ok - we decided to run an almost or maybe a full ironman on saturday. but it rained and lightninged and such - so we killed the idea. just went to the pool and swam a mile and a half - then dodged some clouds and ran 5 miles. no biggie.
the next morning, sunday we tried again to do the long workout. we woke up at 5 so we could get to the park by 6:30 to get started at 7. which we did. but. sadly the park doesn't open until 8. :-/
so... we went to the gas station and hung out there for a while. ahh well, i guess we could have called or looked it up - but wtf? oh well. and! as a bonus it closed at 10. so rather than going 7 to midnight we ended up with 8:30 to 10...
the transition area for the three of us was also the minivan. the "molester van" as The Resa likes to call it. well, we had to keep all of our stuff in there and open it up each time through. this slowed things down a bit - but worked out really well otherwise.
the three of us decided to stay together for the full day. we were not racing - just trying to learn stuff. and all in all we did learn several things. the only negative is when any one of the 3 of us had a problem - all three of us stopped and waited. bathroom breaks, fixing stuff, whatever... also we went at about 90% intensity for most of the day. all in all i would say the day was one of the funner ones this year.
first off we went down to the lake - which is about a half mile or so from the parking lot. we were the first people there. it was raining pretty good as we drove out to the park... but we checked the radar and it looked like it would clear up after a few hours. which it did. so when we arrived at the pond the rain had gone and it was just overcast. we did the map my run on the pond and three times around is an ironman swim. a distance which i have never done before.
i still haven't found a good fix for the rubbing seem on the wetsuit - i think maybe some kind of repair kit or something to cover it up. it rubs the back of my neck and i get raw there. i bought some larger bandages and had sheila put them on my neck where the suit was scraping. "wont work" she hinted. i then blobbed a bunch of vaseline on the seem too. all in all it pretty much worked. the bandaid came off about half way through, the vaseline seemed to keep the suit from digging too hard into my neck and in the end it was only sore but not painful. i guess i probably could do something about it. ;-)
so we suited up, got our goggles and my new swim hat on and said "3,2,1,go!" and then all stared at each other for a few seconds. finally we shrugged and started swimming. noticed a huge thing in the first 100 feet. my new swim hat echoes! its very loud when you have it over your ears, blurbity blurbity! huge difference from swimming without one. and it also explains the panic i went through in my first race. it was weird and i didnt like it all. so i lifted it above the ears and all was well. so - any beginners out there - think about this next time you try a swim cap. this was about the only two things i tried differently on the swim. the hat was an easy fix and the suit - well, thats going to need to be fixed i think. i also wore a watch for the first time but never looked at it. so wont bother with that again.
along we swam, the three of us. we guessed 1:30 to 1:40 in the water. the first time we swam in that lake the sun was right over head and the water was clearer. you could see fish and stuff on the bottom. this time it was a lot darker as the sun was just coming up - couldnt see anything really - some sand about 3 times is all. we pretty much just swam along. our sighting or maybe direction is better now as we didnt split up much and didnt re-cross our paths either.
we had to change our course a bit to avoid some fisherdudes that showed up. also another set of 2 people got into the lake with wetsuits and started swimming around too. but they were in and out of the water in about 30 minutes. they were fast too. probably doing about a mile or so in distance.
i remember getting very comfy in the water. about half way through a large dark cloud passed right over head. "Tragedy Strikes when Lightning Strikes" was my headline for the next days paper. either that or "Three Retards get Nuked in Lake" but no lightning came down and we managed to make it to the end of the swim.
i felt really good about the swim. new personal distance record and i didnt feel nearly as tired as i usually do after a pool workout. got out of the water at 1:41. in line with what we figured. but out effort was more just swimming rather than trying to go fast. but! i would be very happy with getting out of the water in under 2:20. as that was my biggest worry a year ago. so 1:50 or 1:20 or anything else is just fine. at this point something really bad would have to happen to not finish the swim. cramps? storm? locusts?!?!?
got out of the water and put my shoes on and walked back to the car. we chatted along the way. saw a few other people in wet suits go by. my foot itched a bit but otherwise all good.
