Anyways, because Barton Springs was closed through Friday, I decided to switch my weekend schedule around a bit.
Friday, March 7th
I did my long run Friday morning with my long-lost running pals Thon and Amy. The schedule called for 18 miles this weekend. Because of a 9am client meeting in Dripping Springs, I was only able to get 15.5 miles done. I left from my house at 5am and ran 2 miles to Thon’s place. Oh my God, the wind was howling! I felt like Dorothy in the land of Oz as the trees were crackling with the gusts. Lions..and tigers…and bears…oh my! At Thon’s, I picked up the two of them and we headed north up Shoal Creek to Anderson Lane and back. I’m so excited that the two of them have booked flights to come to the Ironman! They will join Shawn, my parents, Richard, Stephanie and I for the IMAZ camping adventure! They also signed up for the Grandma’s Half Marathon so I’m thinking of returning the favor and flying to Duluth in June to see them!
Saturday, March 8th
Today was the annual “Spokes and Spurs” Bike Ride and it was an official T3 Team Ride. About 20 of us gathered on this incredibly chilly morning (30 degrees) to ride out in the Hill Country. It was great to get out of Austin and off the same old routes that we’re used to doing. Not surprisingly, the course was full of rolling hills and wind. IMAZ athletes were riding 90 miles, which meant we had to do the 62 mile loop (the ride’s longest) and then hit the 28 mile loop. I’m sure the volunteers were just thrilled to know that there were people out there doing extra when they really wanted to pack up and go home. The first several miles were pretty chilly. I dressed warm enough, but my toes and hands were still cold. While I had plenty of my own nutrition for the ride, I couldn’t resist the supported rest stops filled with cookies, PBJ, powerade, water and great volunteers. I’m usually pretty Type-A about not stopping too long and wasting time, but I let it go yesterday and just had fun catching up with other riders who were also enjoying the breaks.
Coach Logan and I started joking about what it would be like if Ironmans didn’t have cut off times. Every rest stop would be packed for hours, people would be hanging out and drinking beer, there would be massage tables at every stop. I guess it’s a good thing that you can’t piss around too much in the actual race!
Like most long rides, I had strong and weak moments, ups and downs, moments of power and moments of pain. I can’t say I was that excited to head back out for the second loop especially as others were finishing and even doing small run bricks after their rides. However, it wasn’t really an option at that point. Katy, Jerry and I headed out as my mind tried to remain positive. I definitely started to fade a bit during the last 10 miles as Jerry and Katy got further and further ahead. Generously, they held up at a stop sign to wait for me to catch up.
I was definitely happy to have accomplished another huge, tough ride. I only averaged 15.5 for the 88.4 miles, but it was a strong effort with the hills, wind and long run the day before. After the ride, Katy and I went for a 30 minute run and then proceeded to slam down some fajitas!
Here are some pics I snapped from my phone as we were hanging out at a rest stop:
As much as I’d love to, I won’t be lugging my camera with me on the course of IMAZ…I’ll already be carrying enough crap including 13 hours worth of nutrition and extra bike gear.
Sunday, March 9th
Between the time change and the two glasses of wine on Saturday night (woops), I woke up feeling pretty sluggish, headachy and sore. The bike ride made my glutes, hamstrings and quads ache…even after an epsom salt bath on Saturday evening.
Still, I headed to Barton Springs around 10am (which was 9am yesterday) to swim my 4000m. I broke it down to 2 x 2000m.
1st 2000 = 42:47
2nd 2000= 42:02
Hey, at least it was a negative split! Karen had told me her strategy was to do 40 slow strokes followed by 20 fast/strong strokes–kind of like a swimming fartlek workout. I used this strategy on the 2nd 2000 and it worked well. Thanks Karen! I didn’t think I’d be able to hold that type of concentration for 5 laps, but counting my strokes was less mind numbing than counting laps and it seemingly made each lap just a tad faster!
One more week of training hell and then I start to descend this ladder of exhaustion!