Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Triathlon Tuesday: The Last Big Week

So I’m little less than three weeks out from Ironman Florida.

Shane West
I have to admit, I’ve been working most on my biking for the past few weeks. That’s my biggest weakness/fear/challenge/pain-inducer.  I named my bike Shane West (although he’s not allowed to be discussed at our house), because if you’re going to spend that much time riding something, you might as well throw a fantasy in there.

And Shane West
But yeah, the bike leg in the race is 112 miles. I do my last long ride this  Friday and I’m aiming for 110 miles.  Just so we’re clear, that will take me about 7 ½ hours. And actually, the most important thing for me now is not so much fitness as it is making sure I've got my nutrition/hydration plan down to a science on the bike. Not getting fuel will kill your race long before exhaustion overtakes you.

But before I even get to the bike, I have to survive the 2.4 mile swim. It's in the Gulf with a couple thousand of my closest strangers. 

Here's what the 2012 IMFL swim start looked like:
Now see, that picture actually gets me a little excited. I KNOW I can swim 2.5+ miles. I've done it before, multiple times, even with no wetsuit to help with buoyancy/speed. In a pool it takes me about 1hour and 22 minutes to swim the full IM distance. I'm also pretty comfortable in open water and ocean water (I was raised in South Florida, after all).

But here's what the 2013 IMFL swim start looked like (the whole video is here if you would like to revel in that madness for a bit):
Of course, I have no doubt that's what the swim start will be for me on November 1. And even without the waves, a mass start at IM is pretty much a full-contact sport. Who needs tackle football?

But, there are ways to train for taking the blows in such swimming. Such as:
Believe me, at this point in my training, Captain Awesome would be happy to hire people to beat me with sticks as I do anything ("You mean you haven't cooked/cleaned/gone grocery shopping/done laundry again because of IM training?"). That video kills me. I love it.

But this is my last week of big training before I start my 2-week taper. A lot of athletes hate the taper, but not me. I'm like: THANK GOODNESS. No more 6-8 hour workouts. No more exercising more in one week than most fit people do in a month. Or to put it a little less delicately:

(I'm sure that baby has been on a bike too and said the exact same thing. I know I have.) Fortunately, we're close enough to the race that the I can keep focused on why I'm doing this. 

But it's not easy. None of it is easy. But it's almost done.

The last big week.

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