I follow Ironman Canada on twitter and I feel a little jump in my chest every time they post a countdown to the big race. Seriously, how can the race be only 40 days away?? I certainly don’t feel very prepared, probably because my training hasn’t been anywhere near what it was the first time I did the race. While I can’t change the amount of training I’ve done in the past I can do my best to prepare in the next forty days. That includes my team training camp in Penticton this weekend! I also had little heart palpitations when I read the itinerary for this weekend. Even though I’ve done the camp before in 2010 I know what to expect, but seeing it all down on paper is a little scary.
Luckily last week I had some great long workouts that provided a great confidence boost going in to camp!
Thursday – 155 km ride
Long rides have been my downfall in the past. Back in 2010 I had a lot of negative emotions when it came to riding long because I was always at the back of the pack. I really let that get to me and it wasn’t good. My biggest focus for this year has been working very hard to maintain a positive attitude no matter what my position is at on the ride. I also think I’ve had a difficult time dialling in the right nutrition previously. Back on July 7th Kelly and I set out to ride 140 km. Halfway through the ride we stopped to discuss our route. When I put my foot down I got so dizzy that we had to pull off to the side of the road so I could sit down and let it pass. Even though my nutrition up till that point had been okay, after that I didn’t want Infinit and I only wanted fast acting sugars like Gatorade and Coke. I made it to 130 km but I was concerned for my next ride since I didn’t know what caused the dizziness.
I took the day off on Thursday this past week to meet up with Kelly and Tara. The plan was to ride from Canmore out towards Banff for up to 160 km. I carried plenty of Infinit with me, some Gu Chomps and some pretzels. I made sure that I was taking my nutrition in on schedule. The girls pulled away instantaneously but I set out to just enjoy what I was doing. I didn’t focus on how long we were riding for and instead I broke it up in to chunks – riding to Banff, riding to the turnoff for the Bow Valley Parkway, riding to the first split in the road on the parkway. Not thinking about the entire distance at once made things a whole lot easier instead of thinking, “wow, I have to ride how far today?”.
Just as I turned the corner to start one of the first bigger climbs on the Parkway I noticed there was a crazy traffic jam on the hill. That can only mean one thing in the park – wildlife! It was a bit precarious with a bunch of cars pulled off to the side, other cars trying to drive through, and then us on our bikes trying to ride between everyone. Shortly I saw what all the tourists had pulled over to see – there was a bear sitting in the grass, just on the side of the road! I always thought I would be *freaked out* if I saw a bear on the bike. However in this instance there was a wall of tourists between the bear and myself. Folks were pressing to get as close as possible to the bear to get a good photo…which was nuts! I knew if the bear decided to go for anything there were plenty of people between bear and myself. I pedalled on thinking that it was pretty darn cool that I got to see a bear.
90 – 110 km were tough kilometers for me. I hit a bit of mental low as I started to struggle with how much further I had to go but I told myself to snap out of it and to enjoy the slight downhill and tailwind that was happening. My feet started to feel super uncomfortable though. I tried to move my feet around, but ultimately getting off the bike and standing on my feet for a few minutes made it all feel better for the remainder of the ride.
At the end of the day I finished 155 km feeling strong and like I had fuelled really well throughout the ride. It was a good feeling!
Saturday – 2 hour long run
On Saturday I had to knock out my long run. My schedule said to aim for 1:30 – 1:45, but if I felt good to push it out to 2 hours of running. It was overcast and crazy muggy out. The humidity was definitely reflected in my pace as I was running slower than molasses. Oh well. 45 minutes in to the run I stopped by the house to refill my Gatorade and I was just covered in sweat. I managed to resist the pull of the couch and cutie pie Peat requesting scratches and got back out the door as quickly as I could. As I approached 1:30 I realized I was feeling good so decided to push the run to 1:45. As I approached 1:45 I was still feeling good so I decided to go for the full 2 hours. Being able to run for 2 hours was definitely a great confidence boost going in to camp this week.
So next up is camp…which is a crazy thought! Hopefully I can write up my race report from the Great White North Half Iron before I go!