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Tales of an endurance athlete
Duathlete at heart, but will do aything running/cycling/swimming/multisport related. Within reason of course:-)

It's less that 2 weeks now... scary;-)

tiggaby tiggaJul 12th 2010
The countdown has truly begun!

I have avoided going onto the Ironman Switzerland website, simply too much info and to easy to get 'nervous' about the race from too far out. I have however, just looked on their website... 12 days to go was the first thing I saw!

Since the Boskman things have not been too good though. I'd planned 2 more weeks of mileage but my lower back gave me huge grief, without going into too much detail my now 'ex' decided we weren't working out after 6 years together, she needed a break to figure out what direction she wanted to be heading (sport/work/life) and it took me a bit by surprise and probably did not help the sleeping pattern, nor my lower back issue. I have had to move house and that just made the lower back problem worse. My guru physio, Helen, has worked wonders on my broken body, and I spent 2 hours on her table after I woke up one morning after sleeping on my stomach and could not move! Less than 4 weeks to the race I was in quite a state, mentally and physically. It's amazing what good friends and family can do for you though and I'm back on track so to speak. Minus 9 days of IM specific training.
I'd managed a couple of easy spins and light jogs and even swam a little extra. But what was supposed to be my biggest volume week, turned out to be my easiest week in 4 months!! Fear not... I re-jigged the training programme and decided on 7 days 'hard' training and a 10 day taper, but with no super long run. I have 3 days of harder training to go and actually have had some training sessions that are simply blowing my mind.

I use a HRM and record everything, and until recently have never raced with one. I'll be using it at IMCH and basing my effort on how I feel in the first 20-30 mins on the bike and monitoring the HR and making sure I keep it consistent, especially near the end of the bike ride when I have a tendency to loose concentration. I've ramped the swimming up a bit, and managed over 9km last week (not huge, but my biggest week so I'm pleased) and felt comfortable swimming 4km in open water on Sunday in about 62-63min, bang on sub 1 hour pace. I've done some 2-3 hour rides mid week, one of which was cut shorter in intensity when my bottom bracket 'exploded' and needed replacing and luckily I was able to ride it home, but Saturdays brick was a key session on tired bike legs in the heat and it went unbelievably well. Not quite at IM speed I'd like, but considering the course/traffic etc I was pleased to hold 36.5km/hr for 4hours with ease and felt like there was a lot more in the tank, then to run 11km in 30deg heat in 43:08 fairly comfortably... although the HR did climbing as the core temperature rose. My IM pace is not that fast though so I hope I can keep it in check on race day even if it is 30+deg! The long run on Sunday is the one that blew my mind... I've done long runs and simply look at average HR vs Pace (and elevation gain to a degree) and Sundays effort is by far my most impressive and proved I'm ready for this. Usually I'd average HR of 130-132 for a pace of 4:06-09/km, sunday I started off real easy, and gradually got quicker. One hour into the run and I'm now running sub 4min/hr with ease on the flats and HR still UNDER 120!! As I cranked it up to 3:45min/km and finished a 24km run feeling fresh and still the HR had not gone over 140 and I'd just run the final 10km in 38 something for an Av HR of 130? If I feel like that on race day, I will have the biggest smile on my face the whole marathon and the week or two after!

All numbers I know, but I'm a bit geeky like that and it is my source of motivation and 'proof' things are going in the right direction. Sad huh?

My head is still not quite over the 'split' with Jess, but refocussing when you have an IM looming large was easier and kept me busy. Two more key bike sessions and one 'track' running set and I'll be winding things down and hopefully leave me fresh and ready for this race.

Following the IM, my folks are visiting from SA for 2 months and arrive the day I leave for Zurich, in fact we'll pass each other at Heathrow as I leave and they arrive! I'm looking forward to seeing them and spending time chilling. Not too much tiem chillin' though, I've a busy second half of the year planned. National Relay champs, Powerman Zofingen, One Last Tri, Ballbuster and a last race just been thrown in front of me by Stefano ( my mate at work who's doing IMCH, and I've been his sounding board for training) is the Nice to Cannes marathon (it could even be the other way round??) just a week after Ballbuster... that'll hurt.

European Iron distance season is now underway and I am sure there are a fair few other out there doing their epic day too. Good luck to y'all... my day of reckoning is coming 8hr59min59sec or quicker and it will be a huge a achievement in my books. In fact when I look back to before I was competitive, just the thought of IM was exhausting, never mind sub 9 hours... and here I am in good enough shape to go and do it! Sometimes I have to take a huge step back and look where I've come from and then even if things don't go to plan, I can still be quite proud whatever the result!

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