Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I am back in the (blogging) saddle again!

After a few month hiatus I am back to regularly blogging. 

I am currently in Florida (Palm Beach) on my vacation/wedding/honeymoon trip.  Mike and I brought down our bikes and packed our car filled with wedding stuffs, training stuffs, and vacation stuffs. 

We have been here for three days already, and already I have been able to swim some, run long (8 miles!) and get in a strength ride on the A1A (25 MPH!)

The 8 mile run yesterday was so nice.  It felt great and easy and even with the heat and humidity at 7 am I managed a 10:41 minute per mile pace.  Some things that I did right were to eat before hand (3 egg whites) and to bring along ice cold water.  I went through 2 bottles on the run (standard store bought water bottles).

My shoes are about done though, so today I am heading into Wellington to buy some new Newtons.

We went for a ride on the A1A last night and I did half of my workout because the rain and lightening came faster than we could ride.  It was a great 40 minute workout though, kept 19mph on the warm up and recoveries, and 25-26mph on the straight aways when I was going my biggest gear for my 7 minute intervals.  That felt great! 

I am really embracing my cycling strength.  The next few months I need to focus on my nutrition in my long endeavors.  I need to find my nutrition plan and then stick to it. 

Today is a 2.5 hour ride weather permitting, and then a swim, weather permitting.  Oh top news around here?  A hurricane is heading its way straight for West Palm Beach with an expected Sunday land fall.  Our wedding is on Saturday... and we may be spending our honeymoon in a Hurricane. 

Transforming FEAR into FAITH. July Recap

I have realized that I need to just have faith. Ironman training is NOT marathon training.  It is not swim training.  It is not cycling training.  It is all around training.

I have had enough “death-walks” in my time that I am very fearful of the feeling of the marathon at the end of Ironman.  So I have been going longer in the other two disciplines so that I have a confidence level going into the next 2.5 months of training.  

In July I managed to nail the runs and got them done.  I rekindled my love of running and had a great time doing it.  I am excited for the chance to see how far I can go and grow in the next few months.  

I Swim Swam Swum to the Moon!

I am very confident in my swim now having completed multiple 1 to 2.1 mile open water swims in lakes and rivers, as well as my very first  5k open water swim this past weekend.  

Looking back over my swims, the long ones have all been pretty close to ~ 1:56/100y.  1 mile, 1.2, 2.1 or 3.1 miles with pretty similar pacing across the lot.  
That tells me that my swim is what is it and it is strong enough to do 3.1 miles of point-to-point swimming through 3 lakes without slowing down.  I am pretty sure that 2.4 miles in the ocean (two loops of 1.2 miles to be exact) are going to be just fine.

So, I just need to keep on plugging away at swimming and stay consistent.  

Take-Away: CONSITENCY IS KING! Just keep swimming.

A Centurion is born!

I completed my first 100 mile bike ride and was feeling horrible towards the end. Not cycling wise, but in general.  It felt akin to the marathon death-march that I am not fond of.     It was HOT and HUMID and I was struggling with nutrition because of the heat and humidity and the only available nutrition options were all sugars… as in cookies, treats, brownies, etc.  Not even a pretzel.  

I need to get in more time in the saddle to feel fully confident there, but on the good news front my saddle gave me no issues, so I was more than capable of staying in it for all of those 6.5 hours of riding.

So with that, for the bike, I know that I can complete 112 miles, and I know too that I need to get more comfortable with miles over 60.   The last four years of my life has been long-course, half iron distanced racing.  I am a whiz at the 56-60 mile distance.  A whiz.  Beyond that I am an in foreign territory. My focus then, here in the next few months, will be to execute the workouts and really treat every short ride as power and every long ride as race practice, full race practice with nutrition, clothing, etc.  

I need to feel like I am going to Ironman day in all sorts of circumstances.   This means getting back into the lab every week for some lab workouts, and then the weekend out on the roads with my gear and nutrition plan in hand.

TAKE-AWAY:  I need to nail down a solid 100 miler nutrition plan and execute it with a run off of the bike.  No wimping out.  I also need to bring salty and non-sweet food options to get me through.

A Do Run Run, A Do Run Run

Now to get back into the running swing of things and keep being consistent.  This is where having faith is important to me because I try to compare this Ironman training to that of marathon training.  I felt really good at Detroit Marathon last year.  I put in TONS of hours running though in order to feel that way.  My fear, which I need to turn into faith, is that the lack of complete running time will impact my day and I will be dead in the marathon at mile 6.  

Turning fear into faith… one workout at a time.  

So if my fear is that I am not strong enough, I need to have faith that my cross-training in cycling and swimming are making me strong enough to sustain 26.2 miles.

I have been thinking of having a back-up plan.  To implement a run/walk strategy for the 20 miles of the marathon, to conserve my energy, to keep my pace steady, to keep me strong.  Then, if I feel good and strong go to running more walking less if not running the last 10k solidly.  If not, then keep on with my run/walking strategy.  

This is my FIRST Ironman… not my ONLY Ironman.  I want to experience the process for this one, then in the next few years go for it again and improve based on what I learned.

I figure if I do it this way, I am keeping myself in a steady “with purpose” mode until the last few miles.  Conversely, if I go out running the first 20 miles I may get into my ‘give up’ mode and walk which would immediately make me think that I am weak and to question why I would want to start running again.

I know myself, and I know that I am stronger than that. I also know that I need a back up plan and a tertiary plan when the mental going gets tough.   I gave up at Welland and walked. I am still on the fence on this one.  I need to speak with coach on it.

I am pondering implementing a run/walk strategy for Rev3 in September.  If all goes well then I can pull another 30 minutes or so from my time and feel stronger for it.  

I think that I will try some brick runs off of my next longer rides and see how those go.  Run walking at Rev3 may be the answer I am looking for, and regardless, it will give me the final race test before IM FL to see if it will work or not.

Like they say… you have 26.2 miles to make up time if you take it too easy the first 114.4 miles… you have 26.2 miles to suffer if you paced it badly.

Take-Away: I want victory and strength, not a sufferfest.