2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 22

WEEK 22 – May 23, 2016 – May 29, 2016

As usual, my wonderful wife keeps pretty close tabs on me during my training.  She knows the effort involved and makes sure I don’t overdo it.  But lately she has been on me about under-doing it, in particular the swim.  Some may call that nagging, but it is really just loving concern.  The schools had their final week of classes this week and therefore adjusted the pool hours to end midday, effectively keeping me out of the pool for another week.  And I am still waiting for my in-ground pool to be fixed.

I had convinced myself that missing a week or two of swimming wasn’t going to affect me, but when my number one fan is concerned, I guess I had better think about it as well.  I guess I will add some upper body strength training (which I loathe, by the way) in the interim until I can get back into swimming.

The Ironman related Facebook pages that I follow were also talking a lot about swimming too, mainly in regard to a condition called SIPE – Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema.  It appears that this condition may be a big cause of many of the swimming related fatalities in the Ironman swims.  I read up on the topic and even listened to a podcast that discussed it, and truthfully I have never had any of the symptoms of this condition.  But it pays to be aware of them for sure.

As far as the rest of the week of training is concerned, it was somewhat of an easy week that tapered down slightly toward a Half-Iron distance race in the plan for Sunday.  Since this weekend happened to be Memorial Day weekend and my youngest daughter had a soccer tournament, the best day to do this trial run was Saturday.  There was too much going on to do an actual race, so I did the training on my own.  The day started out slightly cool with somewhat threatening skies, but it never did rain.  I stuck to the Old Plank Trail in order to have some shelter available to me in case I needed to dodge a storm.  I ended up doing almost exactly 56 miles, averaging 17.5 mph.

After getting home, I changed into some non-sweaty running clothes and headed for the 6.55 miles out and 6.55 miles back.  But the threatening skies turned sunny, and I had neglected to put on sunscreen.  I was starting to cook.  But I had plenty of water, GU and Base salt with me and I kept up with it.  Of note, I ran the 13.1 miles in 2:01 which was pretty much my best effort for the conditions.  I had run the Frankfort Half Marathon a month earlier in 1:35.  Interesting how much slower you run when you precede it with a 56 mile ride and do it in 80 degree weather.

Upon getting home, I could tell that I had over-done it somewhat.  A shower, some rehydration, and a quick dinner made me whole again. I think I pushed a little too hard on the bike and didn’t hydrate as much as I should have.  That’s what training is for, learning from the mistakes.

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69.1 miles later…

 

WEEK 22 TOTALS:

Swims: No swimming this week 😦

Bikes: 3 total, 5 hours, 87.5 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 34.6 miles

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Training gets serious in the next few weeks.

2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 21

WEEK 21 – May 16, 2016 – May 22, 2016

Another week of playing catch up.  The totals for last week were down because I missed my long run on Sunday.  So I ended up doing it on the Monday rest day.  14 miles in 2 hours.  Tuesday I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon, so I had to cut my swim short and ended up doing 2500 yards instead of the 3500 the plan called for.  Since I needed to pick up my son from college on Friday, I skipped the planned swim.  I don’t mind skipping the third swim.

The rest of the week went well with no big issues.  The best part of the week however was the long Saturday ride and brick run that most of my Gunner teammates were able to make.  Dave and his son Alex made the trip to my home to ride together, but we ended up delaying it a little so John could join us as well.  We were missing our Gunner friend Jeff, who is still rehabbing from his minor back surgery and is limited to riding a stationary recumbent bike and using an elliptical.  So what does a Gunner do when those are his options?  Jeff did 4 hours on the elliptical.  Gunner.  Can’t wait until he can join us again.  He had a really good base built up and should be able to get back up to speed easily.

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It took us several tries to take a selfie. My arms are too short.

We rode for about an hour and then met with John, then we decided that heading east and west might be our best option due to the wind blowing from the north.  Unfortunately, most of the good riding for me is south of my town, so with a south wind it is hard to avoid having to ride back into the wind.

