Training week 28 of 36 was a bit of a challenge. Coming off of last Sunday’s sprint and 10 mile run I was a bit sore and my energy levels were a bit low. This week’s training was supposed to be low intensity and high volume training, I had 17 total workout hours lined up. Monday was my rest day for this week. I was hopping the day off would allow my body to catch back up.
I got through my Tuesday and Wednesday’s works outs not feeling that great about them but, satisfied that I got the work in. I finally felt my energy level’s coming back on Thursday. I now had to make a decision about my weekend’s workout. On Saturday I had a long 5 hour 55 minute workout on my plate. With my half Ironman set for Sunday I knew that just would not work. I ended up swapping my Sunday and Saturday workouts.
Anytime I start mixing my schedule it makes me a bit nervous. I do not want to cut myself short because I’m afraid it will hurt my IM race in Nov. I went for the flip flop of schedules anyway. On Saturday I put in a low intensity 10 mile run followed by a 1 hour bike. I had 40 more minutes to put in but, I was running late and was not able to put it in. It didn’t bother me much as I knew I was going to push the next day in the half ironman race.
Sunday came and it was time to put in some high intensity work. I was treating it as a training day but, I was still going to push. I wanted to break the 5 hour mark. I ran into a lot of people I knew and met some new people. I noted that this race had a pretty stacked field. The current Texas Ironman armature champion Patrick Schuster, local triathlon pro Brent Poulsen, a couple top notch area competitors David Jones and Brian Miller were also in the field along with several other seasoned triathletes.
Up first was the 1.2 mile swim. This is the weakest of my events. I tried to relax and just get through the swim. I felt pretty fresh when I was done and I was ready to get onto my bike. I knew I was going to have to play catch up on the bike and run.
The 52 mile bike was a 4 loop course. I’m usually not too crazy about loop anything but this course was flat so I didn’t mind. Not sure why but, I struggled to warm up on the bike. I figured my Saturday morning workout had something to do with it. It wasn’t until about mile 11 when my legs finally felt like they were there. With maybe 5 miles left on the bike my left growing started to cramp up. I backed off the effort a bit and it worked itself out. I was now hesitant and did not want to push to hard. With maybe two miles left I was able to see some of my competition. I decided to go for it and push the last two miles of the bike. The run was next and I felt I would be able to pick off a few on the run. I had the cramp in the back of my mind because I wasn’t sure how it was going to affect my run.
I got into T2 to and started my 13.1 mile run. It was time to find out if the cramp was going to affect me. I felt good coming off the bike and my first mile was a low 6 minute pace. My plan was to try and stay around the 7 minute average for the run so I backed off a bit and settled into a 6:40 pace. The run felt good and pretty effortless. I kept checking my Garmin and wondered if the GPS was incorrect. I decided to hold that pace as long as I could. I was able to pick off a few people on the run and I didn’t cramp up. With about 3 miles left in my run I decided that if I hit my PR and had a top 10 finish I would pass on the 1 hour ride after the event.
I crossed the finish line and felt pretty good about the day’s work. I congratulated all the top finishers. I knew going into the race I was not going to have a top 5 finish and come race morning I wasn’t certain I would have a top 10 finish. After getting my easy 20 minute cool down run in I wet over to check results.
I landed a top ten finish! That was a huge bonus for my training day. My swim is still hurting my time but, I feel it will come around next year. I had the 42nd fastest swim time which translates to a catch up time of 6 minutes on the low end and 14 minutes on the high. In other words once I’m on the bike I’m already 6 to 14 minutes behind the leaders.
My bike was much better. I ended up having the 7th fastest bike overall. With the one pro in the field it was the 6th fastest bike amongst the armatures.
On the run I had the 2nd fastest overall run of the day. With the one pro in the field it was the fastest run amongst the armatures. This was certainly one of my highlights of the day.
My other highlight was my PR. I crushed my old PR by almost 17 minutes. I’m sure the flat course had some to do with it but, I’ll still take it!
I’d like to through a special thank you to Garrett Underdown, a fellow Team Wheaties Fuel member. Garrett is a seasoned triathlete who gave me some advice on managing my calorie and nutrition intake. I went ahead and gave it a try in today’s event and I had success with it. I know trying new anything on race day is a huge NO NO but, it was a training day for me and I decided to roll the dice and thankfully it paid off.
Thank you for reading this week’s blog entry and congratulations to all who competed today. Everyone who crosses the finish line are winners in my book.
Feel free to check out my facebook for pictures of the event.