It's hard to believe that Ironman Chattanooga is less than 10 weeks away!!! It's scary actually cause I don't feel ready. After Over The Mountain my training sort of took a nose dive down to around 10 or fewer hours/week. I kept skipping workouts, was sick for a week where I basically did nothing, did some traveling for work, and couldn't string together any consistency. There was a 2-week stretch where I didn't swim at all! This left me feeling unfit and also bummed because prior to OTM things were starting to come together again and I was feeling especially good on my long runs.
Well, I'm happy to say I've turned the training train around and have had a few solid back to back 17-hour weeks again. I'm feeling fit, though I know I don't have too much time left to get to the point that I had originally hoped to when I signed up for IM CHOO. That's ok though because I've been immensely enjoying training and am so thankful to be able to be out there doing what I'm doing :) Here's a quick SBR breakdown of where I'm at:
As before, I am still not putting a huge emphasis on the swim since the race is supposed to have a decent current. Now I've heard rumors that the powers at be are not going to open the dam as much as they did last year - damn it - so my strategy could ultimately backfire. I usually swim 2-3 times per week around 3000 yds per swim. I've been swimming in various outdoor pools, which have all been about 85+ degrees, making it more difficult than it needs to be. I've been too scared to swim in the channel after all the shark attacks on the NC coast this summer, but most of the outdoor pools I've been swimming in don't have lane ropes so that's similar to open water swimming right?! Thankfully, the YMCA just opened again today so I'll start going there next week :)
I have REALLY enjoyed the weekend group rides leaving from Poplar Grove. It's so awesome to see 20+ Wilmington triathletes showing up for these 6 am rides and it always makes me smile. I've had the good fortune of being able to ride with some really fast ladies & sick fast dudes which I believe is making yours truly faster! Plus, I love being able to knock out 80 miles in under 4 hours! That being said, I know I'm not going to have all these great cyclists to draft off of in my race so today I did a solo century and it took me 5 hours 20 min. Definitely not where I'd like to be, but it's improvement so I can't complain. I'm feeling super duper comfortable on my IA and I can't say enough great things about that bike. *LOVE* it! My saddle situation is under control thank GOD. I've also gotten very comfortable riding in the wind, which used to be my nemesis. Hopefully I can continue to increase my endurance on the bike over the next 2 months and pick up a few mph!
The run has been rough lately. Prior to my training hiatus, I was going out on 20-22 mile runs and feeling great. I'd run for 3 hours and feel like I could keep going forever. More recently I've been having trouble going the distance. I keep getting these side cramps under my ribs, which makes it hard to take deep breaths. Maybe this is due to the heat a little bit or maybe it's due to me running out of my PowerGels and using other gels to get by until my next shipment comes in. At this point I've worked my long run back up to 21 miles. I was supposed to do some pickups in my last long run, but it was a victory to just get the mileage in. In contrast to the long runs, my track workouts are going great! I keep hitting my paces and have had some good training partners out there which always makes it 1000 times better! I've got a 20 miler tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes - I'm sure my legs will feel fresh after riding 100 today...
Next up for me is Lake Logan Half, which should be interesting. There are about 20 open women & masters open women signed up for this race which is going to make it really exciting!! I haven't raced a half since White Lake back in May. I'd like to beat my time from then, but then again I recall Lake Logan being a really hilly course. I'm uncertain how I"ll perform in the hills, but I'm certain that It'll be a good pretest for Chattanooga!