I cant believe the year its been. I did my first triathlon - Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3 a year ago and what a shock to the system that was! Nothing like jumping in the deep end and seeing what happens :p
After that race I was hooked, it was a wild ride to this point but I've loved it, hated it, stayed in bed avoiding it, and trained for it, annoyed friends and family with it, enjoyed the hell out of it! A stress frature of my pelvis got me started, but its turned me into a stronger athlete than I ever imagined I could be. Hell its still weird thinking of myself as an athlete.
8 Weeks to Ironman
I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about it. 2 years ago I first heard about Ironman at the finish line of my first Half Marathon, and said thats crazy why would anyone ever want to do something like that? I guess I've answered that. I wanted a challenge, something that scared me and took me to the limits of what I thought possible. This fits the bill.
8 weeks feels like so little time until such a big test of my mental and physical limits, it seemed years away when I signed up for this last fall but its coming up fast. I know I've put in consistant training, I dont think I could have prepared any better, its the last push before this Finish line I've been chasing becomes reality.
Training is going well at the moment. Its been interesting seeing my body recovery over the last week from Cotswold. Running pace has been the biggest indicator, in the same HR pace went down from 9min/miles to 8:10, to 7:51, to 7:48 on my long run.
Took some lessons from Cotswold, I was forced to start slowly because of some pain in my back, but ended up negative splitting the run, and feeling strong enough to go into the red zone the last 3 miles. So that was a good reminder in Ironman if I go out comfortably I will have something left in the race. Someone said that Ironman isnt about who goes the fastest, its about who slows down the least!
So I took that into my long run this weekend, 20 miles that turned into 22. Plan was 20 miles at MAF effort (basically zone 2) for the first 10 miles, then hold that pace for the last 10 as HR rises. These long runs I always try to pick something to focus on to improve my efficiency and this time it was arm swing, keeping them moving back and forth and not crossing over.
I usually start a long run in that MAF zone, but I get up into the upper HR of it a mile or two in, this time I stayed at the low end for 7 or 8 miles until I built into the middle of the zone. It was a windy day I was being blown around but had some good tunes, and legs felt their old spark. I was supposed to watch pace on the back half, but I was just in cruise mode feeling relaxed and happy so that kind of went out the window, just tried to hold what felt like the right pace and effort and floated along, spot checking once in a while not getting bogged down by the numbers.
Hit 20 miles and felt like I was in the first hour I was feeling so good, so I decided to add on a couple miles. I love finishing these long runs just feeling good, no muscles were complaining, I was upright and running strong, I was starting to get hungry but that was about the only indicator I had run that long. Turned out my pace was steady, 2nd half was slightly faster than the first and the whole run felt easy :D
With 8 miles on Saturday it made a 30 mile run weekend.
I'm off for a brick workout with some intensity on the bike. Carpe Diem ;)