Monday, June 26, 2006

Graduation and two weeks to go

Three weeks ago was Ben's 6th grade graduation from Woodstock Elementary School; I was so proud watching him doing to hipster walk across the stage to get his diploma. Now it's on to 7th grade where I will feel justified to start telling him that grades matter even if they don't appear on any transcript.

Ben and Sam have become really good skateboarders in the last three months. They have a half pipe at home and it is their new obsession.

They make it look so easy so I had to try it out recently. All I did was try and push off a couple of times and then glide on the board and I ended up wiping out on my hip, foot and wrist. I am OK but it could have resulted in a broken bone. Horror.

Two weeks to go until the Ironman and getting pretty pumped up for the race although I am ready for all of this training to be over. Today I am running 16 miles, and biking 60-80 tomorrow, with a lifting workout and swim thrown in there somewhere. While working out twice a day has completely eliminated most other activities from my life and I have definitely become the boring, singularly minded person that I always mocked, it is amazing the amount of energy I have at the end of the day, despite having exercised for 2 plus hours.

The biggest sign that I have crossed the line into complete obsession is my recent body shave. Anyone who tells you that they shave their legs and upper body to save time or improve their ability to recover from road rash is lying. At its most noble, body shaving gets you further into the Ironman state of mind; at its most plastic, it is a surrender to the god of vanity. I am clearly motivated more by the latter.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Final Push

Five weeks to go until the Lake Placid Ironman. It remains to be seen if I am ready for the race. My training has remained metronomically consistent but I haven't appreciably raised the distance of my swim, run or bike workouts above what I was doing for Wildfire.

My average week has essentially been:

1) 1-2 swims a week. I do all of my workouts at USF's Koret Center, which has an awesome pool. I typically swim a mile straight in the pool.

Critique: 1) Lack of variety in my training . Most people break up their workouts into intervals, alternating strokes and incorporating paddles and flippers to hone their technique. My preference is get the swim over with in the shortest amount of time, and to mimic race conditions of straight swimming with no breaks. I understand that this is an inefficient method but I am stubborn/stupid. If I am still hooked on triathlons after the Ironman I will probably join a Masters Swim Team to radically improve my form. 2) 1 mile is not enough since the Ironman swim is 2.4. I agree - my goal is to do 2 miles in the pool within the next 2-3 weeks to build up my confidence and endurance.

2) 1-2 bike workouts a week. I try and do one long bike ride on the weekend and 1-2 hard 60 minute lifecycle workouts during the week. Since I travel every other week to see the boys, I only get in the long ride every other weekend.

Obvious critique. 1) I don't have nearly enough road miles in me. Agreed - I am doing a 90 mile ride today so hopefully that will help.

3) 4-5 days a week of running, 7-10 miles per workout. Running is obviously my strength and my love so I have no real concerns in this area. My goal is to do a 16 and 18 mile run before the race.

Critique. 1) Zero bricks. I hate the brick, never do the brick. I know it is essential for mastering the transitions but I just don't like the idea of back to back workouts, on top of each other. Given that I ran so well at Wildflower, I am not too concerned with my anti-brick stance.

4) 3-4 weight workouts a week. Vanity is a big driving fact here. I don't want to be a 6' 150 pound runner (I am around 172).

Critique. These workouts are not tied to triathlon specific routines, and probably result in me carrying 10 pounds more of body weight than I ideally need. However, the fact that I lift is a big reason I believe for why I almost never get injured.

So, overall, I feel like I am in excellent shape; I will find out in the next three weeks if my base is sufficient to handle higher distance workouts.