Saturday, August 22, 2009

Questions with 5 Weeks to go Until IM

Can I take the last 31 weeks of training and fine tune it in the next 5?
Can I stay calm and keep the intensity where it should be, knowing that I am getting so close?
Can I continue to eat right and stay focused as a new school year starts with a million things on my plate, including coaching 2 soccer teams and helping the high school CC team when I can?
Can I fight through the wind and waves of the Chessapeake Bay on race day, and come out of the water in 1:30?
Can I keep my mouth shut and not swallow a gallon of salt water?
Can I stay within myself on the bike and not red line it?
Can I stay in the present when on the bike?
Can I befriend the wind or at least not let it mess with my head?
Can I go under 6:15 on the bike?
Can I run off the bike?
Can I hold a sub 9:00 MPM pace for 26.2?
Can I handle gels and gatorade this time?
Can I hide any pain or discomfort each time I approach the turnaround and my mom?
Can I turn my mom's tears of worry into my motivation?
Can I encourage each person I see and bounce positive energy off of as many people as possible?
Can I allow the experience to be more powerful then the clock?
Can I dig deeper than I ever have before?
Can I keep my promise to myself and run each of the last 9 miles for a person I love?

If I can do these things, I will be an 11 hour IM finisher.

Can I stay in control of my body after I finish, so I don't upset my daughter again?
Can I use the experience to be a better father, husband, son, brother, friend, teacher, and man?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Miles and Some Pain

September 26 is coming fast. August is always a busy month for me, both physically and mentally. Trying to squeeze every last bit of family time out of the summer is the #1 priority. The greatest thing about teaching is the memories my children will have of all the incredible things we have dove together over the years, because we so much time to spend together. My IM plan has also reached it's peak mileage. This year I have been aware of not overdoing it. I do add mileage and time onto the long bike and runs but this year I did it in smaller increments. So my long rides have been 80, 90, 80, recovery week, and last week my first 100. Runs have been 16, 18, 16, recovery, and now 20 miles.

After Thurssday's 100 miler I felt ready to tackle the IM for real. I stayed aero 90% of the time and did it in a horrible downpour for most of the time. Mental toughness is there for sure. Doing it 3 days after racing all out in an OLY tells me I have the legs to go 140.6 The only problem was some odd pain in my left knee. Nothing major, no swelling and I had just changed out my cleats for a new pair. I couldn't do my long run on Friday so Saturday morning my buddy and I set off for a decently paced 20 miler in the humid 80 degree PA morning. Everything was good until mile 16. We were telling stories, as usual, and I was laughing so hard I believe I pulled a groin. The final 4 miles were progressively harder as my left leg's muscles started to take turns shutting down. Got home and decided to do my 40 minute easy spin on the trainer in the basement and take it real easy. As soon as I pedaled my left knee started barking. It felt like it was out of place. No spinning for me. I stretched and it felt decent. Got my family together and headed to the Y for a quick 30 minute easy swim and some fun. Felt good. Got home, got out of the car, and me left knee was aching. For the 1st time in longer than I can remember, I spent an afternoon on the couch. My wife took the kids shopping for back to school clothes and I chilled out with my dog Utley, Tiger Woods, and a couple of bags of ice.

There was no swelling in my knee but the ice felt great. I popped a few Advil before bed and planned on an easy ride and transition run the next morning if it felt good. Upon waking up I had zero stiffness or pain. AS I was getting ready I checked my cleats. Sure enough, the left cleat had moved over a cm to the right form it's previous position. Silver sharpy outline on the bottom of shoes are magic. I moved it back, got on the bike and it was like a Dr. snalled my knee back into proper alignment. That simple. Had a great ride and transition run. Felt almost no effects from the previous day's 20 miler. Time to do it all over again this week.