Monday, August 28, 2006

what's harder - racing or spectating?

Bikram yoga - 90 minute class

I have often wondered what is harder - racing the Ironman or being an all-day spectator? Last year, spectating exhausted me. I was out there from 6am to midnight cheering for people, following a friend of mine who was racing, and staying at the finish line until the bitter end. When you are an athlete, you have a race plan that is well laid out and all you have to do is execute it. It is clear where you need to be going, thousands of people think you are awesome, and food and drink are all laid out for you. As a spectator, you run around parking and re-parking hoping to see your athlete, wondering if you should leave the course to go eat meals, not being able to carry all the water you need for the day, wondering exactly how your athlete is getting through it, and seeing lots of athletes struggle. Don't get me wrong, spectating is one of the most fun experiences I have ever had, but it is not a day on the couch. This year I will find out for certain if it is harder to be an athlete or a spectator. Stay tuned.

My quads are sore and my hamstrings are tight from yesterday's workout. What else is new? The yoga helps this somewhat. Tonight was my third class so far, and I can already tell that I am getting used to the heat. It doesn't freak me out to sweat so much, and I don't feel like I need to drink 2 gallons of water to survive. The weather forecast is not available for race day yet, but says 72 and sunny for the few days before it. If it doesn't get hot, oh well, I will know I was prepared. At this point, I am more concerned about rain but I guess anything could happen.

[8/27/06 Sunday]
Swim - 4000yd, 1:17 - pool
Bike - 53 miles, 3:28 - Hilly course, modified Bombay "Daleyville Dip"
Run - 13.7 miles, 1:55 - 1 loop Ironman run course plus a little

I am enjoying getting back in the pool for the first time in a while. I have been beginning to lose the feel of certain swim paces and the pool is always a good place to figure that out with precision. I can think about my form better in the pool somehow. I feel slow in the lake, but pool swims remind me that I am not slow after all.

The bike and run today were fabulous. My friend TL and I worked out together for the first time. We got lost a few times on the bike route, and it turned out to be a really hilly course... Horribly Hilly kind-of hilly. I wanted some good hills, and that is what I got. They went by quickly while chatting though. We drove back to Madison to do the Ironman run course, which also has a few good hills. I started the run a bit fast and hadn't paid close enough attention to my nutrition on the bike, so I didn't feel so great for the last 5 miles. I didn't have enough water to take my gel and all I could think about was food. I hadn't eaten enough. TL is a stronger runner than me and lucky for me, she was feeling good enough to lighten things up with her sense of humor all the way to the end. When we got back to the Capitol, I thought of Ironman day where that would have been the turnaround point to go do another 13 miles and was very very grateful that I was done for the day. Back at the car, I inhaled a bagel with peanut butter and jelly and had some water. Then we went to the store to get some Oatscream, a vegan ice cream that is a particular favorite of mine.

So, today's workout was an Ironman swim with a half-Ironman bike and run. I have gotten to the point where that is no big deal. It is a long training day, but I know that all I have to do is keep going. I have gone through a few mental stages in reaching the end of the Ironman preparation. Two weeks ago I realized for the first time that I am going to be able to finish, and the run won't be as bad as I was fearing. Today I am realizing that it is just going to be a normal but really long workout. I know my body pretty well for managing different types of discomfort, and I have a good idea about what signals my body sends for different types of nutritional needs.

[8/26/06 Saturday]
Swim - 2500yd, 48 min - pool
Bike - 60 minute spin class, ascending intervals

I have a new favorite Saturday morning ritual - the cornmeal crepe breakfast burrito from Ingrid's Lunchbox stand at the Farmer's Market. These are only available on Saturday mornings and only at the Farmer's Market. The crepe is slightly sweet and works like a tortilla for a black bean and egg burrito with sour cream, salsa, and avocado. I discovered this last weekend and plan to eat one every week until the Farmer's Market closes for the winter.

[8/25/06 Friday]
Swim - 3300yd, 1:01
Run - 10 miles, 1:33
Bikram Yoga - 90 minute class

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    based on your training routines, i am pretty sure its harder doing the ironman