Thursdays are typically dedicated to my long runs. So this Thursday after work I laced up the trainers and tried to make my way up the valley to Camelback mountain. My plan called for 2 1/2 hours, so about 16-17 miles. Your long runs and long bike rides are by far the most important workouts of the week because this is where you really build your endurance and teach your body to cope with being in constant motion for more than the average duration. I felt extremely good until about mile 12 when I could feel my body start to wind down. I assumed it was just because I was dehydrated or something so I took another couple gels to see if my body needed some fuel. That seemed to work for a little while. I slowed down my pace to probably a 10/min mile and then eventually to a walk. It turns out I just had to pee really bad ha ha. So after that dilemma I finished up the run but I was still a few miles from the house. I purposely ran further and turned around later so I could get my body used to sustaining constant movement over an extended period of time. So in total the workout was just under four hours. I ran about 2:50 and walked about an hour.
Friday was a recovery day. So I just had a quick 2000 meter swim. I actually hired a coach to help with my stroke mechanics. This guy works magic I tell you. He told me I have a natural swim stroke, but I lack the fundamentals that "normal" swimmers have. It takes me about 16-18 strokes to get from one length of the pool to the other, and after some drills I was easily doing it in 15 (Most pro Ironmen do it in 11). Elongating your stroke length is a huge deal for two reason, the less strokes you take the less energy you use, and the less strokes you take the longer your body glides through the water and therefore covering more distance. I plan to train with him once a week up until Brazil just to give me an extra little edge because I am not a very keen swimmer ha ha.
This Saturday will be another long workout. A 5-hour bike ride, so around 80 miles. I will be riding Bee Line again so everybody and their brother doing Ironman Arizona will be on the course checking it out most likely. So I will have plenty of friends to keep me company. Sunday will be an awesome day. I am volunteering for Ironman Arizona and they have me posted as a "finish line catcher". Basically when these people cross the finish line they pretty much collapse.Because their bodies are in motion from 8-16 hours depending on their ability the human body is not taught to withstand that much stress and when they cross the finish line their body literally shuts down because a their energy stores are completely depleted (The Chris Legh video below this post is a good example). It will also be cool because I will get to see the all the awesome pros finish then see all my good friends finish. I feel a little left out however. I was supposed to race this Ironman but after my Half Iron in October I had a terrible case of tendinitis and my knee swelled up to the size of a softball and filled with fluid... no bueno.
Oh and some other good news. The girlfriend is in town :) She has been very supportive with the whole Ironman training. She understands that I need my afternoon naps, and she understands that if I don't eat every couple hours I get snappy, and she understands that I cannot stay out late on weekends because I have a hellish training day in the morning. If I was her I wouldn't put up with me ha ha. She has been great though :) This Sunday will also be a good chance for her to see what an Ironman actually is. Most people think it is just a bunch of health freaks out proving their manhood by moving around for half the day. It is much more than that, but people rarely "get it". These events have such a good vibe to them. There really is just so much energy in the place and everyone is feeling it. The people doing these events just don't wake up one morning and go... hell I am gonna go out their and do a little Ironman today. These people dedicated their entire year to training, they sacrificed their fun time, their family time, and their work time to accomplish something that not many people have an appreciation for. So hats off to all of you guys participating in IMAZ this Sunday, you guys rock! (I will hand you a cold beer at the finish line)
Last weekend when I was in San Diego I got to see an amazing art gallery in La Jolla. Peter Lik, a native Aussie has some of the most impressive works I have ever seen!He does mostly landscape shots in the U.S. and Australia. When I walked into the gallery the first thing I asked was "are these back-lit?" The colors are so vivid and just pop right out of the frame. I promised the salesman if I ever made any money in this life time my house would be filled with his wonderful prints. Here is his website (peterlik.com). Check it out, but trust me the internet pictures do not even compare to the real thing. The attached picture was taken at dusk in Page, Arizona.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas A. Edison