Thank goodness for days off - Mon was a recovery day and I really needed that after the long weekend of training. I was mentally gearing up for the week because it looked monumentous! Big bike, big run, plus it was race week.
On Tue, Justin and I went to the Res for the morning swim. I had a 3000m swim followed by a 30mi ride. Some Z3 work thrown in there too. I had a great swim (well, not time wise but in the open water). My stroke felt even and strong, and I felt good coming out of the water. I guess I was just happy to NOT be doing a hypoxic swim workout this week! Lol. It was a dreary morning, but the weather ended up being great for a ride. I rode home from the Res - had an awesome ride! 30mi really doesn't seem like much after riding 100mi on Sun!
Wed - wow. All before 10:30am, I rode 80mi, ran 2mi, showered and barely made it to class on time. Whew! It was a super early morning - out the door as soon as it was safe enough to ride in the early light - 5:20am. The sun hadn't even risen yet - but I got to watch the sun rise on my bike. Doesn't get much better than that. It has been a long time since I felt that strong on the bike. Couple things - maybe because I didn't run 18mi the day before and because I knew I had no time to spare if I was going to make it to class on time. LOL! Plus, great weather. I made some adjustments to my nutrition plan on the bike and it seemed to work very well. The miles rolled by quickly. It was weird looking at my Garmin and seeing that I rode 80mi before 10am! Then out the door for a quick 2mi run. The time crunch helped me push my pace a little - solid run. Then, thanks to my AWESOME husband who made me coffee, toast, packed my recovery drink and loaded up the car for me - I made it out the door just in time.
I stayed on track with my nutrition, and the miles felt good. I was actually enjoying the run! Mentally, I was in the right place - all the days prior of mental preparation for this run seemed to be paying off. I stopped around mile 13 to fill up my bottles, then began the long, uphill stretch. But with 7mi to go, I knew I would make it. Just had to stay in the game mentally and keep my pace easy. I felt like I was running about the same pace as when I started, and that was a confidence booster, especially when I hit the turnaround point and just had 2.5mi downhill to finish out the 20mi. I was getting excited and emotional! I knew I would beat my goal time of 3:00.
This was the 2nd longest run of my life and I felt stronger than ever - I kept thinking about the meaning of the Ironman journey. Then at mile 19.5, U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" came on Pandora and I got really choked up! That song has a special meaning for Justin and me, and I was overwhelmed with the emotions of that moment in my Ironman journey. 20.1mi! 8:46 pace! I really don't know how I did it, but it was an amazing feeling! I was hurting, but nothing was "injury" painful. Somehow, my coach has gotten me to this point where I can run 20mi and feel great the whole time! Starting to believe I can really do this! Thanks Coach Aaron for pushing me and getting me here!
On Sat, I had a short pre-race brick interval workout. Bike felt so smooth after a thorough cleaning! My legs were really heavy on the intervals, but I was expecting that! I felt ready to race, but didn't have any expectations considering the high volume of training this week.
Also on Sat, my nephews and brother had a bike race out in California - they all did so well! Collin & Rylan (twins, age 9) and Brayden (age 6) rocked it out there and all placed in their races! My brother Neil placed 1st!! So proud of them! What a great sport for kids! Too cute!
The T1 route was slightly different than the 70.3 - more uphill and a longer way into transition. It was pretty hard getting out the water - a lot of heavy sand to run through. Got my wetsuit off with a little more trouble than usual, had an awesome mount and I was off on the bike.
Due to the flooding last year, Lefthand Canyon was taken out of the race and we were rerouted via St. Vrain. I was looking forward to the climb up Lefthand, but I certainly respect their decision to modify the course. It was still a fun course! A little longer than the adverstised 42k - Justin and I both had abot 26.6mi on our Garmins. Fun ride though! I really tried to push the bike - my legs were heavy but I passed about 14 people in my AG.
Coming into T2, no issues with my bike mount and I was out on the run pretty quickly. The run was out and back, with some decent hills - nothing too bad, but enough to make your legs burn pretty bad. I started out pretty good, holding around a 7:30-7:45 pace. I figured that would be about as fast as my tired legs would go after a 14hr training week. I was thrilled to be out there - I was thinking about how this would be my last race here in Boulder with the run at the Res, so I was trying to keep a smile on my face and enjoy the miles! I passed 2 more people in my AG and was holding an ok pace - slowing down tho. The last half went by much faster and I was getting anxious to be done! I hadn't looked at my watch since the swim exit (purposely!), so when I was running down the finish chute, I was happy to see I would make it under 2:40!
1500m swim: 30:55
T1: not recorded - included in bike time, probably around 2:00-2:30
42k (26.6mi) bike: 1:18:58
10k run: 48:18
10th AG out of 59, 63rd OA female out of 407
Justin had an awesome race - and considering he swam with no wetsuit, he would have been a few minutes faster for sure! 2:34:47! I am so proud of him. Sometimes, he doesn't give himself enough credit out there, but I can see it. I see the work he puts in and he sure tough out there.
This has been such an incredible week of training - a lot of milestones plus a race! I have survived Ironman training hell month! Lol. 3 weeks to go! Finally time to taper off a little before the big day.
Hardest workout this week: Tue's 80/2 brick
Milestone this week: Boulder Peak on tired legs!