Sunday, October 25, 2009

Final push

Penultimate peak week done. Next week looks a lot like this one and then I taper. It's getting so close!

I am feeling really good and I'm motivated to make the most of these peak weeks. Knowing that I'm almost at the end makes all the difference. In a lot of ways, I'm completely burnt out, but I know I can focus and work hard for a little bit longer. Suck it up, cupcake.

I'm getting a lot of the final preparations ready. The logistics for an event like this are insane, but I kind of love it. I've pretty much finalized my gear lists, nutrition strategy, and race week schedule. I'll probably post that kind of stuff on here before the race although it's probably pretty boring. There were a lot of decisions to make, big and small, and lots of things to coordinate. Bike transport, gear bags, special needs bags, pre-race food, bike nutrition, run nutrition, transition plans, clothing changes, travel schedule, dining options, race registration, practice swim, bike and gear bag check in, athlete meeting, race day parking, etc etc etc etc.

I took my bike in for a full overhaul and it's riding like it is brand new. They took it apart and cleaned and lubed everything, replaced my brakes and tires and checked all the cables and components. It rides so smooth and is shines like when it was new. Zach picked his bike up on Friday and it's also good as new. We've been really impressed with the people at Trek and our local guys at the Bike Gallery.

I'm also doing everything I can to keep my body healthy by eating good and taking precautions against cold and flu which seems to be everywhere. I bought Clorox wipes to disinfect my desk and work area daily, I wash my hands a zillion times a day and avoid touching my face, and I even sometimes use that hand sanitizer which I hate. I've been eating a really healthy diet with almost no "treats" and I haven't had any alcohol in almost 2 weeks. I've also been pretty anti-social by staying home and resting instead of going out. The extra sleep and time off my feet helps I think. I'm planning on sticking with all this until after the race. It's so close, why not.

One other thing I want to mention because it affects my training and you might notice the difference is that I now have Wednesdays off work. It's really slow and so we're doing this "work share" thing which is a nice way of saying cutting hours. I thing the "share" part refers to the fact that instead of laying someone off, we're all taking a hit. Of course this is great for my training but it kind of sucks because I only got this job 6 months ago and just finally started to feel like I was earning my keep, and now I'm practically part time. Whatever! What can you do. So I chose to have Wednesdays off for now (until my race) and I'm making the most of it. I decided I'd specifically spend some extra time in the pool. Since I've made a habit of skipping Masters and haven't done many long swims, I am going to start cranking out super long swims out at the aquatic center in the mornings. I kind of like swimming on my own rather than with the class, and the pool is practically empty that time of day. Then I will do my bike workout and my run with Deana (she has Wednesdays off already). It's nice to get those things done during the day so I can do some stuff around the house and then relax in the evening. This first week it worked out great.

Allright, I think I hit all the topics I wanted to talk about! Sorry it's so long. I am so consumed with this Ironman training and planning it's annoying even to me. I can't wait for this to all be over! But what's funny is that even though I'm getting completely tired of thinking about it, I'm actually getting REALLY excited to race. For the first time I have reached a point where I actually believe I can do this. I can do it! I know I can! It's going to be awesome. I'm so excited. I wish it was tomorrow.

Well I should really wrap this up. Here are the stats from the week's workouts. It went great. I recruited all my training buddies to join me and keep me motivated and it really helped. I feel amazing and honestly feel like this week was a breeze. Well, there was one ugly bit which you'll see toward the end, but otherwise it was great. Here we go:

Monday: rest

Tuesday: Run
7.2 miles/1:03:44/8:51 average pace
Waterfront/Springwater with Emily. Her first run since the Portland Marathon! Great to chat and the run flew by.

Tuesday: Swim
2500 yards/1:00
Masters with Zach

Wednesday: Swim
4000 yards/1:35
Solo morning swim at the aquatic center. I made up a long workout for myself which I won't post but maybe I'll include it next week. Basically it was 1000 warm up swim, 1000 drills and kicking, 1000 freestyle pyramid, 1000 pull and cool down swim.

Wednesday: Bike
1:30 on trainer
Caught up on Mad Men.

Wednesday: Run
5.0 miles/47:59/9:36 average pace
Forest Park with Deana. She is doing so great, it seemed like this run was not hard at all for her. She ran the Run Like Hell 5k today (Sunday) and did great. She's really on a roll!

Thursday: Bike
17.8 miles/1:04:37/16.5 MPH
Springwater trail solo ride. I did the double out and back and kept a good speed. Fun!

Thursday: Swim
2300 yards/1:00
Masters with Zach

Friday: Run
10.0 miles/1:32:51/9:17 average pace
Waterfront/Springwater solo. Started getting dark toward the end. The sunset is so early these days, and Daylight Savings Time is soon! Thankfully my training is almost over and I don't really care.

Saturday: Bike
60.3 miles/5:03:51/11.8 MPH
Hilly grind of a ride all around Sandy in the foothills near Mt. Hood. My legs felt good, the scenery was amazing, and the hills were actually kind of fun. But I hit a wall almost immediately and the entire ride was torture. It was all in my head- I just did not want to do it. I have no good reasons, I just am getting sick of these long rides and am not enjoying them any more at all. I had to stop a bunch of times with complex complaints ranging from "I don't wanna!" to "I just can't." I was even crying at one point. I felt bad for Zach, who was excited to have his road bike back and spent a lot of time planning the route. We cut out a bit of the ride when we realized our speed was so slow and the planned 75 mile ride was going to take more like 6.5 hours. So that was nice. Zach tried to motivated me and somehow I kept riding and got it done. What a struggle though! This was the only crappy workout of the week though, so I guess that's not too bad.

Saturday: Run
6.0 miles/52:29/8:45 average pace
Brick run immediately after the long ride. Piece of cake. Best part of the day.

