Bike 100 miles [6:15]
Run 7 miles [1:07]
Temp 93, Humidity 50% = Heat Index 100 degrees
I took the day off work today so I could do this grand finale mega-brick. The idea was to do a dress rehearsal for the race: use a similar course, plan nutrition accordingly, wear the same clothes/gear, etc. The only uncontrollable factor was the weather and I got a tough day. The heat made this truly an Ironman-like effort and the good news about that is that it is very unlikely that the actual race conditions will be that hard.
I left my house at 5:45am and got started on the bike right at 6:15am when the sun came up. My course was 3 laps of the Mansfield Dam loop, which has lots of long gradual climbs. My first lap went well with all my nutrition going down right on schedule. The sun started to get real hot around 9am when I was about 50 miles in. That's also the time when I started to feel pressure in my saddle and my neck started to feel the first signs of fatigue. Ugh, this was going to be a long second half. Around mile 70 I was getting chills and some dizziness. My body was on fire and my mind was foggy. My fluid and calories were not lacking.
For the sake of my safety on the road, I stopped at the end of my second lap at mile 80 and called it a day on the road. I was on the borderline of heatstroke or something similar. I drove to the gym and finished off the ride with 75 minutes on a spin bike (rolling hills) to approximate the last 20 miles. After that, my body had cooled back down to an acceptable level of hot and I felt normal... as normal as one can feel after over 6 hours on a bike. I was ready to head back outside into the oven for my run. I changed into my run clothes, slathered on the sunscreen, ate a package of Clif Shot Bloks and drank half a bottle of water with EFS.
I chose to do the 7 mile loop on the Town Lake trail because it has a hill in the middle, which is much like the Ironman course that I will be racing on. It only took my legs a few minutes to get warmed up and feel decent. I was so happy to be off the bike that I was actually looking forward to the run. A few minutes in I got stomach cramps and gas and had to walk to work through the shooting pains. I think Clif Bloks + EFS + heat + my stomach don't go well together. Luckily it only took a few minutes to go away and I was able to jog again.
As long as I was able to get some water to drink and put on my skin every 1/2 to 1 mile I was ok, but there was a stretch between mile 2 and 4 with no shade and only one water stop. This section was tough and I had to walk a lot of it as I was starting to burn up again. For the last 3 miles, I got serious and put my game face on... how would I deal with this in a real race? My strategy became run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat. My legs were still feeling ok, but the heat was taking all the energy out of me. The 5 minute run sections were so hard. I sucked it up and ran most of the last mile, visualizing the finish line and lots of spectators around me. OMG, I'm done!!
Key Lessons Learned
- I will need to focus hard during the last 30 miles of the bike
- It is important to start the run slow
- I should plan to use a walk/run strategy
- I need to keep working on my mental training and come up with some key words I will use to keep myself going when I want to stop
Workout Nutrition Today:
5 scoops EFS electrolyte
12 bottles water (about 200 oz)
1 package Clif Shot Bloks
1 Clif Shot Gel w/ caffeine
[2100 calories total]