Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Big Pre-FIRM Brick!

Today was my last large hard effort brick on the FIRM course before the race.  From here on out it gets easier till race day.  I'm excited to say I've made it to the taper injury free and feeling better than ever!  I really am going to destory this thing.  I can't wait!  But first...   back to the brick.

Weather forecast for today was for 97 degree temperatures and the potential for some serious waves due to various hurricanes off the east coast.  Normally this would have me trying to start the workout nice and early.  However since I was flying home from a show yesterday and getting home rather late (I got home around 10pm) I knew I wasn't going to be able to manage an early start.  So I setup the workout to start at 9am not realizing what a scorcher it was going to be today.  But as always...   train in everything, fear nothing.  So I wasn't going to let a little sun stop me.

I metup with Kate, Taryn, and Mike this morning to swim the entire 1.2 mile FIRM course.  I've swam at Narragansett beach several times, but I've yet to do the swim in the same direction as the race which I wanted to do once and get used to sighting the towers and other landmarks.  So that was the plan.  Walking down the beach in my wetsuit half on it was pretty clear that today was going to be brutally hot.  I was sweating just standing still even before I put the wetsuit on.  Fortunatley though as soon as we got in the water it was really comfortable.  Looking at the ocean from the sea wall it looked like there were some good sized waves today, large rolling swells, but otherwise calm smooth seas with no chop.  When we got to the other end of the beach the waves were even larger.  I was finally going to get to find out what its like to dive into the face of a wave!  Sweet!  I was kind of excited.  First big wave came up and I dove right into the base of it and popped out the other side.  Fun!  I repeated this a couple of times till I got past the breaking point of the wave and then proceeded to head straight out over the tops of the swells to calmer waters.  Once we got a good distance from shore there were some slow rollers but it was actually really calm and nice out there.  We started to swim down the beach sighting at the towers in the distance.  Pretty much all of the buoys were gone so our sighting system went like this.  Generally head for the towers in a straight line.  Mike and Taryn (the fastest swimmers in our group) would swim out ahead of Kate and I and stop a few times along the way turning their swim capped heads into human buoys.  So I'd sight for the yellow top of Taryn's head which worked out quite well.  We would regroup and then proceed onward staying together and making sure everyone was ok.  I felt really good in the swim today.  Most of all I felt confident out there.  My favorite part of the swim was talking to Taryn while we were treading water.  She said to me "so you really couldn't swim in April and now you're out here in the middle of the ocean?".  Yep!  I felt very comfortable out in the ocean.  I'm really enjoying it now which is great.  I almost didn't want the swim to end today.  It was so nice and cool out in the water.  But eventually we reached the other end of the beach and it was time to head into shore.  This should be interesting as I haven't swam in with waves that big before.  Clearly I need to learn more about what the backside of waves look like and how to time my swim into shore.  I got bounced around quite a bit and right when I wanted to pop up to breathe I was getting flailed about in white churning break water.  Fun!  I made it in eventually though without too much trouble and we headed to the cars to prep our bikes.

Taryn headed off to do a shorter ride today as her training plan called for something shorter than our ride today.  But we were joined by Nancy and Sean for the ride.  At this point its now close to 11am.  Not exactly the best time to start a ride on a hot day!  The FIRM bike course also offers pretty much ZERO shade except for the KFR section.  So as expected the long stretches of route 1 were HOT and dull!  I was so happy to enter the shade of the KFR loop at mile 16.  I had already gone through one bottle and it was clear that three bottles was not going to get me through this ride as it usually does.  Fortunately I knew there was a gas station around mile 37 so I just rerationed my fluids to make sure I could make it that far.  The KFR loop was nice as we relaxed our pace a bit and enjoyed the shade and rode two wide and chatted a bit here and there away from the traffic of route 1.  I didn't feel so hot on the hills in that section today which was odd as they usually don't bother me.  I think I'm more tired from the show this weekend and the travel yesterday than I thought.  I was pretty sad to reach the end of the KFR loop and enter back into the heat of route 1 again.  We were also now greeted with a nice hot and stale headwind.  The solace in this however was that this was going to turn into a tailwind for the 18 or so mile trip back to the start area.  Sweet!  And sure enough after we turned around at mile 37 we had an awesome tailwind. 

