Tuesday, July 25, 2006

mental aspect of two loop courses

Swim - 2.4 miles, 1:22 - Lake Monona, choppy conditions
Bike - 21.3 miles, 1:24 - ave sp. 15.1, easy recovery ride

This makes two days in a row that I have gone swimming in the lake early in the morning. I usually have trouble doing that, so I am proud of myself. Today I did two laps of the standard 1.2 out-and-back which makes me doubly proud of myself. I was ready to stop after one, but didn't let myself bail. It felt like a long time in the water.

Each event of Ironman Wisconsin is two loops. So, once in each sport, three times that day, I will feel like being ready to stop but have to do double what I just did. As my workouts have gotten longer recently, I am feeling that the mental strength to keep going is going to be a key component of the race. Doing two loop courses in training will help me learn to face the beginning of that second loop without so much dread. The third quarter of any race is always the toughest for me because I still have a lot to go, but am already somewhat tired from the first half. Facing a second loop, as though I am at the beginning, is even tougher.

Monday, July 24, 2006

trick the waves

Swim - 1.2 miles, 39:36 - Lake Monona, choppy water
Run - 6.2 miles, 56:50 - Arboretum loop, hot

Is there some secret to swimming fast when you are going with the wind? I didn't go much faster going against the wind as going with it. I felt like I was getting pushed forward with each wave, then pulled backward. Is there some open water swim technique to "trick" the waves?

I did my run in the hottest part of the day to keep working on my heat acclimation. The hotter the better since Ironman somehow always tends to be on the hottest day of the year. I didn't let myself walk and I tried to focus on running strong for the whole time.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

rest ... now back to the grind

Bike - 92 miles, 6:03, Ave Sp. 15.3mph, hilly - round trip Cross Plains to Spring Green plus detour
Run - 2.3 miles, 19:54 - transition run

Back to the grind today. I started the day at 7 am from Festge Park in Cross Plains. It was cold with patches of dense fog at first, but became warm, sunny, and humid after a few hours despite the forecast for rain and clouds. I planned to go 80 miles today but took a wrong turn that ended up adding 12 miles. In 6 hours out there I only saw 2 other cyclists total. I guess this wasn't a very popular route or something. It was on parts of the Horribly Hilly ride course and had a good mix of hills and flat stretches. I enjoyed my compact crank even more today than the other day. My transition run was actually no big deal today, which I think had something to do with having easier gears for the hills. I have never felt as good on a post-bike run as I did today.

Today's Nutrition:
Pre-ride - 1 bagel with peanut butter and jelly, 1 piece banana bread
During-ride -
1 bottle plain water
1 bottle water with Nuun electrolyte tablet
1 bottle mix: 1 1/2 scoops Sustained Energy, 4 scoops endurolytes, 1 packet banana hammer gel
1 bottle gatorade (1 1/2 scoops)
1 bottle Heed (1 scoop)
2 clif bars
handful of pretzels

-Comments on nutrition: I felt hungry and thirsty at times during the ride. I could have had more solid food. Heed tastes like chewed up pills - this is not a good drink for me to use to encourage drinking. My stomach felt good during the run. I had a light headache at times during the ride and lingering into the evening after the ride. I think I would have been prepared for a cool ride, but it got hotter than I was expecting. Next time - one water bottle per hour + solid food?

[Saturday 7/20/06]

I can't remember the last time I took an entire Saturday off of training. I felt like such an iconoclast today because I knew that all the other Ironman people were out there slaving away on their mega bike-run bricks in the heat. Meanwhile, I was leisurely browsing the farmers market, taking myself out to breakfast, sipping tea at a coffeeshop, taking a nap, and relaxing in the hot tub at the gym. This day was as mentally rejuvenating as it was physically rejuvenating.

This week is going to be a long hard week, followed by a taper week and a half-Ironman race. Keeping focused through all this is going to take everything I have. I have been at it for 7 months solid and the end is just within sight. Ironman is exactly 7 weeks from tomorrow.

[Friday 7/21/06]

I was planning to go to Boulder, CO today for a week to train and work on a freelance web project. That is not going to happen. I am just too tired. It has been so hot that I haven't slept well and am getting to a state of overtraining that my body can't recover from. I need rest and recovery and all my energy needs to go into my upcoming hard week of workouts. I am going to stay home instead to get myself in a better state of being. I am cranky, indecisive, sleepy, worn-out, and pretty much useless for anything but sitting.

I took some extra time today (between naps) to clean and organize my house. Things had gone on far too long. Step 1 to feeling like my life is under control.

[Thursday 7/20/06]
Run - 6 miles, 50:32 - on lakeshore path (flat), hot conditions
Swim - 2000m, 45:14 - main set: 12 x 100 @ 1:45-1:53 on 2 min

Ok, so now I know I haven't lost all my running speed. After my recent race runs, I have started to wonder. I just need to make sure I do some runs where I force myself to push the pace and not let up. I got the new Red Hot Chili Peppers CD Stadium Arcadium and this kept me moving along today. There are some great songs on there.