Ironman Chattanooga looms less than 4 weeks away and I'm very excited about how the plan has gone to date. This past week was another big week. I've been alternating big bike weeks with even bigger ones. This past week was 325 bike miles. I've averaged 280 miles a week on the bike over the past 8 weeks. It's definitely my highest average ever over an 8 week period. I will be down a bit this week at around 220 and then back up over 300 for one more week before cutting back and beginning my taper 10 days from the race. I ran 42 miles last week but only swam once at 3,000 yards. This week begins a higher swim build which will last until the race. One of the changes I've made to cut back training time as my kids have grown up is to cut my swim yardage until close to a big race. With 3-4 weeks swimming at high volume and even more importantly more days per week I make pretty quick gains in swim fitness. Honestly I'm surprised where it is at right now given my limited time in the water.
I have continued to get big loads of long training in on the weekends. This past week was slated to be my highest single day totals on the bike and run. Saturday morning I rode 130 miles and kept most of it easy with an exception of 1 hour at Ironman effort between the 4:30 and 5:30 mark. I felt very strong through the entire ride. Big thanks to Daniel Westbay for joining me for the first 50 to keep time going by quickly. I ran 2 miles off the bike at 6:30/mile pace and then did 30 more minutes easy on the trainer in the evening. Sunday I got up early and started my long run at 5:45. I ran 22 miles at 6:40 pace. It felt very good despite humidity over 90%. At mile 5 my average pace was 7:06 and it slowly kept dropping until the finish. In the last couple miles I glanced down to see current pace hovering around 6:00/mile. It leaves me feeling confident I can run a good marathon if I stay in my wattage zone on the bike (235-240) which I intend to do regardless of the dynamics of the race. I know through my training that a power output in that zone will leave me with a fast bike split and with good legs to run well.
This Saturday I have a big test workout I have had penciled in for the last 6 weeks. I planned to do it 3 weeks out from the race. I'm pretty excited about it. I will ride 100 miles with the first 50 easy at 210 watt average. I will keep the power output consistent up and down hills. At mile 50 I will ramp up into my Ironman zone of 235-240 and hold that for the next 50 miles. I will get off the bike and run 10 miles right away hoping to be 6:30 pace without feeling uncomfortable. If it feels easy I have promised myself I will not drop more than 5 sec./mile under that pace until the last 2 miles where I'll allow my self to drop as low as 6:00 pace but no lower. If 6:30 pace feels good off the bike I will plan to go out at that pace in Chattanooga.
Monday was the final Run With Carl, a memorial run that has gone on for the past 20 years for Carl Schillig, a friend and teammate of mine whose life was taken way too soon by a drunk driver that ran a red light and killed him in 1994 when we were high school freshmen. It was great doing the run with Chris Chamberlin, a local guy I've been coaching for the past 20 weeks. He ran 32:20 averaging 6:22/mile after averaging 6:47/mile last year. His big goal this year was to run a 1/2 in under 7:00 pace this year and I have no doubts he will do that. Owen ran the 1/2 mile and had so much fun he walked back up the hill and ran the mile finishing just behind Payton. Jen and I were very proud of them for tackling the hilly mile without walking.
This has been a great week for the iHope Foundation. HUGE thanks to Tim and Marlene King, Jim and Michelle Russell, and all those at our PVXC alumni reunion who contributed to the foundation. To date the iHope Foundation has raised over $27,000.00 to purchase iPads and provide scholarships for low-income students that display outstanding character and work traits. When I began the foundation I was hoping we would be able to provide 1 iPad each year. Due to the incredible support we are hoping to do 3 iPads each year with each recipient also getting a $1,000.00 scholarship upon high school graduation. If you'd like to help contribute to either the iPad portion or the scholarship portion of the iHope Foundation you can click either of the links at the top of my page. Thanks so much! 25 days to Ironman Chattanooga. I'm dreaming of my best race ever. DREAM BIG!