20 weeks to Ironman Cozumel
We'll see how well I do, but I'm going to attempt to blog about how my training is going every week. Monday- rest day. Tuesday- Mopac Time Trial, 2 laps a the Veloway to warm up then 2 laps on South Mopac 18.2 mph and 18.1 mph for 24 miles total. Wednesday- morning swim 1950 yds. Thursday- Tri Zones run, 5+ mile including some speedwork. Friday- early morning 8 mile run with Sandra, 8 miles shouldn't have felt hard, but after a fairly hard 5 miles the night before it was a tough run. Saturday- Red Licorice swim. Sunday- Katy Flatland Century ride. That makes 5950 yds/m swimming, 124 miles biking, 13 miles running, and just over 13 hours total training time for the week. I didn't really need to do a 2.4 mile swim or a 100 mile ride 20 weeks out from the race, but they were available and as it turns out, both were great confidence builders.
Red Licorice 2.4 mile swim
For me this was mostly just a fun way to test how my swimming is going. I knew I could do the distance, although I had never done it without a wetsuit. I'm not a wetsuit dependent swimmer so I wasn't nervous at all, but my swim times have been faster since I started using Coach Jen's sleeveless wetsuit, so my only real concern about the swim was that my time would be slower than it was in May for the same distance.
Ingrid, Brad and I got to Mansfield early enough to hang out with the Tri Zoners and check out "my" banner. Jake North had it made a few months ago, but this was the first time I had seen it in person- fun!
Laughing because Sandra is trying to use my camera phone- it's hard to use and doesn't even take very good pictures. Jake's turned out way better. Photo by Jake North Photography
We gave Sandra her birthday card and wished her a happy birthday swim, then it was time to get in the water. I was still a little way from the "start line" when Leilani said "GO" oh well, I got to swim a couple extra meters. I couldn't have asked for a better swim, the water felt good, not too hot, not to cold, pretty clear and I was feeling great! I was hoping for a time around 1:30 so when I finished lap 1 in :40 I was really happy. There weren't that many people swimming 2.4 miles (more swam 1.2 or 800 meters) so on lap 2 I didn't have other swimmers around me very often, but the course was well marked and I'm happy in open water, I would have loved some feet to draft on but no big deal. I came around the last bend and saw Leilani waving her arms to signal the finish line. Swam over to her and checked my watch- 1:23- Awesome! That's 10 minutes faster than in May with the wetsuit and 7 minutes faster than my goal time of 1:30 at Ironman Cozumel! Red and Amy said this means I need to modify my Ironman Cozumel goal, but I'm not so sure...the Caribbean Sea won't be as calm as Lake Travis and 2000 other swimmers thrashing around me may slow me down, but maybe I'll get some feet to draft on.
Super happy with my swim! Photo by Jake North Photography
I was starving, so I grabbed some food then got back in the water to see Sandra and Ingrid finish. This swim was a big deal for Sandra because she had decided if she could do it and "still move her mouse hand after" then she would officially sign up for Ironman Cozumel! She was worried about being last, but she wasn't even close to last and she had a great swim! I was super excited for her! Ironman Cozumel here we come!!!
Congratulating Sandra on an awesome swim! Photo by Jake North Photography
This swim was also a big deal for Ingrid. She has come so far with her swimming it's amazing! But she still gets nervous about swimming long distances without a wetsuit. 2.4 miles is twice as long as she's ever swum without a wetsuit and She did it!! She had a great swim too!
Darn you Jake North for taking such awesome pictures that I'm going to have to buy them! Photo by Jake North Photography
I was really happy with my swim and PR, but I was even more happy that Sandra and Ingrid had such awesome swims!! What a great start to the weekend!!
After the swim we had lunch at Zen and packed up to head to Houston for the Katy Flatland Century Ride (KFC, a couple months ago when Del first put KFC in an email I thought "why is he talking about fried chicken??") We had dinner at Barnaby's with Del, Matt, and David. There aren't many places I miss from Houston, but Barnaby's is one of them. I hadn't seen Matt since the marathon in February and I can't even remember the last time I saw David. We had a great time talking, laughing and catching up!
Del, David, me, and Matt at Barnaby's
Del and me with our KFC t-shirt. Thanks for picking up our packets Del!
Ingrid with Barnaby in Hawaii
On the way to Barnaby's we were talking about Paleo/Primal eating and living and vitamin D and sunscreen. Out of the blue, Ingrid said she had a birthday present for me and wanted to give it to me now since we won't see each other again until after my birthday. She was really excited about it, so of course I was too! When we got home from dinner, I opened my presents, first- the Primal Blueprint cookbook- Awesome! I had come really close to ordering that for myself, glad I didn't now! and then Zinka sunscreen in blue, green, pink, and yellow! Again something I had almost bought for myself last week! I did some sunscreen research for Cozumel and found that zinc oxide is the safest and best sunscreen, only problem- it leaves a white (or colored) film on your skin. I had already decided I was going to find Zinka from the '80s (I always wanted it as a kid, so at least I can have it now!) and use that in Cozumel. So thanks Ingrid! Awesome gifts! And this officially means I get to celebrate my birthday for 3 weeks, I'll be 33 so that works well.
