Leading up to Saturday was full of bike rides. To the point that I actually sent my coach a text making sure there wasn't some sort of mistake. Not that I am afraid of a few bike rides but this was HUGE volume and new to the workout schedule.
Monday was used for a nice "shake the legs out" ride. Since I had the day off, Eric B. and I heading out towards Deer Park and back. It was great to ride with a new face and always better then riding by yourself. I finished the ride with Greg and Nat and before I knew it, 3 hours had passed and it was time to relax. Not bad the day after the first Olympic of the season.
Tuesday was a nice run that started off as a struggle just to get out the door and finished with an enjoyable run ending just before 8pm. I really like these longer days. You can procrastinate after work and still get in a quality workout.
Wednesday was back on the bike to ride the newly named "Hills Kitchen". It is a set of tough hills near Dartford. The ride was hard but sharing the pain with Greg and Nate sure made it go by faster.
Thursday was brutal. I had a long ride again and had to do it all by myself. I left work early and struggled through the entire ride. I did head up Mt. Spokane and actually really enjoyed the climb. My SI was bothering me a bit in aero so the seated climb was a great change of pace. Not to mention what goes up must come down:)
As rare as me passing on dessert, Friday was a nice day off. It was good to relax a bit and know that I didn't have to try and fit in a workout. Instead I spent the night bowling with my Tri-Fusion peeps. It was great seeing everyone in a different environment and with something besides tri tops and bike shorts. And with today's brick looming overhead, it was great to take the mind off of triathlons.
So here we are on Saturday and I just wrapped up my longest ride EVER, 6 hours. Greg and Roger picked me up at 6:30 this morning and we headed over to CDA to the Ironman course. The plan was to beat some of the heat and get an early start. It is always difficult to find the enthusiasm for a day that involves 7 hours of working out and no finish line at the end.
The first loop was a struggle from the beginning. My bike was shifting like shit and I was dropped from the the group of Greg, Rog and Ron like a rock. They were off into the sunrise and I was left in the dust to try and push my tired body to the end. We finished the first loop just before 11 and loaded up to head out again.
When we left for the second time, I honestly didn't know what condition I would be in on return. I actually felt much better the second loop and was able to raise my heart rate and felt like I finished strong. I then headed out on a run with Greg and did my first big brick of the season. The run was tough, the temperature was hot but when it was done, I have crested the Ironman training peak and now it is time to get enjoy a few weekend races and get ready for the big day.
After tomorrow's recovery ride I believe I will have been on my bike for 16 hours and in my mind that is absolutely crazy but I did sign up for this and I know that it is how you become an Ironman.
Tim and I loaded up Saturday morning and set off to parts unknown. I honestly can not remember the last time I was in Walla Walla. It was probably over 15 years ago but trying to remember something that long ago is dang near impossible, at least for me.
We arrived before packet pickup was opened so we took the opportunity to get in a quick open water swim and short brick ride and run. The temperature was warm and very dry. It was good to get a little acclimated prior to race day.
Tim and I had plans to stay at my aunts place in Dayton and if we weren't so tired and didn't have such an early wake up call, we might have joined in the local festivities and took in the rodeo. We chose to relax and get rested for the race the next morning.
The two weeks leading up to this race I had been suffering from an extremely sore soleus muscle (the muscle just under your calf) and have been struggling to get in an quality runs. I took advantage of a short taper and with a massage a few days prior just tried to rest my leg and see what happened on race day.
I was feeling pretty good during the short workouts on Saturday and felt ready to take on the Onionman course and see what would happen.
As the gun went off, I tried to get up near the front and avoid all the craziness that can happen in the main pack. The strategy paid off and after a few slight sighting problems I swam most of the race in clear water and set a new PR by 2 minutes for the Olympic distance swim. I would have loved to be sub 24 but that is for another day.
After a bit of bike preparation from the day before, I knew the bike was going to be slow going out and fast coming back. After some advice from Roger, I went out strong and focused on a solid effort on the way back. I once again set another PR even though it is difficult to compared since I haven't raced this course.