So we decided to explore a little, and that meant discovering gravel roads and busier highways. But we weren’t on them long, and eventually made it out to Elwood.  When we got to the north side of Midewin National Nature Preserve, we decided to ride into it and see what the old abandoned arsenal had for us.  Essentially it was just a couple miles of choppy road in the middle of nowhere.  Now we know.

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I’m the odd ball with the non-Speed Concept.  Oh well.  We weren’t sure if we should go in, but we did anyway.

Since we had been riding about an hour when we caught John, we decided that we would compromise and do an extra 1/2 hour to give him 3.5 hours and us 4.5 hours of riding.  In all, we covered about 77 miles in 4:30, give or take a couple of minutes.  I did notice that we passed the half-Iron bike distance of 56 miles at about 3:17, which is a pretty good time for a training ride if you ask me.  Matter of fact, the ride was quite a confidence booster.

The brick run was impressive to me.  I had always thought that it wouldn’t be long before Dave and John started to catch up with me tempo-wise on the run.  They certainly had some speed at the end of that 5.5 mile run.  I took them through a local neighborhood that has some really big houses, which they seemed to enjoy.  Then it was back home for a quick shower and a dinner at Fuddrucker’s, a hamburger joint that I hadn’t been to in probably 25 or more years.  I didn’t even think this place still existed.  But the food was hot and good, and the end of day conversations and recaps were awesome.

The Sunday workout consisted of a 1:15 hour spin, which I did with my wife.  We rode into New Lenox on the trail and then made it back home.  I took a minute to clean the Gatorade and gravel dirt off my bike, then headed out for the 1:45 long run.  It ended up being 12 miles.  I should have hydrated more because I was suffering a little in the 80 degree 100% sunshine.  I brought one water, but could have used more.  I think I needed to hydrate a little more from yesterday’s effort.

The last thing of note for the week is that we have all ordered our custom tri kits from Epix.  They did a really good job designing a logo for us and creating a kit.  I hope that all of us find the kit to fit well and be comfortable.  Can’t wait to get them in early July.

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A screen shot of our tri top from Epix.  They did a really good job with the Gunner logo and the design of the kit.  I really like them.

 

WEEK 21 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 7:40 hours, 121 miles

Runs: 7 total, 7:55 hours, 54.7 miles

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Week 21 is Done!  Getting closer to LP!

 

2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 20

WEEK 20 – May 9, 2016 – May 15, 2016

Well, I have reached the end of another week of training, but it was not without its imperfections.  Stuff happens, and it certainly was an interesting week.

First of all, what a crappy weather week.  Basically rainy and 50 degrees for most of the week, which is somewhat unusual temperature-wise for northern Illinois.  I hit the trainer and treadmill for most of the weekday workouts.

The swims were interesting as well.  As the school year winds down, I noticed for the past few weeks that the freshman classes that are required to take swimming must have all gotten through the program because I had the pool pretty much to myself.  (The school dedicates two lanes for Adult Community swimmers, and the kids swim in the deep end.)  But I forgot that as we reach the end of the year, they let any class that wants some pool time to come an goof around.  That means kids doing cannonballs off the spring board, football wannabes tossing a football around and tackling each other, water polo balls flying into my lane, etc.  Makes for an interesting swim.

An update for my pool situation – I ordered a new liner to replace the ripped one, so I anticipate it being open sometime mid-June, hopefully because I believe my wife has a graduation party scheduled for the end of June.  Yikes!  I saw a duck in there this morning.

I had to cut short Friday’s workout so I could go watch my son run at least one track meet this year.  I picked up Grandpa and off we went to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa to watch him run his event, the Steeplechase.  4.5 hours of driving there.  9:55 minutes of him running.  4.5 hours driving back.  Very proud of him though.  He set a personal record by 15 seconds or so, and finished 8th in the race which earned a point for his team, Loras College.

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The lad doing his thing.  Interesting race, the steeplechase.  Of course it rained.

