Monday, August 21, 2006

last mega-weekend


Notes to self for taper:
-Make sure to get to yoga class
-Do not ride the Ironman bike course anymore!!
-Ride parts of the Horribly Hilly course instead
-Do more structured pool workouts to sharpen up technique
-Reincorporate abs and pushups
-Sleep at least 9 hours each night
-Be extra nice to self
-Read books and magazines that are not related to triathlon

[Sunday 8/20/06]
Bike - 91 miles, 6:11
Run - 6 miles, 55 min

After this workout, for the first time I can honestly say that I feel ready to do Ironman. I started tired and I didn't get progressively more tired throughout the workout. Usually fatigue is linear, but my body is so far beyond normal now that I feel just as tired after 20 miles on the bike as I do after 91 and a 6 mile run. Fatigue is fatigue is fatigue. This was my last mega-workout of the training season! Yippee! Now I am starting my three-week taper to race day.

I took a new route for the first 50 miles of the ride (the Bombay Bicycle Club "Days of Wine and Roses" ride), and then did a loop of the Ironman course. The first half of the ride was rolling hills to moderate, which was a nice change from the usually hilly stuff. I nailed the bike nutrition today and know exactly what I have to do on race day. Key point: do not rely on Gatorade under any circumstances. It does not have the right mix of nutrients and electrolytes. Another key point: the value of bagels with peanut butter and jelly should not be underestimated.

The first mile of the run was tough, but after that I got into a groove and felt great on the hilly course that I ran. I can't explain it, but I felt nearly "fresh". Given how hard I have been training, clearly there is no possible way that I was fresh. Things are going on with my body now that I have never experienced before and can not explain. I have gotten to unchartered territory in my fitness level and ability to work through fatigue. It amazes me.

Now all I have to do is ease up and recover. I am set.

[Saturday 8/19/06]
Swim - 2.4 miles, 1:20
Bike - 37 miles, 2:13
Run - 6.7 miles, 1:01

Not much change in my state of mind today. I know I am almost there so I can't give up, but this is getting less and less fun. My body is toast. Beyond toast. The workouts were ok but I felt like I was just going through the motions, slogging through the miles. It is beginning to feel like work. I tried to be as nice to myself as possible.

This morning they were holding the Madison Open Water Swim on the Ironman course in Lake Monona so the buoys were set up in the same places that they will be for Ironman. It was nice to swim the course and know exactly how far out I go, and to be able to practice sighting off of big flourescent buoys. Plus, there were lots of swimmers out there. I didn't compete but I watched.

After the swim I treated myself to go the morning farmer's market with a friend and get a delicious cornmeal crepe breakfast burrito. The crepe was the highlight of my week, though I proceeded to have an Ironman meltdown as I was eating it. In the relentless spirit of Ironman training, there was little time for melting down - I had to get going on my bike ride. The bike ride was uninteresting and I didn't attempt to go anywhere unusual, basically just the regular route out to Verona and back.

Then on to the run... does this workout ever end? I went through the Arboretum and on some of the trails in there. I haven't ran the trails by myself before because I don't know where they go and think I will get hopelessly lost. Today I didn't care if I got lost and was thinking that maybe getting lost would actually cheer me up. I didn't get lost, but I did have a nice time on the trails. I visited a special place in the woods that a friend of mine devotes to her mother who has passed away. I stopped my run to continue the meltdown at this place and to ask her mother for help. I think she helped me a great deal because I felt better and figured out how to get through tomorrow.

[Friday 8/18/06]

I couldn't bear the thought of getting the water today so I decided to skip it. It is getting really tough to maintain this. I am near mental breakdown. I have been having trouble sleeping because I am so worried about how painful the Ironman run is going to be after the bike. I am dreading the weekend.

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