Heading back to Ironman Florida for a 5th and FINAL time.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
The clock is ticking
Just a short one for now, midweek blog writing plays havoc with my sleep schedule :-)
With less than 6 weeks to race day it seems that my body has finally woken up to the need for some training. The weather has still been doing its best to ruin any big plans though. Even so, the last 4 weeks have included my 4 biggest bike rides of the year including Saturday's ego boosting 106mile/7mile brick session. But for a 15mile stretch riding along chatting to a training pal I'd have comfortably averaged 20mph+ on a course with more than twice the ascent of Florida. Yes I was aero most of the way, but with race wheels and aero helmet to come it looked promising with my sub 120bpm average HR. I even ran 7 miles at 6:30 min/mile pace off the bike, although NO I couldn't have even thought about running that pace for another 20miles (not even fresh). To make it seem even better though I managed 3hrs of hilly off road running on Sunday as I did two laps of the Doone Run course (4,000ft+ of ascent), once pre race with the pup and once bringing in the signs at the back of the race. Sure they were dragged out over a lot more than 3hrs with all the time spent moving/collecting/carrying signs and the like but my Garmin's 'moving time' feature would have placed me in a very healthy position in the race field on either lap.
Of course I've done enough Ironman races in the past to know that one training weekend doesn't make things all good. In fact good training sessions could be the worst thing to happen if they mean you get over confident and start believing you're better than you are. I found this out to my cost in 2005 when a year of bike improvement left me thinking I'd got a chance of 'racing' rather than 'pacing' the event. Sure enough I posted a bike course pb, but then went on to DNF after totally blowing to pieces at mile 10 of the run. Even if the training goes amazingly well between now and the race a level head is my key to a successful race. Ride too hard, get dragged along by the cheating drafting bastards and it's a recipe for disaster. The Elite's and the Top Age Groupers may be able to race Ironman, but not me. I just need to keep reminding myself of that fact when they're all blasting past on the bike.
So now it seems we're forecast a little bit of decent weather, although how long for is anybodies guess, but all being well I'll get another couple of long rides in this week. I would tell you what I've got planned but you all know by now that I don't plan any of my training and what happens just happens, I'm hoping to be very tired though on Sunday when I rock up to race the Bideford Sprint Triathlon. I had got a slight nagging in the back of my mind that as it's such a local race and as I'd probably be "one of" the pre race favourites I should look at taking it half seriously and train steady the day before. I know now though that a local lad who's been on the British Triathlon World Class Development Squad has put his name down, so all bets are off and I can happily knock out another long brick session knowing it's not going to ruin my chances of winning anything.
Finally, it's a little bit of a sad time. This time last year I was getting ready to haul myself over to Hawaii for the Ironman World Champs. This year of course I'll be sitting glued to the computer screen watching it ALL day and remembering the pain of racing there. I'll be back one day - maybe when I'm 80!!!