Monday, July 28, 2014

The Summer of Pain

Racing an ironman is hard I hear.  Personally I don't know, I've never done one.  What I do know is that training for an ironman definitely is hard.  I've just completed my first big training block.  The training program I follow is set up as 3 weeks hard and then 1 recovery week.  It seems to work pretty well for me as I've followed it for the last 3 years.
Week 1 Totals
 So the last 3 weeks have had some pretty serious workouts (for me) including some long rides and runs.  It wasn't 21 days straight, however.  I took a couple of days off in the middle.  Basically the 3 weeks was split up into the first 10 days, then 2 days off, and then 9 days.  This had nothing to do with the training plan so much as it had to do with Webelos Scout camp with my younger son.
Week 2 Totals
 For the last couple of years we've gone to scout camp from Wednesday to Saturday.  There's really no good way to sneak in a run, so I just don't worry about it and take Thursday and Friday off.  Ironically, some of the adults at scout camp get more exercise that week from all the hiking and walking.  It's a sad commentary, but I digress . . .
Week 3 totals
The first week I got some serious time in for a non-hammerfest week. I got in just over 22 hours.   That following Monday I was wiped.  Just exhausted all day.  Stinks getting old.  I was gonna run 5 miles that night since I was taking Thursday and Friday off, but I was just too tired.
Steady State Ride at 231 Watts

That middle week, I got my normal workouts in on Monday and Tuesday, but then tripled up on Wednesday.  Since we weren't leaving for scout camp until 11am, I decided to make the most of my time.  I got up early and ran, then went to the Y and swam 4,000 yards.  Undaunted, I came home, had some breakfast and then did a interval bike ride.  So I was pretty tired on Thursday at scout camp.
Brick Run off the Steady State
Taking Friday off meant that I felt a lot better and by Saturday I was pretty refreshed.  I rode 2 hours at a 231w average, and then ran 9 miles at a 6:22 average.  I finished up that Sunday with a 58 mile ride and 11 mile run.  The week 2 totals were almost 16 hours time.

The Long Run
Week 3 of the block was slated to be pretty big.  I got in my 20 mile run Thursday morning and everything was going as planned until that night.  I got thunderstormed out of my interval ride.  I decided to get up early Friday and ride before going to the Masters swim. I then rode intervals Friday night.  So then I was caught back up.  I did a 2x20 ride and and then a tempo brick run Saturday afternoon.

On the Slowtwitch Leaderboard

Sunday was the the biggie.  I'll call that ride "Perserverance".  First of all, I switched the ride to Sunday morning as my wife was doing a race Saturday.  I had to get going early to be done in time to get ready for church.  Everything was going well until I notice that half of the sky was black.  I changed up my planned route and headed back to the house.  I thought I could outrun the rain, but no such luck.  I got absolutely poured on.

The Big Ride
Then I hit a pothole, or something.  My front wheel and aerobars flew off to the left and did a superman dive off to the right.  I landed and slid on the wetsoaked pavement.  My first thought was that I hoped I didn't slide into the oncoming lane and oncoming traffic.

Happy to be done with a 125 mile ride!
But I popped up, grabbed my bike and took it to the side of the road.  I let all the cars pass and then I jogged over to the other side of the road to get my water bottle.  I felt surprisingly fine.  A very gracious guy stopped with his truck and asked me if I wanted a lift home.  I thought about it for a few seconds, but I knew if I hopped in the truck my ride was over.  I was at 99.5 miles.  The rain had abated some.  My next thought was NO.  I'm finishing this ride.  Yeah, my elbows look like mashed grapes, but I'm doing it.  I headed back to the house, but by then the rain had stopped.  I did a few loops near the house and got in my 6 hours, and 125 miles.

I really enjoyed the World Cup

So I ended up with 2 more minutes of training than HammerFest 2K13.  Not bad.  I didn't wuss out on any workouts. I didn't skip or shorten anything.  Fear is a great motivating factor.  Fear of Chattanooga.  I've come to grips that I will never feel ready.  But that won't stop me from trying.  Oh, Full Disclosure: the moniker "Summer of Pain" comes from Donna Harding.  She's a fellow IM Choo racer who I met at the Chattanooga training camp weekend.

Monday morning I was walking like an 97 year old man.  Hellooooooo Recovery Week!