Week 34 of 36 had 15 hours and 30 minutes of training in it. The first few days of this week was an absolute blur. Driving back into town took over 10 hours. Combine the drive with the hard training weekend left me completely exhausted. I woke up Tuesday morning my energy levels were really low and knew I would have to skip my morning swim. My body still had not caught up from the previous three days.
Tuesday afternoon rolled around and I was on the computrainer getting a short ride in. I was feeling better. I started to think through the rest of my training week and realized that after this week I would be only two weeks away from my Ironman event. I’ve been in training for 34 weeks and now, doubt and nerves started to set in. So many thoughts started going through my head. Am I ready? Have I put in enough training? Was my quality of training going to get me to the finish line? Is my nutrition on its mark? The questions go on and on.
I got through my Wednesday and Thursday sessions and started to calm myself down. After this week I would begin to taper. This meant a couple of things. First there isn’t anything I can do about the training. I’ve put in the work and I’ve I have to be confident in what I’ve done. This also meant that my training hours would start dropping dramatically.
I think the upcoming two taper weeks are going to be more mentally draining than physically draining. I didn’t want to think too much about the taper weeks and fortunately a friend of mine who text me earlier in the week about training on Saturday shot me another text with what I saw as a challenge. I had a 4 and ½ hour ride online for Saturday and he suggested we do a hill ride that would take 2 hours. I said no at first as I shot him a text message with a photo of a sheet of paper which said, “Keep your effort aerobic. No hard group rides.” I thought about it for a few seconds after I sent the “No” reply and decided to change my mind. I figured I could climb with a low effort for two hours. It would be a test of self control. I also had a 45 min run afterwards which he said he would join me on.
Saturday came along and I started it off with a 1 hour warm up on the bike. After the warm up we started on this “steady” climb which translated to a hill climb that started off with a 2.5 percent grade. When riding a computrainer it is a constant effort. There is no coasting there are no breaks. If you stop peddling you stop going forward. The next two hours would prove to be interested. The grade never dropped below 2.5. There were sections in the course that held steadily at 8 percent, 15 and 18 percent. We hit a section of the course that registered as a 29.1 percent grade. Yes, I will not leave out that .1 percent. J After 2 hours on the steady climb I found that I had only traveled 20 miles. Though I averaged only 10 miles per hour I ended up averaging out over 30 more watts on that ride. The run after the ride went really well. I had two friends run with me. It felt like a social run and it made the 45 minute run go by smoothly.
I had one last long run and short spin on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect Sunday morning given I had that 2 hour steady climb. It rained that night and into to the morning. I decided to sleep in a bit and get my run in a little later than normal. My run went well I put 12 miles in at a 75% effort and my pace was pretty much on its mark. It felt good to finish my last long week on a good note.
As I venture into my taper weeks I don’t know what to expect but, I’m going into it with a positive attitude. It’s going to be a time of physical recovery and recuperation, a time of mental preparation. I know the event will be upon me before I know it.
As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.