So I've been quiet for a little bit now. I've been really concentrating on upping my mileage and being consistent in May. This past weekend was my first test in a while and overall I think it went real well. I was entered in the Olympic distance on saturday and the Xterra on Sunday, something I've done for 4 years now. At dinner with Leslie on Thursday night, I started thinking that maybe doing the Deuceman (1/2 iron distance) instead of the Olympic might be a good idea considering I was going to do an extra 50 or so miles after the Olympic and then run another 4 miles. And after the Xterra I was going to run 13 miles and ride another 25 before heading home. Leslie said of course it's a good idea and so we came up with a new plan if I could switch into the long course. I kind of had anxiety over this decision and kind of got nervous even though I knew it probably was a better idea and about perfect timing with 3 weeks to go til IM Coeur d'Alene. I finally got to Show Low, AZ after much rain, sun, rain, and some short lived warmth. I went to check in half hoping they wouldn't let me "upgrade", some would probably call it crazy, since most in the line were "downgrading". Well, gave the lady a little extra money and the switch was complete. Over to the hotel to switch wheels and eat and watch the Nuggets get crushed.
I woke and headed over to lake. Set up and basically was ready to go pretty quickly. "Set, Go" and were off. A pretty clean start and felt pretty strong the whole way, almost fast. Come out and off to a clean transition and bike mount. I usually have one of the top transitions no matter what the distance. Out hammering on the bike and noticing there really isn't any wind. That was short lived as we turn east and end up having some kind of wind the rest of the way back. I'm pushing 25 for quiet a bit and get a little concerned I'm blowing out my legs. On the downhills I'm going 35+ and getting my doors just totally blown off. I really don't think I'm going that slow but apparently I am. We come into Taylor and turn to come back to Show Low, this is when the real climbs or gradual grinds start. As soon as we start up the 1st one, 4 guys are right in front of me. By the time we get to where the Olympic distance merges I've past back 7-8 speed demons that can go up hill. I come into transition and get out pretty quick again and actually feel pretty good considering how hard I pushed the bike. The run went pretty well the first lap probably because of all the Olympic folks I had to pass. The second lap went pretty good for 4 miles or so and then around 10 miles I really started to feel it and faded hard. The temperature was about perfect mid 60's just didn't get the heat aclimation I was hoping for. I ended up S-32:56 B-2:34:49 R-1:46:29 for a 4:57:20. That got me 21st overall and 5th in my age group. Not a great day but I took on probably one package of those Gu Chomps and one water bottle of water on the bike. I know it wasn't enough and trying to dial in my nutrition was one of the major goals. At the finish I was a little baked, but the skies were getting pretty black and so I packed up and headed back to the hotel to try and ride and run a little more. I got back and it just started pouring so I headed out to get something to eat and recover, which was probably the smarter idea anyway. By 4 it had stopped raining and was getting semi dry. I drug myself out and did some loops past the park entrance and the hotel to get in 17 miles and then ran close to 3 miles. Both felt real good considering how fried I was earlier. Went back to dinner and mulled over narrow tires or fatter tires for the Xterra. I eventually stuck with the narrow tires which I think saved me some major grief on the mtb course.
Sunday I awake to another perfectly clear day and head over to the lake once again. Long story short get all set up in seconds and we go. Another scrum in the swim. I'm not so sure why the Xterra swims are so crazy and knock down grind outs but they are. It opened up by the 1st turn and I started passing people back at this point. Another clean transition and out on the mtb. This is the first time I've been on this course where it was wet or even slightly moist, there were puddles everywhere, normally it is a choking dust bin. Started up the gradually climb and it got really slippery and the mud just really caked up. I past a few people that were getting gummed up and their tires wouldn't role. When we got to the up hill rock garden the 5 guys that had just past me were off their bikes. I took the opportunity to run up and past them. I think I got a good gap which I knew I'd need for the downhill, since I've been over the front of the bike a couple times here. I managed to only loose one place where I usually loose 4 or 5 on the downhill. Most guys are physco's downhill, I prefer to not crash and get hurt. From here it's pretty much a smoker back to transition. Apparently people recognize me and just after leaving transition I pass 3 or 4 guys and I say "come on guys lets run this out" and one responds with "I knew I had to get ahead of you before the run". I pass 6 or so folks which is good for 17th. My legs felt very good on the run and I didn't have any deep down tired feeling in my legs on the bike which would be fairly normal after a 1/2 iron distance. The numbers, S-14:15 B-1:25:19 R-37:05 for 17th overall and 5th in my age group. Same drill as yesterday, pack up, clean the bike, and head back to the car to get in another run before the rain. I got in 3.5 mile or so and felt fairly good although I wasn't running very fast. Got in the car and decided to wait on food til Snowflake or Holbrook. By Holbrook it was raining and thundering like crazy again.
It rained pretty much the whole way back last night and it was raining still this morning when I woke up. Overall I think I got in exactly the perfect weekend and I'm not sore just a touch tired probably more from the driving. I really feel like I'm ready and due for a good IM in Idaho if I can get my nutrition figured out better. As much as I hope it is hot, I actually hope it ends up not being hot since I haven't really had any heat training in several weeks and that seems to be the X factor in me getting my nutrition figured out................I think. I got the nutrition down once or at least it worked, but I haven't been able to get it right since. It wasn't good, maybe it was the week or so leading up to the race that was the difference............Not exactly sure. So that's what I'm working on from here on.
Anyway, I know the details are kind of boring but I have an Xterra this Saturday and then 2 weeks of tapering and obsessing over food on the bike.
Til next time