Monday, September 30, 2013

PPD Beach 2 Battleship...4 weeks

Less than 4 weeks until my last race of the 2013 season and my only "A" race of the year, the PPD Beach 2 Battleship Ironman distance event.  I am getting closer to being ready every day and my confidence for this race has grown tremendously.  Last week was a HUGE confidence booster.  I believe I am in a place with my fitness I have never been.  It was one of the biggest weeks I have ever put in.  My total training time was just over 30 hours.  For the week I biked 315 miles, ran 72 miles (highest of the year), and swam 11,100 yards.  I also attended class at Barre563 for my strength training twice and did lunges, plyometrics, core work, push-ups, pull-ups, and jump rope.  I am feeling super fit.  Although the weekend I will talk about later was one highlight for me this week, Wednesday was probably my favorite workout of the week.  Wednesday at our school was the fall version of the school mile.  Every student runs the mile for time and I love this day.  I use my prep periods to go out and run the mile with the kids.  I was able to run it with 6 different kids.  I ran it twice during my 4th period, once during my lunch, twice during my 7th period, and then once with a student in my after school study session who had to make it up.  Each time I ran it I asked the students who had a goal.  Once I found a student with a goal I would ask them what their best time ever was.  I told them I would put them right on pace to set a new lifetime best.  All 6 kids I ran with got personal best times in the mile and I couldn't have been more proud of them for setting a goal and then hanging in there when they were hurting.  4 of the students ran sub-6 minute miles for the first time in their lives.  It was awesome to see them realize they are capable of more than they imagined. 

I have never seen myself as a talented athlete.  Growing up I always loved sports.  My parents were not into sports and never pushed me but were always there to encourage me.  One thing they did teach me was the value of hard work.  I was a mediocre athlete through middle school but in high school found that when I worked harder than others I could beat people who I thought had more talent than I did.  Even as I got serious about triathlons and earned my pro license I still never saw myself as someone with a lot of talent.  I saw it as something I worked tremendously hard at earning the successes I have had.  Something that occurred to me this week is that I may have a hidden talent that allows me to be successful.  That talent is the ability to recover quickly.  Although this isn't natural talent for swimming, biking, or running, this gift has allowed me to put in lots of training without getting injured or even feeling overly fatigued.  This weekend was a good indicator of my fitness and my ability to recover.  I put in a lot of volume during the week considering I work 8 hours a day and also have two children and a wife at home I enjoy spending time with.  Some nights I was off the bike around midnight only to wake at 6 and begin another day of work, training, and family.  Friday I ran 13 miles and biked for 2 hours on the trainer including 6x3 minutes at 300 watts.  Saturday morning I had a long run planned where I planned to fuel with nutrition I will use on race day.  I started with a 9 mile loop that brought me back to my car.  I met my friend Cassidy Moulton for 2 miles at Crow Creek Park where I had started the run.  After getting to mile 11 I was back on my own.  My average pace for the run up to this point was 7:15/mile.  I headed out on a 5.5 mile loop that brought me back to my car.  I quickly grabbed some coke, GU, and GU Chomps and headed back out.  It was around mile 17 when I looked down at my watch and saw I was running 6:05 pace.  I couldn't believe how easy it felt.  My average pace was falling quickly.  At mile 18.5 I grabbed my special treat that will be in special needs bag for the run...Little Debbie Swiss Roles.  They were amazing and I continued to feel good.  I planned to stop at 20 if anything felt tired.  At mile 20 I was still running close to 6:00 mile pace and continued on for 3 miles with GU, coke, and Red Bull.  I stopped the run at 23 miles with an average pace of 6:55.  That meant I averaged 6:35 for the final 12 miles and it felt awesome.  It was my longest run of the year by 5 miles and my longest in training in the past 2 years.  I've never done a run over 20 miles without having sore hips, hamstrings, and hip flexors until this one.  I felt great during and after the run.  I have to believe the strength I've gained attending Barre563 has played a huge role in how fit I am right now.  My weekend was just getting started. 

