IMLP Training Recap: Week 35 & Tracking on Race Day

This is it! Race week and probably my final (or almost final) IMLP training recap.  It is really hard for me to get my head around the fact that the race is just days (as in 5 ... as in I can count them on one hand!) away.  My very first "official" IMLP workout was a 20 minute walk the day after the Philadelphia Marathon in mid-November.  The workouts gradually increased in intensity and duration until the peak a few weeks ago. I thought week 35 would be a bit of a taper, but I was wrong.  We still logged over 13 hours of training, a double-digit long run and a 60 mile bike ride.  But we sucked it up and forged ahead.  At this point, what else could we do, right?  This gorgeous sunset on Saturday evening up at Lake Wallenpaupack (where we trained last weekend and a bunch of other weekends) is kind of a metaphor for the end of training.  It is also very pretty.

Week 35: 13:16:45 hours

Swam: 2:20 hours (6,321 yards)
Biked:  6:35 hours (60.7 miles outside; rest on trainer)
Ran:  4:22 hours (16.2 miles plus 80 minutes deep water running)


Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 80 minute bike & 3 mile run
Wednesday: long run - 12 miles
Thursday: 50 minute bike w/speed work & easy swim
Friday: 80 minute deep water run
Saturday: long bike - 60 miles & 1 hour open water swim
Sunday: 30 minute open water swim

I was glad to rest my foot completely on Monday.  My sister told me about a castor oil heat pack for my foot, and I gave it a try.  It helped.  You soak a gauze pad in castor oil, then press the gauze on the sore part, then wrap in plastic wrap and stretchy gauze and then apply heat for an hour.  Snug as a bug in a rug:

Tuesday was a nerve-wracking day for me.  I had a bike in the morning (just 80 minutes at endurance pace - easy peasy) and then I had my first run since my fall a couple weeks prior.  I talked to both my PT and my coach and we agreed it was time to try it.  My PT insisted that the run be on a flat, somewhat cushioned surface.  My coach had me walk 10 minutes then run 2 minutes/walk 1 minute x10, and I did the workout on a track.  It was good.  I still felt a little ache in my foot, but it wasn't painful and it really felt good to be running again.

Wednesday I had my long run.  Again: coach loaded me up with walking: 10 minute walk and then 12 miles of 2 minute run/1 minute walk.  Here I am about 5 minutes into the beginning walk:

And ... after 12.5 miles

The run was good.  My foot felt better (still not 100%), but I had a hard time just relaxing and running normally.  Given what happened on my last long run, I was very nervous and overly cautious. I was also cognizant of every single foot fall, and the run didn't feel normal to me.  I knew it was inevitable and I would have to settle back into my running stride.  So I went easy on myself.  The 2/1s were tough!  I would just about settle into a decent rhythm only to have to stop and walk.  A few times, I pushed to 3 (or even 4) minutes of running just because I wanted to remember what effortless running felt like.  I was pleased with this run.  And it ended with me seeing this little nugget of cuteness:

I totally geeked out when I saw him but did not freak too loudly because I did not want to scare him away.  Mission accomplished.  I really wanted to cuddle that little bunny.

Thursday was a tough, but ultimately kind of fun, bike.  It was intervals of endurance and V02 max (i.e., very hard effort) pace.  It was 50 minutes and over in a flash.  I also had a 2,000 yard swim, which I had to do in the 25 yard pool inside.  Blerg.  But I got it done.

Friday I had an 80 minute deep water run (ok ok ok -- aqua jog).  Amy, Bill and I went up to the lake for our final weekend of training, so I did my run while they went off and swam.  The initial plan was that I would hang near the dock with the kids and let them swim while I deep water ran.  That lasted for about 20 minutes until they got bored and deserted me.  So to kill those 80 minutes I would run from dock to dock and around boats.  Running in the open water was much better than running in the pool.  Still ... it's kind of mortifying to wear that aqua jogger belt.  Especially when later in the weekend when Amy and Bill's younger son was swimming in his life jacket and said, "Look! I'm like Miss Shanna!"  Great.  Just great.

Saturday we had an hour open water swim followed by a 60 mile bike. The swim was amazing - we got out there early and the water on Lake Wallenpaupack was as calm as I have ever seen it. Just like glass.  The swim was really great.  After the swim, we changed into bike clothes and hit the road.  It was a very hilly 60 miles, which at the time was tough, but I'm really glad now.  We will not experience that difficult a course at Placid and our prior two long rides were flat.  I'm glad we did as much climbing as we did.

Sunday was an easy 30 minutes open water swim ... "nice and easy".  That was kind of a joke because the water was super choppy!  It was a battle in that lake.  But at 30 minutes, we motored through.  We spent the morning on the boat with the kids having a blast and vowing to NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID like water ski.

My foot is doing much better.  Every day it gets better and better, and I am following the direction of my PT and coach to the letter.   This week is an easy one.  We are finally in taper! I had an easy run on it yesterday and it was a really good one.  I was finally able to just relax and run normally.  The rest of the week is very light.

We head up to Lake Placid on Thursday!  I cannot believe it.  The plan for the rest of the week, aside from getting in those final workouts, is to eat well and hydrate and keep calm (unlike the tri-jerk in this video from Challenge Roth last weekend who went a little carnival freak crazy over having to wait approximately 5 seconds for his pre-race meal -- thanks to Bill for this gem of a find).  My other goal for the week is to relax and try to enjoy these last few moments of anticipation before the big day.  Stay tuned.

If you'd like to track me on race day, here is how:

Date & Time: 

Sunday July 27 

Gun for age groupers goes off at 6:30 (Eastern) but it is a seeded, rolling start, so I won't be in the water until closer to 6:45. 

How to Track:

Web (Free): - click on the "Live Race Coverage!" and enter my bib number (967). If you want to track Amy and Bill (race nos. 1057 [amy] and 2017 [bill]) you can do that too. 

App: (Free or $1): Iron Trac app. You use the same info as above and enter our bib numbers and track us. Your phone will do the work.

Note: the website and app are not without flaws. They're often delayed and/or just plain wrong, but if you refresh and come back to them, they eventually get it right. 

The finish:

You can watch the finish line live on the Ironman website! I've been able to watch several of my friends cross the finish line this way. You have to kind of know where we are on the course to do this so you can time watching. But it's live and the camera is right there. 

You can bet I'll be back as soon as I can with a recap of every last detail.  

See you swoon,