The week preceding Independence Day was my family’s vacation week in Wisconsin at the lake home. I ended last week up here too, but looked forward to a great week of training with some awesome weather and some different scenery than what I am used to.
After my rest day on Monday I got in a nice open water swim in the lake. The wetsuit hadn’t been used in over a year, but I got it on with only some minor contortions and struggles.
This was an easy training week according to the plan, ending with an Olympic distance race. So Wednesday’s bike/run brick was about the hardest part of it. On Thursday I began my swim workout in the lake again and during the swim I decided why not just make this the Olympic distance race practice instead of doing it on the Fourth. So I turned around and headed back to the dock, finishing right at 1500 meters.
Since I hadn’t planned to do the mock race I had to go upstairs and gather some junk to do the ride. I needed a tri top, water bottle, a gel or two and get my bike ready. So transition took a little longer than usual, but I was soon on the bike heading to St. Germain.
Once back from the bike I opted to switch to a running shirt and drink a Gatorade that my wife was kind enough to have ready for me. Out the door and off at a pretty strong pace had me a little wiped out around 3.5 miles into the run, but a few stops to wait for traffic allowed me to catch my breath and find a comfortable pace.
At home and done meant a cool down jump in the lake, which is always refreshing. I decided right there and then that my week was over on a Thursday and it was time to take a mental break from training for the rest of the week. And that’s exactly what I did.
This week was somewhat light for the training plan that I follow and boy was I thankful for that. July Fourth occurred this week which meant that once my daughter marched in her last Independence Day hometown parade as a high schooler we would be off to our vacation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. So there was travel involved and vacation and hosting lots of family at our lake home. Even with all that happening I still managed to get in most of the training.
One cool thing that happened this week is that I got my new tri kit a couple of days before leaving for vacation. I chose to go with Jakroo this time around and the kits seem to be pretty decent for a lower priced product. The best things about this company was there were no minimum orders to meet, I could design the kit myself, the prices were affordable, and the turnaround was super quick. Here’s me with the tri shorts and the cycling jersey. The shorts were size Large but were a little snug. I may order an XL if I find these uncomfortable. I did one short hour long bike ride in them and they felt okay.
The weekend called for an Olympic distance race according to the plan. Although I will race a 5K or triathlon during training I’m a little hesitant to race when training for an Ironman because I don’t want to risk crashing or otherwise injuring myself and throw away all the investment I made in training and other stuff, so I just usually do them at home on my own. And being in Minocqua offered a perfect opportunity to do just that.
First Annual Minocqua Olympic Distance Race For Chris Only Race Report
Where: Minocqua, Wisconsin
Results: 1st Place Overall – WINNER!
After a good breakfast of pancakes and bacon, I donned the wetsuit and recruited Kari to kayak next to me on the swim to keep me from being run over by one of the thousand wakeboard type boats on the lake. I’m exaggerating a little, but these obnoxious boats seem to be the boat of choice by beer drinking party animals who somehow have the money to afford such an over the top boat.
The Swim: 1562 yards / 28:49 / 1:51 per 100 yds.
Fortunately for me, I was seeded in the first wave and got ahead of the pack early. The wetsuit seemed a little restrictive for some reason, but I felt good. The water was warm, but the race director said that it was a wetsuit legal race. I decided that I would swim along the shoreline for 750 yards and then turn around, not realizing that 1500 yards didn’t quite equal 1500 meters, but it was close enough. I swam pretty comfortably and was surprised to see that I averaged under 2 mins per 100 yards, which was awesome. I reached the dock and like a dummy, I hit stop instead of the lap button, but I got it fixed quickly and I was off the change into bike gear for the ride. Nice to be first out of the water!
The Bike: 24.8 miles (40K) / 1:29:36 / 16.6 mph average
I decided that I would ride Highway J west toward St. Germain and make use of the wide bike lane on the road. I’m a little nervous about being on that road but the cars were giving me plenty of room. By a half mile into riding, I was regretting riding my hybrid bike in this race and not bringing my tri bike up to ride. My butt and left leg were bothering me and to alleviate the discomfort I shifted my butt as far back on the saddle that I could. Lots of rollers on this ride but it’s not too challenging. As I got to St. Germain I was very pleased that I was right at 12.4 miles and this out and back would be a perfect 40K. The ride back was smooth and trouble-free. Glad to average 16.6 miles on this heavy old bike. I was also very glad to be the first bike back and still in first place.
T2 – 3:21
The Run – 6.2 miles / 48:36 / 7:51 pace per mile
My back was a little sore getting off the bike but loosened up quickly. As I headed down my street I debated as to which way to run but decided to stick to my original thought of running downtown to the trail and then head back. I wasn’t planning on pushing the pace on this run because I had such a huge lead, but when I got to Hwy. 51 and saw the parade of backed up cars leaving town on the only road that takes them back south I did a little peacocking and was running hard. That was a bad decision as the pancakes were starting to wear a little thin. But I paced the out and back well, hit the water fountain a couple of times, and coasted home to a first-place finish. I kind of like winning. I might make this an annual tradition.
A couple of twists to this week of training. First, I looked at the training for Week 18 and saw that it was to be somewhat of an easy week ending in an Olympic distance triathlon. Usually I just do the Oly distances of the swim/bike/run at home on the weekend and skip the racing, as racing can sometimes pose the risk of injury (i.e. bike crash, drowning, etc.) that you can avoid by just doing the day at home. But I had my eye on a local sprint distance race in the area which occurs next weekend, and I wanted to give it a try. So I swapped Week 18 with Week 19. Hopefully I won’t gun it too hard next weekend.
The second aspect of this week occurred to me on my long bike ride on Saturday, as most of my thinking and the ideas for this weekly wrap up happen. The family and I decided to head to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to our lake home to enjoy the weekend, as school activities are starting to heat up and it may be a while before we get a chance to get up there again.
As I was riding I began to assess where I was fitness-wise, and started to think about creating a race day strategy for Ironman Louisville. I was feeling pretty good on the ride and I hoped to translate that into a harder effort for the race itself. The ride was a 4 hour scheduled out and back, and I had hit 30 miles when I turned around. I was riding my hybrid bike and riding on a crushed granite trail, but I was still pretty pleased with my effort to that point.
I turned around to head for home and found that my Camelback was getting low on water. I had seen a building off of a local road and decided to see if I could find some water. No one was around, but I did find a spigot with a hose attached to it. Just as I was getting ready to fill it, a truck pulls up and inquires as to what I was doing. Fortunately the guy was pretty cool, and didn’t mind that I filled up.
Then about 3 hours into the ride I started to bonk a little bit. I had plenty of nutrition and I was eating it up, but for some reason I was just not quite as energetic as usual. I made it home in 4 hours and 10 minutes, so the trip back took me a little longer than going out did. I was almost ready to skip the post-ride brick run, but I decided to down a couple glasses of sugary tea/lemonade drink and at least get my mile in for the day (thanks, stupid running streak). But as I headed out, my legs came back and I put in a solid 3.5 miles in 30 minutes. It should have been a 45 minute run, but I knew Kari was worried about me, and I didn’t want to push my luck. The rest of the afternoon I could tell that I was drained.
One thing I can learn from this ride was that I’m not ready to be thinking about gunning for a personal best at 140.6 miles. The other thing is I’m glad I knew when I had had enough for the day.
Lastly, the Sunday run went really well, as did the rest of the week of training. Very glad that I got up north and had an adventure to mix things up. Next week will be much easier volume-wise, and I will have to balance training with being a volunteer chaperone at band camp. Looking forward to an easier week and a race on the weekend.
2 Swims – 4200 yards this week / 56750 yards total