Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week Nine: Time to Panic

So yesterday I realized my Ironman is only nine weeks away and I started to freak out a bit. On the one hand, I wish it was tomorrow because I want to attack it! On the other, I feel so far away from where I wanted to be at this point in the preparation. I feel about a month behind ... like it should be 12 weeks away, not nine. I'm not sure why, but nine seems much closer than ten did; maybe because I could fool myself that 10 weeks was practically 12.

My SVTC friends all assured me yesterday that panic at this stage is perfectly normal. So I guess I'm on schedule for something. Then, we all went in the Bounce House. (We were having our annual club picnic.)

Today I finished up my week by winning my age group at the Catfish Crawl: South Bay 2! Okay, I was the only one in my age group. But it was still fun. I got a ribbon, a coupon for 30% off my next USA Productions race and some really nice goggles in a nice case.

It was the two mile, wetsuit division race. I was disappointed in my time when I came up the ramp, but my friends were all waiting for me and they instantly started reassuring me that the course was long. One Garmin said it was 2.2 and another said it was 2.3.

My 100 yard pace for the 2(.2) mile race was 2:13 which is right about my pace for 100 yards in the pool when I'm pushing it. If it was 2.3, then my pace was 2:08 and that is my fastest 100 yard pace in the pool, so that's not really believable.

I didn't really have a goal for this race. I just wanted to finish as fast as I could to get a feel for what my 2.4 time will be at IMAZ. Which is still at 1:35 and not the 1:30 I want to finish in. Pooh.

After the two mile race, they did some 500 meter races and a 1 mile youth race and then I got back in the water for the 1 mile adult races. I never actually heard the horn go off, but all of a sudden people were swimming so I did too. I think maybe someone jumped the gun. Anyway, my goal for this race was just to finish at a faster pace than I did the 2 mile race even though I'd just done two miles and was tired.

And I managed it with a respectable 2:11 100 yard pace! If I can do that at IMAZ, then I can finish in 1:32.5. I'm going to have to go at 2:07 to make my time goal and I think it's unlikely I can do that in nine weeks (two of them spent tapering). But I might as well try, right?

In cycling and running news, I did a 2 hour bike ride yesterday and MapMyRide claims I road 26 miles which means my average speed was 13 miles per hour including stops... of which there were a fair number because they've still got part of my trail blocked off and that means figuring out how to get around it with lots of stops to check where I am on iMap. Basically, I did my route the week before with lots of elevation changes and a few actual hills 1 mph faster.

So I still really have no idea what I can do on the bike on a course similar to IMAZ. Back to the drawing board on that one. Oh, but I did finally figure out my sweat rate. Using the super-scientific method of weighing naked before and after the workout and accounting for all fluids consumed, I came up with .... drum roll .... 16 oz. per hour. Which is what I thought it was based on the completely unscientific method of just watching how much I drink per hour at different workouts with different conditions. In fact, it's more like 16-20 oz. depending on conditions -- hotter than yesterday or more hills and it goes up, but 16 oz. is right about what I consume in average conditions.

I did go out and run right after so I've finally done a bike-run brick -- first one of the season! (Which is part of why I'm freaking a bit at how close IMAZ is.)

In the meantime, I am up to 1:45 of water running -- this week I am aiming for two hours and then I'm  not going to increase my time any more -- and I'm doing Crossfit one day a week and Tabata Squats a few other times. I need to start doing something for my upper body as well. The Tabata Squats and whatever I do for upper body are to replace the kettlebell swings I can't do until my calf is better healed.

Speaking of my calf, I feel it when I workout. But yesterday when I ran, it hurt during the run but was fine after I showered and changed. Then I felt a little twinge bouncing around the second time in the Bounce House, but it went away pretty quickly after that and I didn't really feel it much at all today even with all that swimming.

Therefore, I think I'm really close to being healed. Now, I think it could be months before I don't feel some twinges when I workout. I know the last time I tore a calf muscle, it took years to not get twinges when I stressed it. But I think the days that working out would set me back might be finally over. It feels stronger every day too.

Now I just need to get it strong enough to be able to run the marathon part of IMAZ without having to walk most of it. I'll walk, if I have to, but I want to run a decent amount of it. I'm still thinking a 3 minutes run / 1 minute walk will be possible and I'm going to try that out next Sunday at Santa Cruz Triathlon and see how it goes.
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