Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 17

Peak week or something like that. Oops sorry DailyMile, didn't log my workouts this week with you. I'm not sure why I bother anymore with DM, Strava or Nike app when I log everything in Sporttracks now.

I swam in the lake again. I did an almost mile warmup by myself and then swam a timed mile with Chicago Tri Club for "Stroke and Stride." I only swam since I had run earlier in the day. I felt great cruising through the water, but ended up feeling super nauseous midway through the mile. I'm convinced it's because I didn't have enough food in my belly. Counterintuitive to everything you hear as a child growing up in Florida- "don't go in the pool within 30 min of eating otherwise you'll drown." BS. The times I've had a big lunch or decent snack pre swim, I haven't gotten nauseous. Lesson learned.

Friday evening we drove to Madison so I could ride the Ironman bike course. The open water swim I had registered for got cancelled due to high water and impending storms. I'm now 2 for 2 with registered swim events being cancelled. (Ironman Racine 70.3 being the other). But it is the summer and storms are plentiful and strong here. That's just the chance you take registering for races in the Midwest during the summer.

Saturday morning we went out to ride the bike course. It was beautiful and insanely hilly- not a surprise. I knew it was a beast- it's got the distinction of being the toughest bike course of an Ironman in the USA. L was kind enough to come along with me and slog up and down hills all day. He got a new PDR riding over a metric century that day! Can't say enough how proud of him I am.

We rode the loop that contained infamous Barlow hill. I got to the top of what I thought was the "bad hill" and was out of breath but felt great that I conquered it only to realize the actual beast of a hill was around the corner. I took one look and walked my bike up it. There's no way I could ride my bike up it without falling over. I plan to walk my bike up Barlow in the race as well. No sense burning my legs out on it.

What goes up, must come down- and while the hills were steep and plentiful, the downhills were amazing. I clocked over 35mph not even trying to go fast down one of them! And it seemed If you pedaled enough on the downhill, you could make it 3/4 the way up the next hill without too much effort. Yay.

I have mixed feelings about the recon I did of the course- on one hand I'm glad I rode the course and found it to be way less technical than most recaps of the race made it out to be. On the other hand, I never have ridden or ran a course before a race because I like the surprise element. It keeps me engaged more if it's a surprise on race day. Plus going out 3 weeks before wasn't cheap- hotel, food and dog boarding all add up for this event which has already cost me thousands of dollars so far.

Sunday morning I ran for 2 hours along Lake Monona. It was a nice run in 58 degrees! I passed the area where I'll swim and have transition set up and got a little emotional. 3 weeks from that moment I will be on my way to completing my first Ironman. I'm so excited that this journey is almost over and that I can focus on other aspects of my life that I've neglected during the past 20 weeks.

I can't believe I'm starting a cutback towards the Ironman. I registered for this race in October and feel as if it's dragged on forever without an end in sight. Being able to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel is making me more and more excited for race day. I also cannot thank my friends and colleagues enough who have given me valuable tips and encouragement along the way. Props to my family as well because without their support I wouldn't be doing this. I can't thank them enough for putting up with me during this training cycle.

Fortune cookie from Sunday evening. All the feels. Yes. There is a thrilling time ahead of me.

Looking forward:

•continue to nail down race day nutrition

•be mindful of my food intake the next few weeks.

•make sure Mortadella is in tip top shape for race day.

•swim long a few more times to feel comfortable. Get a warmup routine down.

19 days until I become an Ironman

24 days until I register for Boston



  1. Yes, I also tend to like to be surprised on race day rather than touring the course beforehand. But in your case it paid dividends because you learned how you are going to approach the hills and especially that monster hill! I know the type of training you are doing is super intense and time consuming to the exclusion of other things. But think of all the gorgeous places you've gotten to bike, swim and run in preparation for the event. Plus, you've learned that you like to bike and swim and have definitely improved in those disciplines. Yes, it has cost a lot of money, but when I think of all the crap people spend their money on nowadays - I would much rather have the experiences you've had so far in preparation for your IM! By the way, I also call BS on the 30 minutes to swim after eating thing! I don't think I ever heeded that in my life and I'm still here!

  2. I have found with cycling that the longer distance events I like to preview. If I can't bike it (e.g. if I was doing an Ironman in California and wasn't going to travel to train), then I have tried to drive the bike course the day before. I like to visually know where the hills are, or where the turns and key landmarks. You don't have to do that now for IMOO!

  3. Nice week of training! I did the exact same thing on the Barlow hill while thinking to myself "oh that wasn't so bad" then I saw the real hill and actually laughed out loud. I'll be walking up on race day as well. I've ridden up it and I've walked it and walking is better. Plus I figure I'll lose only about 3 minutes and that is not worth burning the legs out.

    Swimming makes me really hungry and if I haven't gotten enough to eat ..well swim bonking is really rough.

    Only a few more workouts left! We can get there!