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Embrace the Grind

Sept 4, Day 205

Recent Personal Bests:

  1. Longest bike ride (4.5 hours, 80.2 miles)
  2. Longest workout (5 hours)
  3. Longest swim (2.2 miles)

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The hamstring has held up so far.  I think the rest I took last week did it good.

Tuesday’s run was miserable, I won’t even try to kid you.  I wore a compression sleeve, rolled out the muscle, and did everything I could to prep it.  But it was an interval workout and there was no way it would be easy because of the pounding.  I managed to do all 4 of my seven minute repetitions at Z3, but it hurt.  The good news was I was able to do it.

Wednesday morning’s ride was more intervals.  It still hurt, but not as bad since the bike is more forgiving and less impactful.  Same with the swim that night.  I was worried going into the next morning’s run because it was a long run of 2 hours, 15 minutes.  I decided to not use the brace because while it was supportive it was also constrictive and I wondered if it was causing some of the discomfort.  Turns out it was a good decision: the run went just fine.

So, the verdict on recovery is basically:

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Which is good, because it’s getting really tough.  The day after that big run I had a 2.2 mile swim and another hour bike ride.  The plan gave me Saturday to recover from the run and swim and then Sunday I had a 4.5 hour ride followed immediately by a half hour run.

I won’t kid you, those workouts are intimidating to look at on the schedule.  I have no doubt I can do it, but I also have no doubt it will be hard.  It’s hard to want to do this to yourself week in, week out.  The mental grind is real.  But, if you want to Ironman, you have to put in the work.  At least, I keep telling myself that.

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For Sunday’s ride I got a later start than I wanted for a variety of reasons, and it was a challenging ride.  I set out on the country roads so that I could simulate Louisville as best I could.  I even wore my TRI kit to get used to that.  I rode north 32 miles on the west side of Tuttle Creek lake, then turned around, rode back 10 miles, then cut east across the top half of the lake.  That took me another 20 miles, then I cut south on the east side of the lake, crossed the dam, and then criss-crossed the highway a bit until I hit the end of my time.  It’s a good ride, but it’s a long, lonely road.

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I made a point to stop every hour or so and stretch out, eat, and simulate a 5 minute break at an aid station.  The bike responded well, my body seemed to respond well too.  I got tired in the shoulders and back again, but it seemed to take much longer than my ride 2 weeks ago.  But, it’s a long time to be on a bike and it was after 1PM before I finally pulled in back home.  By then, it was on it’s way to a well over 90 degree day with humidity.  I decided to do my run on the treadmill because I was concerned I would not make it in the heat.

It was hard to run.  It took a good half mile of walking before I felt up to running, and then I ran in spurts, walking quite a bit.  I’m actually OK with that, because so long as I can keep moving, I can finish.  But you start to really appreciate just how HARD it is to do a marathon after doing so much else.  It’s one thing to know it in your mind, but to experience running after a ride like that is a whole different animal.  It’s OK if I have to walk.  Just keep moving.

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Turns out when I weighed after I had lost more than 10 pounds over the course of the workout.

And it won’t get easier.  Next week it’s 5 hours and a run.  Then it will be 5.5.  And 6.  By the time I get to Louisville I’ll be ready mentally to take it on.  That’s only 41 days away now.

I can do this.  I’ll be ready.

Cheers!

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