153 Days Until Ironman Lake Placid

It’s been a while, I suppose some would wonder if I was coming back. Kidding aside, I am well aware that anyone who has even read this BLOG is purely by accident.

Much has happened. First and foremost, I ran a Half Marathon in Ottawa on Sunday morning and posted a PB placing 3rd in my age category. 1 hr 30 min and 46 second. Damn I am happy..I have been working very hard on it.

Work is brutal right now, with stress levels going through the roof. This plays into me big time and I am finding it very draining. My energy is getting sapped and I am really trying hard to stay positive.

March Break Training Camp is approaching, it’s going to be great. A week of Florida and training. Plus, the added benefit of having the family there. A few side trips to Disney, beaches…a nice break.

Most of my training has been on my own recently. It’s been tough trying to line everything up with others. Really, impossible.

Oh well…here we go.


164 days until Ironman Lake Placid–week in review

So, I had quite a good discussion with Richard on Thursday night about the intervals. There are a lot of questions/reasons. The week was fairly normal, except for the fact I had an interval run on Wednesday night. 10mins Warmup follows by 8 x 1Km @ < 4:00 min.km with 2 minute rest in between. I managed 5, but grew tired after . This confused me as I had never done this before..I asked him why.

Why was I doing it?

1 – I have ran two 10K races at a 4:10 pace, this puts my actual fitness level very high. Running intervals at < 4:00 pace for 1 KM should be within my reach especially with a 2 minute rest in between each run. He said that that’s just a fact.

So why did I tire?

2 – Richard subscribes the Noakes theory, which basically says your brain is the “central governor” of your body, and will override your body and shut it down as a self defense mechanism. The thing is, our body can handle it and we need to train our brain to get used to the new level of ability. Basically, that’s what interval training does. It teaches the brain to calm down and accept the new levels of exertion. The issue is, you need to push yourself above your current if you want to get through the current mental barrier because your body is already beyond that.

After running the intervals, I had no pain and within an hour I was back to normal. To me this suggests my “perceived” physical limitation was exactly that…perceived. It was in my head.

Richard did say there could have been a couple of factors that could come into play. a) I am getting sick or recovering from an injury.  b) The body is capable of doing it, but it hasn’t done it a while and therefore needs to “remember” and get the muscles firing again to allow it to happen.

So, in my opinion – it’s a combo of perception on my part and the fact I hadn’t done it to that level. If you look at my heart rate, it drops immediately and does not stay elevated which suggest the fatigue was not at a critical level or a “true” issue limiting me. I was playing mind games with myself…

3 – Why am I doing it now?

Because my fitness level allows me to and Winterman is next week. If I race it…I am supposed to target a 1:30

On Thursday evening  I was parked beside Scott Takala, who is also coached by Richard and races ITU for Canada. It was very interesting to hear some of his stories and experiences.

Anyway, had a good swim yesterday in Brockville. Did 2K in about 50 minutes with some pick up drills included. I am swimming tomorrow, but will be doing some running afterwards.

So much fun! I love this stuff.


169 days until Ironman Lake Placid 2011

Today I had to run 24K @ 4:40 pace. The snow covered roads from a fresh snow the night before offered some resistance. As I ran. the snow turned to slush and found myself getting wetter with each passing car and each foot fall. Again? Why?

Your thoughts drift during these periods. You’re alone and it’s early morning. People stare at you in amusement as they drive by. You contemplate the finer points, the lower points and usually have a period of diving deep within your self. Today, my thoughts turned to my training.

Earlier this week, I shook off about a week and half where I was doubting just about everything. I felt stalled at my training and had some minor issues with my swim coach and program. During these times, I will often withdraw so I can realign myself and ensure I am thinking straight. It’s partly a defense mechanism from younger years and partly to ensure I do not engage in something that will be regrettable later. But like I said, I shook it off. But today, as always, there was the reflection.

I asked myself as I often do… “Why?” “Will my training be enough?”. So much of my attention has been on my training.

In a total epiphany, I suddenly got it. It’s not the training. The training is only one part of the entire journey. It’s a companion.

My journey, and our journey, is about bringing the training along with us and then when it is needed..rising above it. The training will build the confidence, the training will build the fitness…but only I can finish the day and finish the journey. So when I run in the slush and the snow. And when I run at (–) 30 degrees…it’s not for the training. It’s about me rising above the training. Its about me rising above where I was…and who I was. With each day and each km, I change and become someone different.

Each of us that embark on these journeys, spend a lot of time alone. If we are lucky, we occasionally can align an hour or two with a friend or training partner…but for the most part it’s a solitary road. But the solitude can really help clear a foggy head.

170 days until Lake Placid

Crappy week, actually, overall a couple of crappy weeks. Went into a bit of a tailspin but managed to shake it off Mid week. Why? Who knows. I am sure I cannot be the only one.

New training schedule from my coach is being worked on right now. Can hardly wait to see it.

So, after 4 week so official training, how am I feeling ?

9 hours scheduled this week.

Running – went through my usual mid winter shin splints, but I seemed to have shaken them off. Tomorrow is a 25K run, so I’ll have a better feel for it then. Certainly, on the shorter distances my pace continues to average around 4:30/km with race pace being between 4:10 and 4:20. Tomorrow’s 25K is supposed to be at 4:40 – 4:45, so we’ll see what we can make of it. Running distance in winter is always a pain, because your drinks do end up freezing. Luckily, the temp is only supposed to go down to around – 5..so with some luck we will be okay.

Swimming – feeling good, noticing a big difference in my technique and strength this year. I am really trying to “pony” up no the techie portion to try and gain some speed. It’s about the only way outside of effort to go quicker, and I am nervous about trying to expend more energy. I need to save all I can. 3 times a week, 2KM min usually.

Cycling- hard to say, you’re on a trainer which although is a good substitution..is not the real thing. I feel good, heart rate usually around 130-140 with cadence around 70-80. Feel good…but really want to be back on the road riding.

Strength – Oh god, give me strength….literally. I hate…hate…hate this. I never liked weights. There has to be a better way to gain core strength.

My focus is really strong right now, if I feel myself drifting, I simply remember my goal. That brings me back quickly.