Saturday was another day that I had to make some changes.  A family acquaintance passed away and I attended the funeral.  Good man, raised good kids, and went above and beyond serving his community as a board member of the high schools.

So I did about a third of the biking that was in the plan for Saturday, and did another 2.5 hours on Sunday.  Which meant Sunday’s long run took a hit.  I will move it to tomorrow, which is normally a rest day.  Two hour run.  That’s something to look forward to.

The Week 11-20 Build phase totals up to the following:

  • Swims: – 19 total, 18.5 total hours, 115,800 total yards
  • Bikes: – 38 total, 53:45 total hours, 850 total miles
  • Runs: – 70 total, 45.5 total hours, 324 total miles

WEEK 20 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2:20 hours, 6800 yards

Bikes: 3 total, 4:45 hours, 77.75 miles

Runs: 7 total, 2.8 hours, 24.75 miles

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The build phase is over.  Uh oh.  

 

 

2016 IMLP Training – Week 19

WEEK 19 – May 2, 2016 – May 8, 2016

Just a quick wrap-up for this week as it was pretty uneventful.  But there were some noteworthy items.

I learned a lesson about doing a half marathon last weekend.  It’s aftermath was painful.  I was very sore on most of my runs until about Friday.  Need to do some more stick rolling and stretching and I should be back to having that “normal” worn out feeling that I usually have.

Although the plan has a swim on Friday, I have decided that I will do them when I can.  It’s just that when you are doing training you end up neglecting some things that have little consequence, and others that have more significant consequence.  Like not mowing the yard, which at this time of the year can be more like a jungle if I don’t tend to it.  And since I feel the weekend long efforts on the bike and run are vital to the training, I think I can still be okay by foregoing one of the three hour long swims to devote time to household responsibilities.  I’ve been averaging about 2:05 minute splits per 100 yards over 3000 yards, which I am very happy with.

Speaking of the swim, I finally decided to pull the cover off my pool and try to open it.  Swimming in my own pool saves time, and even though it is a lot of turning around, I don’t mind it much.  I expected a green pool when I pulled the cover off, but got a much bigger surprise – a black lagoon!

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Watch out for the creature!

Cleaning this will be a chore, but it would probably be ready in a couple of weeks.  But surprise number two came when I saw this:

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Yeah, duct tape won’t fix that.

So, now it looks like it may need to be replaced, and that may delay the pool opening for a while.  I’ve got two kids graduating 8th grade and high school this year, and the Ironman to train for, so I need that pool open!

The long bike was a four hour long trip this week, but I got to ride with a couple of friends, my normal riding partner Todd, and my other Ironman Gunner teammate Dave.  Todd is not interested at all in doing tri’s, but loves to ride.  He left us around 2:45 into the ride and Dave and I finished it off.  We pretty much have to ride south for good roads to ride, which meant with the wind going out.  Coming back was tough!  But we got through it.

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Looking fresh after a 4 hour ride and 45 minute run.  So much more fun when you have someone to train with.

Wrapped up the weekend with a Sunday long run of 12 miles.  I was set to only do 10 miles, but just as I was turning off the trail to run the mile back home, my wife jumped on.  So I enjoyed running an extra couple of miles with the mother of my children on a nice Mother’s Day.  She was the anti-runner when I met her, and now she’s starting to get pretty fast.  I converted a non-runner into a running lover!  Just need to get her interested in the marathon!

WEEK 19 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 5 total, 7.8 hours, 112 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5.5 hours, 38 miles

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Getting closer to the endurance phase!  Scary!

 

2016 IMLP Training – Week 18

WEEK 18 – April 25, 2016 – May 1, 2016

The taper weeks always seem to surprise me, mainly because I rarely look ahead in the training plan unless forced to do so.  I take it one day, one week at a time.  No sense in worrying about the six hour rides and 3 hour runs at this stage of the game.  The tapers are almost like a gift or courtesy, like someone holding the door for you.  A welcome break for the work that you have put in.

