Gotta love that each time I blog, I make this promise that I will update more often. Umm yea, clearly failed on that once since I went from 38 days to 16 days, whoops! Wow, so a lot has happened since we chatted last! Let’s run through week by week some of the critical events.
Week of June 17th (Continued from last post)
So, my vacation day that I took to get my long run in. The plan was 5.5 hours. I hit the road mid morning (probably should have gotten up earlier to beat the heat). I headed out from Kirby Park and felt pretty good but was kind of bummed that I was doing the ride alone. You would think after months of training alone, I would have gotten “used” to it, but no.
Around mile 52 was when disaster hit. I was riding along and suddenly it sounded like an explosion. I panicked and quickly unclipped. In an instant my rear tire was completely deflated. Effff! I hopped off the bike and began to take the tire off, time to put my tire changing skills to work. I convinced myself that I got this under control. So I got the tube out of the tire and started looking at the tire to see if there was glass or what had happened. At that point I see a giant nail right through the side wall of the tire. Great. Now what? I knew at this point that if I put a new tube in, it would just pop again from the pressure. Who can I call now since everyone is at work? Fabulous. I stood there for less than two minutes before spotting cyclists approaching me. Wow, really? What timing! The one pulled over and asked if I was ok, I said yes but I think my ride is done for the day. I told him the tire was shot and he told me he had just the thing for me. He reaches in his bag and pulls out a tire patch! Hmm, will that work you think? He said let’s give it a try. I didn’t have one, nor have I ever seen/used one so I let this awesome cyclist do the work for me as I observed and learned. When we glanced back, it appeared that one of his other riders got a flat also in the exact same spot! Well to make a long story short, once they changed the flat and rolled up to us, I realized it was one of my Team in Training friends and actually her brother who had saved me! Once we got the patch on the tire was still bulging pretty good once inflated. I knew I had about 5 miles to go until I could get to the local bike shop. I thanked them greatly and was on my way! That was probably the most nervous 5 miles I had rode in a long time as I prayed that I made it back to the shop. I did! $70 later I was back on my way (this was one expensive training day)! I ended up with about 88 miles before throwing on my sneakers for a quick brick run. I was feeling it! I was proud of myself though for dealing with what had been thrown at me and not giving up, which I thought about a number of times.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, I was up first thing Friday morning to get in nearly a 3 hr run before headed to Cuse. Obviously my legs were very sore from the bike ride the day before, so it was a good test of running on tired legs. It surely wasn’t pretty, but nonetheless I made it. It was off to Cuse for 70.3 weekend!
Friday when we got in to Syracuse we headed to Jamesville Beach for the expo and mandatory athlete meeting. I picked up my packet and was getting really excited! A long time ago I met a TNT lady via Facebook. She is also training for an Ironman and such an inspiration. She was also doing the event and I FINALLY got to meet her when I ran into her in the merchandise tent! So awesome! Later that night we met up with friends for a mandatory stop at Dinosaur BBQ! Great day!
Saturday morning we went and watched my friends son compete in the IronKids race. Oh my goodness, so cute and so much fun! I knew right then that the kids race would be more fun than my own! We squeezed in an afternoon swim in the reservoir where the swim would be. Key take away from that was that there is a TON of weeds in the water and made it challenging for me to swim. I was glad though that I experienced that ahead of time and could plan for it. In addition, I also checked my bike into transition which was mandatory. Later that evening a group of us headed to dinner for some mandatory carb loading once I had all of my race day stuff layed out. I had a great time and dinner as well as many laughs with great friends. Triathlons are so much more than racing, but really the people that make the journey enjoyable. Time for bed.
So Sunday morning was an early wake up as we headed to the race. Upon walking out of the hotel, it was already in the 80’s and mega humid. OMG! This is going to be brutal! I won’t run through my whole race report here but just some key points. Really, the whole day can be summed up in one word, HOT! It was killer.
