Since the day I decided to do an Ironman I had planned out a key workout that I wanted to complete about a month before the race. I wanted to go at least 120 miles on the bike and follow it up with a 10 mile run to see what my legs would feel like after such a long ride. The weather cooperated beautifully and I picked Saturday to be the day for this last big test workout. I did something similar before my first 1/2 Ironman 2 years ago but then I was only riding 60 miles before the 10 mile run. I began the day Saturday with a 3,500 yard swim workout. When I got home I packed my nutrition for the ride and set out solo for 120 miles. In the 120 I did 10x 10 minutes at Ironman effort followed by 10 minutes of normal mileage riding pace. My nutrition plan worked to perfection and I actually was feeling stronger near the end of the ride than when I began it. I looked at the clock when I hit mile 112 (an Ironman distance) and I was at 5 hrs. 14 minutes. I was really surprised by this since my goal in St. George is 5 hours on the bike. I couldn't beleive I was only 14 minutes off in a training ride with most of the miles at a really easy pace. I do know however that even though I chose about the hilliest route I could find it will not compare to the huge hills I'll be climbing in St. George. Immediately after the bike I took off on a 10 mile run. I picked the hilliest run I could find from my house for my best St. George simuation. The 10 miles took me up and down 14 hills. My legs felt great. I went through the first 5 miles running each of them between 5:58 and 6:04. I was 30:10 at the turnaround. On the way back I was getting really thirsty since I didn't carry anything with me for the run. I suffered a bit without nutrition and finished the 10 miles in 61 minutes 32 seconds...about 6:09 pace. It gave me great confidence that if I can keep myself from riding too hard in St. George I should be able to get off the bike ready to run a good marathon.
Sunday I was pretty sore from Saturday's big effort but my entire family got together to celebrate birthdays and my 3 brothers who are preparing to do a triathlon together this year all decided we should run a hill workout. I couldn't pass up the chance to run with them. I think it was the first time the four of us have ever worked out together. We ran to a hill not far from Justin's house and did 6 hill repeats. On the 2nd one I felt something pretty painful in my glute muscle. I should have probably stopped but I didn't want to back out on the chance to work out with them. I don't know if I pulled my glute or if it's just really sore from Saturday's workout. I'll have to monitor that this week and also make sure I keep the volume low to recover from that big day. It was awesome to see my brothers all running hard up the hill! They have really inspired me.
Jen won another race on Sunday morning in the QC. She actually only got beat by 1 guy in the race! She was under 18:00 again for the 5k. It was great seeing so many runners from the QC at the race enjoying the warm weather Mother Nature decided to bless us with. Less than 4 weeks to go...I'm really excited about this race. I think about my strategy every day. I plan to swim pretty hard early to see if I can hang with any of the guys. I hope to be under an hour for the swim in my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit. On the bike I'll make sure to ride the 1st loop pretty comfortably hoping to keep my average speed around 22.5 mph. I would like to come off the bike in 5 hours but more importantly is to have my legs ready to run so I can go under 3:05 for the marathon. That isn't too fast of a time but this run course in St. George is ridiculous from everything I have read about the race.
One last thing to note...my massage therapist, Laurel Darren is entered in a Max Muscle "Best Legs in America" contest and she needs your help to win the vote. Laurel is working incredibly hard to prepare for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race and is in great shape. You can vote here. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!