12 weeks of crazy... almost complete! Just a run and an ocean swim today and I'll call Ironman training pau, which is good since the race is in, um, 7 days. Apparently we don't believe in long tapers around here so I'll let you know how that all works out next weekend. ;)
So I have all these thoughts floating through my head about how these past 12 weeks went down and I wanted to write them all out before the race... then maybe after the race I can look back and see if it all still seems to fit or make sense... if that makes sense? I think I need to bullet point this post.
~This was hands down the most consistent 12 weeks of training I've ever done in my life. I checked out a bunch of data points in Training Peaks because I was just curious as to how this compared to Ironman builds I've done in the past, and it just confirmed what I thought. Though I will say this- I was all over the place in my prep for Canada last summer! Somehow I remember feeling like I was *ready* for that race but comparing training notes this time vs that time makes me re-think how "ready" I actually was in comparison. On average I trained 6 hours/week more this time around vs the 12 weeks prior to IM Canada. I checked out my builds to Coeur d' Alene and Kona from 2011 as well (just for fun!) and saw that while those builds were bigger than my Canada build, they were both still 4 hours/week short of what I did this time around. #moreismore
~I know it's not all about volume, though volume helps when you're doing an extreme event like Ironman. I haven't really kept track of total time at/above threshold or anything, but I can pretty much guarantee that I spent more time flirting with threshold in each of the 3 sports this time around than I ever have before. My coach is in love with sprint 50's in the pool (though for the record, I will tell you I would 100% prefer to swim 4x1000 vs 50x50's. I did both those sets last week and I'm not kidding I wanted to blow my head off during the 50x50's (GAH! BORED TO DEATH) but 4x1000 might have been my favorite set of the build. Maybe because I set a new 1000M pool PR on the 4th one? And maybe if I had TKO or whatever that software is, I could quantify total time spent pushing 200+W on the bike these last few months... But I don't dig that deep into workout specifics. If I had to guess though I'd just say, um, Yeah. Did that. A lot. I didn't do tons of running <8' pace but I did do some which is more than I've done in the past. :) #makethetraininghourscount
~Overall I did fewer really long sessions on the bike or run, and I did fewer runs off the bike. My coach seemed to think that 4 hours was plenty for a long ride which was somewhat surprising to me. Maybe it works because I had time to do that more than just once/week on the weekends? It does feel a little weird though going into an Ironman knowing that I have not even ridden 100 miles once since last Ironman!? At this point though I am just blocking out the doubts. #believeinyourtraining
~There was an interesting shift about 1/2 way through this training cycle. The first half I'd say I handled fairly well physically, but mentally adapting to the day after day longish hardish consistency of the training was a challenge for sure. Then somewhere along the way something clicked in my brain and I stopped viewing it all as crazy and I gained confidence that I could do it, etc. Then physically I started falling apart! Interesting shift I think. Honestly looking back I'd say my #1 problem there was that I got lazy and complacent when it came to things like Trigger Point rolling and basic functional strength exercises, etc. That complacency cost me a lot of money and time back and forth to chiropractor/ART, acupuncture, and PT... Where does it hurt? Pick a point, any point... In good news I now have a much better understanding of what I need to do to take care of myself and keep all those big working muscles happy (vs extremely pissed off)... it has a lot to do with stabilizer muscles and well, I just can't ignore those anymore! I haven't packed for Cabo yet, but I can say with certainty that my Trigger Point rollers will be in that suitcase. Shoot- maybe even my carry-on? Would TSA take away my Trigger Point quad roller if I tried to take it on board a plane? I use those every day now- no more complacency when it comes to that stuff. #learnedmylesson
~My body wasn't the only thing that took a beating during this build... my bike had a hard time holding up as well. I had 5 flat tires, a shifter that broke off mid-ride, a crank arm that I pedaled right off the bottom bracket, 2x replaced batteries in powertap, and then of course there were my shoes that I rode until the uppers ripped right off the carbon soles. #hawaiiishardonbikes
~In good news, I still love the sport! That was honestly one of my concerns going into this new training program... wondering if I would just train myself into a hole and end up HATING triathlon and triathletes?? I have no hate! Just love. :) Ok I do have a little bit of hate for riding in pelting rain, but mostly b/c I'm just OVER IT. In good news, I saw the forecast for San Jose del Cabo for next Sunday and it said chance of rain 0%. Though if it pelted rain the whole time and winds were ripping 20-30mph I'd prob have a bit of a competitive advantage. :) #beentheredonethat
So we leave for Mexico on Wednesday! Moana is staying here with my mom (Grammy is coming!!) who is flying out from Ohio to spend the week with her (those two are going to have a blast- seriously not sure who will actually enjoy it more??) And can I just say that this is going to be THE FIRST vacation Scott and I have ever taken together without Moana? Scott's got a pretty good deal going- vacation in Mexico at an all inclusive resort (read: free drinks all day every day) and he doesn't even have to do an Ironman! He deserves it though after putting up with me these last few months. I am looking forward to warm sunshine, hanging out with my husband, seeing a bunch of old friends and meeting some new ones, watching 4 of my athletes race, and celebrating this training cycle by seeing how fast I can cover 140.6 miles. Then, of course, the fiesta afterward! See ya on the flip side amigos!