The plan had an Olympic distance triathlon scheduled for Sunday, and since it is April in Illinois, the opportunity to get that task done was going to be limited unless I traveled to somewhere with a better spring than the one we are having.  But there was a local half marathon being run, so I decided to hop on that instead.

The half marathon was so local that it was on the exact same trails that I run every run.  I went into it thinking to use it as a training day, but of course the competitive side of me took over and I pushed hard.  I finished in 12th place overall.  But the surprising thing is that I finished 4th in my age group!  I am still trying to figure out how someone in the Male 50-54 age group can finish in 12th place and lose out on a podium finish by three other old guys.  My area must be ripe with fast old guys.  You can read my race recap here:

2016 Frankfort Half Marathon Race Report

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Bad post race selfie.

The other thing of note this week was the swim and my ongoing issue with having to urinate when swimming.  I don’t get it.  Tuesday was to be a 3000 yard swim, and like clockwork I had to pee a half hour into it.  Then it was again about every 5-10 minutes.  When I got to the 2800 yard point I could feel some rather sharp pain in my lower back that almost doubled me over.  I decided to get out and head to the shower.  I did a little googling of the issue and found a condition called immersion diuresis.  The suggested reasoning is colder water and the pressure of being in the water stimulates the kidneys to make more urine.  I’m not sure what the pool temp is, but it isn’t what I would consider cold.  And I am not sure that I buy any pressure related causes because I’m swimming along the top of the water.  In the past I have just gotten out of the water and relieved myself and was able to continue on.  But the kidney ache that I got this time gave me some pause.  On Saturday after finishing the half marathon, I urinated a somewhat bloody stream.  Race day was cool and damp, and I had not felt like I was adequately hydrated.  I am curious if it was related to the issue I had earlier in the week or that the run was the cause.  I have had bloody appearing urine after hard running efforts in the past.  I will keep an eye on it for now.

Hoping for the best for one of my Gunners training teammates.  He had an issue with his back that has been treated and hopefully will put him back at it soon.  He was in great shape prior and will have plenty of time to recover and train.

Not sure what next week will be like.  I don’t look ahead, remember?  But it won’t be long and I will be heading into the endurance phase of training.

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Taper is King!

 

WEEK 18 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 1.5 hours, 4300 yards

Bikes: 2 total, 1.5 hours, 21 miles

Runs: 7 total, 4 hours, 31 miles

2016 IMLP Training – Week 17

WEEK 17 – April 18, 2016 – April 24, 2016

Good week this week because of…  Taper!  Just as the plan was building to a weekend 4 hour ride and a 1.5 hour run, Fink dialed it back.  I think the next week is set up for another easy week, finishing with an Olympic distance triathlon.  Since it is late April in the suburbs of Chicago, good luck finding a race!  Instead, I signed up for a half-marathon for next Sunday and will do a little biking afterward.

I missed one of the swims this week as the Friday swim fell on my wife’s birthday.  And if I have learned anything about triathlon training, you don’t screw with family obligations!  So I had some things to do birthday-wise, and the swim was skipped.

Cycling went well this week, and I felt really good about the 4 hour long ride/half hour brick run.  It was a little cool at the start, but all things considered a nice day for a ride.  I think I averaged about 17 mph, but was often moving along at over 20 mph.

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Had to yield to a peacock on the bike trail.  That was a first.  

I finally found some time to buy some new running shoes on Sunday.  I haven’t tried them out yet.  My running shoe brand ASICS has been so dependable for me that I almost never even try them on in the store, I just grab my model and size and go.  But last time I bought the new version of the Kayano, the 22 and it’s construction is very different from the 21.  I found it to be stiff and the left shoe seemed to slap the ground, which bugged the heck out of me.  Very disappointed with this version.  So I am trying an experiment and bought a cheap ASICS model, the GEL-EXCITE 3.  While testing them in the store, I found them to be really comfortable and sturdy.  My experience with the cheaper shoes is that they just don’t last as long in respect to cushioning and wear and tear on the sole.  I will keep track and see if they can get to 300 miles.  If so, then that is $50 well spent!

