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triathlon

Two weeks out and I’m feeling relatively okay with where I’m at. Last weekend I ran 14 miles with some hills, the weekend before I open-water swam then bricked in a 33-mile bike. The distances aren’t going to be a problem, through stringing them together will be most certainly be interesting.

My open-water swim experience starts and ends with some races I did back in Arizona (re: no wetsuit necessary). We’re pretty lucky in that just about 40 minutes from our home is a section of the Snake River that’s perfect for swimming and time-trialing (flat and pretty straight with little traffic). The university rowing team has a boathouse down there and a couple of 2k courses buoyed, which makes for great swim practice. She kayaked next to me while I swam out almost a mile and then back; The water was a chilly 54 degrees but in the wetsuit, it actually wasn’t too bad. And I am not a fan of the cold water.

Nutrition is going to be a little bit of a wildcard. I’ve been training with Clif Bars and Clif Shots, which they’ll have on-course, but I haven’t been training well. Most of my long days I’ve gone with too little fuel and bonked. Just haven’t been smart about it. I believe that I have a pretty good plan for race day, but I guess we’ll see how well it works:

4:45am – Breakfast: instant oatmeal with almond butter and agave nectar. also a banana, water, and small coffee
6:00am – Preswim: ClifShot
6:45am – T1: ClifBar
7:00am – Bike: aero bottle with straw will have a Nuun, will drink (and refill) as needed. behind the seat will have a bottle with 6 ClifShots mixed with water, will drink 1/6 of that every 30 min on bike.
10:00am – T2: ClifBlocks
10:15am – Run: Will start out run with a bottle in-hand filled with a Nuun. That’ll get refilled as needed and will take another ClifShot about every 3 miles. Will start drinking Coke at 10 miles or if I seriously bonk after 7.

Those times are obviously approximated and rounded as a guide. I know that I can handle Clif Shots and there will be aid stations with those every 15 miles on the bike and at about every mile on the run so I should be solid. Will probably carry one in my water bottle pouch thing just in case.

Post-race nutrition is going to consist of a hoppy IPA and a burger.

The last few parts for my tri bike “war rig” should be showing up on the doorstep here tomorrow. Those would be a new set of rubbers (Conti Grand Prix 4000s), an XLab Mini Wing behind-the-seat water cage setup, and a carbon Profile Design seatpost. Just cuz. I went with the XLab Mini Wing for it’s compatibility with my ISM PR 2.0 saddle; It’s got some weirdly angled rails that a lot of hydration systems won’t mount to. My next post will cover the bike setup more specifically.

The other thing I need to work out this weekend will be my bike transition. I don’t think I’m going to do the whole “shoe’s already clipped into the pedals” thing…but I’m going to try to out to see if it’s feasible. I also need to practice how I’ll dismount the bike, which sounds dumb but I haven’t gone into a transition zone in nearly decade and I’d rather not eat shit in front of a crowd.

Those are my thoughts for the day. I’m going to snap a few pictures of the bike this weekend and slap up another post on that, since I think it’s cool. Also on Thursday is my last athlete check-in with the physio so I’ll get a final set of numbers. I can already tell ya that I wish I were about 8 pounds lighter than I am (though I have no idea how much I weigh). Anyways we’ll see. Adios.

The training calendar reminded me this morning that I’m a mere ten weeks from Coeur d’Alene 70.3, which is April 24. Things are pretty well on track as best as I can tell. I’m coming off of a bit of a foot issue that arose due to some overzealous (non-scheduled) running. Took two weeks off and am easing back into the weekly mileage.

Last Saturday went out for what I thought was going to be a chill 5-miler but then the weather turned. Total downpour began less than 10 minutes into the run and the crux was a 20 mph headwind, with rain, on a mile-long grade. Brutal. Type II.

To circle back to the foot-issue, the AT reassured me it wasn’t PF nor was it a fracture. Simply a strain. After some time off (10-ish days) I started a prescription of daily foot exercises and stretches such as picking up a towel with my toes, standing and walking on my toes, rolling out the bottom of my feet on a ball and also a frozen plastic Coke bottle (which feels great).

I also took the opportunity to jump into a new pair of runners. For the past year or so I’ve been in Newtons which are lightweight, minimalistic, zero/low drop, and encourage fore-foot striking. Though I’m not certain the Newtons had anything to do with my foot issue(s), it was time for a new pair that I could break into before race day and I’d been hearing great things about Hokas, so I went for it with a pair of Bondi 5s. So far they feel great, completely different from the Newtons.

Yesterday was another PT check-in and numbers are solidly reflecting the increase in training over these past few months. Body fat dropped 4% since January which is significant and good to see, because my overall weight hadn’t changed much. Re-did some core tests and improved across the board. All good things.

Also made the big wetsuit purchase and opted for the Orca S6, which assists with keeping the legs afloat. Me being a relatively new swimmer will be thankful for this in the open water. I haven’t tried it on yet, but am planning on some river swims once the water temps get above 50 here in the next month or so. As for the bike, it’s still in pieces on my sofa. All that is needed is a headset and a stem (plus some hydration hardware). Build day is probably going to be that first week in May, which doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to get accustomed to riding in the aero position (which I’ve never done before) but I think setting it up on the trainer and spending a few hours per week on it with some weekend outside rides, all should be good.

At this moment, I’m actually on a flight to Austin, Texas for a bachelorette weekend. I don’t think I can afford the total lapse in training but I’ve found a pool that’s about 2.5 miles away from where we’re staying. Goal is to get up early, run to the pool for a swim session and run back. If I can average five miles of running and 2k of swimming per day while I’m vacation I think that’ll be a total success.

Primarily stoked to visit Mellow Johnnie’s, eat some crazy good BBQ, and just relax with some friends.

Signing out for now.

Time flies, man. It seems like just yesterday I was in my 20’s working at The Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, racing triathlons, running the desert, and feeling invincible. That was close to 8 years go and a lot has changed, which I’ve eluded to in earlier posts.

I haven’t raced a tri, alone crossed any sort of finish line since moving up to Washington. I’ve slowed down, gained weight, and injured myself in the sporadic attempts to jumpstart some semblance of a fitness regimen.

Finally I can say my head is back in it. I can tell when I’m just going through the motions hoping that the “training gear” of my mind will finally engage. It’s [not] happened so many times before, that I’m thankful to recognize when it’s no longer just a wishful thought. I’ve been following a set training plan for a month now and am loving every second of it.

The first major goal: Ironman 70.3 Tempe, 2018

Because nobody reads this blog anyway, I’m unapologetically going to use it to document some of my wins and struggles getting to this race. There are many triathlon blogs out there, but this one is mine.

Let’s start off with some (humbling) numbers. I have been partaking in a great program put on my employer (a certain PAC12 university) that is, essentially, an employee wellness program but designed for more athletic participants. Within this program I check-in every couple of months for some testing. I’ve been three times this year since January, and here are some of my latest results:

22.56kg fat mass, 79.6kg fat-free mass = 21.5% fat
VO2: 41.4 ml/kg/min

There’s more I could report but let’s not. The point is, I’ve great opportunity to make some gains and I’m looking forward to the challenge and the progress. Next check-in date in early August so we’ll see what goes down (or up).

Until then, I’ll drop an update here every couple of weeks with some basics on what training I’ve done and what I’ve learned along the way. So there it is. Now I’ve got some miles to cover.

Current training track:

Basically toe-ing the line.

I think I’m ready?

T-Minus 10 Weeks

Ouch.

This will be like last year but more and better.

INWCXS 2017

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