Sunday: Run
17.0 miles/2:30:28/8:51 average pace
Banks Vernonia trail. Drove out with Alisa and Justin - we all ran separate but it was very motivating to know they were out there and waiting for me at the end. I felt good and not sore or anything. I kept about 9:00-9:10 pace for the first 15 miles and then busted out a couple fast miles at the end to bring my average down. My last mile was 7:33! Nice way to end the week.

totals for the week:

swim: 3:35 (8800 yards)
bike: 7:40 (78.1 miles + 1:30 on trainer)
run: 6:45 (45.2 miles)

total training time: 18:00

4 weeks to IMAZ


Long ride from Gresham to Sandy and beyond:

Pretty fall colors on a challenging ride:

Early on, still smiling.

Beautiful vista. Mt. Hood is back there but blocked by clouds:
At least Zach was enjoying himself:

One final break before the home stretch. Can't even manage a real smile!

Getting right to the run:
Sunday long run at Banks Vernonia Trail:
Alisa snapped a couple pictures as we headed out:

Hard to see, but I'm the blurry orange dot in the distance:

Gorgeous fall colors about mile 4:

Farmland shot about mile 9:
Thanks for reading! :) Have a great week everyone.


kelsalynn said...

I'm really excited for you to be this close and feeling this good. It's consumed your life for a while so of course, it will be nice when you don't have to think about it, but then you'll have the positive memories!

The pictures look wonderful. I really miss the fall colors living here in AZ.

Dragonfly on the Water said...

Almost there. You can do it!

Petraruns said...

I have been meaning to comment for ages and so sorry it has taken me so long! Girl you are doing INCREDIBLY well at doing something so HARD! Well done on sticking with it even when it feels so difficult. You're incredible and inspiring to us all - I am going to follow you through Maritza and would do anything to be part of your AZ support team - I'll be with you in spirit.

D10 said...

Wonderful pictures as usually. Way to stay mentally in it these last few weeks. Sounds like you are going to be ready to go!

Kim said...

awesome week jen - you are SO ready for IMAZ!

Susan said...

So soon! You're doing awesome!

kristen said...

Another great week in the books!! Your doing amazing Jen!! Seriously. It's no wonder your sick of the long bike rides. You've practically ridden them all solo. Next time you need training peeps for the bike. I'd be over it too.

Hang in there girly. Your so close you can taste it!!

Emily said...

You are doing awesome! I can't believe that run we did was just only Monday - feels like weeks ago.

You are doing awesome! I'm so impressed w/the long run and brick run after the tough bike. Good work.

I had a dream last night that we all ran a marathon and you finished in 3:18. I'm sure that is a good sign.

John said...

Damn, 8,000+ yards in the pool - nice job, Michael Phelps!

Anonymous said...

You are my hero.... I know you can and will do this. Only 4 weeks, where did the time go?
Good Luck. Mom in Helena

Chad Sayban said...

It sounds like your training and planning have been right on the money. Great job!

Alisa said...

wow-weeeeee that's a lot of training. Since we don't have wednesday spin anymore I'm glad I got to be there for something this week!

You're doing great and can totally hang through the taper and the race. You are ready!

Wow, look at Deana! That's soooooooo awesome.

Sarah said...

4 weeks will go by super fast!!! Go, Jen!!! Also - it is getting dark soon and Daylight Savings always shocks me. Even if I'm not training for anything. I miss you and need to see you - good thing I'm having a birthday party ;)

Judi said...

you are looking good w/o the alchohol. just sayin'.....

anyways, isn't funny how the IM can just come in and take over your life? everything is about THAT. your entire being is just IM IM IM. lol.

get those long swims in. i think my longest week of swimming was 10 miles. i remember just hating the pool. 4k swims suck ass unless you're doing OW.

looking forward to your race. you'll be great.

KK said...

Wow, Jen, I am so impressed with your training and planning and dedication to diet, rest and no booze. I mean, whaaaa? No booze? This is serious! Your training has been spot on and it's all because of your positive attitude, dedication and determination. You got this race, girl, and you are going to crush it Right after you enjoy every single minute of it. And afterwards I expect you to cut off a lock of YOUR hair and mail it to me stat so I can put it on my mantle and sniff it daily. I heart jen!!!

Ewen said...

I love Oregon this time of the year. How long did it take you to arrange those leaves on the path in 'mile 4'?

I can see now how IM is all-consuming. You're doing a great job Jen - I know you can do it too. Yes you can!

Beth said...

You are getting so close! I am excited for you.

Jo Lynn said...

HA! Zach is wearing a California jersey. Whoot!!!
Love the pictures. ;)

Amy said...

You CAN do this!!!!!!!!!! 4 more weeks, yo! I wish I could train with you.

I like that you picked Wednesday as your day off. A mid-week pick me up, if you will. Plus you can schedule appts and stuff when the race is over instead of taking time off to do them.

Loved the pics.

Amy said...

PS - no booze?????? Good for you, I couldn't do that. THe more I trained, the more I craved alcohol!

ShirleyPerly said...

Beautiful fall colors!

Sorry to hear about that Wed share day thing, though, but it sounds good for your IM training and that you're making the most of it. Way to push through on that tough Saturday ride. No one likes tough workouts but, in hindsight, those are the ones that kept me going when things didn't go as I'd hoped on my iron race. They are as important as the ones that do go well so they all count.

Keep up the good work, Jen. You are doing great and, yes, you can absolutely do this!!

Marathon Maritza said...

Boo, work time reduction sucks, but I guess now is a good time to have a day off for training!

And it was nice that they didn't lay anyone off. This is what my office is doing essentially too.

Keep up all the kick-ass training!!!! Fall is looking gorgeous over there...ours is kind of a lame excuse of a fall this year so far.