It’s kind of strange typing ’11 weeks to go’ since that’s where I was last week, but really today I’m 10 weeks out! Not sure why I never really noticed that 🙂
Yesterday two of my tri club friends, including SS who I’ve trained with quite a bit this summer, both completed their first Ironman at Ironman Wisconsin. While I was training yesterday in the heat and feeling tired from my long ride on Saturday, I just kept thinking of them as inspiration to keep moving. In the early evening when I checked their splits to see where they were on the course, I got goosebumps every time a saw another new split, meaning that they were that much closer to finishing. I stayed up and watched them both cross the finish line on Ironmanlive, even watching from home I got teary-eyed! Just knowing how hard they had both trained and to see them finish got me a tad more emotional than I realized. It also made me that much more excited for November 🙂
This week was a tough week! For once I REALLY felt like I was training for an Ironman. Don’t get me wrong, training hasn’t been easy, but I could compare it to my training for the Redman half last year…now I’m getting into new territories of training I haven’t done before!
Monday – Rest day, hooray!
Tuesday – Didn’t get up in time to swim (moved to Sunday) and ran 6.5 miles after work. It was an interval workout but my stomach wasn’t thrilled so I didn’t go as hard as I probably could have… GI issues are the worst!
Wednesday – Patrick was finally getting his teeth cleaned that day, so I was up early to drop him off at the vet, and then picked him up after work, which meant I didn’t have time to drive out to my usual park where I do my Wednesday bricks. So, a trainer ride it was. Sigh. 1.5 hours on the trainer (whoo! It was a tough workout since I didn’t have to worry about oncoming bikes, cars or wildlife, I could really push the pace/intensity) followed by a 2 mi run. My pace is still picking up, averaged 7:36 for both miles!
Thursday – I had an early meeting at work, so I decided to try to run/swim after work. Swam 2,700 yards and by the time I got home, I was wiped. Ugh, the run wasn’t going to happen. Two a days are just going to have to be done in the AM and PM, no doubling up.
Friday – up early for an easy 1 hr spin on the trainer, off to work and then ran a very slow 6 miles that I missed on Thursday. Weird things were hurting that haven’t hurt before… my left knee and my right glute… bring on the stretching and foam rolling! After the run JMR and I went to check out a small local art fair nearby and also grabbed a late dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood.
Saturday – So… I was going to ride 80 miles in Columbia, IL with a friend, but then I heard about a charity ride a few club members were doing that day in Trenton, IL, which featured a 62 and 100 mile rides. At first I thought 100 was out of the question because my coach had 5 hours on my schedule, which would be around 80 miles, but I texted her to get her thoughts and she said to go for the 100! I was giddy when she responded, my first century ride! I was also happy to be riding somewhere other than Columbia where I have been doing most of my long rides. I was up at 4:45 to eat breakfast and pack up my gear/bike, met up with the rest of the tri clubbers at 6a who were also riding at 6a and caravaned to Trenton, IL for the ride.
I was nervous and tired, I hadn’t slept very well the night before because I was worried about oversleeping but also about the ride in general… the distance and the fact that I would be riding the last 50 miles solo, since everyone else was riding the 62 mile route. I knew there would be other people out on the course and SAG support, so I really wasn’t going to be alone, but the thought of riding by myself on roads I wasn’t familiar with was still a bit scary. Plus, how would my legs handle the extra 20 miles? I guess I would just have to find out.
The first 50 miles went ok, we rode at a very conservative pace… around 14.5mph (I had to stop a couple times in the beginning because I was having front brake issues) and because there were rest stops almost every 10 miles, everyone decided to stop at each one, so not only were we going at a nice pace but we were also taking quite a few breaks. Good and bad, I wanted to keep moving while it was still cool out, but I also was glad to be taking it easy.
When it was time for us to part at mile 50, I wished the rest of the group good luck, and they did the same to me and I was off, 50 more miles! I actually felt great, my legs felt good and my energy levels felt high. As far as ‘energy’, aka nutrition went, I had concocted one bottle with 3 servings of Infinite (750 cals), the bento box on my bike had 2 honey stinger chews (160 cals each, was only planning on eating one, but had an extra in case) and I had another ziplock baggie with 3 more servings of powdered Infinite in my back pocket. 1660 calories, which if I finished in seven hours, that should be around 240 calories an hour. Ok, enough of babbling about my nutrition… I just get pretty darn picky/exact about it, so I had to include it 🙂
I was able to pick up the pace a bit and over the course of the rest of the ride and I could see my average rising, which made me happy! I finally got to an avg of 15 mph, which I was pumped about…until I realized I hadn’t seen any green arrows on the road (the 100 mile course was marked in green arrows). I kept riding for a bit…slower than before, until I realized I should probably just turn around and go back to the last green arrow I saw. Sure enough I had made up that it was a left turn arrow, instead it was a straight arrow, meaning to keep going straight ahead. Argh. I only added an extra 3 miles, but man, every extra mile just seems like a lot when you are already doing 100!
