The wheels came off today...
Although I said my taper was 3 weeks, it's more or less a 2 week taper. Last week I dropped my training volume, especially my running, and took it easier than previous weeks but still had one long brick planned for today...then it's a full on taper until the Ironman.
Today's workout was a 2.3 mile swim followed by a 100 mile ride. I kept the intensity down and just wanted to get in the volume. I wanted to test my nutrition again and get in one last long ride following a long swim. No running today.
I got a little risky and swam with my Garmin Edge so I could get my distance recorded (risky because it's not waterproof). I sealed it in a zip lock bag and put it in my swim cap and it worked out great. It didn't get wet and still got a strong enough signal to record my distance. Unfortunately, it didn't get any heart rate data.
I swam for 1:10 and covered 2.3 miles. I've heard about a guy who runs around the arb and then swims in Lake Wingra, and today I saw him. He runs, then strips down to his tighty whities and goes for a swim. That guys needs to buy a swimsuit or swim in his running shorts. That's all I have to say about that.
The bike....I felt fine for the first 50 miles, and then I started to get a little tired. The triathlon yesterday took a little more out of me than I thought. I should've cut the ride short and gone back to my car, but I wanted to get in one last century. About mile 80, my knees started hurting and my right IT band started to tighten up again. Just what I need....knee problems 2 weeks from IM.
I decided to play it safe and take it really easy from here on out....and see if I could figure out where that irritating chirping sound was coming from. I found out.
My front wheel.
I noticed it was out of true and touching my brake pads with each rotation. For those of you familiar with my wheels....you guessed it...loose front spokes.
If you haven't followed my blog since the beginning, let me fill you in. It started out about this time last year when I was offered a set of Reynolds MV32 wheels with a Powertap in them. Brand spanking new, built for some industry race and they're not going to use them, a $3500 wheelset for $900 I was told. Great deal, right? I couldn't pass it up. What I wasn't told was that these wheels are guaranteed to let you down, disappoint you and generally make you feel ripped off.
The spokes have come loose many times, and I finally had to send the wheels back to Reynolds. They fixed them, and they've been good until now, but it took about 4 or 5 weeks to get them back. And I've had this feeling ever since that they would have problems right before IM, and here we are 2 weeks away and I have loose spokes again (see above guarantee).
The problem is there's only one shop in town I trust with them - Crono Metro. And they're going to be super busy this time of year getting bikes tuned up for IM. I really hope they can squeeze me in and get my wheels trued this week so I can go out for a short ride or two before IM to make sure they're good to go.
If I get my wheel fixed and the spokes come loose during Ironman, you might see something like this...
I'm tempted to throw on my Mavic front wheel and ride mismatched wheels. I trust Mavic wheels. Now I'm going to spend the entire race worrying about my wheels.
Yesterday I was loaded with confidence. I felt like everything was in place for me to have a good Ironman and I was coming off my best triathlon finish ever. It was a great day.
Today....zero confidence. I don't trust my front wheel and I'm afraid my IT band is going to tighten up on the bike, and I have no idea how I'm going to run a marathon with IT band problems. I did too much volume in a short period of time. In the past 4 weeks, I've ridden a century every weekend and followed it up with a long run the next day on tired legs. I feel like I screwed up an entire year of training by cramming in too much volume at the last minute. What frustrates me the most is that I knew I would do this. I knew I wouldn't take enough rest days.
As much as I want to do well at the Ironman, I'm not risking a serious injury for a one day race. IM doesn't mean that much to me. If my IT band tightens up too much on the bike and run, I'm walking to the finish line. If it gets too bad, I'm dropping out. There's always 2010.
The plan now is to get a lot of rest in the next two weeks and do some stretching everyday to see if I can get my IT band to loosen up.
So this post isn't all negative... Robbie Ventura finished his first IM today - IM Canada. 1:18 swim, 4:51 bike, 4:30 run - total time: 10:49. Awesome (check out that bike split). Here's a pic from when we met him at the Saris Gala.
Here's a quote from that post...
"...I ate everything in sight, layed in the middle of the floor and declared, "there is no way I'm going to finish the Ironman." Even after getting a good night's sleep and recovering from the workout, I'd say it's about 50/50 on me finishing."
Right now? Yeah, 50/50.