IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA 2019 TRAINING
WEEK 11 – Monday 5/13/19 – Sunday 5/19/19
As I slid into Week 11 I found myself reflecting on being comfortable with where I was in the plan. It has kind of become routine – Monday rest, Tuesday run, Wednesday bike/run brick, Thursday bike, Friday run, Saturday bike, Sunday run – then repeat week after week. But on Saturday I finished my ride, put the bike away and got busy cleaning the swimming pool and mowing the grass and totally didn’t realize that we are now at a stage in training when Saturday’s long ride is followed by a run brick. I had gotten so used to the previous ten-week routine that I didn’t remember that the runs are added to the bike on Saturday. Oops. Oh well, I did have a killer of a Saturday long ride which kind of made up for missing that 15 minute brick run.
Speaking of the Saturday bike, I decided to join a local riding group that is primarily made up of people from the local running group that I have become familiar with. It was supposed to be a 2-2.5 hour bike ride averaging 17 mph. I was comfortable with that pace and length of ride, but I have certain expectations when riding as a group and as we rode a little I started figuring out who was on the same page as me and who wasn’t. I started to get a little uneasy and moved to the front of the group to avoid any issues. There was one stop in which a rider fell over. Not sure how he accomplished that as it didn’t appear that he was clipped in and was wearing running shoes. It has happened to all of us and I felt bad for the guy, but I made a mental note to stay clear of him. It wasn’t long until this group of cyclists and aero riding triathletes were on each others wheel. While training for Ironman, I usually avoid riding on the wheel of another rider because you aren’t allowed to draft at all during the race, but here we were. I was definitely getting out of my comfort zone.
We made it out to Elwood and the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and stopped for a quick restroom break and to refuel a little. I had some good conversations and then we were headed back. That’s when I got dropped. I was fighting like mad to keep up, but I was starting to wonder why I was killing myself. The group did eventually rejoin and I put myself ahead again to help control the pace a little. I was able to keep with them the rest of the ride. But this “easy” pace group ride was killing me!
When we turned around I noticed something was not quite right with my rear wheel. It was making a slight sound and I was sensing a little bit of vibration. I had ridden the bike on the trainer on Thursday and when I switched out the skewer I must not have had the wheel exactly straight. I stopped about 20 minutes from home and reset it the best I could and I didn’t feel the vibration anymore. When I got home I inspected the wheel and found that the tire sidewall was getting pretty worn, had started to bulge a little and it wouldn’t have been long before it failed completely on me. I was way too comfortable in letting that little warning sign of vibration and sound go on for too long. I should have dealt with it as soon as I noticed it. Stop being so comfortable! But I wasn’t the only one who should have been paying close attention to their bike. I noticed one strong lady rider who was about my age whose water bottle cage was wobbling so loosely that I thought it was going to fall off any minute. How do you not notice that?
All in all, I had a pleasant ride, learned that the cemetery has a restroom, learned a new route out to Elwood that bypasses a busy road, met some new people, had some good conversations and made it home in one piece. I will definitely join the group again but will not let the group’s ride influence my training plan for the day.
Next week I promise not to be so comfortable. I need to make sure I am executing the plan in the way I need to.
Week 11 Training Totals:
Swims: None > Rides: 4 total / 88 miles > Runs: 4 total / 25 miles