14 days. It’s been a long cycle so far, and that’s all that’s left. My training is pretty much done – at this point there are only a few more days of potential fitness gains before the race, after that all I can do is tire myself out.
Training has been going pretty good. I’ve had some rough days – mostly mental. Last Tuesday I had a great run – I ran 12 miles in 90 minutes increasing pace every 3 miles ( 8 mpm, 7:45, 7:30, 7:15). It went really well, I was able to bring up my pace, while keeping it aerobic the whole time.
Thursday I did a 48 mile ride with a couple HIMish effort intervals in there – followed by a 10k run at IM effort.
Today was the last big day of training, and was planned to be a race simulation. I searched out a course on terrain as similar to Ironman Arizona’s as I could (Pleasant Prairie Tri Olympic Course). The course was exactly what I needed – unfortunately the weather was totally uncooperative – 30+ mph winds, and nasty cold rain. I ended up riding for about 4 hours and running for 45 (planned 4 + 1). I only covered a little over 70 miles – while the speed was disappointing I was really happy with the effort I put in and how I was able to run afterwards (~6.75 miles in a little 48 minutes).
Physically it seems like I’m ready for the race, mentally though I’m not so sure. I’m confident in my ability to do a good swim, and run well off a well paced bike, but I’m not sure what a well paced bike is for me right now. With the time I’ve spent on the trainer this winter – I feel stronger, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to see how I am on the road. I’ve had a couple really strong outside rides, but I’ve also had some really bad rides. In the end I’m going to really have to rely on my HR and PE at Arizona to make sure that I’m not riding beyond my means. I’m confident that if I ride smart I can run a 3:15 marathon, but if I ride to hard – I don’t have a chance at that.
One thing I’m pretty sure about though is – I’m going to do the run on pure PE, so I’ll be dropping my HRM strap in T2 and just running by pace and effort. It worked well for me at Wisconsin, and I think ultimately with the potential for the heat/excitement to artificially inflat my HR on the run, I will probably run a better race by disregarding it.
I’m hoping to head down to PP again this week for a 2 and a half hour ride, hopefully I’ll be able to pick a day where the weather will be nice to get a good idea of what my target effort equates to for a speed.