Along the way I stopped at two rest stops, and after the second one I had around 20 miles to the finish, so I decided to skip the last stop and to just. keep. going. I was a tad sore from sitting on my seat, my neck was a bit achy from being in aero and my legs felt ok, but in general I was ready to be done! As I got closer I heard my watch beep and saw it display 100.0. I smiled and gave myself a little pat on the back for making it to 100 and then went on to finish the final three miles.
Before I knew it I was turning left into the parking lot and hopping off my bike! I was tired, but I was happy! I looked at my watch and I had been riding for 6 hours and 50 minutes. Lordy! That didn’t even take into account the stopping/rest breaks… we started at 7:30a and it was 3:30p when I finished! What a long day! I wore my short sleeved jersey to avoid my fun sunburns I had gotten earlier this summer and overall did a good job from being burned, but did manage to once again, miss a spot. Darnit. Other than that, I would say that the ride was a success!!
After checking in with the volunteers to let them know that I finished (they had a special sheet for the 100 mile riders since there were so few of us to make sure we all made it back safe), I hopped in the car for a 50 minute ride back to Saint Louis. Or so I thought. I made it to exit 3 on the Illinois side to hit bumper to bumper traffic…. that was after driving for 30 minutes… then I spent another HOUR going FOUR miles to cross the bridge! AN HOUR! Did I mention that it only took 45 minutes from my house to get there?!?! After all of that riding the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in traffic. My patience had run out around mile 95 so this was very trying. I did finally cross the bridge and it was smooth sailing after, but I definitely said more than a few colorful phrases while sitting in traffic.
I finally got home a little before six, unpacked, hopped in the shower and then JMR and I were off to go see another art fair, this one much larger with artists from all over the US. We walked around for 2.5 hours, until it started to rain, however we were also finishing up seeing the last few booths. My legs were oh so tired! I wanted to wear compression sleeves on my legs so they would be a little more recovered for my long run on Sunday, but I just couldn’t brave how awful they would look with the sundress I was wearing 🙂 (I had heat rash on my legs where my bike shorts ended, so I had a nice red ring around both legs, so shorts were out). The wardrobe issues training has caused me!
We grabbed a late dinner at, ha, another nearby Mexican restaurant (we made ourselves promise we wouldn’t have mexican again for a while 🙂 and I was in bed by 11:30. Out cold.
Sunday – I woke up at 7:30a ready to get my 13 mile run done, until I heard a loud crash and realized it was storming outside. Ugh. Which also meant that my pool was closed since they close it when there is a storm in the area (I guess because it has glass windows?). Back to bed I went and I finally got up around 9:30 since I couldn’t sleep anymore. I uploaded my Garmin data for the week and updated my trainingpeaks schedule (where my coach lists my workouts and I update it with what I have completed).
Finally around noon it had stopped raining, so JMR and I drove to Forest Park to get our long run done.
Oh lordy. My legs were tired… between the long ride and walking around Saturday evening, they felt anything but fresh. As did my attitude. I wasn’t super grumpy, but I wasn’t happy to do this run. I just really dislike getting such a late start on long runs since it eats up most of your day, but we really didn’t have a choice. Off we went….the first mile at an 11 minute pace…the second around a 10…and then my legs finally woke up. We were averaging around 9:30/9:45 for the rest of the run and it felt a bit tough, but manageable. JMR dropped off at mile 12 since that’s what was on his schedule and I trudged on to finish my last mile. I’m not sure why it was so tough, maybe because I was running solo? But it was a tough mile, and finally I was headed back to the visitor’s center and my watch beeped at 13 miles. Phew! Done! Boy was I was a sweaty mess! My shorts were actually DRIPPING wet, so much that I could wring them out. Gross. I haven’t sweated that much while running… ever, I think. I try to add photos to my posts to make them more interesting, but I’ll spare you a picture of that.
After the run, I still managed to have a somewhat productive day… laundry, cleaning and cleaned out my fridge (it was a long overdue task… pretty yucky). I also ‘cooked’ dinner… well, if you count spaghetti as cooking, which I do because I added ground beef to the sauce and I also made my own ‘spaghetti’ noodles with zucchini. Pretty sophisticated 🙂 JMR prefers regular old noodles, no fun.
Random tidbit about my ‘cooking’, I eat eggs with veggies for dinner a lot because they’re super easy to make and when I get done with my workouts at 7p, cooking a fancy schmancy meal does NOT sound like fun. I hope I don’t develop an allergy to eggs or I don’t know what I’ll do!
I was finally in bed by 10:30 and it would have been earlier if I didn’t stay up to watch my friends cross the finish line – but it was totally worth it though!!
Today is a rest day, but because I missed my swim last Tuesday and was afraid I would drown if I did it after my run yesterday (my legs were dead), I squeezed the 2500 y swim in today and took it very easy.
Total Training Hours: 15:39…. getting up there!
Headed to bed in a bit!