Friday, August 21, 2009

The final push

So, we've finally arrived. It's the last big training push until the taper leads us to the start line. I've had a good week, so far - nothing too strenuous, but consistent, with a few challenging sections to keep things interesting.

Monday, Cath and I swam - I did 3,200 yards (100 WU, 5 x 600, 100 CD), which felt good. No intervals, but a good race-type pace throughout.

Tuesday I took a rest day.

Wednesday I rode der Keiser for 90 minutes, including a series of standing and seated climbs in Z3-4 (the sequence went like: 2 minutes, 3 min., 4 min., 2min., 3 min,., 4 min., and then 6 x 1 minute seated climbs, all followed by an equal amount of easy recovery). I then bricked that ride for 15 minutes at 8:45 pace.

Thursday I ran 45 minutes at about an 8:40 pace.

Today Drew and I swam two miles in the lake, which took just over an hour. The water was freezing, but very flat, and I actually felt like I was swimming *gasp* fast (!). These longer swims are still killing my shoulders, but, aerobically, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm intentionally trying to not think about the fact that the IM swim is actually another .4 miles, and how my arms are going to feel after that. (Luckily, I get to just lay on them for several hours thereafter.).

Tomorrow Drew and I are going to run another 2.5 hours, which should work out to around 18 miles, and that should be my last long run of the program. Apart from some hamstring pain (strangely, not the one that's caused me problems in the past), my running has been great. My pace is a little slower than I'd like, especially on the longer stuff, but I keep reminding myself that I'm not training for a marathon, I'm training for an IM, and it's a totally different experience. A steady 9:00 pace on September 13th would be fantastic.

Then, as soon as Cath is done with work, we hit the road and head back up to Madison. We may or may not have company this time, but, regardless, I have maps and figure there will be plenty of folks like us hitting up the course one more time before the Big Day. I'm excited to get back on those rollers and get a little bit more familiar with the whole loop. Truth be told, I've never felt that this was a very good course for me - the short, sharp "rollers" really kill your momentum, and I just never feel like I'm any any kind of groove out there. In 2006, it took me just over 7 hours to finish it, and, I swear, it felt like 2/3 of the field was already running by the time I shuffled out of T2. I'm hoping that this weekend's ride - even if it's slow and exhausting - will make me feel better about the course, and bring just a hint of mental comfort come race day. The weather up there, unlike two weeks ago, is looking good, so fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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