It seems like just last week that I wrote my eleven month checkup. I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing. When I initially decided that I would do Ironman Coeur d’Alene, the race was in late June. They changed it just this year to late August, and I am so glad they did. Those extra two months seem absolutely vital at this point. Those extra two months are giving me the time to complete a whole marathon training cycle this winter which will be a huge confidence builder for me. I’m a little bit disappointed because I know I’ll likely be racing in warmer weather than I would have been, but this year’s Ironman Coeur d’Alene was in June and was still over 100°, so at least I know to prepare for warm weather. It won’t sneak up on me.
Cycling is winding down and running is ramping up. And, right on schedule, I’m feeling great about my running. I’ve been hitting paces I haven’t hit in a long time, especially when I visit Idaho and have the elevation advantage. I wish I could match my Idaho performance here in Utah. The elevation matters, but I think I also run faster when I’ve got a running partner. When my dad is there to talk to, I forget how miserable running is and don’t have trouble keeping my pace up during the middle miles of a long run. Regardless, I feel well-prepared to start marathon training in a couple of weeks. Looking at my recent paces, I’m even considering training a little more aggressively than I had originally planned. My long runs are currently slated for a 9:00/mile, but maybe an 8:45/mile would be more in line with my current fitness.
I’ve had a lingering cough for a long time now, but it hasn’t bothered me much recently. My appetite has been much better, and I’m back up to a (mostly) healthy weight. Really, my biggest issue is general fatigue. I’ve just been tired lately. The reason for that? I’ve been staying up too late. Simple as that. I need to get my act together and put myself to bed 30-60 minutes earlier in the evenings.
Despite a slight panic when I realized the Ironman was only ten (TEN!) months away, I have been surprisingly tough mentally. I’ve been working on positive self-talk, at least in regards to triathlon. It’s strange, but positive self-talk is easier for me in the realm of athletics than it is in real life. I can’t find my keys? I’m a loser who never should have graduated high school! I have a seriously bad workout? I do what I can to finish it and plan to try a similar one the next week. In addition to positive self-talk, I’m focusing on staying realistic. I’ve been reading Ironman Coeur d’Alene race reports so I can try to anticipate and train for the very real difficulties I’ll face on race day. So far, the most common issues (besides the fact that it’s a freaking Ironman!) seem to be choppy water and hills on the bike. Next summer, I’m going to take a few day trips to Bear Lake to practice swimming in a large enough body of water to experience some noticeable chop. And you better believe I will be prepared for the hills with all the canyons around here.
Longest swim workout: 2800yds
Longest ride: 37 miles
Longest run: 9 miles
Most encouraging workout: My 51:58 climb up Emigration Canyon. I had been chasing that PR since June. I knew I had it in me, but I was beginning to think the conditions wouldn’t align before winter hit. I felt strong and fast, and I think I’ve finally learned how to push myself to the point of exhaustion on the bike.
Most discouraging workout: A really tragic speed workout on a treadmill during my lunch hour. It was inexplicably bad—I still haven’t come up with a plausible theory for what happened to me that day.
Average time per sport per week
Swimming: 60 minutes
Cycling: 121.25 minutes
Running: 121.25 minutes
Looking to the future
I’ve done a good job preparing for the start of my marathon training. Now I just need to keep up with my cycling and swimming even when I’m focusing on running. I will be running three times a week. I’d like to continue to get at least one good weekend ride in every week, at least while the weather stays pleasant. However, I suspect that as the weather gets colder, I’ll start swimming more. During the winter, I’d like to start attending masters twice a week instead of once. Additionally, I want to add some core work to my routine. For my next checkup, I want to have started doing a short ab workout 2-3 times a week. I can’t tell you how many times I have decided I should probably do this and then have just never gotten around to it.