Monday, June 23, 2014


It's race week!!!  I'm not gonna lie, I'm super excited for this week.  Normally, I dread the "taper" and the rest and aches and all the not fun stuff that goes along with it, but this time I'm READY.  This is my 4th Ironman working with Michelle and my 4th Ironman CDA.  Each training "season" has been the same, but also different, this one in particular.  I'm not one to love a big long taper, or rest days, or even weeks for that matter.  My body (when fit) recovers quickly so after big big blocks I need a couple days of light active recovery then I'm ready to get back at it.  Too much rest leaves me feeling slow, sluggish and then takes me a longer time to get back to work.  But, my last couple of weeks have been a bit more "nailed" and intense than normal so I'm way ready for this week!

One thing that has not changed are the infamous "phantom" symptoms.  There are so many of them.
  • Phantom pain (you know you all have them!!):  Oh shit, my "xx" hurts, I think I pulled a muscle, is this inured?, why is my "xx" bothering me.
  • Phantom illness:  lethargy (DUH, you are coming off of months and months of WORK to slowing down, your body is confused!), sickness (my throat hurts), am I getting a cold? (hello allergy season)
  • Phantom fitness loss:  feeling slow, out of shape, how will I EVER do that distance?
  • And one of my favorites, the Phantom weight gain.  I'm SO FAT!! How did that happen in 2 days?

So, this year we're playing a new game in our house.  Any time I allude to one of the above, Shane is instructed to simply say, "PHANTOM."

I think this is definitely my most structured Ironman training phase.  I don't know that it was much difference in what Michelle set out for me to do (although there were definitely differences there), but a bit part of it was my approach.  I did nearly to a T what was set on my schedule.  Set bike intervals, more BSC swim send offs (which my attitude changed for this time, instead of being scared, I just DID and somehow it always worked out), and ironically a bit less running.  Instead of worrying or questioning I just did the work.  I did a lot more training SOLO.  Partially due to my work hours and just not being able to commit to training partners, and partially for selfish reasons because I wanted to do my own thing, and be accountable only for me.

I think if I were to look at my total training hours they will be less, but I believe the quality was there.  I did more cycling on a trainer than ever before (love my wahoo kicker!), ran, swam and even rode at various times of the day and got pretty far out of my comfort zone doing back to back hard, long swims.

I did NOT do as many long runs, and while there may have been a brief moment where I wondered why, I'm not at all worried.  I've got a deep fitness bank from years of base training and consistency in my training program and am feeling good!

With all of the training done and in the bank, it's now officially TAPER mode.  One interesting thing (I won't share all of my crazy training with you all) Michelle had me do (yesterday), 1 week out from Ironman was back up a 4hour brick day (ows, bike, and run) with a 4hour bike ride.  However, the instructions were STRICT.  Soft pedal, sightseeing, stay outside and away from the fridge (bored eating) type of day.  Shane & I headed out to "The Trails of CDA.  It was PERFECT.  Flat, gorgeous, quiet and just what we needed.  These pictures don't even do the ride justice.

It was absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to go back and explore a bit more of the trail (it goes ~75miles one direction, into Montana!

For now, it's back to actually tapering.  Rest, short workouts, good nutrition, sleep, more rest, recovery boots and weather obsession!


Michelle Simmons said...

LOVE IT! Can't wait for you to RACE! You are ready for sure. :)

The Skipping Pixie said...

Haha, love you and your silliness! Phantom is right, I have had a few moments myself the last few days! Glad you feel great and HELLO, it is freakin gorgeous up there...:I just got excited. Don't tell my coach.