The final countdown has really started. Just 30 days left til the Ironman in Arizona. I have just over 2 weeks of hard training left before I start the 2 week taper.
I know I'm close because I'm constantly tired and constantly hungry. Even with all the hunger, I've been holding steady at 140 which is good and haven't busted into my Dorito stash. I've been going through rice and pasta quick though to stay on top of it. I'm cooking 3 cups of rice in the rice cooker which is about all I can handle for dinner instead of the normal 2. I'll be buying another 25lb bag at Costco soon. The Costco skinless chicken breasts have been going fast as well. The big bike day on Saturday is the toughest to stay on top of the diet even with all the calories I'm consuming during the ride. Sure I could eat a ton of junk food but that's not part of the diet. Although, the pent up junk food cravings will be unleashed on Nov 21st and it's not going to be pretty. I'll still be in Arizona for Thanksgiving so the real eating won't really begin until the end of November. I need to figure out when I have to start getting serious again for Boston and the Ironman in August 2012. I'm guessing day after New Year's is probably okay so a full 5 weeks of gluttony shouldn't be too bad, right?
I've been battling off and on the hint of a sore throat and cold. I bought a big box of Emergen-C and have been using it often. It's hard to tell if I should just get sick and get it out of the way or try to stay on top of it. The goal is to be good to go race day.
Our bib numbers for the race came out this week, I'm 1875. Seems like a solid number but it will take up quite a bit of arm real estate come race morning. I'm getting nervous as it just seems that I'm not ready to tackle that day at the pace I want. Perhaps if I break down all the training it will be sort of like some self-assurance. So read on if you're interested...
I've just been doing a steady diet of 3 days a week with the long swim getting longer and intervals every other week. This week I had a decent long swim of just under 65 minutes but man my Wednesday easy swim sucked big time. I don't think I'm getting faster but I do think I'm getting better at staying my pace for the whole Ironman distance. The pool is different than open water with 2500 of my closest friends so we will see. The pool finally got it's heater fixed which was a big relief. I'm totally frozen. I have a big ladder interval set this Friday so we'll see how I can respond after Wednesday. I guess I'm about 75% confident I can hit 63 on race day. There's probably nothing that will increase that just because the wetsuit adds so much speed to my swimming.
Oh god, the bike. I have 2 long rides left before the taper. The long ride has been going well from a mental standpoint. It seems before I know it I'm at the 50 mile turnaround and headed back. Speed is a different story. I'm getting better on the bike. The miles and tempo miles are adding up but I just don't feel super strong. I'm thinking I won't be as fit on the bike as I was in 2008 when I did a 5:39 on a hilly course. The good thing is I know I can go pretty much all out in the half distance and still be pretty good on the run. My hope is still to go at a moderate effort for this race and be on pace for a 5:15. The good thing is its 3 loops so basically you just have to focus for 38 something miles and make it to that last loop when it starts to get tough. The rides are getting colder out here in DC so I'm wearing more and more clothes which really makes me feel slower as well. 50%
My favorite part, where I excel and yet it's the one I'm most worried about. I guess it's because I've put a definite reach goal in place, 3:05 and even more of reach, fastest run split in my age group. The main reason for concern is that previous paragraph. I just not as strong on the bike. My long runs haven't been spectacular this training yet either. I did my first real test yesterday with an 18 miler. I was able to hold just a touch over 7s for the last half. It didn't feel super hard but not super easy either considering I'd have to go 8 more miles and I didn't bike 112 right before either. The tempo miles on every other week have been so-so. I'm hitting my goal average of 6:15 but it's been some big time effort to get there. The rest of the week's run miles are just easy runs to stretch out the legs. I have two tempo runs and one more 18 miler left before the taper. 65%
The last discipline, nutrition has been going great. I'm all dialed in with the plan for the bike and plan for the run as well. Pre-race morning nutrition is set. The only thing will be the tail end of the bike and if I'll cut back the calories a bit to let the stomach settle for the run.
I just gotta stay healthy to get that starting line in the best shape my 40 year old body can be in.
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