Nothing makes a summer go by quicker than training for an Ironman. Fifteen weeks are in the books and it went by in the blink of an eye. Being halfway through the training plan is definitely a milestone, but it’s only halfway in time only. The workload in the first fifteen weeks are pretty tame compared to what is coming in the second fifteen weeks. There’s a lot of work yet to do.
I was cruising along just fine this week until Thursday, when I had a trip to the dentist to have a couple of old fillings replaced and to add to college fund for his kids. Later that day I suffered through a 24-hour stomach bug which kept me from work on Friday. On Saturday, I declared myself fine and geared up to go on a four-hour ride on a hot day and paid for it. I was not nearly recovered enough from the dehydration from being sick and once again weakened myself. I felt fine enough, but after a dinner of some Mexican food (I don’t make good decisions), the stomach bug thing seemed to make a come back. It knocked me down again and I was unable to function on Sunday. I got up and put on my running gear, foolishly thinking that I could go run for 90-minutes, but I could barely keep awake. Instead of getting in that Sunday long run, I opted to watch four hours of the French Open. That wore me out, too!
So, I finished the first half of the plan with a little bit of a dud, but I am determined to bounce back. I’m looking forward to the remaining summer of training and hoping that it doesn’t go buy so quickly that I miss the summer.
IRONMAN TRAINING IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC – PART XV
I’m typing this on my iPad and it’s a little bit of a struggle for this technology challenged old guy, but I promise to clean it up when I get back to my computer at home. I’m surprised that I am even putting forth the effort seeing that I am on vacation.
There were a few things happening this week that kind of screwed with my desire to train. The first is that knowing that my family and I were heading to our lake house for a week, I had some stuff to deal with before leaving. I did get most of the weekly stuff done, but I missed the long ride on Saturday due to the drive up north and then dealing with cleaning up the yard and moving a week worth junk in.
So I opted to do the four-hour ride on Sunday and it went okay, but it was eerily similar to last week’s ride. Had another tire issue that I just refilled with a CO2 cartridge a couple of times. This bike is nine years old and I have never had a tire or tube issue with it. I seem jinxed lately with flats. The ride also ended with a similar bonk at the end. It wasn’t really hot, but I was sweating as usual and most likely didn’t keep up with my hydration. I felt so worn out at the end that I opted to jump in the lake to cool down and skip the 30-minute brick run afterward.
My better half joined me on the ride for awhile on the Bearskin Trail.
My ride took me to Nokomis and I found a new place in the middle of nowhere called “Bubba’s”. It looks like a large place for bikers to assemble for an upcoming event they have for motorcyclists. The USA War monument They built was pretty impressive.
The other issue that has poured a little water on my enthusiasm is that I discovered that Ironman has closed registration for Ironman Louisville. That’s a problem because 3/5’s of my Gunner teammates hadn’t signed up for it yet! I’m not sure why they closed it, but I have a pretty good idea why. They maybe trying to limit they amount of triathletes competing to limit the risk to everyone, but that’s not it. They also may be trying to limit the amount of triathletes that they have to offer transfers to if and when they have to cancel the race due to COVID-19, but that’s not it either. I’m now about 99% sure this race will get canceled next week.
It was mentioned on the IM Louisville Facebook page that the same thing happened to Ironman Ohio 70.3 – they closed registration and then the following week they postponed/canceled it.
So, now I kind of don’t feel like training. I know that I said last week that if the race survives past Week 15 that I would keep training, but I’m not so sure. Feeling like the ax is going to fall on this race puts a damper on training for me. Gunner teammate Dave says he’ll probably still train and look for another late fall race to do, but I’m thinking that there won’t be any racing this year for Ironman in the US. Seeing that COVID-19 numbers are spiking in some areas again says a lot.
So I plan on training this next week while on vacation and doing what I can waiting for a decision to be made. I just hope it comes sooner rather than later.
TOTALS FOR WEEK 15:
Swim: 1 / 1500 yards
Bike: 3 rides / 85.5 miles
Run: 5 runs / 17.3 miles (skipped the Saturday brick and the Sunday long run this week.)
The weather was finicky this week, forcing me inside for one ride and soaking me on another. The soaking came on the Saturday four-hour long ride. As I headed south into the wind I knew that I might need to ride a little farther than two hours before turning back home because the headwind would become a tailwind and the trip back would take less time than the trip out. But at about 1:45 into the ride I could see the dark storm clouds getting much closer. I made the choice to try to outrun the storm and head back home and make up any extra time needed to complete the four-hour ride closer to the safety of home. It didn’t happen. At the two-hour mark, the sky unloaded on me.
