I'm really starting to feel like I'm getting back into great shape. I am recovering quickly from workouts and I'm feeling stronger every day. I have 28 days of hard training remaining before I will back off to get rested up for Ironman Arizona on November 20th. My total training time this week was right at 26 hours. I ran 61 miles, biked 201 miles, and swam 17,100 yards. I am feeling stronger in all 3 areas right now but especially noticed a difference this week in my swimming. I decided I would swim more in my prep for Arizona than I ever have during the school year. One thing I learned as a pro triathlete this summer is the importance of being in a decent spot out of the water. A bad swim makes it extremely tough to have a good bike ride. If there are no other riders around it can be extremely difficult mentally to ride an Ironman course alone. My better pro races were when I had other riders around. Arizona will be a huge pro field and I know I'll be able to get out of the water ahead of some of the other guys. By swimming more I'm hoping I have more riders with me when I exit the water. In addition to the running, swimming, and riding I also lifted weights twice, did lunges, push-ups, speed drills, strides, and jumped rope all three times, did plyometrics twice, and core work 10 times. My weight is continuing to drop. I thought after losing 7 lbs. last week it would be tough to lose anything this week but I know I'm down once again. Tomorrow morning I'll get the official weekly weigh in and I'll do another post edit to report what that is. Post Edit- Monday morning weight was 155.0...-4 lbs. for the week and -13 in my first 3 weeks of training. I'd be thrilled to average 1 lb./week loss for the next 4 weeks.
For my toughest workouts this week I did 5x 1 mile repeats on Wednesday. I tried to keep them fairly relaxed. I took 2 minutes rest after each one. I started at 5:37 and cut down each one by about 5 seconds ending with a 5:14. I did a 5 mile progressive tempo run on Friday in which I began my first mile in 6:06 and cut down each one running the 5 miles in 29:02. Saturday after my 76 mile long ride I did 3.5 miles of brick running. I wanted to keep it really comfortable to simulate Ironman pace. I couldn't believe when I got to the turnaround I was averaging 6:14/mile and that was into the brutal wind we had on Saturday. On the way back I averaged 5:50 to finish the run at 6:02 pace. I couldn't believe how easy it felt. Speaking of the ride...I totally dodged a bullet. In my first 3 miles I was going into the 25 mph wind out of the west. I was riding in the aero position and looked up to see a HUGE log just in front of me. There was no way I could avoid hitting it. I hit the log hard and headed for the side of the road knowing I was going to crash. I didn't want to crash in the road or on the gravel shoulder so I headed straight for the ditch. The bottom of the ditch along this rural road is about 10 feet below the road. Right when I hit the grass going down into the ditch I was launched over my handle bars and my bike flew over top of me. I was fortunate they never mow the grass in this ditch and it was about 5 feet long. That helped to cushion my crash. I knew right away I had no serious injuries. I was able to get up right away and realized how lucky I was. The next thing was to find out how bad the bike was. I was expecting a blown tire and broken spokes but found nothing! My seat had dropped over 1 centimeter and the wheel needed to be adjusted but I was very lucky to not have anything wrong with me or the bike. It is weird how a crash goes in slow motion. In the split second I realized I was going to crash my mind went into survival mode and I had flash backs of other crashes I've been in. Thankfully this one ended much better than any of my previous crashes. I was able to get back on the bike for 74 more miles battling the wind. To put the wind in perspective when I was riding into it I was going between 15 and 17 miles per hour working like crazy in my small chain ring. When I turned to have the wind at my back I was in my biggest gear going 31-33 mph with 1/2 the effort. On Sunday I got my longest run in over 2 months when I went 15 miles. I felt very strong the entire time. I can tell a huge difference running with the weight I've lost. I feel like I'm floating when I'm running now. After last week I was hoping to average losing about 1.5 lbs. each week for the last 5 which would put me in the 151-152 range going into IM Arizona. That weight would be the lowest I've ever raced a triathlon at and 10 lbs. under my weight at Ironman Wisconsin. My confidence is growing by the day which may be the most important factor of all this training. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!