We pulled into the gas station shortly after turning around.  I had finished a cold gatorade out of the cooler before I even made it to the counter to pay for it.  It was that hot out today.  We bought some gallons of cold water and refilled all our bottles and drank up.  I also had an awesome swig of Sean's super cold coke which was heavenly.  I can't remember the last time I drank regular coke.  It was sweet and good!  I drank what I suspected would be way too much fluid and then we headed out again.  It was so hot though that even just a couple of minutes later I was drinking again.  I think in all I drank about 5-6 24oz bottles of water on just the ride today and then another 40oz on the run.  AND I WAS STILL THIRSTY!

The rest of the ride back was good and fast.  Sean was out front for most of the way back and I was not far behind him.  We kept a nice fast pace and grooved our way back.  This is only my second ride on my new aero wheels and it was really the first time I felt like I noticed the difference.  My speed retention on the flats and descents today was AWESOME!  Maintaining speed seems much easier with these wheels over my training wheels.  Descending seems even faster and I was able to speed up on the descents and then stop pedalling and not lose any speed which was great as a nice little recovery between climbs on the KFR loop.  I was really loving them today.  Glad I decided to pull the trigger on them before the FIRM as the course really lends itself well to them.

Unfortunately though my chain is still giving me issues.  For whatever reason the master link on my chain doesn't like my new rear cassette and keeps skipping whenever it crosses it.  Which means it slips briefly which is really annoying.  Its gone in to get tweaked twice now without it being fixed so now I have to bring it back in tomorrow for a brand new chain and master link and see if that fixes it.  I hope so!

In the end we did the ride at an average of 18mph or so.  Not terribly fast but it was so hot out today that we decided to be a little more cautious with pace and not destroy ourselves in the heat.  It was a hard ride today though, even at that pace thanks to the temp.

Off the bike I was the only one running today.  Mostly as everyone else had either already done their long brick over the weekend or had different training plan requirements.  Plus everyone else knew how hot it was and didn't want to run.  But this was my big brick today so no skipping the run for me.

Within the first two minutes of the run my brain was saying...  "wow...  this is going to SUCK!".  My brain was not wrong.  As usual I was off the bike running 7:30s.  I knew that I had to be carefull as that pace in this heat was going to be difficult to maintain.  By now its 97 degrees out and the run course has zero shade and very very little breeze.  It was just insanely hot.  I did the run in a hat and tri shorts and I was sweating up a storm instantly.  It was just brutal out there.  I conciously slowed my pace as best as I could so I wouldn't bonk.  I was still drinking gatorade off my fuel belt and I was carrying 40oz to get me through my planned six miles.  That was not enough however and I had to ration it on the way back.  Thats how hot it was.  Usually that much fluid gets me through 13 miles easily.  I was so happy when my Garmin said I'd run 3 and I could turn around.  The way back was especially brutal.  I was so hot and miserable.  The lack of shade on the road was a real bummer as the sun was just killing me.  My brain was screaming at me to walk but I refused to listen.  In the end I averaged 8:10s for the six miles.  Not too shabby in those conditions and after doing the swim and bike too in the heat.  So I was pretty pleased with that.

So heres a breakdown on what I consumed today fluid wise....

16oz Coffee
20oz water
20oz of gatorade

95oz of Gatorade Endurance
60 oz of water

40oz of Gatorade

Post Run:
40oz of Gatorade
60oz of water

This evening...
60oz of water.

Thats a total of 370oz of fluid!  Thats a lot!

All in all it was a great workout today and I'm really pleased with how it went.  I put in a great effort in challenging conditions today and I'm really proud of myself for that.  I'm so ready to crush this race.  I feel stronger now than ever. 

Next up...    planning out the rest of my taper and lining up some training partners for those workouts as well as some other good things this week too that I'll talk about another time perhaps.  Good things are on the horizon on all fronts!  September is going to be a fantastic month!

No comments:

Post a Comment