IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA 2019 TRAINING
WEEK 10 – Monday 5/6/19 – Sunday 5/12/19
HOORAY! One-third of my Ironman 30-week training plan is in the books! It’s nice to hit that benchmark and put the base phase of training behind me. As I enter the 10-week build phase of the plan it is comforting to know that I did a pretty decent job getting prepared for it. The only issue that can come back and bite me is the fact that I did no swim training in that first ten weeks! But even though I stink at swimming, I am not really all that worried. I learned what I am capable of back in 2017 while training for Ironman Louisville, and I’m sure that the remaining twenty weeks will prepare me adequately. The weather has been the real issue this spring, being cold and miserable so far, and it has kept me from opening my pool so I can swim. Next week looks to have a gradual warm-up and I will plan on starting the process of getting the pool ready for summer. I may not like swimming that much, but I do enjoy a post long run/long bike cannonball to cool off.
FEAR: PART I – Fear… Of Missing Out
Friday I took a day off from work so I could be at home to welcome carpet installers and new carpet throughout our house. The original appointment was for Friday and Saturday and I wasn’t really sure how long they would be here either day. So I got up and got dressed and hoped that they would leave me a sliver of the late afternoon so I could squeeze in my planned hour-long run. It didn’t happen. As I watched them progress I realized that they were going to shoot to get it all done in one day. They finished up sometime around 6 pm, and then it was time for dinner and get busy with putting everything back that we had to move. Fun times (not), but I didn’t get my run in.
So I spent the day worrying about missing my Friday run, an hour long 7-miler that I can do in my sleep. I spent a lot of time on Facebook while babysitting the carpet guys and saw that several of my local friends and acquaintances were complaining about their local pool being unavailable again. It seems like the maintenance at the pool has been neglected or poorly maintained, or that some kid left a “Baby Ruth” (Caddyshack reference, in case you didn’t know) at the bottom of it. Whatever the reason, they are paying for the use of the pool and have not been able to use it. They have a right to be a little upset about that. But I also think they are like me and fear that they might get behind on their training. I totally get that. A few of these friends are doing their first Ironmans this fall, and I can remember how I felt about missing a week training for my first Ironman in 2013 when I volunteered at my daughter Ashley’s marching band camp. In the end, though, missing a swim/bike/run workout or two, or in my case, a whole week doesn’t really matter in the massive amount of training that is done in thirty weeks. No need to fear missing a workout.
The other thing I have been thinking that I fear I have been missing out on is group rides with a local group of riders, riders mostly who are also involved with the local running club. They post rides all the time but I usually skip them because they don’t fit in with what my plan calls for. Saturday was such a ride, and judging from the photo posted to Facebook, it was a big group and it looked like they were having fun. I’m going to have to join them soon. A group ride might be an asset, as you will see below.
FEAR: PART II – Fear… Of GETTING MURDERED!
I was a little concerned about my Saturday 3-hour training ride. First off, the weather stunk once again, 48 degrees and a forecast of rain. After breakfast, I checked the radar and could see that there was a small window of opportunity to get my ride in, and so I layered up and got out there.
I had a little trouble with my Fly12 bike flasher/camera again today. I had trouble with it last week and it didn’t record anything. I put it on my bike after charging it and it fired right up and started flashing. After about 20 minutes into the ride, I realized it wasn’t flashing anymore and I was not happy about it. I tried pushing the on/off button while riding but was having no success with getting it to turn on. I decided to stop at the next road crossing and fiddle with it. That’s when things got interesting.
I stopped at Ridgeland Road and took my gloves off and started fiddling with the dumb light. I got my phone out and opened the app for the device and manually hit record and figured if anything I would get it to video the rest of the ride. That’s when a guy walks across the street toward me and says “Sure is a nice bike you got there.” It wasn’t really what he said that gave me pause, but more of the way he said it like he was about to add “It’d be a shame if something were to happen to it.” I replied with “Thank you,” and watched him walk a little past the trail and kneel down and pull out a vape-type device and start puffing away. He was bearded, unkempt and kind of dirty looking, wearing a soiled Florida Gators sweatshirt, and I automatically started profiling the guy. That’s what you do when the only jobs you have ever had were in law enforcement and are pretty much skeptical of everyone you meet anyway. That’s when I silently said to myself “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW!” Thankfully my rear camera was working and caught the exchange:
Now, I don’t get spooked too easily, but this guy was sending me some big time warning signs. I put my phone back into my jersey pocket, pushed my bike to the shoulder of the road and started pedaling. It was at that point I went from riding a 3-hour Zone 2 ride to an immediate Zone 4 time trial. As I sped up the hill I kept looking over my shoulder to see if he got back into his truck. I thought that maybe I should have stayed on the bike trail, where he couldn’t have followed me. I also thought about where I might find some refuge up ahead if he did actually try to follow me.
I had gone to Bass Pro Shop last week to look at boats and found myself looking at handguns too. I don’t own any firearms (my three jobs in law enforcement have all been non-sworn), but I thought I would take a look at them. I often find myself thinking about how I would defend myself if I ever encountered a nut job. I haven’t ever really encountered a nut job, but in all seriousness, I FELT LIKE I HAD JUST ENCOUNTERED ONE. I was kind of wishing I had a handgun right now. Matter of fact, I wish I had like ten of the damn things. Our team name is GUNNERS for goodness sake! But instead, I would just have to pedal my ass off.
Although I spent the next 30 minutes riding damn hard and constantly looking over my shoulder, I never saw him again. Two hours into the ride my mind was totally focused on why I continually fail to remember to ride into the wind going out and with it at my back on the way home. That mistake cost me an extra 8 minutes. And by the time I got back home I wasn’t thinking about that dude or even thinking about buying a gun anymore. I’d probably accidentally shoot myself in the butt with it anyway. Now that would make for an interesting video.
Week 10 Training Totals:
Swims: None > Rides: 3 total / 86 miles > Runs: 3 total / 18 miles