How has your IMC training been going? And by "how has it been going" we mean what are the raw data numbers.
It went quite well. The raw data numbers are secret. Well, not really secret. But I don’t generally share the details of how I train. I’m generally much happier to share how I race, because that’s in many ways less informative overall than how someone trains, though it can be illustrative and helpful from a pacing perspective. Generally, I swam, biked, and ran. Surprising, I know. It was probably not as much as much as some people might think, but I think enough. At least for me. There were some significant differences between how I prepared for this Ironman with my new coach, Michael Kruger, than how I had prepared for the previous two Ironmans with my old coach, Joel Filliol, and I’m interested to see how that translates into how I feel during the race. Overall, it will be a new experience to do Canada with actual preparation, unlike in 2007 when I just did the race. I’ve ridden every mile of the course at least three times, so I feel like I know the course. But of course the winds, which are fickle in the Okanagan valley, can make a huge difference about how the race actually plays out on the day. But overall, I feel like I have a great sense of the course and hopefully I can use that to a small advantage.
How will you taper before Canada?
I think I have a pretty typical taper. I cut the volume down quite a bit starting two weeks out. I still do some race pace stuff so you don’t forget what it feels like to go fast. Some of it depends on how I feel. On days where I feel really tired, I might cut some workouts short. In training, it’s about getting the work done. In taper, it’s about getting the rest in. The only thing that is a bit peculiar is that I live right in the heart on Penticton, so Ironman is really all around. The pool especially becomes crazy before Ironman, so I will probably seek out some of my secret swimming spots to do my taper swims.
You raced there a few years ago, pretty much on a whim but now with three Ironmans under your belt you’re close to a veteran this time. Has your preparation changed much over the past two years? What's been going through your mind since then? Any difference in strategy this time around?
The preparation has changed the most this year as a result of having a new coach, but generally it’s been - at it’s core - similar to the previous years: lots of hard work, then taper. My strategy up to the marathon has been consistent for every race, but I think this is the first race where I think I may have a better idea about how to approach that last big hurdle. The first Ironman, I had no idea what to expect. Last April, I was too cautious. Last November, I was too aggressive. I haven’t ruminated on the errors I made in pacing too much, but I certainly have remained aware of them. Especially in April, where I feel like I let the race happen around me, I don’t want to forget that it’s actually a race against other people, not just yourself and the clock. Hopefully I can find the right balance this time around and can execute my best marathon, though I know that often takes many races.
We at True-Motion are not only fascinated by clothing but also by fast transitions. It is possible to combine compression socks with zippy transitions? What will be your strategy on race day?
I have some compression “sleeves” - socks without feet. I will put on my regular socks, and then pull on the sleeves. Overall, this is much faster than putting on compression socks. But overall, I am still wary of putting the compression socks on. I’ve missed out on 2nd place by 20 seconds in both of the last two races. So I’m not too keen on taking any extra time in transition. I think I’ll time myself and make a call in the next the couple of days about what I’m going to do.
Other than eating copious amounts of Bacon, how do you plan to enjoy your recovery after the race?
I would like to say that I have big plans, but probably I will not really do too much of interest. After Arizona last November, I got engaged, so it will be hard to beat that for a post-Ironman experience. I will cook a lot. Probably sleep a lot. And I will waste lots of time on Slowtwitch. Sounds pretty much the same as my life before Ironman. I wonder if that is a bad thing... I have some things that I’ve put off that hopefully I can get done. Training makes you stupid, so it is hard to do anything that requires serious thought. So hopefully I will be able to exercise my brain some while my body recuperates.
Have you gotten over Michael Jackson's untimely passing yet? Would you ever consider moon-walking across the finishline in Canada?
Sadly, after many attempts in middle school and high school to learn how, I am unable to moonwalk. I think it might be the lack of penny loafers, but probably it is just my ineptitude. I would consider giving it a whirl though, since I think people are willing to forgive many transgressions at the end of an Ironman. Dignity, in most cases, has left the building long before the finishline approaches
Just over a week ago I was supposed to ride in the Connecticut Challenge - a 75mile ride through south eastern CT to raise money in support of Cancer. Unfortunately, days before the ride I became sick with a Stomach virus so was unable to participate.
However, given the very generous $$$s I had been pledged by my sponsors I committed to doing a solo ride the following weekend while we spent a relaxing weekend in New Hampshire with some friends.
We were staying at our friend's house on Sunset Lake, just south west of the largest lake in New Hampshire - Lake Winnipesaukee; so it seemed like an obvious choice to carve a route around the lake. My estimates had one loop of the lake close to the distance I was planning to ride and getting lost wouldn't be a problem as long as I kept the lake to me left at all times!
Waking up saturday morning I discovered the most beautiful right on our doorstep and couldn't resist going for a swim. I figured making the day a triathlon would add to the fun and the added swim would compensate for any lost miles if the ride turned out a little short :)
Who could resist this?
Following a mile swim I then embarked on the voyage around the lake. Foolishly I had not checked out the route between the house and Lake Winnipesaukee before I set off and 2 miles in I encountered a VERY long and fast descent down to the Lake shore. Hmmm...that 2mile delight was waiting for me in the opposite direction upon my completion of the loop - better make sure I get adequate nutrition!
The route as traced by my GPS watch:
Quite hilly! (Note: particularly high points at beginning and end of ride and lack of anything remotely flat in between!)
The ride proved to be very enjoyable. It was very picturesque with fantastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains and for the most part the roads were smooth.
The 2 mile climb at the end proved to be quite a beast but I didn't let it get the better of me. However, just as i crested the peak a cramp kicked into my left calf and I almost fell off my bike as the leg spasmed as I tried to unclip from my pedals. Although the remainder of the ride was more or less downhill this calf pull put an end to any hopes of completing the run with a triathlon and I had to settle for a 70.5 mile bike and 1mile swim instead.
Lake Winnipesaukee from the high point of the ride:
Thanks to all who generously made a donation and I hope the 71.5 mile swim/bike combo is an adequate alternative the the 75mile CT challenge. (I think I did at least emphasize the "challenge" despite being in the wrong state!)