Monday, August 24, 2009


I slept in on Sunday and enjoyed the morning. The weather has really changed for the better this last week. The high was only 84 degrees and the humidity seemed reasonable. It actually felt rather cool in the morning.

I put my race wheels on my tri bike and did some last minute adjustments – lubing the chain, etc. After lunch I headed toward the trail head for the Sunday group ride. I arrived and there were just not very many people. Several of the regulars were away. There were quite a few people chatting (including me) and we got a late start. As we headed out a few minutes late the group was still not together. I was with a front group of about 8 guys and we were all soft pedaling. We were going really slowly for about the first 5 miles. At just past Jackson Station I decided to start riding at my ironman pace. I was again just feeling out the bike and the intensity level. I took the group out for a few miles and then yielded to the group. No one was contesting the lead but I did not want to hold anyone back. I dropped to the back of the pack and shifted to the left to stay out of the draft. The others continued to pull us out to Sumrall at a good pace. However, I was able to stay at the back and continue with my ironman pacing plan. I was staying up easily and staying in my zone. I did push it a few time (I know – not very smart) just because I felt like hitting it. It was fun to feel fast for a little while. I dropped back and chatted with Stephen for a few – he was not feeling well and was not able to hold the pace. I watched the pack get a good gap on me – 3 or 4 hundred yards and then put the hammer down. My heart rate climbed quickly and I caught the group with ease. It felt great.

At the Sumrall turn around we waited and waited for the rest of the group. A lone rider arrived within a few minutes. She said that the rest of the group had stopped at Epley. That is out of the ordinary. No one wanted to venture any further today (including myself) so we headed back. The pace stayed high but again it was within my ironman pacing. I got a lot of last minute advice from John P (the legend) – number one thing said was to stop and pee while on the bike. Good advice – I do not think that I will be peeing on the bike this time.

As I pulled off towards home, just before Jackson Station, I made up my mind to do a shirt brick and test out my run / walk strategy. I have talked about this but have never really practiced it – I know – once again not very smart. I did a quick transition and put my long distance running shoes on – no socks. I headed out of the garage and picked up the pace immediately. I was not really sure what intensity to run this run portion of the run / walk. I let my heart rate creep up out of my comfortable zone. It felt good. The one mile mark came up quick at 7:36 and I started the fast ‘power walk’. My heart rate dropped way down into recovery zone and then I hit the run again. One mile down but I was feeling good. I started running after one minute with a near spring in my step. Mile two (with the walk) clocked at 7:28. It was faster than the first mile and the first mile had no walking. Yes, I was running fast during the run – I doubt that I will be able to hold that for a marathon but it was encouraging. Mile three was a little slower – but not due to fatigue. I happened to run into Tony on the trace and we talked about my training and the race being so close. Tony has been very encouraging this year – it was nice to run into him. With good luck wishes I finished out mile three at 8:14 and started the walk. I was only running 4 miles for this brick and ended back at the house with the last mile being 7:35. All of these miles were much faster than I would have thought them to be with a minute walking. I know the weather played an extensive role but, with my fingers crossed, next Sunday in Louisville should be beautiful!

This brick was very satisfying! I know that the pace during my ironman will not be anywhere near this fast but it felt good today. And yes – this will be the last real session prior to the race. I got 30 miles on the bike and 4 miles running.


Mel-2nd Chances said...

happy to hear that you had some success with the run/walk :) Enjoy the easy week leading up to your IM!!

Marci said...

Happy your run/walk was a success... you never know when it might come in handy... ahen this coming Sunday! Enjoy your easy week :)

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

What's the latest weather report for the Ironman?

Missy said...

Whatever you do, just don't shoot your wad at the beginning of the run and you'll be golden! Everyone comes out of T2 WAY too fast, be patient.