Sunday, May 28, 2006

You gotta earn it...

At the start of this past week I planned to put together my largest training week to date. It's now Sunday evening and I can happily say "I did it!"

I am 55 days away from Ironman USA in Lake Placid, NY and things are getting serious. At this time I am in the middle of my peak training phase. Every week consists of longer runs and rides. The stakes are high now. As they say it's "time to put up or shut up." I feel that this week I put up.

I had a fairly typical Mon-Thursday with scheduled runs, swims, and rides. Wednesday's run after riding 46 miles was brutal. It was at least 95 degrees by the time we ran and the heat was intense. My training partner and friend Kyson pulled me along on the run despite already having completed his Ironman race in April. Thanks Kyson.

The serious work began on Saturday. Headed out at 6:45 am with plans for a 100 mile ride. We rode over to DFW airport and rode the perimeter road twice. Then we headed back over near the YMCA and rode some hill repeats for 30 minutes. Again, thanks Kyson for the company, motivation, and encouragement. After finishing the 100.5 miles (that 0.5 miles counts in my book) I headed out for a 6 mile run in the hot Texas heat. By this point it was around 1:00 pm and the temps were in the mid 90's. I suffered a little bit but overall kept up a good pace and finished strong. That was my first 100 mile ride and I am glad to have it over and done. Miles 90-100 were the toughest. Overall, averaged about 20 miles per hour for the whole ride.

I got a good night's rest and headed for a long run this am at 5:30 am. The plan was to run one loop around White Rock Lake by myself and then Kyson was going to join me for lap #2. Each lap is 9 miles long. Kyson ended up arriving in time for the first lap so we headed out. We were the only fools at the lake this early. Unfortunately it was already getting warm and the humidity was high. Kyson is a much faster runner than I am so I certainly appreciate his accompainment because I know he had to slow his pace considerably. He has completed Ironman Arizona in strong fashion and offered me lots of good tips about what to expect during the marathon portion of the race.

Unfortunately this morning from about mile 2-5 my legs felt horrible. As a matter of fact, I couldn't feel my legs from the waist down. They were numb (and I guess painful) but honestly I couldn't be sure. I just kept my feet moving and pushed onward. After three miles of horrible legs and a GU pack the feeling came back. That was weird. We finished lap one in pretty strong fashion at about 1 hr 11 min. I took some time to hydrate, said hello to a couple of friends and then headed out for lap #2 by myself.
As expected lap #2 proved to be a bit more challenging. My shoes were squishy thanks to all my sweating in the high humidity and I could feel the blisters forming. Did I mention I have now lost a total of 5 toenails since I started training seriously (2 toes lost their toenail twice...I'll save this story for another day). I slogged my way around the lake and before I knew it I only had 2 miles to go. I could taste the finish line. I began to imagine the finish at Ironman. It will be electric. My stride didn't pick up much but my smile grew. I'm sure I looked like an absolute loon--covered in salt, sweat, and bugs...with a big smile.

In the end lap #2 was about 4 minute slower than lap #1. I am happy with my performance. 18 miles is my longest run to date. Overall I ran 41 miles this week. Amazingly my knees and ankles are holding up great. The toenails are another story.

I learned alot this weekend. I have great friends and training partners. Kyson, I really could not have done this weekend without your help. I learned that I can ride 100 miles and then get off and run hard. I realized that I can reach the finish line but it will take even more hard work. I especially learned that if you want to complete this race you have to earn it. It will never be given to you. You have to go out and get it!

Monthly totals: (for the month of May)
Swim: 39,000 yds
Bike: 583 miles
Run 132 miles

Total Training Distances since January 1, 2006:
Swim: 128,586 yards (about 73 miles)
Bike: 2,172 miles
Run: 547 miles


Blogger Ed said...

Good work on the 18 Todd! Also, nice job on the 70 followed by 6 hot running miles on the damn dam. I know how exactly hot it was. You're doing great!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are doing great Todd, and I didn't slow my pace for you, you've picked yours up to my pace!

8:56 PM  
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6:17 AM  

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