Monday, July 23, 2012

swim, bike, and oh what the about run too

Last weekend of a big 3 week training block is wrapped up.  And was it a doozy.

Saturday morning, up before the sun, I drove to Molly's and we carpooled it down south to the 2.4 mile Catfish Crawl swim event. It didn't start until 8, but with limited 'legal' parking, we wanted to make sure we could find a good spot. Mostly because the car was going to be there *all* day (more on that shortly).
Yep, we're swimming in there.  Quite nice actually.
Arrive, futzed around. Finally did the lovely dance that is donning a wetsuit.

Me, random guy, Molly.
I was using this swim to get an idea of whether I'm off my rocker with my estimated swim time for Canada. I swam comfortably, working but not too hard. I didn't manage much drafting, which seems about par for me lately. Everyone was either my pace but swimming all over, or would go by and be gone before I could latch on to their feet. I ended up swimming right in line with where I thought I could swim at Canada. 1:12 and change, 4/20 in my AG.

I went back to the car, got changed into my bike gear and as soon as Molly was out of the water and changed we headed out for 115 miles. On the bike. Yeah, you read that right. I did say the car was going to be there all day. With the heat of the day, we were stopping at gas stations, grocery stores, anywhere we could to fill up bottles. It was a toasty, long day on the bike. But it was also a good confidence boost for me. Yes at times it sucked. Yes, I probably swore a bit (and Molly would probably tell you...sang a bit too much)!  I channeled my youngest niece and entertained myself by making up songs about random things on the bike. At one point it was an ode to the ice cold coke that Molly's husband was nice enough to sherpa out for us.  Ice and coke. Is there *anything* better towards the end of a long ride? Definitely the best.coke.ever.

Crystal springs reservoir.
Very pretty scenery that I'm sure I didn't appreciate nearly enough.

Gratuitous shot of my butt.  You're welcome.  Thank Molly.
Once off the bike (finally!), we had a tiny little 15 min run off the bike to finish the day. And it was still daylight!
Done.  And Done.

I stopped on the way home and grabbed dinner for Jeff and I. (see a theme here?)  I think I was home around 8:30. So that was quite a full day. And Sunday I took it easy.  Just under 3 hours of running. Ha. All in all, I was only a handful of miles short of an IM for the weekend.

I was apprehensive heading into this big weekend, especially coming at the end of a 3 week training block.  My last 3 week training block. But you know what?  It was really good for me.  It was good to feel that it was so manageable. It was good to know that I could accomplish it on tired legs. It was good to spend chunks of time seeing the hard work paying off.

Coach says "Now you shall rest".  Yes, yes I shall.  One more big week coming up next week and then taper.

And you know what?  I'm feeling ready.  And that feels good.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

i can ride for miles and miles and miles and miles

Yes, it's been a long dry spell between posts. Turns out it's not really less time consuming trying to please 2-1/2 employers rather than one.  Go figure.  But I am enjoying the new challenges.  It's just requiring me to develop some organizational skills (not my strong suit).  And negotiation skills can not be underestimated either.

Oh, and of course....a little thing called IronMan training is also in progress.  And except for constantly complaining, tired legs it's going well, but again...time consuming.  Last weekend I spent about 12 hours training.  The weekend before that wasn't much shorter.  And don't even ask about this weekend.  Oh, alright....Saturday will be a 2.4 mile OW swim event, followed by 115 miles on the bike, then a quick :15 run off the bike.  Sunday will be 2:50 of running.  2 hours 50 minutes.  So basically I'm just a couple hours shy of a full Ironman for the weekend.  One. Day. At. A. Time.

And since I'm not writing much, here are some pics to distract you.  (****All photos courtesy of Molly!****)


I rode with Molly, her husband Jeff, and their friend George up a couple of mountains.  Think I'm kidding?  Luckily it was *mostly* shady.  And although I might have been swearing a storm up some of the climbs, it feels good to have tackled it.  And to know that Canada has roughly HALF as much climbing.

See...I told you there were two mountains.
The scenery was beautiful...and there were some nice shady parts.
George, Molly, moi (with a bottle growing out of my butt).
Ahhhh....shade.  Too bad it's on a climb.
Molly's transition.  My transition.  BFFs for the day.
Did I mention the climbing?  I think George was attached to my hip.
Not that my 1mph pace was giving him much of a draft.

I arrived home at 11pm on Friday from 2 days of meetings on the east coast.  12 hours of travel on Wednesday, all day meeting on Thursday, all day meeting on Friday plus travel home.  Ouch.  I tried not to be too crabby when meeting up with Molly, George, and Nigel on Saturday morning at 7:40-ish. We were doing a route close to my house (bless you Molly for that), so I didn't have to get up *quite* at dawn, altho I was running late.  We headed out one of my 'well-worn' routes, and then onto some roads I haven't ridden in quite a while, then continued on to a road I've never ridden.  Again, I'll just distract you with the pics.

Climbing...but almost entirely downhill on the way back.
Like, roughly 40 min negative split downhill. 
First pit stop to get water.  I think I'm toasting with my Perform.
IM training makes you do crazy stuff.
Some flat road before hitting the climb.
Pretty, but in a very different way than last week.  Very dry.
Starting a climb.

Yep, we're going up *there*.

Moi, George, Molly and Nigel at the turn around pit stop.
I think my bike weighs about 10 pounds more after filling all the bottles.
Heading back home....I think....
Proof of not being crabby...or at least faking it well.

And after that big day on Saturday, I slept in slightly on Sunday and then climbed back in the saddle for 2-1/2 hours.  Then I followed that up with 1-1/2 hours of running.  Maybe you can see why my legs are less than thrilled with me?

BUT.....only a few more (big) days in this build cycle, rest for a week, have another big week, then we TAPER!  Which means Canada is rapidly approaching....*gulp*.