Thursday, May 31, 2007

Crossing T's and dotting I's

10 days to go. Hard to imagine this thing is finely upon me. I'm feeling pretty confident about the race -- I don't think there's really any doubt that I've prepared as effectively as possible. You always wonder if you should have done more, but I think Coach Debi hit it just right in what she has had me do, based on my fitness level at the start of the process.

And that's an important point. I know there are faster, stronger people out there who've done more preparation, but their bodies were already adapted to a high level of fitness. Mine wasn't. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. But I can say now, without a doubt, that I'm in very good shape.

At this point it's all about preparation and avoiding surprises on race day. So I'll be checking out equipment (like putting new pedals on my bike -- same brand and model, the old ones were just shot), making packing lists, printing up maps, etc. I'm a bit compulsive about this, but it's better to obsess a little now, so I don't have to panic later!


Training logs

Friday, May 25, 2007

Swim waves are up!

In another sign that the race is hurtling down upon me, the swim waves for Eagleman are up!

The good news? I get to start fairly early (7:21 AM), so less time hanging around getting nervous. The bad news? Lots of younger people behind me, so I'll need to concentrate on my pace, and not worry about the young bucks blasting past me. Of course, I do have some older waves ahead of me, so I'll get to do my share of passing as well, I suppose.

In other news, my bike is tuned up, and a new chain installed -- thanks to CVille Bike and Tri. Rode an easy 30 minutes this morning and she was shifting like a dream -- good stuff!

Sticking with the training schedule pretty well, and making up a missed swim at lunch today. For the weekend I've got a 10 mile run and a 3-hour bike, with Memorial Day off. My knee's just a bit sore, so I think I'll shift the run to Monday and rest a bit on Saturday.


Training logs.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gonna Fly Now

I had a "Rocky" moment this weekend. Nothing as dramatic as running up a flight of steps, hands raised in triumph. Still, a dramatic, albeit quieter, training revelation.

Saturday was a "triple brick" workout, a peculiar form of torture that Coach Debi likes to inflict upon her minions. Rather than a single long ride with a run afterwards, she breaks the distance up into three seperate bricks, back to back. My Saturday workout ended up being:

27 mile bike
3 mile run
22 mile bike
3 mile run
16 mile bike
2 mile run

One of the aims of the workout is to aid mental preparation for a long day, without beating up the body too much. Since the workout took me over 5 hours, counting transitions, I'm sure it met it's objective.

But back to my "moment."

I'd done a triple brick before, with slightly shorter bike legs, and it was a long, hard haul. It was still a long, hard haul this time, but something was different this time. I felt something -- strength, confidence -- that I hadn't had before. With every mile on the bike and mile on the run, I felt that I wasn't just surviving, but was thriving -- I had the strength to turn it up a notch any time I wanted. My focus and concentration was excellent throughout and I never felt my mind wandering -- just focused on the task at hand, and feeling strong.

All in all a real confidence booster for Eagleman (only 20 days!).


Training Logs!

Friday, May 18, 2007

100 mile weekends

This is the last really big weekend before Eagleman. Right at the heart of it is another one of Coach Debi's "triple brick" workouts -- her exercise in definitive physical and mental preparation. So, on Saturday morning I'll be on the road bright and early, doing a 25 mile bike, a 3 mile run, another 25 mile bike, then another 3 mile run, followed by a 15 mile bike and a 2 mile run.

This is my second "triple-brick" workout. The first was a 20/3/20/3/20/2, so the bike legs are a bit longer this time. The workout isn't about speed -- the whole point is to put yourself in a situation where you're working continually for 5 hours plus, so you're used to the duration and have an opportunity to practice nutrition.

I'll pack Infinit bottles for the bike, and my water belt so I can have a bit to drink on the run as well. Probably take along a couple of eCaps for the last leg and maybe something salty to eat as well. I may have one Gu when I'm on the bike, but the Infiniti seems to provide calories pretty well. At any rate, I'm not planning on riding Eagleman with a buffet taped to my handlebars.

Add the triple brick to my Friday and Sunday workouts and the numbers get pretty big -- I'll probably do about 115-120 miles on the bike this weekend, plus 8 running. A pretty good effort, at least in my book!


Training logs

Monday, May 14, 2007

Under 30 days!

Time is moving quickly now, or it's standing still -- depends on my frame of mind.

There are less than 30 days left until Eagleman, and it's hard to believe time has gone so quickly. At the same time, each day left seems like an eternity. I've put in hours of pool time, ridden my bike more than ever before, and have run more consistently than I have in years. I want this race to start now!

Realistically, I'm not going to get a lot fitter. There's one more hard week of training, and then it's time to taper. The key at this point is to not do anything stupid (like getting injured), make my packing lists, and keep running the game plan through my head until it's all second nature.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Big Ride

You've got to get the miles in if you're going to do endurance sports -- no way around it.

Sunday was my day to hit the road and go long -- a 4-hour ride with a short 20 minute brick run at the end. Early in the week the weather forecast looked superb -- temperatures in the 70s, sunny, but the reality when I woke up was a bit different. It was sunny, but in the upper 50s with winds in the 25-30 MPH range. But training called, and off I went.

My route was a simple out and back. I planned to go 2 hours out, then retrace my route. Unfortunately, my ride started into the teeth of the northwesterly wind. I knew that I'd be thankful it was at my back later on, but that was cold comfort as I struggled through the first 20 miles or so.

As the ride continued my direction shifted more easterly. The wind was still an issue, knocking me around a bit at times, but it wasn't as much as impediment as it had been. I kept grinding on through the Virginia countryside. The roads were smooth, little traveled, and passed through farm country and forest as I rolled along. Every 15 minutes my watch beeped to remind me to drink. The goal was one bottle of Infinit IM blend each hour, and I had plenty on me -- two bottles on the down tubes, and two stuffed into my jersey pockets.

As I reached the two hour mark, I was crossing Lake Anna, a large man-made reservoir. I rolled over long causeways, passing by fisherman bundled up against the unseasonably cool weather, casting away without a glance at me.

After 2:10 I stopped for a moment to have a chocolate GU and swap my empty bottles out. Just short of 35 miles, and time to head back. That's the beauty of an out-and-back ride -- no chance to bail out early -- once you've gone halfway you're committed.

I was able to catch a nice tailwind a few times on the return, and up my pace a bit coming back, counting the miles down with a sense of pride and not a little fatigue. Finally I rolled to a stop, 69 miles completed, the ride done. No rest for the weary (or the triathlete) however -- on go the running shoes and I'm off on a 20 minute run. Surprisingly, everything worked OK and I got into a nice rhythm almost immediately.

Finally it's done -- time to sit on the grass and collect myself. One 'o clock -- still time to get home and mow the grass.