 

WEEK 17 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 6.5 hours, 112 (that’s an omen!) miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 36 miles

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Week 17 – Done!

2016 IMLP Training – Week 16

WEEK 16 – April 11, 2016 – April 17, 2016

The highlight of this week was an awesome group ride in Dixon, Illinois.  It was the first time that I had driven to my long time pal Dave’s house and joined him for a ride.  We were missing one of our teammates who couldn’t join us, and we had one Gunner dealing with a sore back.  We were however, joined by a young man from Germany named Malta, who impressed me with his riding even after traveling the previous couple of days.

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4 of 5 Gunners and one German!  (photo by Carla DeForest)

I almost doomed the ride for myself by forgetting my bike computer, my heart rate strap, my sunscreen, and my little head covering that keeps the sweat off my brow and covers my bald head.  But I had my phone app to record the ride, and all my other stuff that I needed to at least ride and run afterward.

The day was awesome for mid-April.  Mid to upper 70’s, barely any clouds, with a slight wind from the southeast.  I was amazed at the farms and the rolling hills, and upon cresting several hills I would almost want to stop and take in the scenery.  We saw a huge hawk, several horses, some cows, some pigs roaming around, a barking dog who Dave says barks at him every damn time, and a snake sunning himself on the pavement.  Dumb snakes.  Later on the run we even saw a couple of deer.

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About an hour to go.  My new buddy Malta was still hanging with the Gunners!

I loved to fly down the rollers, but I learned quickly that I better be a little more careful riding an unknown route as I launched one of my bottles filled with Gatorade.  Fortunately for me, Jeff decided not to overdo it with his back issue and let me have his for the rest of the ride when he turned back early.  He was also kind enough to pick up my bottle on the way home.  Thanks, Jeff!  I needed every drop of Gatorade from that bottle.

Dave mentioned that we should turn around around 1 hour 25 minutes into the 3 hour ride because it will take us longer riding back home into the wind.  Truthfully, I hadn’t really noticed the wind much, but Dave is pretty keen about those things.  Sure enough, when we turned around the wind was right in our face and it seemed that it was going to take us much longer to get back.  But we kept on moving and got it done.

One thing I noticed about Dave’s route is that it was very much like the Ironman Wisconsin course in terms of rollers and wide open spaces.  Good place to train for Wisconsin or Lake Placid.  No wonder Dave is a cycling god.

I also relearned the same lesson that I always learn when I ride with my buddies.  That lesson is – I SUCK!!!  Okay, that’s being a little harsh on myself, but every time I ride with my buddies I get reminded where I sit in the hierarchy of cycling ability in our group.  And that is low on the totem pole, way off the back.

But it’s kind of unfair to say I suck instead of acknowledging how good my buddy Dave is.  And the kid, Alex, well youth is definitely on his side.  I shouldn’t be comparing myself to someone  31 years younger than me.  He’s also outstanding.

In reality I have improved my cycling a bunch, and I think I am at a much higher level of conditioning on the bike than in the past.

The rest of the week also went well.  I finally got in the three swims this week and felt good about it.  Running was also pretty good.  Ended the week with an 11 mile long run at about 8:12/mile pace.

Glad that summer made an appearance this week, and I hope it sticks around for awhile.

WEEK 16 TOTALS:

Swims: 3 total, 3 hours, 9000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 5.75 hours, 96 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 36 miles

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Great end to Week 16!

2016 IMLP Training – Week 14

WEEK 14 – March 28, 2016 – April 3, 2016

The bonus to already being an Ironman finisher while training for another race is knowing what to expect and how to adapt.  I had an earlier week this time around where I had to make some adjustments, but it was nothing compared to this week.

First, the school where I swim was closed for spring break, and therefore I couldn’t swim.  At first I was worried about not getting my swims in, and how it would set me back.  But in my previous attempt at Ironman, I lost a week of swimming as well and it really didn’t make much of a difference.  After thinking about that, I put the idea about it negatively affecting me out of my head, and actually enjoyed the swim-free week.