Katy Flatland Century Ride
A couple months ago Del suggested I should do the KFC ride, I thought it would be a good long, flat, windy ride so great Cozumel training. The longest I had ever ridden before was 62 miles. This season my longest rides were 58 and 54 miles at the Tour de Cure, so I knew 100 miles would be a big jump in distance and I didn't really have any goals or expectations other than to finish.
pre-ride with my new Zinka on my nose and cheeks
Ingrid and I started early around 6:30 or so with a few other HRTCers. Ingrid and I rode together, a slow recovery pace for her and a faster than normal pace for me, for the first 35 miles. We got to watch the sun rise and enjoy a beautiful morning. So many times I wanted to pull out my phone and take pictures of the sun rise, pretty lakes, the road so flat that you could see into the distance forever, but my phone camera isn't that great and I didn't really want to stop. Ingrid decided to stick mostly to her CONTINUOUS ride plan and keep going when I stopped to mix Infinit at mile 35. The worst part of the ride for me was a 5ish mile section of hwy 36 that was super bumpy nasty chip sealed road- yuck! I was really happy to get to 50 miles and be halfway done and still feeling good! I stopped at the 60 mile stop to stretch my legs and see if they had a sign for the "Buzzard's Gate" if you didn't hit this stop by 12:30 they would make you do the shorter 80 mile route instead of the century. No buzzard sign so instead I took a picture showing that I still had over an hour and a half before the buzzard cut off, too bad you can't see the time in this picture.
I felt good until around mile 75 when I was just ready to be finished. I'm not sure how much of that was getting tired and how much was the route at that point, chip sealed (although not nearly as bad as the nasty section of hwy 36) and lots of turns. I slowed down a lot a that point and a guy caught me who seemed to be having a tough day. He said the heat was really killing him and he was going to go slow and easy the rest of the way. I really hadn't thought about the heat until then, but it didn't seem bad to me, sometimes the breeze felt hot, but other times it felt kind of cool, the sun had been pretty bright most of the ride, but by the time we were riding together clouds were coming in. I rode with him for a couple miles then we turned onto a smooth highway again so I told him I wanted to see what my legs had left and I may see him again in a few minutes, but my legs felt good and I never saw him again.
10 miles to go!
I checked my phone at the 90 mile rest stop because it had been going crazy with text and voicemail noises. I saw that Del had broken a spoke and had to get SAGed in at mile 50, I was really sad for him because he had been so excited about his first century ride. I also sent Ingrid a text letting her know I was 10 miles from the finish. I took off feeling good, but I noticed the clouds were getting really dark, with about 8 miles to go it started raining really lightly, less than 5 minutes later it stopped. I was hoping I could beat the rain to the finish, but with about 5 miles to go it started again, this time harder, not terrible but enough to make my brakes not really work at an intersection, luckily a police officer was there and had traffic stopped. About a mile or two from the finish, the rain stopped again and the sun started to come out a little. As I came into the stadium Ingrid was there cheering me in and taking a video with her phone! I'm going to try to put it on here, but Jeff and I haven't gotten it to work yet. Yay! I finished my first century ride!
Finished my first century ride!!
Ingrid says I'm number 1 because I just finished my first Century
Ingrid and I moved our cars closer to the lunch building (which ended up being VERY smart) and had snow cones and lunch. The cafeteria didn't have windows, but it sounded like it might be raining, when we walked back outside, it was POURING. I'm so lucky I finished when I did! We hung out a while hoping it would let up but it did not. We saw a few riders finishing in the pouring rain who looked wet, cold, and miserable! Ingrid convinced me that she should run to her car and bring it up to the building and drive me to my car since she had a 30 min drive home and I had a 3 hour drive home and driving while drenched from the rain is icky. What a great friend!! She jumped into the Xterra with me to say good bye, I thanked her for such a fun weekend and she said "we had Austin AND Houston Fun this weekend!"
hard to see the pouring rain in the picture, but you can see the flooded street- so glad I didn't have to ride in that!
The beginning of my drive home was in crazy heavy rain, but it lightened up a few miles west of Katy and was patchy most of the way home. I was worried that I would be super tired and my legs would feel awful on the drive home, but it wasn't bad at all.
If all of my Ironman training goes as well as this week and weekend I'll be very happy!