My swim didn’t go as great as I planned or hoped. I had a minor panic attack when the gun went off from all of the people mixed with the mass amount of weeds at the start. My clostrophobicness really kicked in. Once I calmed myself down and was on my way, my heart rate was still really high but I pushed through the best I could. The swim felt long to me and I later in the day overheard a lot of other triathletes having the same conversation.
Fortunately the bike was pretty uneventful other than hot. I was used to most of the steep climbs so I was able to prepare myself for them. I have never seen so many people with very expensive bike (and aero helmets, aka coneheads) walking up these hills. It was a good ego boost as I powered by. I felt pretty fast on the bike to later on learn that I was faster in 2011. I got kind of depressed thinking about how my times weren’t better, but then needed to remind myself that I didn’t taper. In fact, I rode my longest training ride ever, and ran one of my longest runs just days ago. Well duh, no wonders my body is revolting!
So, it was onto the run. It was well over 90 and the humidity was oppressive. I seriously wanted to just die. It was brutal. You know it’s bad when you look around and not a single person in running up the hills. EVERYONE is walking. Ihad ditched my shirt in transition as the heat trumped not having abs of steel. The purpose of my bra on the run was not for support. It was to hold ice. Aid station after aid station resulted in cups of ice down my bra. As I ran, I sounded like a cocktail shaker (I learned of the chaffing this did later, ouch)! I also remembered how much I loved the ice sponges and suddenly they were stuck all over my entire body. I drank so much fluid on the run course that I could just see it all moving around in my stomach. So gross. I felt like crap, and yet was barely moving, awesome. This race was HOT in 2012 but not quite this bad. I found myself asking over and over again why I put myself through this a second time. In fact, now as I write this weeks later, I could see myself doing it again next year haha. Nonetheless, I made it to the finish line.
I was about ten minutes slower than the year before, but I guess with good reason. I was just happy to finish. I later found out that wouldn’t be the case for everyone (my friend included) as a ridiculous storm rolled in. The rain/thunder/lightening were scary for being out in the middle of a park. Although a tough decision to make, they called the race for everyone’s safety (a good call I believe). Rather than getting to celebrate with friends after the race, I ran (yes more freaking running) to transition to grab my stuff and head to the car in the pouring rain. What a mess. Well nonetheless a good training day for Ironman Lake Placid!
Week of June 24th
Another crazy week of training and back at in the pool on Monday after Cuse 70.3 There was no recovery day for this girl. Although I will say that I’ve grown to enjoy the pool for recovering my legs after running and biking. (Yes, I did just use the words enjoy and pool in the same sentence). My training plan for the week stated “These are the longest sessions you’ll do in prep for the race. Recovery week coming up…” Well, I was happy to see the word recover. But before getting there was a very LONG week. Some key workouts included a long swim followed by a 3 hour run. The next day contained a 6 hour bike ride. I knew I needed to get this bike ride in as the 112 miles of challenging course for Ironman Lake Placid still had me worried. The longest I have ever rode my bike was while training for this event. I’ve run marathons before, and although it won’t be the same, at least I’ve experienced it. Now, 112 miles on the bike is a totally different story.
I capitalized on the local bike shop’s Saturday Morning Ride (SMR) to kick off my 6 hour bike session. We did some serious climbing on the way out. I was happy to have one of my great friends join me. We got back to the bike shop around 2 hours and then he was nice enough to head out with me for another hour. At this point when I came back with him, I was about half way in. Only 3 more hours to go, sigh. I felt “good” though and tried to really keep up with the refueling. I had a granola bar, honey stinger waffles, and honey stinger chews (have I mentioned how much I love the Honey Stinger products)! I headed out and just hoped to have an uneventful second half. That was the case despite the heat and humidity continuing to climb. I made it! I hit 98 miles just about at the 6 hour mark. So why not 100 you may ask? Well the training plan said 6 hours and that’s what I got in six hours. Also, I’ve never done a century ride and felt like that 100 mile milestone should be saved for a special day and place, not circling Wilkes Barre. So, Ironman Lake Placid will be that special time and place!
