Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week Two: Cold & Windy with a chance of Death

Winter has definitely arrived in Northern California. It's cold and rainy today. It's been chilly and windy for most of my workouts this week, especially the biking. I'm not at the point where it's so cold I am dreading working out, but I haven't done any open water swims since my challenging experience at Del Valle two weeks ago either. I have one last one planned for this week. I just hope it's not freezing. Or raining. (Though I'll still do it even if it rains.)

Interestingly, it's warmer than normal in Tempe right now. It's supposed to cool off this week and the forecast is for temps to be around historical averages on race day. The lake is actually warmer than expected as well. It's not clear how much it will cool down as air temps lower. I hope it gets slightly cooler as I don't look forward to swimming in a wetsuit in 70 F water. My hope is for 67 F as that's the temp my body thinks is perfect for open water swimming.

As I get closer to the big day, I worry something will happen to prevent me from racing. I didn't have this fear earlier in the season, but then a fellow tri club member got hit by a car two weeks before IM Canada. Now, she's going to be okay, but she couldn't race. All that prep and no chance to show what it accomplished.

To make matters worse, just this week a woman my age was killed on Alpine right around the 280 interchange -- one of two places on Alpine that scare me. (She was hit by an 18 wheeler who probably didn't see her and crossed over her trying to get on the freeway.)

This is one of my main routes. In fact, we biked it this Sat. and it will probably be on next Saturday's route. As we passed by, I saw a candle with a flower on the road and a group with a bouquet standing around trying to decide where to put it. It was sad.

I know these "something bad is going to happen" fears are just nerves, but it doesn't help to know that my fears are not completely irrational because they've happened to other people.

Today part of me wanted to swim (in spite of the rain) but I hadn't had a rest day all week and I really need one. I hurt in a lot of places and my heel pain is increasing, not decreasing, which is worrisome.

However, I've also discovered a new medicine that makes my hip feel great. It some sort of horse liniment! It stings when you put it on, but then time passes and there is no pain. I want to bathe in it! I wonder if it will fix my heel? (Takes a break to smear smelly, stinging goop on foot.)

Another big worry is that my swim is actually getting slower. I felt slow at Podium on Wednesday. I don't know if it is real or just normal "OMG, My race is in 2.5 weeks" panic, but I am not sanguine that I'm going to meet my 1.5 hour swim goal time and that bugs

On the other hand, I have become convinced that a sub-seven hour bike time is possible. This is in spite of the fact that I have never done even 14 mph over 25-35 miles in training. But a14 mph average is pretty much what I did at Vineman and it's crazy to think I can't do this flat course a lot faster than that, even taking it easier because I have to run after.

Speaking of running, I have no idea how that's going to go. It's so scary that I can't even think about it to be honest. I was worried that I need to replace my running shoes so I added up my run mileage on them. I've run a grand total of 124 miles ALL YEAR. That really threw me and I'm kind of sorry I did the math.

Yet, when I do run, I am fast. Improving my overall fitness and my bike fitness has helped my run, just as I planned. It's good to know that it's just the calf that will hold me back, not my overall fitness. The idea is, if I can manage the calf, I can actually have a good run.

Finally, I took my bike to a new bike guy (my old one was going out of business, though I think he's on his way back) to get a pre-race tune-up and my shifting problems fixed. I sent in the order for my supporter t-shirts and hope to get them this week and I've also finally got a halfway decent mockup of my tattoo and will be calling Tattoo Ted tomorrow to start the process of getting it. So the non-fitness prep is coming along nicely.

At this point, there is nothing I can do to increase my fitness for the race so I plan to enjoy my taper and use it to heal and pack and work on my race plan.
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