Wednesday night after the kids went to bed I had a great workout alternating between the trainer and treadmill. I don't typically begin these until February but I needed to get both in and I enjoy these transition run workouts when I can work on running strong off the bike. I did 3x 10 minutes at a steady effort on the bike following each one with a 1.5 mile tempo run. I did the tempo runs in 9:00 (6:00 pace), 8:45 (5:50 pace), and 8:30 (5:40 pace) to finish it off. None of them felt difficult. It was a good boost of confidence that my fitness is improving quickly.
Saturday I was tested with my most swim yards ever in a workout. I swam with our high school team. I knew it would be a tough practice so I was up at 5:30 to get in a solid breakfast so I would have some calories to swim on. From our warm-up set of 20x 100 yards I did not feel good. For whatever reason my arms just lacked the power I have been feeling in the pool lately. Had I been alone for this workout I probably would have suffered through 3,000 yards before calling it a workout. This is where being with the team has really helped me. There was no way I was getting out early. I made my mind up that I would just continue to grind through the yards. After the first 2,900 Coach Tweedy put our main set on the board. For me and 3 other distance swimmers it said, 6x 800 yards (2 swim on 12:00, 2 pull on 13:00, 2 swim with fins on 10:30). If my math served me correct that meant I would be swimming a 4,800 yard set on very tired arms. Instead of thinking I was too tired to do it I made my mind up I would just swim each one without counting until it was time to stop. I made it through the workout and actually felt better at the end than I did when it started. The cool down put me at my first 8,000 yard swim practice ever.
Sunday morning I was driving to Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf to do my weekly long run and my car read the outside temperature to be 10 degrees and that didn't include the wind chill. I'm not sure why it is so cold the first week in December but it would take a blizzard to cause me to miss this workout. The long run each week is one of my 3 most important workouts. It never fails that Sunday seems to be the worst day of the week for these over the past 2 years. It is either the coldest, windiest, or rainiest day of the week and I think it's God's way of testing my resolve to this goal...this journey. I don't really care how crappy it is out for this workout, it is one I must get in regardless. Not only does the run build my phyical toughness but the weather conditions build my mental toughness. When I finished this run my hat was frozen (pictured left) and I have a red spot on my neck that may be mild frost bite. The thing is...during the run I wasn't cold except for the skin that was exposed. Dr. Kaminski hooked me up with a really sweet jacket that I'll call the Magic Jacket because it doesn't matter what I wear under it, I'm always soaked in sweat after running regardless of how cold it is. I had on a dry fit short sleeve t-shirt under this jacket and that was all. After the run the shirt was soaked in sweat. I probably need to invest in one of those neck warmer things so my neck is no longer exposed in sub-0 wind chill. This week will be a much bigger one. 35 days in and I feel great. Jen and I were looking at airline tickets to St. George tonight. I'd say I can't wait but that would be a lie because I've got a ton more work to do to prepare. Someone asked me this week when my next race was and when I told them Ironman St. George in May, they asked me if I was ready. I'm certainly not ready yet, but I'm well on my way to being more ready for this race than I've ever been for a race. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!