Next was the weird spring weather we are having.  I guess it isn’t so out of the ordinary, but it certainly made me change some plans.  I finally brought my tri bike up from the basement where it has been serving me this winter and spring on the trainer, and took it outside for the first time this year.  I received a FLO full disc aero wheel for Christmas, and I decided to throw it on the bike and take it for an inaugural spin.  Even with the moderate wind that I was somewhat cautious of, I could tell that it was going to be fun to ride.  I even hit 36 mph during one slight downhill stretch that I normally struggle to get to 30 mph on regular cycling wheels.

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Maiden ride with my new full disc wheel.  Crazy fast with this thing.

The next day was much windier, so I opted for using my 60’s, which are also aero wheels.  I thought I was going to get blown off the path.  I never gripped the handle bars so intently before!  Thankfully, I made it back in one piece.

Saturday was my scheduled long ride, calling for 3.5 hours and a 30 minute brick run.  Mother Nature was not cooperating however, and my streak of riding outside turned to a tortuous 4 hours spent indoors.  My butt is still angry with me.  Being inside is just not where I prefer to ride.  It may not have been as strong of a ride as if I had done it outside, but I sucked it up and got through it.

So I adapted this week, cutting some workouts and shortening others. But I know it is a long journey, and there are many quality swims/bikes/runs ahead in the upcoming weeks.

WEEK 14 TOTALS:

Swims: 0 – Zippo – Nada – None

Bikes: 4 total, 5.5 hours, 97 miles

Runs: 7 total, 4:50 hours, 33 miles

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A forgetful Week 14.  Back to normal next week.

 

2016 IMLP Training – Week 13

WEEK 13 – March 21, 2016 – March 27, 2016

I have trained for and completed one other Ironman race, and that one was Ironman Wisconsin. From my researching race reports for Ironman Lake Placid, I am finding a lot of similarities between the two races. Both are well liked and have a strong following. Both races always sell out quickly, although not quite as fast as in recent past years mainly due to a lack of a pro field and the additions of a handful of new Ironman locations taking some of the devotes away. They both also offer a challenging bike course, and each comparing the atmosphere of the bike routes to that of the Tour de France. The volunteers at both are reportedly awesome. And both are favorites of the voice of Ironman – Mike Reilly. He tends to never miss Madison or Lake Placid. Lastly, both boast of awesome finishes, with IMWI having the state capital building in the background and IMLP finishing on the 1932 Olympic oval.

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My two buddies and me at the finish line of IMWI a couple of days before the race in 2013.

But there is one main difference between the two races: the swim. IMWI has always been an in water, mass start. IMLP has changed to a self-seeded start. I can only guess, but I think the size of Mirror Lake at IMLP is somewhat smaller than Lake Monona in Madison, and therefore due to the swim-start initiative that the World Triathlon Corporation has implemented, IMLP moved to a self-seeded, wave start of the two loop course.

I participated at Ironman Muncie 70.3 in 2014, which was a wave start based on age groupings and I found that to be a great swim. The swimmers were spread out well over the 1.2 mile swim, and I chose to swim the inside line of the buoys and had very little contact with other swimmers. I was hoping that IMLP will be very similar.

Then I read the some IMLP race reports from 2015. Many of the authors reported that the swim was “tough,” or “brutal.” Not what I was hoping to read. But I think a good many of those people are strong swimmers, hoping to be 1:15 or quicker, and found that they were swimming among swimmers that possibly self-seeded themselves a little too strongly. I will not make that mistake.