Since my running had been limited and I was going to run completely on feel, I really didn't know how this would go. My lower leg felt great when I started and didn't bother me at all. Last year I set a goal to run a 10K off the bike in under 40 minutes. My best to date is 42 and change, so it is going to be difficult.
As I hit the turn-a-round I was right on pace with a 20 minute 5k. I knew I would need to negative split the run but today just wasn't the day. I struggled a bit with the heat and just didn't feel real strong on the way home. I was able to pass one guy in my age-group around mile 5 and did my best to finish strong and set my third PR of the day.
I am definitely pleased with how the race went. I would have liked to have been a few seconds faster on the swim and the run but for the first Olympic of the year, I am happy with the results. I finished 15th overall and 4th in my age-group. The good (or maybe) bad is that 3rd place was over 5 minutes ahead of me. At least I have a carrot to chase down in the future. But with a 5 minute PR at this distance, I am pretty stoked.
The leg is still feeling pretty good and with less than a month from Ironman, it is down to crunch time. It was a great time watching all the Tri-Fusion folks kick some serious butt and hang with everyone post race. Next year, there will definitely have to be a stop at the Dayton rodeo to make the trip complete.
Until next time, happy training...
Recently Bloomsday has become more of a test race then a fun run. Over the past few years I have used this race to test my fitness and see how my running is at this point in the year. At the end of last years race report, I set a goal of sub 48:00. I knew this was possible but also knew that it was going to take a lot of hard work.
Fast forward to this week and with Ironman training in full swing, I had my longest ride and run to date. I was able to relax a bit with a swim on Friday morning and a rest day on Saturday. So for the most part, I went into Sunday with relatively fresh legs and was going to do what I could to break 48 minutes.
I would have to average of 6:26's throughout the race. I knew some miles would be fast while other slow (Doomsday Hill) but as long as I reached each mile marker before the running time I would make it.
Listening to what it was like to run up front with the big boys. Way to go Hosh!
I was able to cross the finish line in 47:08 and qualified for Second Seed in 2010. It was great to set a goal over a year ago and then actually be able to follow through and accomplish that goal. But now that I am there, the hard part is to stay there. I might be going out on a limb here but I have already set a goal for next year: Sub 45:00. It is not going to be easy but then again what is:)
Well on Wednesday the goal was 4.5 hours of riding with a bunch of hills thrown in the middle. I mapped out my course of approximately 80 miles and got ready to go. I wasn’t quite sure how I should fuel for such a long ride but knew it couldn’t be much different then the half-ironman races, just longer.
So I loaded up on water and gels and jumped on my bike. Overall the weather was great except for the headed that seem to follow me just about everywhere. Nate D was nice enough to join me for some of it but for the most part I was out there alone, just me, my bike and music.
I won’t lie, after about 2 hours in the saddle I wanted to be done. I had just ridden about 30 minutes into a headwind and felt wiped. There is just something about traveling 14-16 mph into a wind that takes something out of you. I took what I felt was a well deserved 2 or 3 minute break at about 3 hours and then headed up Greenbluff.
It was at the top that I had my new personal best for time riding. I reached the top at 3:34 and in true blogger fashion, had to do a quick documentation. It was at this point I started to feel a bit rejuvenated. I might have been because of the new PR or the fact that once you get to the top of Greenbluff you get to haul ass down:)
I finished the ride with 81 miles in 4:33 and followed it up with a great brick run. I didn’t know how my legs would react to running since I had been riding for so long but they felt rather fresh. My stomach on the other hand was a bit uneasy but I had yet to torture it with so many gels. This will get better with each long ride. I had to hold back telling myself that this is not a sprint it is a marathon, literally.
Not to put such a "Long Ride" to waste, I followed it up on Thursday with a new PR for time in a "Long Run". I think it was somewhere around 12.5 miles and 1:40 long, I averaged 8:00/mile. Personally I am pretty happy with this considering I ran up some pretty big hills and took it relatively easy on the downhill.
So after quite some time wondering when my “Long Ride and Long Run” would fit into the schedule, I say be careful with you wish for. JK, it was great to get these under my belt and one step closer to June 21st.