Monday, May 27, 2013

4 weeks from yesterday to Ironman France

The countdown is on.

I should be counting in days actually at this point. Kind of like how we age babies but in reverse.

26 days.

Intuitively, you'd think now would be time for the last big push but with long races ... not so much really. Soon, I'll start to wind down. I think I have one or two big runs left and also I'm going to push the swim volume up for confidence. And then ... the taper.

This past week was a recovery week. It was glorious. Recovery is glorious. Resting is glorious. Sleep is glorious.

My long run this week was 13ish miles. I forgot to turn my watch off at the end so I don't have a correct distance. oops. But what was important about this run is that I started with Jim who runs quickly and I finished with Ben who also is a speedster. What's important about this is that I need to remember that I can go faster and not feel like crap. Really I can. So I should because then I'll be finished faster.

Moon before the start of the run.
After the long run I swam like 2 minutes. My heart was in my throat the whole time. I made light of it last week but I wasn't actually joking. The bird thing did get into my head. So I need to do a lot of ows to get my groove back there. It'll happen I just have to stick to it. 

My long ride this week was in the hills of Clermont. In central Florida there are lakes and hills and that's where we flatlanders go to train.

I will admit that when I committed to racing in France I thought I would train in Clermont probably once a month. That didn't happen. I've been there twice in the last 6 months and one of those times it was so cold the ride was cancelled. This is to say that training does not ever go as expected.
Notice the puffy eyes. That's from lots of hydration. Lots including pedialyte the night before. I didn't sleep really well but that's to be expected. I have to remember to ask for a room away from the elevator. 

But I did want to do at least one 100 mile ride in the hills. I was nervous but it went better than I expected. Much better. That's a good feeling. I climbed somewhere over 3000 ft which is about half what I'll do on race day. In an ideal world I'd do more than I would on race day but that isn't happening so I'll just have to live with it.
This is the map route.

I was so happy on my road bike. I definitely have the right bike for this race. I have been to Clermont on 3 different bikes. This bike was perfect. Descending was a dream - it was so much fun. Okay well the first descent I was scared but after that it was awesome. No braking :-) Me ... no braking. Woot Woot! Going up was fine. Really. And interestingly I was able to tell the grade by feel which was a good feeling. I would say this is 6%? And Frank would confirm with his watch. That's good because I have speed, cadence and hr targets depending on the grade. I was ready to stop when we got to 100 but I could have kept going. I wasn't dying at all.

My nutrition was good. I drank Infinit 2 sips every 7 minutes. I was easily able to do this while climbing. I had one GU, one bag of sport beans, one salt pill every hour and one snickers bar at 70 miles. Close to great actually. Having the timer beep was key. The only thing that didn't work was the sport beans. They were a pain to get out of their little bag. so I need something else. But I have a plan. I'll try it next week.

It was just me and the coach. I feel really lucky about that. He did a lot of talking to me about the mental challenges of the race. Which is definitely going to be the trick to this whole thing. He suggested thinking about the kids growing up, getting married things like that. Macca talks about it in his book very simply by saying have a plan for what you're going to think about in the dark spots. That's what I'll be thinking about this week. He also said the key is committing to finishing. "Commit to Finish" I think that's probably true about this and also about every big project in life. I definitely thought it was true with nursing my kids (a totally different kind of project but still). So I'm focused on that. I am actually committed to finishing - not if it means being stupid (broken bones - hospitalization) but yes when it means to getting it done.

I talked to him about the foot cramps. He suggested bigger socks which sounds like a good idea so I'll try it. Apparently just like we move up in running shoes to account for swelling cycling socks it helps too. I also took off my shoes at the 2nd stop and I had no real issues. My plan is to take my shoes off at special needs halfway in the race for this reason.
This is the 100 mile smile.

The race is very close. And luckily I'm feeling like I'm as close to ready as I'm gonna get and that's all I can do.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! 3000 feet of climbing is pretty stinking amazing.