the itch turned to pain as i got to the car. a stone was in my shoe and my wet foot rubbed it till it cut the skin. argh! my left foot now had a hole in it. ruined my mood there. gads i was bummed. i was thinking i would be hopping on the run. poop! ahh well, what can you do. so i put a bandaid on it and started switching to the bike. which normally would take a few minutes to put my shoes and shirt on and be all set up. but we hauled out the bikes - having to unload the car to do it, pumped the tires, checked stuff - loaded up with food and water. all in all the transition took about 40 minutes from the lake to the bike start.
once we were finally ready we hopped on the bikes and took off. i had mapped a course that was a loop for 10 miles and an out and back section which was also 10 miles long. the out and back is a big favorite with the triathletes - there were about 50 people on that as we rode it. not too many people together - mostly single riders. a few 2 people teams and the big train of three that was us.
the loop kinda sucked. it was on lumpy roads and had more traffic. but i think it was better than just doing the 10 mile out and back 11 times. so we did a loop, did the out and back and then went to the car. 20.01 miles. our first time around i think we went to hard. just a bit. we were trying to remember not too. but you feel so fresh when you start. and after the first 20 we were feeling like we went 20. the next 20 we for sure went too hard. we did it in just a touch over and hour and were pretty dead by the end of it. felt like we had done 60+ miles at this point. well, we talked about it. all along we have been up against the question of whether to go as hard as we can on the bike, and then walk/trot/walk the marathon or to go easy on the bike and then have to run run the marathon. we are not runners and for a long time we have leaned towards getting as much done on the bike as we could and just suck it up on the shuffle. the other way - we figured, was to go easy on the bike and still be not too good on the run.
after reading some things about this - it seems the general thought is that you can drop 3 miles per hour on your bike and run 10 min miles rather than have the 3 miles per hour and walk 19 min miles. but we were not completely convinced one way or the other. just seems like we would have to do several events each way and see what worked out best.
i think though, after the full day sunday that we are now leaning towards not bombing the bike too much. first off it makes the bike if less adrenaline-ee more comfy. would be nice to not get off the bike and already feel totally gassed. and... well. i will leave that for the end to tell you the reason we really changed our minds.
so the second loop pretty well pushed us too much. towards the end of the 2nd we came upon another set of two riders. some guy and his girlfriend/wife. they were ahead of us by a few hundred feet. we were coming up on the far end of the out and back. the guy kept looked back at us, then chattered to the chick. they would put in a burst and be out ahead a bit. then slowly start coming back. then more talking by the guy and again a bit of a speed increase. we were about a half mile from the end and The Resa was in front. she also noticed all this going on. she turned around and looked at me and put here finger to her lips and then with a big grin crooked her finger and did the 'come here' motion. so we hit the gas. lol - was a lot of fun as the guy panicked when he saw us coming - but it was too late, we ripped by at probably something about 5-7 miles per hour faster as we hit the turn-a-round. Resa couldnt resist and asked him how his ride was going as we went past. the next 3 miles we spent laughing about it. they stopped in the parking lot and we never saw them again. i think they spent the next 12 hours hating each other.
other people we did see several times. a few we saw for 4-5 hours. and not the extreme people either. a lot of the 150 pound 6 foot tall guys pounded out what looked to be 30mph sprints back and forth and were gone in an hour. but some of the most average people were just cruising along like we were... hour after hour... sure makes us smile seeing other people trying to change their life. :-)
but after the second time around we were thinking we would have to back off if we wanted to finish with anything left. the park is not HILLY but it is hilly. not many flat areas - just a bit on the suck loop. at least the wind was pretty mild if still there. so the third of five loops starts and we put a cap on our effort. we decided to back way down to see what would happen. so we rode ( trying to avoid being frustrated ) at a slower pace. now we got passed a lot by people. and we did some chattering - well i did. "On your left!" from behind and i would yell back something like "Oh Great! Now What? You AGAIN??" or "You'll never catch us copper!" or "we will see you in 20 miles fastguy." sure was fun. and NO flats! really weird. must be because we were riding on the road and not the mountain bike trails or something.
