Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are you Ironman training, or ARE YOU IRONMAN TRAINING??

I have asked myself that very question several times in the last two weeks.  When I couldn't remember whether my swim workout was supposed to be 4x500 or 5x500: are you Ironman training or are you Ironman training?  I did the fifth 500.  When I realized that my twelve-mile run was about to be 11.5 miles, but my add-on would make it 12.5 miles: are you Ironman training or are you Ironman training??  I did the extra bit of running.  When I was considering whether to climb Brasstown Bald this past weekend in addition to the six other climbs I was doing as part of a six-hour ride: are you Ironman training or are you Ironman training???  I scaled Brasstown, with its sections of over 20%.  

Following my race at Rev 3 Knoxville--my third big race in three weekends--my body demanded a break.  The next week, even though I was only seven weeks out from Coeur d'Alene, I hardly trained.  I rested, I recovered, and I caught up on work and sleep.  I also got my pictures from Knoxville.  Check this out:

(There were some good shots of me on the run, but I had my tongue out.  Classy.)  

After that forced break, I began the final buildup to Coeur d'Alene.  That means long rides, tough climbs, fast runs, and lots of swimming.  It means regular two-a-day workouts.  It means watching what I eat from now until June 24.  It means prioritizing my training--including my sleeping--over everything else.  It means a lot of time alone.

The final buildup is also a lot of fun, though.  For one thing, I am now on summer vacation, and I'm essentially living like a professional athlete.  This morning, I slept until 8:30, got up, milled around, and did a run workout on the unpaved oval in the park across the street.  After that, I had a smoothie and headed up to All3Sports to pick up a few things.  After finishing this blog, I'm going to read for a little while, maybe watch a couple of TV shows on Netflix, perhaps take a nap, and in a couple of hours, I'm going to swim and lift weights.  This is a nice, nice life.  

[Yes, yes, I know that a professional athlete has other responsibilities and that they don't just train all the time.  Today, I've been reading articles about Ryder Hesjedal's aero position, booking my bike on TriBikeTransport, washing laundry, and trying to get the fish smell out of our condo, too.  Okay?  It's still a nice life.]        

For another thing, the final buildup means that I am finalizing my gear.  For my run this morning, I wore my new Adidas Adios racing shoes, which I plan to wear in Coeur d'Alene, barring any issues that arise with them in the next few runs over the next few weeks:

(Pink?  Orange?  No one knows . . . )

When I finished Ironman Cozumel, my feet hurt more than any other thing on my body.  Ultimately, my left foot was injured.  Thus, I have spent a lot of time tweaking my pedaling and trying out different shoes in an attempt to avoid a replay of Cozumel at Coeur d'Alene.  I think that I have found a winner in my new shoes.  (I just realized that my two Ironmans are alliterative.  What's next?  Ironman Canada??  Actually, I do want to do Ironman Canada.  Hmm.)  

When I went to All3Sports, I picked up my bike.  I had them install a new Cycleops hub in the back wheel:

I will now be able to measure my power output during races.  This will be particularly important for a hilly course like Coeur d'Alene, so that I can make sure that I don't go too hard on the first several climbs.  I've been using Cycleops power for the last couple of years, and my cycling has significantly improved during that time.  Happily, they decided to sponsor me this year, and that gave me the chance to get my hands on more great Cycleops stuff!  I'm going to test out my new hub tomorrow in training and this weekend when I do the Half Rev Aquabike at Rev 3 Quassy.

At All3Sports, I also bought a new wetsuit, and I'll be trying it for the first time at Quassy this weekend, too.  In the races I've done up to this point, I've borrowed a wetsuit from my good friend Erik.  (I have often borrowed his wheels, too, so that I could race with power numbers.  He's very generous.)  After my last wetsuit swim--in the pool at the gym after the heater went out!--I realized that the suit doesn't really fit me all that well.  It tends to bunch around my upper torso.  So today, I got a new Tyr Category 3:

(Is it possible for a wetsuit to be gorgeous?  I feel like this thing is gorgeous.)
All the new gear, the 100% focus on training . . . this means that Ironman Coeur d'Alene is right around the corner.  In fact, it's only three weeks from Sunday.  I couldn't be more excited.  And this, above all, is what makes me feel like I am Ironman training!


  1. Greatt post! I am excited to cheer you on although sadly it will be from far away. The shoes and the wetsuit are both gorgeous. Go George!

  2. Eeeekkkk... it's coming so fast and I can't imagine you doing anything different to be more ready. Enjoy the next few weeks. Get that body ready to rock and roll. And hopefully once that (and RAAM) are done, we can finally get together for dinner and drinks! :)