Bring on the Taper!

2021 IRONMAN CHATTANOOGA TRAINING

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WEEK 28 – September 12, 2021 

The taper is here! I’m finally winding down the training and enjoying the feeling of accomplishing what I needed to do to get myself ready for my fifth Ironman. I’ve trained on cold days, hot days, windy days, rainy days, and beautiful days as well. I think that it’s okay to start celebrating the work that I have done even if I haven’t got to the starting line yet. So, after 27 weeks of building up to long bike rides and long runs, it’s time to start pulling back.

The band Boston certainly played a huge part in the soundtrack of my youth, and I still enjoy their music today. Of course, the first two albums were what made them, but their third album Third Stage was a big hit as well.

I’ve been hearing the song We’re Ready quite a bit lately on SiriusXM’s Classic Rewind and I find one verse of the lyrics very fitting for this third stage of Ironman training.  I certainly feel like I’m ready.

We’re ready now
Catchin’ a wave to ride on
Steady now
Headin’ where we decide on
And I know that there’s something that’s just out of sight
And I feel like we’re trying to do something right
Come on make it if we hold on tight
Hold on tight
We’re Ready! C’mon we’re ready
We’re ready

There’s another song on that album called Cool The Engines, which is also very appropriate for the taper. I took advantage of the cooler weather this week and the lighter training load to push my pace a little bit. Maybe I just wanted to rev the engine somewhat. But in the back of my mind, I could hear my brain reminding me to not overdo it.

Take me for a ride
Take me all the way
Take me where I’ve never been
Someplace I can stay
Don’t get yourself too hot
Don’t get yourself too high
If we don’t take it easy now
We can kiss it all goodbye

Cool the engines
Red line’s gettin’ near
Cool the engines
Better take it out of gear

I’m no fool
Gonna keep it cool
Take it day by day
We won’t know where we might go
‘Til we make it all the way

So, it’s time for me to cool the engines and bring on the taper!  We’re ready!

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I took the time on Friday to fix my rear brakes and to put on new tires and throw on Conti 5000’s for the first time.  The brakes are working well again, and the new tires were like floating on air on Saturday’s ride.

I rode with a group on Saturday and by the time we spread out I found myself riding mostly with Julie, whom I had never met before at these rides, but her pace and mine got us through Elwood and I enjoyed getting to meet another local rider.  Julie is an Ironman, and said she was training for Ironman Waco in October.  Good luck, Julie!

I have to take a moment and brag on my son Ben a little.  He ran a local half-marathon called the Hidden Gem and nailed a PR for himself – 1:16:34, a 5:51 pace!  My kid is smoking fast!  Great job, Ben!

I’m also excited to hear that another Gunner fence-sitter may have committed to joining Jeff, Jan, and I on this dumb idea.  YESSSSSSSS!

On Sunday I wrapped up my week with a 2-hour long run on mine and my wife Kari’s 29th wedding annniversary.  I’m so lucky to have shared 29 wedded years with this woman, and I look forward to many more!  I’m also very lucky she tolerates these adventures I go on.

SWIMS: 1 – 1500 yards

BIKES: 3 – 105.5 miles

RUNS: 5 –  32.5miles

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The Week of Awesome

IRONMAN LOUISVILLE 2017 TRAINING

WEEK 28 – September 25 > October 1

I was anticipating that this week would be pretty good.  Week 28 is the first of three taper weeks, and after the heat and workload of the previous week, I knew it would be a lot better.  But I wasn’t expecting it to be so dang good!

First of all, the weather got better.  Temperatures went from low 90’s back to the mid 60’s and it felt great.  On Tuesday, I decided to go back to the high school pool and swim what the plan had called for, about 3500 yards of swimming.  But I felt pretty good, and once I got started I decided to test myself and I ended up swimming the full Ironman distance swim of 4200 yards.  After swimming only two 45 minute swims a week for the past several, I just needed to prove to myself that I could cover the distance and I did.

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I forgot my Garmin at home and had to swim with the old Timex Ironman.  It’s a total pain in the butt pushing the lap button after every 100 yards.  Believe me.

 

But the week really turned awesome on Wednesday, when after waiting very anxiously for a week and a half, I finally got the word that I had made the cut for the Boston Marathon, a first for me.  It had been a long time in the making, never really thinking that I would ever reach that goal, but it finally happened.  I’m still a little in shock about making it into the field, but expect a blog report from me about being accepted soon.

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A much better email than the one I got from them last year!

 

Getting into Boston for the first time was pretty awesome, but the day wasn’t done delivering good news.  I went to pick up Rebecca from marching band practice and although all of the band equipment and props were out on the field, the kids were nowhere in sight.  When they came out of the building back to the field I could see that they were each carrying a red rose.  I knew it immediately – they were going to Pasadena!!!  The Tournament of Roses Parade!!!  Now this may not seem like such a big deal, but it’s really like getting into Boston.  First you have to meet several qualifications just to get in.  And getting in means that this band is pretty darn good.  But what really makes it special for me is that I marched in the parade on January 1, 1982, and it’s really cool that Rebecca will get to experience that as well.  It was an experience of a lifetime for me.  One of those special opportunities that not everyone gets.  Pretty cool.  Looks like I will be traveling to Pasadena in December/January 2019!

I went back to the pool on Thursday, even though I still have my pool at home open.  It’s the end of September, almost October, and I still have the pool open, which is pretty unusual.  But I am having some issues with the auto chlorinator, and will probably have to replace it in the spring, along with the pump and possibly the heater as well.  It seems like everything is starting to reach the end of its use and getting worn out.  I will deal with it in the spring.  I began closing it on Sunday.

The Saturday long ride was four hours with a 1/2 hour run and it went really well.  What a difference a week makes.  Last Saturday was a 7 hour day in mid 90 degree temps.  This Saturday started out at 54 degrees and didn’t get much more than 63 or so by the time I was done.  I had three layers on for that ride!

Sunday wrapped up the week with another cool morning and a two hour run, and thanks to the cool temps I was able to squeeze in an extra mile and finished comfortably with 14 miles.  However the real wrap up of the weekend was a trip to downtown Chicago with my family to see Hamilton.  I really had no expectations for the show, and I was really impressed.  It was pretty cool.

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We had fun at Hamilton in Chicago!

Here’s to Week 28!  Thanks for being so good to me.

TOTALS:

2 Swims – 7200 yards this week / 104,750 yards total

3 Bikes – 106 miles this week / 10488 miles total

7 Runs – 36.5 miles this week / 954 miles

 

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WEEK 28 was GREAT!