third and fourth and fifth laps gets us a touch over 100 miles. felt about the same as after lap 2. which is to say like we were about 60 miles in. the last 12 miles we used to stage water on the trail. so we loaded up a few times and dumped about 10 waters and gatorades out there. sadly it was starting to get late. we decided all along not to run the marathon, just a 10 mile run with a 16 mile walk if we even did that much. we just didnt want to get hurt or have to recover for 3 weeks. so with only a few hours left before the park closed we decided to run out a half marathon. and it wasnt all that hard. we did walk a lot, but we were all three of us surprised how strong we felt. i was eating and drinking on the bike - like we have done the last 3 weeks and felt very strong on the run - even though i felt pretty done on the bike.
so - this is the reason for the slower bikes pace. i think we have improved a ton in the last year. a year ago after a 100+ mile ride it was lights out for the next few days. now we were trotting along at about 30 seconds off of our normal running pace. luckily my sore foot was a non-issue. it only hurt later in the shower.
i did get something nasty going on in my stomach. not sure what it was about - i think though that after the bike i wanted to try some baked potato. so we made up a bunch of them and the plan was to eat some at the start, middle and after the run. and everyone thought they were awesome. but i was starving and so i pretty much ate 5 potatoes all by myself after the bike. i was no longer starving after that. but... gads. lol.
also on the run it started getting dark. whenever it gets withing 2 hours of dark in the summer i grab the bug spray. i sprayed it all over me. then again a second time. sprayed my hat and shoes and ears and butt and everything. sheila and the resa were just watching. but the resa knows i am "The Bug Pied Piper" things from 200 miles away will come just to land on me. i have killed 3 mosquitoes in one smack. its insane and i have no idea why it is, but i attract bugs - nasty ones - like nobody i have EVER met. Resa doesnt even use bug spray. as long as i am around. so we start running the first 6.5 mile lap and sure enough there is a huge trail of bugs flying around behind me. i got to run behind sheila and resa as they cant see very well with me in front. because there are 2 to 3 thousand bugs behind me. after a while we get to our first water and we stop to drink. i smack a few bugs, wave out some from under the hat and generally hop up and down and walk in fast circles while they drink. we start running again and i ask the resa if she sees a horse fly on the back of my head. KA-BAM! my vision goes blurry as a white flash of light explodes in front of my eyes. my ears are ringing and the back of my head is on fire. a horse fly falls to the ground. "got the focker" she notes. she "gets" two more over the next mile. but on the way back i get some revenge on the two girls as the bugs are starting to go to a secondary source of food as it gets darker out. now all three of us are running and hopping and slapping stuff as we get to the car. they load up on bug spray, i re-load 2 more times and we go out for our last 6.5 miles. again i get all the bug attention now that they are protected.
its now monday morning and i feel pretty good. my stomach is still sore - like i got punched or something. so - maybe it was something i ate the night before. not sure. otherwise my legs are dead - but not killer. certainly been more tired from lesser workouts. the worst thing is the bloody sore on my foot from walking back from the pond - thats annoying. :-)
huge and also big things learned:
a - bike like its 150 miles not 50. i think we can have a pretty good run if we stay smart on the bike.
b - dont eat 12 potatoes in 2 minutes.
c - drink more than you think you should. i drank a gallon and peed a cup.
d - we added several more items to our trans bags - things like eyedrops and chapstick. normal things you can grab out of the car but would not be there unless we planned on it.
e - big confidence in the Ironman. now i think it will take something bad to happen to keep up from finishing. we hope to still finish at ANY time. one thing i have learned is each day is different and putting a goal for time has now been tossed in favour of just getting our first ever finish ( as it was when we first decided to do this ). maybe next year ( or in 3 years ) we can go for 14 hours or something fast. 16:59 or bust baby!
mentally: 10 - feel great about stuff. feel like a retard for not fixing my shoe - but thats because we did well in the lake and maybe thats a lesson to stay alert especially when things are going great.
physically: 9 - stomach asploded and i was dehydrated at the end of the run. but felt strong all day long really only hurt the last 30 minutes.
workouts: 10 - had a great hard week. next week is a taper ( then the last 4 to go )