I love/hate this part. I love it because this is what it's all about. This is what my previous 6 months of training was all about. Without that, I wouldn't have the fitness to put in the key workouts I have planned the next 2 months. And this is the point where you gain that race day specific fitness that will get you to your goals. There's pressure. There's nerves. It's fun.
I hate it because I feel like everything counts much more than before. Every workout needs to be quality. If you're doing a recovery workout focusing on cadence, you need to focus on cadence. If you're doing tempo, you need to hit your numbers. No slacking. There's limited time left so there isn't much time to make up for crappy workouts, especially when it's due to a lack of focus. Bad workouts happen, and they're not necessarily going to stop you from hitting your goals, but you can't afford to have bad workouts because you're not mentally in it. Not during crunch time. And that's the tough part. For two months, you have to be focused and mentally in the game. I feel like there's no margin for error -even though there probably is, But it's kind of pressure filled, which is mentally draining.
This is my first week back at it after my 'A' race. It's been a solid week with some good training, but it's going to take another week to get used to high volume again. With my taper and recovery week, I haven't put in a big week in about a month. I believe I gained fitness by doing the race - and had a lot of fun which is what this is really about - but my body got used to lower volume and the increased volume this week is taking it's toll. I'm tired, but I have two easy days which should help. Today is easy and tomorrow is super easy - just a swim and then plenty of relaxation. Sunday, however...
1 mile swim, 110 mile bike, 13.1 mile run.
I have a bad feeling about the forecast, but I'm going to do my best to make it a quality workout despite the heat and threat of thunderstorms. Nailing this workout will give me a lot of confidence.