They say that training for an Ironman is like having a part time job. I disagree. Its more like a full time job. Last week I clocked in a record 21 hours and 38 minutes of training but that doesn't include all the other little things like driving to the pool, preparation, ice bath, stretching after a workout etc. Needless to say, I'm very tired. I skipped today's ride. I don't think my ass can handle it.
The previous week was a recovery week but Canada Day was on Sunday so Monday became the holiday. It was kind of weird as some stores were open on Sunday July 1st while other stores were opened on Monday July 2nd (the official holiday). Coach posted my schedule on Sunday and gave me a four hour bike on Monday followed by a 30 minute run. That didn't go well with Tammy.
Tuesday and Thursday workouts were 8 and 10 km runs followed by 3,000 meters swim (yes I took a shower before entering the pool). Saturday's ride was supposed to be a 6 hour ride and 40 minute run but the weather was very iffy. There were threats of thunderstorms so we decided to play it by ear when we woke up. Rom would email everyone at 5:30 am if we were riding. I woke up at 5:00 am and looked outside. No rain and the sky was a little cloudy. But at 5:30 there was no email. I sent Rom and email at 5:40 checking to see if we were good to go but nothing. Finally I called him at 6:00 am and he answered sounding dead to the world. He slept in. The weather was clear so we met up and headed out. We didn't get very far as he rode north it got darker and darker. We were only about 10 km when the first streaks of lightening flashed in the distance. As we rode further north, it got darker and more lightening. Ok screw this ride. We made the decision to bail and ride on Sunday. I raced home to beat the rain. I could hear the rumbling in the distance and hemmed and hawed if I should run. I decided to do Sunday's long run (90 minutes) and headed out. Within 20 minutes it started pouring down. The thunder was to the north of me and it rained on and off for the next hour. Eventually it passed overhead and started to thunder to the south of me. I didn't see much lightening so I figured I was safe. After the run, I went to the pool for an afternoon swim (Tammy wasn't pleased). I've never swam on a Saturday afternoon at Centennial and it was a horror show. The "fast lane" was more like the slow lane. I wanted to do 3,000 meters but I was tired from the 90 minute ride and 90 minute run. I swam in sets of 500 meters dodging the breast strokers and other swimmers who were hanging on the the lane dividers in the middle of the pool. Ok if you can't swim 25 meters without having to stop and rest in the middle, why are you swimming in the fast lane? All of a sudden, there was this other fast swimmer who was blowing by everyone else (including me). She was really fast and it turned out to be Jade (who I swam at Lake Wilcox a couple of weeks ago). We both agreed this was a disaster. I ended up swimming only 2,500 meters and gave up.
We regrouped on Sunday for our long ride. Some guys were only going 90 km while the rest of us were going 160 km. The group took off on our usual route and within 30 minutes, I found myself falling behind. It appears that Saturday's triple workout left me with no legs....or, everyone is faster than me. It was a warm day but not as bad as earlier in the week. I really struggled to keep up and began to dread looking at my watch. Time seemed to drag on by. One of the guys made a wrong turn and we waited while a couple of riders went looking for him. I was thankful of the break. Eventually we split up and there were only four of us. There was a strong headwind as he headed north to Lake Simcoe. I was grateful by the time we hit the lake and turned west. We kept riding and my legs were burning. Finally we got to the turn around point and Rom asked if we wanted to take the long way which would add another 15 km or straight home. Screw that, straight home. With that, Rom and the other guy took off and I was totally unable to keep up. I rode with an older guy and knew it was going to be a sufferfest all the way home. By the time we hit Warden and Bloomington, Rom was so far ahead, I couldn't see him. I rode and suffered. Finally I made it home for a 40 minute run. I felt like crap and my stomach was bloated so much I had to loosen my running belt. I staggered through the run wondering how in the world I'd ever be able to run a marathon. My legs felt very heavy and it was smoking hot. The thought of stopping and throwing up beside the road occurred to me more than once. I had filled my water bottle with Perform but could not drink any of it. I finally made it back home and immediately drank a bottle of Ensure Meal Replacement drink. I felt better and took an ice bath. I almost fell asleep in the bath. I guess I was tired.
So I guess my nutrition strategy still needs some fine tuning. I think one of the problem is that while I try to drink a bottle of nutrition per hour, I tend to drink more in the last 30 minutes than in the first 30 minutes. I was gobbling the salt pills like crazy but it wasn't enough to keep my stomach from bloating.
I must admit that this training is beginning to take its toll. I'm beginning to dread these six hour rides. I guess I have two more of these rides until I begin to start tapering down. Even if I start riding at 6:00 am, I'm not back until 1:00 pm and then have to run off the bike for 30-40 minutes. Eating and taking an ice bath takes up another hour and then I usually fall asleep on the couch. By the time I wake up, its around 3:00 pm. Yes, Ironman is definitely a selfish sport.