once there, we had the genius idea of buying a Shendandoah National Park t-shirt to warm us on the return. While we don't have a snapshot of our achievement today we at least have t-shirts.

I had a bifurcated run--20 minutes at Skyline Dr followed by 25 minutes once I got home at 5:20PM. It's been a long day. I've taken my recover-ese and will definitely be taking a dip in the spa this evening.....if I can remain awake.