As it just started to rain, I stopped and tossed on the lightweight cycling rain jacket that I decided before the ride that I might need. I’m glad I brought it along, not that it was really going to keep my dry, but it would keep me from getting cold. I rode in this hard rain for about 30 minutes. Thankfully, the very strong tailwind had me flying along at around 23 mph or so, and the rain wasn’t pelting me in the face. When it let up from the hard rain, I just dealt with a light drizzle, wet roads and gunk getting all over me for the remainder of the ride. But as I rode I almost was having a great time. I felt like a kid again. It was fun.
There’s a saying in triathlon – “Embrace the suck” – meaning that things aren’t always going to be perfect, and dealing with these miserable moments can only build confidence. It’s easy to move a ride to another part of the day when you know a storm is coming at your planned ride time, or to run inside on a really hot day. But race day won’t offer you that trade-off. After finishing the ride, I ran for 30 minutes in light rain with my feet squishing and reminding me that it will be worth it. You can be physically prepared for an Ironman, but being mentally prepared is also a huge asset.
WRAPPING UP THE FIRST 15 WEEKS
Any milestone in a journey can be notable, and when you are on another 30-week quest to be prepared for an Ironman finish, getting halfway through the training plan is certainly a worthy accomplishment. I’m not fooling myself though, through 15-weeks I have finished 10-weeks of the base phase (pretty easy) and half of the build phase (getting tougher each week) with the rest of the build phase and the endurance phase yet to come. But this is my fourth go around training for an Ironman and I know from experience to put my trust in the plan, follow through with the workouts, and I should be more than ready on September 29th. Time to look back on the first 15-weeks of training! (Click on the link if you want to read the original post.)
Week 5 – I’m My Own Worst Enemy I found myself doing dumb things in training that could easily sabotage my plan, like racing the local high school track team up a hill during their hill repeat workout. It wasn’t my fault, I can’t shut that off.
Week 6 – The Comparison Trap In Week 6 I once again realized how important it is not to compare myself to others. I have to relearn this every time.
Weeks 7/8 – I’d Be A Horrible Judge Another twofer update from me, pondering whether I like the idea of relay teams in Ironman races or not. Truthfully, I don’t, but whatever.
Week 9 – Week 9 Wrap-up A somewhat boring week with wet weather forcing me inside. But I did play around with my new Fly6 and Fly12 bike cameras and started designing a new tri suit for our team.
Week 15 is OVER! And we are officially halfway through the 30 week training plan for Ironman Louisville 2017!
Although you can divide the calendar in half, it really isn’t halfway done in my mind. The first half of training contained the base and build phases of training, weeks of training that weren’t as intensive as what is ahead of me. For instance, the longest ride of the previous 15 weeks was Saturday’s four hour ride. The four and a half, five, five and a half, and six hour rides are yet to come. If you are dividing up the hours or miles of the training, you would probably see the halfway point being somewhere near Week 18, maybe? I dunno, I overthink this stuff too much. Anyway, there is much more training ahead in the next 15 weeks than there was in the previous 15 weeks. But it is comforting to know that we have hit the halfway point, even if there’s tons of work yet to come.
Training this week went well. I did everything but the Friday swim. I’m hoping to do more swimming while we are on vacation at our lake home this next week. I think I will benefit from more open water swimming than pool swimming anyway. I need to dial in pace while in the open water. I always seem to go too hard right at the start. Thankfully in my two previous Ironman swims I was was able to recognize that and dial it back until I found my groove.
My running is going okay. I find my pace to be a little slow, but it doesn’t concern me. I’m trying not to further damage the left hamstring, which is still pretty sore. Probably as a result of the two 5K races and the sprint triathlon in which I gunned it hard. I can’t turn that off. Time to start stretching more, something I have been neglecting lately.
The bike is also going pretty good. I’m easily holding a 16-18 mph average on my rides, depending on the effort the plan calls for. Shorter rides I tend to hammer more. Saturday’s four hour ride got me about a half mile shy of 70 miles, but I rode a few extra minutes to put me over the 70 mile mark. I ended up with a 17.3 mph average for that ride. I got a little dehydrated after, so I will need to focus on that as well. I had two full bottles of Gatorade and my fuelselage filled with water. I also stopped with a half hour to go and refilled a water bottle. Still wasn’t enough.
All in all, a good ending to the first 15 weeks.
2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 43900 yards total