I'm officially into my 7 week block of Ironman Training. I like to do at least 6 weeks where I increase volume especially focusing on long workouts to prepare for an Ironman. I'll try to chip away at the last few pounds I'd like to lose before Challenge AC and get myself as fit as possible before backing off and resting up a bit over the final 10 days. Week 12 was a very good week for me. For the week I swam 9,300 yards all open water, biked 295 miles, and ran 47 miles. I was able to get 47 run miles with just 5 days of running. I like to take more days off running during an Ironman block so I can be a bit more fresh for the long workouts.
The lake I swim at is really nice right now. Last Sunday I was in there and the water was freezing. I swam 50 minutes and I'm guessing it was in the upper 50's. Despite having 2 swim caps on my head I was getting very cold in the last 10 minutes and opted to get out before getting delirious. It has warmed up nicely and I'd estimate it was about 66 degrees for my swim on Friday. My key workouts came on the weekend. Saturday I biked 110 miles. The first 55 were pretty comfortable and I was thankful to meet up with Daniel Westbay for most of those miles. I'm coaching Dan for the 2nd straight year. After our frozen yogurt stop at the BP in DeWitt I set off solo and began a 36 mile stretch where I was alternating 7 miles at my Challenge AC Ironman wattage of 225-230 followed by 5 miles at Ironman wattage + 10%. As it was I did the first 7 miles at 230 watts, followed by 5 at 250, 7 at 232, 5 at 252, 7 at 232, and 5 more at 252. I then rode easy for the remainder of the 110 miles. I could tell I was depleted after the ride. My muscles were twitching uncontrollably and walking down steps was leaving me feeling dehydrated. I began ingesting the 4,000 calories I burned on the ride back and then some. I track my calories in an app called "Lose It". I consumed over 7,000 calories on Saturday in an attempt to bring my body back to life because on Sunday I was planning to race a 1/2 marathon hard as part of an 18 mile run. I went to bed early feeling wiped and not knowing how my body would feel on Sunday.
Sunday morning I awoke at 6:00 and took in more calories before driving to Augustana College to participate in the Distance Classic 1/2 Marathon. I ran 3.5 miles just before the race to start my 18 mile day. I actually felt pretty good. I've raced a couple 5k's over the past few weekends and knew the 1/2 marathon pace would feel comfortable. I was just hoping I could hold pace the entire time and do so without cramping. I was more worried about that given how my body felt after Saturday's ride. I do my interval workouts between 5:00 and 5:20 mile pace so I knew the 5:50 tempo pace that is also my 1/2 marathon pace would feel relatively comfortable. The race started with the 5k and I didn't know which athletes were running the 5k and which guys were running the 1/2 marathon. I settled into a very comfortable rhythm from the beginning. Owen, Payton, and Jen came out to watch and Owen noted that I was in 14th when I passed by them in the first 1/2 mile. After the mile mark the 5k guys split and I was leading the 1/2. I just stayed on my rhythm pretty much the entire race running every mile between 5:43 and 5:48 according to my GPS which seems to measure about every course slightly long as my overall pace ended up being 5:49/mile. Regardless I held every mile split within 5 seconds and it never felt too difficult. I won the race earning the iHope Foundaiton another $100.00. Afterwards I finished my 18 mile run with another 1.5 miles and then we enjoyed a HUGE Mother's Day brunch with Jen, the kids, and my parents and brother Josh and his wife.
I was thrilled to get a call from another athlete I'm coaching this year who raced a 1/2 Ironman in Virginia. This is my 2nd year working with Jason Rangel and he is preparing to race Ironman Coeur d'alene the same I'm racing Challenge AC. I knew from the consistent training he had put in over the past 8 weeks that he was ready for a GREAT race and he had exactly that. He was under 5 hours on a course with a 13.1 mile run that had over 800 feet elevation change. Seeing his power file from the bike I know we can make some improvements there and he will do awesome in 7 weeks out in Idaho. I'm really excited about the 4 athletes I'm working with because they've all been so consistent with their training which is a HUGE key to success.
A couple other things of note...on Saturday, June 6th at 9:00 AM I will be putting on a free triathlon transition clinic hosted by Healthy Habits. We will have good tips to help speed your way through T1 and T2 and will also be able to answer any questions you have triathlon related and especially regarding the logistics of the QC Triathlon. I've been doing this free clinic for about 5 years and I've enjoyed being able to give back through this event. We should have some nutrition samples provided by GU Energy and a few other giveaways for clinic attendees. I hope we get another good crowd there. Lastly, this past week I was BLOWN away with another extremely generous corporate sponsorship to the iHope Foundation. I'm thrilled to report that Tri-City Blacktop has committed at the Platinum Level sponsorship. They are the 4th corporation at the Platinum level to go along with 4 others at the Gold level. Total corporate sponsorship dollars raised for the iHope Foundation this year alone are at $12,295.00. Wednesday evening I will be awarding the first iHope Foundation scholarship to a graduating senior. I was amazed and incredibly proud when I saw the scholarship application of the recipient that was selected. That student will also receive an iPad and a protective case for it. To help fund future iPads or scholarships for future low-income students that display outstanding character and work traits click either of the donation links on the top of my page. Looking forward to the challenges that week 13 will bring. DREAM BIG!!