I asked a swimmer from the 2016 IMLP Facebook page what his recommendation for the swim start for a guy like me (slow and dreading the swim). Others pitched in with their comments as well. Most said to seed yourself according to your expected time and be truthful (no problem there!), and to stay wide of the underwater cable or stay to the inside of the buoys. Either of those options were what I was planning anyway. As far as the cable is concerned, it is an underwater cable that lays out the course for the swim. Since Mirror Lake is very clear, it is an easily visible guideline and allows swimmers to swim without having to sight their way out of the water. I think my plan will be to watch where others are swimming and when I get into the water at the start, look for a clear line of swimming, even if it means that I swim a little out of my way. Finishing IMWI’s swim in 1:30 should allow me ample time to swim the two loops at IMLP and not get pummeled.

Anyway, it is way too early to be worrying about the swim in the race. I’ve got things that need to be taken care of before even toeing the line in late July.

This past week went well, but I only got one swim of 3000 yards in due to the school where I swim being closed for and early release on Thursday, closed on Good Friday, and closed for an entire week next week for spring break. I’m sure it shouldn’t be an issue. I missed an entire week of swimming and cycling in 2013 training for IMWI, and had no trouble getting prepared.

The weather was a little better this week, although we are heading into the spring with its out of nowhere storms, and up and down temps. Hopefully soon we will start seeing steady warmer temps. I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can open my own pool and not miss anymore swims.

WEEK 13 TOTALS:

Swims: 1 total, 1 hours, 3000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 5:20 hours, 83 miles

Runs: 7 total, 4:25 hours, 31 miles

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On to Week 14!

2016 IMLP Training – Week 12

WEEK 12 – March 14, 2016 – March 20, 2016

My ‘What do I do now?’ moment came this week on Tuesday, when with swim backpack slung over my shoulder I trotted into the school office to tell them as usual that I was there to swim and get my hall pass.  What I was told was that there would be no swimming today because the students were testing.  My brain pretty much went off track at that moment.

What was really happening was that I was trying to process too many things after hearing her comment.  My first thought was that I had already missed last Friday’s swim because the school was closed for a teacher institute day, and now I was missing another.  How much was this going to set me back?  I looked at the other lady who usually checks me in and she briefly made eye contact, but I could tell I wasn’t going to be able to appeal to a higher authority.  So I basically stood there in front of two grown women looking like I had just missed the bus for the field trip or something.

There are currently four high schools in our district, each with a pool.  So I took a ride over to East where my daughter goes to school, and would try my luck with them.  As I drove up to the driveway there were cars lined out to the street.  I had forgotten that it was election day.  Even if the pool was open, and the odds were against me because the schools all seem to do the same thing, I wasn’t going to find a spot to park any way.  So that ended my attempt at getting in the water for the day.  I can’t wait until May when I get my own pool opened up.  Sure it’s a lot of turning around, but it’s also so much easier.

Another issue was my rear tire on my road bike.  As I was getting ready for last week’s long ride on Saturday, I thought I would check the air pressure and top it off.  But as I turned the little knurled knob it broke off in my hand.  So much for putting in some air.

As I look back on those two relatively minor issues, I am reminded that sometimes things in training will throw you a curve.  Thankfully, training will prepare you for those little unforeseen issues so that you can deal with them on race day when it really matters.  So, bring it on, training snafus!  I am ready for you.

A cycling note from this week – Enjoyed another long Saturday ride with my friend Todd.  We headed west on the Old Plank Trail to the end and he asked if I’d like to ride through the backroads to get on the Waubonsie Glacier Trail.  I had always thought of trying to find it, but you have to ride in some pretty hairy looking neighborhoods of Joliet to get there.  We decided it was too cold to worry about thugs taking our bikes, and that there was safety in numbers, so off we went.  In reality it was only about a mile or so of riding until we hit the trail, and that trail was only about 3 miles in length until we were back to familiar riding territory.  From there we rode a little on the crushed limestone path until we hit Baker Road, and then scooted back east on the north end of Manhattan.  It was a cold ride, and it started to sprinkle near the end of the 2.5 hours, but we survived.  Sure is nice having a riding partner sometimes.

WEEK 12 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2:07 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 4:45 hours, 73.25 miles

Runs: 7 total, 3:45 hours, 26.25 miles

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Week 12 ended with the 1st day of Spring!  Yes!