Monday, June 15, 2009

A Typical Monday

Monday is usually a rest day for me. I'm usually pretty tired by Monday morning. As most age-groupers can appreciate, the weekend is when I train the longest. Not always the hardest, but definitely the longest. So by Monday morning, I'm usually tired, sore, and ready to rest.

I have a routine that I have done almost every Monday for the past several years. At lunch, I pull up my previous week's schedule on my CTS personal page. I take this time to reflect on the week. I download my power files, update my training log from the weekend, and reflect on how everything went, how I'm feeling, what questions/concerns I have or expect Lindsay to have, etc.

Then, I put that week away. No matter how good/bad it went, it's over. What's done is done. Time to move on and prepare my mind for the week ahead.

So I click the "next" button and pull up my schedule for the current week. I look at all my workouts for the week, specifically picking out the key workouts that I know are the most important ones to focus on that particular week. These are often my weekend workouts, and reminding myself what's in store helps me get my head around what's to come. The workouts are written out with lots of detail. Time, intensity, intervals, rest intervals, power, etc. There's even a section for coach's comments where Lindsay will fill in any details that might not be apparent from the listed workout. It's very descriptive, and I like it that way.

I like routines. There are almost never surprises when I check my weekly schedule. Monday at lunch is never the first time I've seen what's on tap for that particular week. But some Mondays the schedule looks a little different than usual. And some Mondays it puts a knot in my stomach that doesn't go away for hours.

Today was one of those Mondays.

Today, I put in my comments from the past weekend: ". . . went a little faster on this run than you wanted me to, but I felt fine afterwards. . . . Felt good on the bike today . . . . the heat index today was over 100 and I didn't get on my bike until after noon . . . . " Then I turned my focus to this week.

Immediately, I noticed Sunday. The only thing it says is: "Race-Ironman." No intervals. No prescribed workout duration. No coach's comments. Just "Race-Ironman." Not much else to say about that.

There's nothing else physically I can do to prepare for Sunday. But I have six more days to get prepared mentally. Time to get my head in the game.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Slowest Sixteen Days of the Year

I have sixteen days left until Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I am therefore in full taper mode. Yuck.

This is the time of year that I don't sleep well, I'm irritable, hungry, my muscles ache, and self-doubt starts to creep in. The only time I feel really good is after 10-20 minutes of running or riding. I'm starting to feel refreshed, which scares me because it's too early to feel this good (there's that self doubt again!). But I'm not allowed to open it up on the bike or during a run. "Save it for race day," Lindsay says. If race day doesn't come soon, I may explode.

In other news, I've had two races since my last update. I raced the inaugural Rotary Classic Rock Sprint Triathlon in Rockwall (where I live), and then one week later we made the trip down for the CapTex Olympic in Austin. Last year, I never felt like I raced well leading into the Ironman. This year, I haven't peaked yet (which is good), but I'm off to a much better start than last year.

I've been reasonably happy with both results. I ran 5:44 pace off the bike and finished second overall at the sprint. At the CapTex, I was over 3 minutes faster on the swim, only 4 seconds faster on the bike (although the course changed a little and some say there was an extra hill or two), and I was close to 4 minutes faster on the run. I wanted to break 40 minutes on the run, but was only able to do just over 41. Still, in one year, I had a much better swim, a faster bike split, and then ran a solid, steady pace, which was also faster than last year. That should mean that I'm ready to have a good day in Idaho.

Last weekend was my last long ride and run before the race. I felt good and had better results than in years past. This weekend I'll be doing a long(ish) bike/run brick on Saturday (40+mile ride followed by a 10+ mile run), and a swim/bike brick on Sunday (3800 meter swim (i.e., ironman distance) followed by a 40 mile bike).

I'm looking forward to these workouts. For one thing, I have some extra energy to burn, and this is my last chance to really wear myself out before the race. But the best thing about this weekend's schedule is that it looks fairly easy compared to the weekends I've had for the past several months. That tells me that my taper is going well, and more importantly, my mind is ready to race an Ironman. Hopefully, my body is ready as well.

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