Saturday morning was the state time trial championships at Bong Recreational Park. It was a 40k TT (24.8 miles), which I haven't done in nearly two years. I've been doing threshold intervals the past few weeks, and based on how those went I thought I knew what I could do. Unfortunately, things didn't go as well as I'd hoped.
On my way to the race I got a little lost detouring around a closed road and got to the race later than I wanted so my typical warm up got cut down to only 10 minutes. Then, I forgot the rules. I don't have a skinsuit so I figured my tri gear would be more aerodynamic than my cycling gear. But my tri gear is a tank top and you have to have sleeves so I was told to change when I headed toward the starting line. Luckily, I had my cycling gear with me so I hustled back to the car, pinned my number on my cycling jersey and made it to the start line one minute before my start time....whew.
I started the TT conservative, struggled in the middle and finally got it back together and got into a good rhythm at goal power for the final 10 minutes. Unfortunately, it was way too late to hit my power goal so I came up quite a bit short and was pretty disappointed. My time was better than expected for my power so I was happy with that. I finished the TT in 56:44 which was good enough for 33rd overall and 2nd in my category. That shows me that all the time I spent early in the year on aerodynamics was time well spent.
After the TT, I rested for a bit, refueled, put my training wheels on my bike and then hit the road for part II of my workout. A 40k TT takes a lot out of you, so I was starting the second half of my workout pretty tired so it was going to be a big test, mentally and physically.
Part II was 5 30k (18 miles) time trials at ironman power with about 5 minutes rest between them to refuel. The 40K route was a two loop course, so I rode most of that plus a section that added a few miles to bring my loop up to 18 miles. It had some rolling hills, but was mainly flat which was perfect. I wanted a flat route so I would be forced to pedal and hold my power steady the whole time. Hills mean downhills and an opportunity to rest, and I didn't want that. I wanted a course that was relentless.
I nailed part II of the workout, so that helped with the disappointment of the TT. I held the same power for each interval, my power quadrant distribution was perfect, my VI (variability index) was extremely low, my cadence was where I want it....all of the numbers were exactly where I wanted them. I was hurtin at the end, but I could have held that power for one more TT. Maybe two, but that's hard to say.
With warm ups, cool downs and both parts of the workout added together, I probably got in about 120-125 miles for the day.
Sunday, I got up early for my long run because I've been running in the heat lately and my pace has suffered because of it. Training in the heat is good, but sometimes it's nice to avoid the heat and work on pace. This was my longest run before ironman, so I wanted to make sure it was a good one. My plan was to do two loops on the ironman run course, with two sections cut out so each loop was close to 11 miles rather than 13.1.
I started the run at 6 am with dark skies and scary lightning. Luckily, Courtney was in MN visiting her family this weekend because she never would have let me run in lightning like this. I considered holding off on the run, but the last forecast I saw had a 20% chance of storms and I really wanted to run before the heat set in. So I ran.
The first few miles were dry with plenty of lightning. About mile 3 the rain started, but it was a light rain and felt good. About mile 6 the torrential downpour began, the winds picked up, the thunder and lightning continued. It was pretty ugly for the next 4 or 5 miles. Puddles were nearly ankle deep and water was flowing down the streets. After that the rain settled down a bit, but never stopped...neither did the thunder or lightning.
In the end, I survived the storm (Courtney's not very happy I ran in a thunderstorm even though I reminded her I had my Road ID on so they'd be able to identify the body - how ironic would it have been if my Road ID was what got struck by lightning and killed me?) and had a great run. It was fun running in the rain.
I did 21.5 miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was a 7:40 per mile average, which I'm really happy with considering how tough my bike workout was the day before. I was hoping to run a 7:30 pace, but I didn't have the confidence to go for it in the beginning so I never really gave myself a chance. I went out conservative, but finished up the run dropping the pace down to 7:20 a few miles before the finish and ran my last 1.5 miles at a 7:15 pace.
I never struggled on the run or even felt much pain. I did, however, feel the pain later on when I woke up from my nap. Sore, stiff, tired legs. Luckily, this week is a recovery week, which I'm in desperate need of. I screwed up my last recovery week (the week of Door County) and did too many hours so I've averaged over 19 hours of training for the past 7 weeks. That has left me pretty tired recently so this will be an easy week so I can recover and get ready for my final few weeks of training before ironman.