Monday, August 18, 2008

Rally The Troops

We're invading Ironman. Eleven weeks to go, and it's put-up or shut-up. I sub-4'd the marathon in January. I completed the Gulf Coast Half Iron in May. Then I piddled. I raced a few sprints and did a century. I ran a maximum of 10 miles as my weekly long run. I went through my normal summertime burnout, and I somehow found my way out of it. I got a little bit lazy, and I remembered that it's not for me. I've been following my plan as closely as possible for the past several weeks, except for the occasional "something suddenly came up," like the 3 a.m. snuggles, and the occasional extension of a long bike ride because Bigun and I think I need more bike miles than said plan requires.

I think most things in life come and go in cycles, and certainly Ironman training has it's different know, the base building period, strength building period, etc. While these are probably reflected in the training plan I am following, I am more concerned about the cycles that I go through mentally over the course of training for nearly an entire year for one big event.

Take for instance the buildup to the Gulf Coast Half. For me, that was my confidence building period. I needed to prove to myself that I could do the training, formulate a plan, and execute it on race day...for a long distance event...and enjoy it. And I did.

The early summer was a maintenance period for what I had gained during the spring, and mid-summer was my mental break because I felt the burnout coming on strong.

The past three weeks have been a gradual increase in both my focus and my mileage. It's been fairly steady and not too sporadic. It's helped in reviving my confidence, and most importantly, my motivation. I looked ahead at my calendar the other day, and I realized that it's a good thing I have arrived at this point, at this time.

It is time. It is time to step up. It is time for the long stuff. It is time to embrace the challenge I have taken upon myself and put in the sweat, blood, tears, and whatever else it might take to get to the start line of Ironman Florida, confident that I'll see the finish line. Lazy Lana and Timid Lana be damned, this is what it's all about. This is where The Fire Inside forges the Iron.

Saturday I rode 70 miles with the Highland Rimmers and then ran 5 through the campus of The University of the South. Sunday I did a 49 minute open water swim at the lake. This morning I ran 6 with Holly and then did weights. I am going to continue following my BT plan through the week days, and on the weekends I am slightly modifying it to 1)get more bike mileage and 2)be able to participate in some organized century rides. Starting this weekend, I am going with 3 weeks hard, then 1 week recovery. Then 1 week hard, 1 week recovery. Then 2 weeks hard, and then taper. This weekend is the Hot 100 century. Next weekend I am going to give the Alto/Sherwood ride another try, and the following weekend is the Elk River Century. In terms of distance per sport, here's what it looks like for the next 3 weeks:

8/177950yds140 miles29 miles
155 miles
29 miles
200 miles
18 miles

And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave

Rove or wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home...


Flatman said...

I love to hear you talk like this. Your confidence is inspiring.

BreeWee said...

Nice comment, thank you! Every second does count! And your previous post... where Bo comes for the snuggle... I am GUILTY too! Little boys, fall for it every time! Nice to keep us balanced!

Great job on 200 miles of biking that week! I am not sure I have ever biked 200 miles in a single week! You are going to have a GREAT race in November!

Borsch said...

Great post! You are on track to rock IM!

Anonymous said...

You are in a great place physically, mentally and spiritually. You hard work and dedication is going to pay off.

Missy said...

It's on girlfriend and I can't wait...actually, next week is recovery for me and I can't wait for that, my favorite time. I don't have kids but here's what I got recently from a 4 year old (close friends)reminds me of the snuggles...Miss Missy, do you watch the Olympics? Yes, Summer, my favorites are the swimming, the cycling and the running (we were watching the womens marathon before her bed time). That's because that's what YOU do! Yes, Summer, that's what I DO. Miss Missy, yes Summer, um, I love you. And she fell asleep as WE watched the Marathon. Got to love it!

Steve Stenzel said...

I hear ya about the cycles. It all comes and it all goes. That's the heart of IM training.

And sweet - Metallica. It's been too long!