Sunday, April 8, 2012
Yet Another Ironman Weekend
I thought that I had done plenty of ironman weekends and that I was beginning a long taper. Little did I know that my coach had a very interesting week in store for me. Yes, I got more rest than usual, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. But Wednesday was a very long hard day, and this weekend, well, I'll recount the weekend. Saturday morning began with a 2.4 mile swim broken up into four pretty solid 600 yard efforts of swimming and then 1500 yards of pulling with paddles (good upper body workout). I changed into my bike clothes, drove home and began my biking adventure. 101 miles of mostly ironman effort, so that I actually averaged about 19mph for the whole ride. The first half of this was pretty comfortable, but it kept feeling harder. I think I got enough nutrition, but I wonder if I went into the day a little light. No matter, I made it through. This was as mentally tough as it was physically, and took me 5 hours and 20 minutes. Just 11 miles short of the full ironman distance, which I could have done, but I needed to get my 2 mile easy run in prior to going to the movies with my wife and daughter. Oh, yes, I also needed to hydrate and nourish. The popcorn and root beer was good! I was feeling pretty fried all night, finally got to bed, wondering how in the world I was going to do a long run today. Fortunately, as seems to happen all of the time these days, I woke up without any soreness and actually with some energy. Grant you, I wasn't bouncing off the walls, but the instructions today were to just run easy and get as much mileage in as possible. I did just that, running as easy as I could, never looking at my watch, so I had no idea how fast I was going, but I didn't care. It just felt good to run easily. I visualized the entire St. George course, starting with the swim during the first third of my run, shifting to the bike for the second third, then finishing up with the run. By the time of got to mile 17, feeling good and not knowing exactly how long I'd been running, I did do one mile on the track fairly hard and then coasted home for the last 2 miles. So, 19 miles of running in 3 hours and 3 minutes. The pace is slower than what I'd like to do at St. George, but that wasn't the point. I realize that St. George is at lower altitude, which always gives me some extra speed, and, I'll be well rested going in. Plus, this run did feel easy! This was also one of those runs that make you think about doing ultra distance running. I just enjoyed the weather and the surroundings and the feeling of running easy. So, instead of stretching my ironman weekend over three days, as I have been doing recently, this time I did it in just two days. In fact, 27 hours. So, swim, bike, run for 10 hours over a 27 hour period. I was just 11 miles short of a full ironman bike, and 5 miles short of a full ironman run. Ironically, this puts me in the 11 1/2 hour ironman range. Hopefully, that's a good omen for my goal paces! I have absolutely no soreness today, and went to another movie with my wife and daughter (more popcorn and root beer). Now, just chilling.