Reeses Takes No Prisoners
Training for Ironman always involves countless hurdles and barriers that must be vaulted over with reckless abandon. There are of course, the universal dilemmas: family, time, money, health. How you order that list largely depends on who you are. If family is the last one on the list, your either lucky like myself, or that problem will quickly eliminate itself soon.
Then there the unique complications, those things that are born within the lives and insanities of each athlete. For me, this would includes things like weather (its already 30 in the AM..today a high of 50), daylight, grad school, work, and my worsening crotch soreness (I need new cycling shorts). But of all obstacles that can cause a crash en route to Ironman Arizona, none can match the horror of….HALLOWEEN.
My fear of Halloween is not born of some weird phobia of zombies, cheesy doctor costumes, or my dislike of Tim Burton. Quite the contrary actually, I’m THAT guy with THAT house when it comes to Halloween; we’ve been decorated for two weeks already. No, there is only one reason I spend at least an hour a day crying in my closet around Halloween: CANDY.
Some people may think that because I’m a doctor who spends hours a day exercising, I must be a health nut. You know, eating only air seasoned with artificial salt. Let me break that stereotype for you. I love to eat. I love to eat GOOD food. My favorite food is bacon. It is what I call my “death row” food. I have a knack for making great BBQ and chicken wings. I would trade a kidney for good southern fried chicken and ribs. I can deep fry fresh corn chips in less than three minutes. I drink. Still, I don’t smoke. (That’s right, I’m giving you the one eye brow up…you know who you are).
And I love candy. Its not just the flavors either. When I see a lemon drop, I don’t just see a flavored piece of sugar. I see history. I see a flavor that has stretched back centuries, delighting children and adults alike across Europe and the Americas. When I see a Hershey Bar, I see a flavor that is an example of American ingenuity. A candy that provided a brief moment of relief and a sense of home to soldiers abroad. I smell an aroma that still fills the air in Hershey, PA (I have family that lives there….great golf course…and chocolate Martinis). Candy is an experience, not a food, for me.
I can curb my desires for all other food sins. I can count how many times I have been to McDonalds this year on one hand. Once. For breakfast. I haven’t had fried chicken in 1.5 years. I haven’t made wings in three years. Candy? I just had three “Fun Size” Reeses Pumpkin bites.
Ah, Reeses peanut butter cups. My absolute favorite. If they didn’t have this knack for melting faster than my credit rating, I would pack one in my special needs bag on the bike. Benjamin Franklin had it wrong. Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are proof that God loves us.
When I signed up for Ironman Arizona, I forgot to figure that the supermarkets would be filled to the brim with Halloween Candy. Resisting candy has proven to be the hardest part of training this go around. Who cares about working a full time job, raising kids, and going to grad school all at the same time. If I can’t real my urges in soon, I’m going to being racing Clydesdale.
Luckily, through some weird mental justifications….and hiding by my wife, I have been able to stay relatively away from the sweets. I also have been furiously pawning things off on my kids. My current weight is 138, about two pounds less than my CDA race weight. This may be secondary to my new love of quinoa, or due to the fact that I have been training harder this time. Either way, I will take it.
Number side, its been another busy week. My mind if frankly about to tear itself apart; two in a year is a lot for a middle of the pack age grouper. For the week in review, I started off Monday with 5 miles on the track. I have 2X 1.5 miles at 7:12 and 7:06 pace.
Swimming finally took a turn for the better on Monday and Tuesday, and I was cranking out 300y at 4:58 comfortably. Ive been focusing on “going over the barrel” more in my stroke and improving my catch. Finally feeling more on form.
Wed, my cold was raging big time so I swapped my run and bike. Did a quick hour with 3 X 5 minutes of quick sprints on the trainer.
On Thursday, hit the track again for my longest run. 16.1 miles at 8:59 overall pace. This included 2X12 minutes at roughly 8:30 pace, the rest was between 8:45-9:20. This is still lightning fast to what my long runs were before CDA. Back then, I was running 10:10 during my long sessions. I think this is where I have seen the most improvement this go around, and I am looking forward to the run at Arizona. I’m hoping I can keep under 10:00 the whole way.
Friday, my cold and body was yelling at me pretty nastily about that run, so I took the day off. Yes, taking days off are allowed during training, but don’t ever think doing so is easy.
Saturday, I just had to sleep in. I’m human. I got started late, and with plenty of studying to do, I hit the trainer for four hours. Oh what a ride. After a 30 minute warm up, I started the intervals. Here’s how the numbers turned out:
10 min zone 4-5: IF .902
12 min zone 4-5: IF .908
15 min zone 4-5: IF .929
12 min zone 4-5 IF .902
15 min zone 4-5 IF .935
This was followed by 3×13 min of Zone 3 with the rest at Ironman pacing with an intensity factor of .70. I can say, I was a little toasted after this.
Today, I followed it up with a 1:30 time trial outside. Good ride, chilly, and not just in regards to weather. Everyone has that one special intersection they just hate to go through. Mine is one of those blinking red lights with a65mph speed limit crossing. I went through no problem. I came back through 30 minutes later after flipping. I was greeted by the Fire Department armada for a HEAD ON collision. Please my fellow cyclist, always think every driver is a doped up drunk alcoholic. Not saying that the people involved said wreck were, but we must be defensive. My thoughts and prayers to those injured.
So here we are. The last two weeks before taper. Yes, taper does involve a 1.5 hour run, and a 3 hour ride. But that is way better than the last week before taper, which involves another 100 mile ride followed by a six mile run and another 16 mile run. This is when things start getting really exciting. Ive started ordering a couple of new gizmos for the race. I have a Profile Aqualite bottle, and unfortunately, the velcro has started wearing out. So it always falls to the lowest height during riding thanks to that pesky gravity thing, and that means it unfortunately vibrates on top of my front brake. I would rather not snap off that brake during the Ironman. I have gone back and forth as to what replacement I should seek. In the end, it doesn’t really matter too much; I’m no Craig Alexander. But I decided to go with the Torhans bottle set up.
I’m loving the shape and the optional computer tray. Right now, I have to stare pretty much at my back wheel to read my Garmin; the Torhans setup will put in more in my face. Plus, thanks to the extra baffle inside, the water splashing is about zero. I swear, you should see my bike after an Ironman with the Profile Aqualite. Usually, the entire front of the bike is covered in sticky Gatorade. Plus, the Torhans is made by a bunch of pilots….and from my last post, you know my love of flying. Its a win win. I’ll post a video review when I get it in.
Stay tuned! Time for some candy….I mean quinoa!