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Final Countdown…..

By November 3, 2008No Comments

Sorry I’ve been off radar for a bit, but I honestly just haven’t had a single free moment to update the blog.  Its pretty much been training, working, training, kids, training, sleeping, training, eating, training, wife, training, training…..Almost there — just trying to keep the unbalanced parts of my life from completely falling apart in the meantime……Just need to hang tough for one last final hard week push…

I keep thinking my work is done.  That I should be tapering full on.  But not quite yet.  In the last 2 weeks I have laid down 2 race simulations….One more to go and that’s it.  And believe me, as much as I love it, I’m ready for the training to be over.  I have blasted my body so far beyond anything I ever thought I would be capable of and only have to get through what will be my toughest weekend yet, then I can breathe a sigh of relief and KNOW that I am ready for Ultraman.  That I have done everything I can over the last 7 months to be ready..
Here’s what’s been going on:
2 WEEKS AGO: RACE SIMULATION #1:  After a relatively light week, I put in a solid race simulation weekend, which included a 100 mile ride on Saturday followed by a marathon run on Sunday.  I have to say this is the best I have felt yet.  The 100 mile ride felt like a light walk in the park, clocking in at 5 hours 20 minutes at a very manageable / conversational Z2 pace.  When I was done, didn’t feel like I had done anything, which was quite remarkable!  Sunday morning I could feel some heaviness in my legs, so eased into the marathon, holding a steady yet very manageable Z2 pace, building to a negative split to finish in 3:30 — my fastest marathon ever — done on tired legs on a whim.  This was a huge confidence building weekend.  I just felt great, fast and easy.  And Monday morning, my legs felt fine — would never have guessed I ran  brisk marathon the day before, let alone a marathon on the heels of a 100 mile ride!
LAST WEEK: RACE SIMULATION #2:  This was my hardest week yet.  An absolute bone crusher, made all the more challenging by uncooperative cold and rainy weather.  The focus here is light on the weekdays, with all the focus on Fri – Sun.  Here’s how it went down, day by day:
TUESDAY: 5500 yd swim workout in my new Sailfish “Furious” Skin Suit— (pictured above) a gift from my coach who is sponsored by the company and also the fastest skin suit on the market — over 1/2 of the top 20 pro male finishers at Kona wore this suit.  Like a Speedo LZR type suit with a bit more neoprene for a semi-wetsuit effect and feel.  Felt great.  Can’t wait to use the suit in the warm Hawaiian Pacific…
WEDNESDAY: Light 3 hour spin ride — nothing focused or too challenging — just to work out the kinks in the legs.
THURSDAY: 90 minute Z2 run — 10.9 miles easy.  Felt like nothing.  Easy and light, like brushing my teeth.
FRIDAY: Here’s where I upped the intensity ten-fold.  7 kilometers of swimming (pool), including some long sets (15 min / 10 min / 5 min swims; 10×400 @ 60 secs rest, etc.).  Right out of the pool and onto the bike for 60 miles of focused Z3 climbing and Z2 flats.  Hit Topanga and Stunt Road (twice) climbs.  Felt really good, fit and strong — could feel some good power in my legs.
SATURDAY: 125 mile ride.  Long hard day in the saddle.  Rainshowers and cold.  Wet and miserable.  First 65 miles all climbing — Topanga, Piuma, Stunt, Rock Store, interspersed with very careful wet descents and 3 flat tires, which was really tough mentally — wet and cold changing tires, the loss of momentum and cooling off, etc.  This was not fun.  Then hit flats around to Las Posas / PCH to Neptune’s Net, where the sun set as I turned to climb Mulholland Hwy from PCH to the 23 — a 10+ mile climb in total deserted darkeness, which was cool but a bit creepy, especially since I had no more tubes and risked getting stranded if I flat again.  But got a good second wind on this climb and finished strong, dumping back down into Westlake and finishing in Agoura.  But what should have been about a 7 hour ride took me over 10 hours with the rain and mechanical issues, so didn’t get home until about 8:30 pm completely spent, wet, fried and starving, wondering how in the heck I was going to wake up the next morning and run 35 miles.
SUNDAY: Awoke early to pouring rain and throbbing thighs.  Drove to my office in Venice and embarked on my 35 mile run from here, thinking I’ll give it a shot, but my legs are so tired, I may just end up bagging it after 8-10 miles.  I loaded up with a new fuel option — CarboPro 1200— a thick orange syrupy type liquid that contains 1200 calories per 16 oz bottle.  Its been highly recommended (as well as used by David Goggins), so giving it a try.  The first hour was a slugfest struggle, my legs aching.  But after about an hour I gradually loosened up and felt OK.  Certainly not great — just OK in a surviving kind of way.  I just put my head down, discarded any thought of looking at my pace, focused on holding my HR at 134 and getting it done.  Which I did.  The last 4-5 miles were quite tough, but the sun did come out which helped and just put one foot in front of the other, completing the run at around 8:00 – 8:30 pace over the last 5-6 miles.  And importantly, no walking.  I negative split the loop and finished in 5 hours 17 minutes — certainly nothing great, but not bad at all considering I was so tired going into this run I really didn’t think I would be able to do it at all.  And the CarboPro 1200 worked great.  No stomach issues.  No bonking.  No need to eat anything else.  Took Endurolytes & Thermolytes for electrolytes, plus water.  That was it — no gels, no Cytomax, no bars.  So I think I’ve found the right nutrition for my Ultraman run….In any event, last night I was the most tired I have been yet and almost unable to move my legs at all.
THIS WEEK: Again, a few relatively light workouts leading up to the weekend, where I will do my LAST but LONGEST and HARDEST race simulation yet — 9K swim / 75 mile ride on Friday; 155 mile ride on Saturday; 45 mile run on Sunday.
I’ll let you know how it goes…But I can honestly say that if I can make it through this next week in one piece, I will be so ready for Ultraman — mentally, physically and spiritually.  I will be as fit as I ever could have imagined becoming 7 months ago when I embarked on this journey…

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