I then threw my bike in the car and headed out for a 25 minute brick run. My legs felt heavy but I was still moving them. I felt slow but my watch surprisingly told me other wise. I was thrilled! I finished so proud of myself, so glad it was over, and so hungry! I have become so addicted to pizza after long workouts that it’s quite ridiculous really! Successful week and onto recovery!
Week of July 1st
Weeks goals: Recovery Week! It also says reduce food intake from last week, ha. I have been a non-stop eating machine. I will say though that I have dropped a few pounds along this journey and I can honestly say I feel better because of it. This week wasn’t really too eventful, especially with the 4th of July holiday. We had friends up at the house to celebrate the holiday and had a great relaxing day.
We were off from work Friday so we hit up the new trailhead right in Mountain Top for the Black Diamond Trail. It heads out towards White Haven and then you can pick up the Lehigh Gorge Trail. I traded in my road bike for my hybrid bike for the day. What a nice change of pace! It was hot and the slight gradient change made the return a challenge. Love sharing these days with my love XOXO.
A group of friends got together Saturday and headed out to Harvey’s Lake to join me for my long open water swim. I ended up swimming 70 continuous minutes (my longest ever in open water) and felt great. I really could tell that my time in the pool was paying off. I was also much more calm then I was at the 70.3. Makes sense, no people, no weeks, happy me. Once we finished we spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the water with some brews and lots of smiles. What a great day! I def need to do that more often!
Week of July 8th
This officially started the taper/race phase of my training plan. It stated: welcome to tapering! We’ll slowly reduce hours over the next three weeks, while keeping the sword sharp for race day. Well, I quickly learned that my plan and I define the word taper a bit different as I had some challenging workouts this week. I also, spent alot of time on the bike this week and had to do more consecutive days in order to save my rest day for Saturday and use my other rest day for the Boilermaker this Sunday. Yesterday was challenging. I had a 60 min bike at RPE 4-5 then a 2 hour run immediately after. I had debated going to Wilkes Barre to do the workout, but talked myself out of this. I love to bike and run flat terrain. But the reality is, that isn’t what Ironman Lake Placid is. If i want to be prepared for rave day I need to be ready for hills, hills, and more hills. So, I faced my fears and did this workout on the mountain right from my doorstep. It was challenging alright but I felt so accomplished once I finished. I was definitely sore and even found myself questioning the “taper phase.” Ha! But it was done.
Today I once again faced my fears and did my 3 hour long ride on the mountain. Hill after hill, climb after climb. But I fought through and even found myself exploring some new areas and learning how random streets connected. It was cloudy today which also helped a lot. I was able to finish the nearly 50 mile ride feeling pretty good but my legs were definitely sore from yesterday and today’s effort. I then had a short 20 min recovery run which couldn’t end soon enough. But, I knew once it was done that tomorrow is a recovery day! Wooo! I am also excited about the official start of my mini-vacation! A trip to Utica for the Boilermaker run and Buffalo for the week are ahead…. More on that in the days to come!
Other Items to Note
So as the title of this post states, I am now 16 days away from Ironman Lake Placid. This journey has been so surreal and full of so such a variety of feelings. I can’t wait! I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I can’t wait to have my life back and start some other things that I have slated. At the same time, I’ve become so used to this lifestyle over the past months that it will be odd to go back to one workout a day, and having greater flexibility in my workouts.
I ordered supporter crew shirts for event day and can’t wait for them to come. I have quite a few people joining me. Jason will be there, mom, dad, my friend Matt, friend Brett, and Jason’s parents. In addition two friends will also be there volunteering who did the race last year. They have been awesome in giving me daily tips from their lessons learned and answering all of my questions in the last 30 days leading up to the event. There is so much to know and understand to be prepared for race day, but each day I am that much closer! I also got my bib number for the race. I am #661… Sounds like an Ironman finisher, right? Chat soon 🙂 XOXO