153 days: Test weekend results

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. We’re well over halfway there on the calendar… and about to kick this thing into high gear on the fundraising front! Raised so far: $4,422! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of our causes here, or find out how you can get involved by pinging me on Facebook or by dropping me a note.

Reminder: There are now less than two weeks remaining to double your donation to a couple of great causes. Until May 4 I’ve pledged up to $500 to match donations through our cause made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska and to the American Heart Association. Follow the link, donate, I’ll match it. This is particularly important right now as little Kyle continues his heroic fight.

“Test Weekend” results

One week ago I wrote about the severe lack of training accomplished this year, but I moved forward with some big events – a 13.1 (half marathon) followed two weeks later by a 26.2 (marathon) – and how I had a challenging 70.3 (half Ironman triathlon) looming on the immediate horizon.

I could fake my way through the long runs… but there is no way to fake your way through a half Ironman.

This last weekend was to be my test weekend, to see if I had the fitness and mental strength to make it through the tough Ironman 70.3 St George course on the first weekend in May. Over the course of a weekend, I had to prove to myself that I could complete each event on courses of similar difficulty. With two weeks to go until race day, this past weekend was that test.

Saturday was bike day. In order to match the St George bike leg I needed to complete the following: 56 miles on the racing bike. At least 2552 vertical feet of climbs. Traverse at least one monster hill after mile 40. So, how did that go? By these metrics, great. 56 miles complete. 3196 feet of climbs. A final gnarly climb up a switchback road at about mile 40. BUT… I wasn’t anywhere near as fast or powerful as I was at this time last year. I need to log in some serious miles to get that brute strength back. Grade: B (because I know I can do MUCH better than I demonstrated on this ride).

Elevation profile for the test bike ride - that is about what it looks like when you climb over Palos Verdes twice... Last summer a normal ride was four such passes over the hill.

Elevation profile for the test bike ride – that is about what it looks like when you climb over Palos Verdes twice… Last summer a normal ride was four such passes over the hill.

I've always enjoyed cycling... but it is taking rides like this around Palos Verdes that made me fall in love with the bike. Views, climbs, descents, ocean breezes.... ahhhhhh.... even if it is a fairly brutal 56-miler.

I’ve always enjoyed cycling… but it is taking rides like this around Palos Verdes that made me fall in love with the bike. Views, climbs, descents, ocean breezes…. ahhhhhh…. even if it is a fairly brutal 56-miler.

Sunday had to pull double duty. It began with the swim… I needed to get in 1.2 miles without any rest stops. Pretty straightforward. I got up early in the morning, hit the pool at the gym, started off the first 1/2 mile at a pretty moderate pace until I hit my groove… and the rest of the swim felt GREAT. Probably my best swim since last summer! I started to fade a little bit in the last 200 meters or so, but I was still quite pleased with this swim. Grade: A- (because of that small fade at the end).

After the swim we walked the dog, grabbed some coffee, and then I headed out to the bluffs around the Palos Verdes Peninsula to knock out 13.1 miles of running with at least 700 feet of elevation gain, at a 7:30 pace, 30 seconds/mile off my planned race pace (I usually try to race at 7:00/mile in half Ironman runs). So, how did that go? Well, I got in 13.7 miles (check!). I registered 972 feet of elevation gain (check!). But I bonked at miles 10 and 11.7. (uh-oh!). My final pacing was 7:47/mile… that isn’t going to cut it come race day, particularly directly on the heels of the swim & bike. Grade: C.

Not to be outdone by the cycling test leg, this run was a 1.5 times around the long loop I run on the bluffs of Palos Verdes... often on trails along the cliff edge with ocean crashing below. Gorgeous. Such a wonderful (and hilly) place to run!

Not to be outdone by the cycling test leg, this run was 1.5 times around the long loop I run on the bluffs of Palos Verdes… often on trails along the cliff edge with ocean crashing below. Gorgeous. Such a wonderful (and hilly) place to run!

Test weekend wiped me out.

But I passed.

One more week of serious training with a couple of epic workouts on Saturday. Personal commitments will make high volume training difficult on Sunday, so that will be day one of taper week. And then we head to Utah for race weekend.

Two big goals for this week: get in some good miles without hurting myself, and work on my fuel/hydration strategy. You see, I have this problem of tending to forget to eat… I’ve found a way around the upset stomach issues, Scratch Labs hydration and Honey Stinger waffles/chews/gels have proven to work well, but I forget to eat them until it is too late. Every ride and run this week will be focused on forcing myself to fuel and hydrate.

Today is the most important training day of the week, however. After test weekend… I am taking full advantage of REST DAY.

This entry was posted in The Journey, Training Check-In. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s