Monday, April 22, 2013

Training for Ironman France - 9 weeks to go

Single Digits Babeeee ... 9 weeks (aka roughly 2 months)

So I would be lying if I said that the closeness of this race isn't making me a little antsy. It feels like it's very close. I have a bit (read: a significant amount) of pre-race anxiety which mostly shows up at night when I'm trying to sleep. I'm not the greatest sleeper on a perfect day so throw in some anxiety and it becomes sleepless in Miami. I actually went to the doctor today to make sure my thyroid wasn't a touch out of wack - it's not. Suggestion - take unisom and relax.

Onto the training updates
This was my biggest week of training yet. 

Yes - 17 almost 18 hours of training this week.
 So you might wonder why my completed is more than the planned. It's because I do an extra bike trainer session on the computrainer and usually one extra swimming session to get the yards that I'm supposed to do. The coach knows ... it's all good.

So what exactly did I do this week. Take a look -
The bike mileage is only my road mileage. The two trainer sessions don't register mileage only time. 

There is a big difference between 95 and 100 miles.
Finally!
I've done 90 miles a few times and 95 miles once but this is the first time I've ever officially done 100 miles. It is a little bit of getting a monkey off my back.  I felt fine all through the ride so that's really good.

There was a little bit of drama setting up this ride. I was intending to go to Clermont to do this ride on some hills and sadly that fell apart during the week.

Then at the last minute my friend Benji who is doing Ironman Frankfurt the week after my race and therefore my riding partner backed out because his bike was still in the shop. That was a little stressful.

I am not a huge fan of doing long rides by myself but I'm also not especially fearful of it. I will say that was mentally ready to go ahead and do the end of this ride solo because at the end of the day I really needed to get this workout completed. 

I only mention this because if you are selecting your first Ironman race one advantage of making sure you choose a race where you have a group of friends training is that it's more likely you'll be on the same training schedule. Otherwise, be ready to do things like ride 6 or 7 hours by yourself.

This is what 100 miles of Infinit looks like the night before in my fridge. 6 bottles of Infinit and  1 bottle of water. It was every bottle I had which means among other things that I need more bottles :-) I kept this all in a large cooler full of ice in the truck. 3 bottles were on the bike on loop one and then I refilled those bottles halfway.
My self portrait at the start. I can actually tell that I'm stressed in this picture. I was actually nervous about this ride. Mostly about doing part of it myself not actually completing the distance. It was raining when I woke up but that passed quickly.

So we started at 6:45 and the plan was to do a 60 mile loop and then I would go back out with Alberto and maybe Janine to do the final 40. It worked just fine.
Here we are at the Roberts rest stop 1/2 way through the first loop.

Here I am at the end of the first loop. 60 miles in. It was very very hot out. I was happy to refill my bottles with ice cold Infinit.
Half way through the second loop with Alberto the only member of my group doing the whole century with me. We had to stop and get him some more water and Gatorade. We stopped at the Homestead Speedway and found a man who got us some water.  I was not out of water ... as shown above I had plenty of plenty of plenty of Infinit.
Rain on the ride!
Coming our way. Not good.
I've ridden in the rain so I'm not nervous about it but this was a full-on thunderstorm. Before the rain hit us we were coasting easy at 16-17 miles an hour because Alberto was having some cramping. Actually I also had my first cramp on this ride - in my toes. Very strange and admittedly painful. I stopped and rubbed my foot a bit and it went away. But when the lightning started I picked up the pace because I wanted out of there quick. Luckily Alberto stayed with me. It was scary I will admit.

I will admit that during this time I was once again asking myself "why am I doing this?" It did seem really crazy. But we made it through the rain totally fine. In true Miami fashion it was pouring buckets and then we rounded a corner and the rain ended - back to the blasting sunshine.
Proof! I don't use Auto Pause so that's the entire time of the ride including all the stops.

All finished. I know everyone wants great looking hair like mine. I actually have a friend who posts these gorgeous photos of herself training ... I do not look gorgeous after I train ... I look like this.
So this was the first long ride on the new saddle. It was perfect. I had no issues. I mean my toosh was ready to be finished but I had no hot spots, no chaffing it was totally fine.

I also did okay with the sun. I forgot to reapply my sunscreen at the turn around but I was still okay. I had one little strip of sunburn at the end of my jersey sleeve. Not bad. I also had heat rash under the edge of my bike shorts on my legs. I'm thinking this is from when they got soaked in the rain but who knows. Note to self - Aquafor or Glide on the thighs for race day.

Sore muscles
My muscles are really sore. Specifically my quads. I think that's what they are - the muscles right above my knees.  I have to admit that I did some strength workout the day before with 5 minutes of squats - so I think it's the combination of the two back to back that made me so sore. I feel a lot like I ran a marathon in that it hurts a lot to go down stairs. 

So while I feel good about the ride - I have some work to do to be ready for the race ride. Because that's going to be a hilly (understatement) 112 miles followed by a full marathon.

The long run after the long ride
I did not run immediately after the long ride. And walking to the restroom my legs were very stiff but mentally I think I could have run.

But, over the next few hours I really stiffened up and I wasn't looking forward to the long run the next day. But I did it. 9.5 miles. I ran with friends so they actually kept my pace up and that was good. The last two miles I did slow down a lot and I did stop pretty frequently - any time there was a reason to stop I stopped. But I did get it done. So, now I feel pretty good about that. I can't quite imagine what the actual race marathon will feel like but I'm pretty confident that I'm going to make it through it.

Looking back on the long ride nutrition
There is a difference between nutrition for a long ride and race day nutrition. Mainly it's the difference between having calories just to get through it and get to lunch and having calories to finish the ride and go on and run. 

On Saturday I had 6 bottles of Infinit. I went through 5 1/2 of those, one GU, one apple, one Chocolate stinger waffle and 1 1/2 bottles of cold water at stops. I felt fine and not too hungry when I finished so that's pretty good actually. But on race day I will concentrate more on making sure I get through all the nutrition.

Coming up
And that's it. This week is a light week - recovery. This weekend I'm racing St. Anthony's - my last race before France. It's not the ideal training getting ready for France but I'm excited to do it. It's supposed to be a great race. It's huge - 23 swim waves. So that should be good practice for a big race.  After that - just training for France.

I have one thing on my to do list for France that I could use your help with - making shirts for my cheering family. Ideas are welcome. So share your thoughts here!


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