Monique and I just got back from Utah where we got to spend a couple of days with our buddy "Sully" and check out the Ironman St. George course. I got to attend the EC camp last November but never got to see the run course and it was a good time for Monique to see the bike course and ride it on her 3 day old bike.
We picked up her bike the day before we left and in the first three days she got to ride it in 3 different states and put just under 200 miles on it. A good start on the new rig!
Once in SG territory we hit up the pool for a nice long set and then we rode through the Snow Canyon Park (i recommend checking it out of you get to SG early) and got some pictures for the Team Duke Children's Healing Art Project. We are honored to be a part of this and hope we can do more with Team Duke in the future. These kids and the program are rad.
I had some goals for our "mini-camp" and I was interested to see the progress I made since last time I rode the bike course. However, as much as we had some recon to do we were also taking a bit of a vacation. I had banked some comp-days from working weekends and staying with Sully in the mellow town of St. George was a welcomed relaxing weekend.
BTY...My friend Sully has been living here since January and is in TOP shape...He qualified for Kona last year with a 4:11 at a 70.3 and he has just been getting faster and faster...too bad he aged up to my AG! I have no doubt that he will win our age group and probably be the top amateur. He is an animal but one of the nicest guys that I know. It is just exciting to see my friends get ramped up for a big race. Its going to be one good party AFTER the race!
Anyways...Back to the recon. I posted some pictures up for the EC team and data files and maybe it will be a help for you if you are doing the race? They are posted over here. Let me know if you want any data files, etc and I can email them over to you.
We finished up with some solid training and relaxing. I did get to see and run on the course and it is the real deal. It is not that steep hilly and for sure most people will be able to run the entire course if your pacing sets you up correctly on the bike. I hope to be in that camp! I kept thinking that this is just like a big Xterra course and I am happy that I still have that "ignorance is bliss" having never done an Ironman before because I have nothing to compare this course to except an Xterra. I went through an entire tub of Grape Vitargo over the weekend. Race fuel and recovery to the next level! This stuff works so well I never felt depleted during or after the trip. Love it!
I did make some big improvements from riding the loop back in November and somewhere around an extra ~60watts for the same heart rate but I realized when I got home it was more about "the big picture". My perception had changed and my understanding about what it takes is very different from what I thought that Ironman training is all about. I got some big sessions in but more importantly I absorbed them. Working with the Endurance Corner Team has been HUGE! There is now over seven coaches on the forum and plenty of great athletes who provide a good example. There is no easy way but there is a better way!
I cut back from my planned camp as far as volume and let go of some of the things I thought that I had to knock out before the race. Why do we feel like we NEED do complete some things before we are really ready...? Sometimes a growing checklist. I have yet to run over 20 miles and had to let go of some other "things" I had wanted to put a check box next to...but I had to let it go. I just have to trust my training and know that I am saving the good stuff for race day.
I got a message from Gordo about mission accomplished for the camp. At first I was bummed because I had my growing list that i didn't knock out. Then I realized that it was successful and I was not destroyed. I had a great swim, bike and run session the day I got back and the numbers looked really good and I felt even better. Consistency. That was enough prove to me that a transformation was made in the way I was thinking and working.
This is my training log entry the Sunday after we got back from SG and about sums it up...
I was starting to get bummed that I didn't destroy myself this weekend. This was suppose to be my BIG push before the race and I dont even feel wiped out. I pushed it a bit more on the last downhill and let my quads have it...They are not sore at all today. I dont feel tired. I dont feel overtrained. I had so much fun swimming and I want to do that workout again..now. The bike ride was just "another session"... t-run off the bike is just what i do after a long ride... the long run the next day was just progressed from what I have been running but it was not over the top. I was thinking I would even be fully recovered in just a day or two. Then... I had to smile. OK. This is the "mission accomplished". My proof from the puddin'. It was smart to not try and do the extra loop and push a 10hr ride. It was smart to not get fixed on a number and try and hit 20 miles on my run. This is NOT what I would normally do and still doing the IM distance over 3 days would have killed me before. THIS is all the confirmation that i needed mentally and physically that i needed. Not running 20 miles but backing up a big weekend...week after week and now month after month. This was just another training week and at ~20hrs this is a normal week of training for me now and just loaded on the back end. Something I will ABSORB and recover from quickly without getting injured and staying HIGHLY motivated. I cannot take credit for the "smart" part. I am grateful. The rest of the workouts today was a bit more confirmation.