Saturday night I rode the bike on the trainer for 2 more hours.  I had recovered well after nearly running a marathon.  My legs felt great.  I got off the bike at 11:00 pm and went to bed to wake up at 5:45.  When the sun started to show I headed out on the bike and rode 100 miles making it the 3rd week in a row at 100+ on the weekend.  When I finished I felt pretty tired for the first time all week.  I told Jen maybe I would be done training for the day.  I ate quite a bit including my first cheat of the week with Jen's apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.  I felt awesome again after eating that and headed to Lake G for a 2,400 yard straight swim with the first 1000 easy and the next 1400 alternating 21 strokes easy and 21 strokes at sprint distance effort.  I felt awesome.  After I got home and played with the kids and got them in bed I ran 5 miles and felt great.  Today I ran 12 miles, biked 2 hours, and attended class at Barre563.  I don't feel like I put in over 16 hours of training in the last 3 days but that's what I've done.  I did the entire 30 hour training week averaging only 2,900 calories/day and it helped me drop to my lowest weight of the year at 155.8 lbs.  I was 164 just 8 days ago.  I'm pretty stoked about entering this last race lean and in peak form.  I've strung together 4 great weeks and plan to add 2 more to that total before entering a 13 day taper for B2B. 

Our sermon at church this weekend was on generosity.  It was awesome and it really made me think a lot about the future of iHope.  The iHope Foundation was created to provide technology such as iPads to low-income students that display great character and work ethic.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue donating all my race winnings to iHope next year until hearing the sermon.  This year I have earned $3,000.00 through racing and hope to add to that total at B2B.  There are obviously a lot of nice things I could do with that money.  It could have paid for our 10 year anniversary trip to Jamaica.  It could have helped with race expenses.  I think how I could have put it in Payton and Owen's college fund...I could have used it for new hydraulic brakes on my Shiv...a new Powertap in the crank...lots of things come to mind.  Then I realized how everything I've done in racing is due to the talents God blessed me with.  Without Him I would not be able to do the things I'm doing.  I have been blessed with good health and the ability to race fast.  I don't think it's just a coincidence that when I decided to give all my winnings away to the iHope Foundation I have earned three times as much as I did last year and am in the best shape of my life.  God has used me to inspire others and to make a difference to children who have a lot of doors closed.  I will keep doing that next year to see if we can get the foundation to endowment level and possibly add a scholarship component tied to one iHope recipient every year.  We would like to have a scholarship waiting for them upon graduation from high school if they choose to enroll in a 2 or 4 year college.  I have been blessed by the support of numerous individuals and businesses in our community.  If you would like to help by contributing to the foundation you can click here.  It means more than you know.  When things get tough on October 26th my mind will be on some of the kids in my class that we would like to provide an iHope gift to this year.  I know that will give me strength to get through the rough spots. 

I began the 2013 season later than I ever have.  I remember how my first 3 mile run hurt so badly.  I took 10 weeks completely off after Ironman Arizona.  I had gained over 20 lbs. in my offseason.  Jen took a picture of me suffering and sweating badly through that first 3 mile treadmill run back in February.  I remember writing in my first blog post of the year about climbing the mountain and how the view from the bottom was daunting.  You can read that post here.  I've climbed my mountain.  I can see the top now and with 2 more good weeks and then some rest I'll be there.  I've never been as fit or prepared for a long distance race as I am right now.  I'm healthy and confident...add a little rest in and I'll be ready for the best race of my life and a sub-9 hour performance.  I can't wait!  DREAM BIG!

1 comment:

Samantha Marie said...

Super cool. You're right about the 'putting in extra work and surpassing people who you thought were more talented than you'...I am slowly finding that to be true. (with violin--not athletics:)I know the race will go fantastically when it comes up. You are phenomenal as always...