Less than three weeks until I make my way down to the water at 12:38pm to kick off the swim at IM 70.3 Boise. I have received by bib number (#1049), athlete guide (more like a book), and wave designation. I start in one of the last waves, which I guess is good when trying not to get trampled by all of the fast swimmers out there. I can’t believe the race doesn’t start until noon. It is going to be really interesting to see what an entire morning of anticipation feels like, as I am typically used to getting up early, immediately getting mentally in the zone, and then setting off well before 9am.
After last week’s dud of a training week, I was able to regroup and pick up the intensity for one of my hardest weeks of training thus far. AND, I finally completed my first 70.3 simulation in order to gauge what my time in Boise might be and to help build my confidence about surviving. More on that to come in a bit. Although I am feeling a little better after last week’s bout with pneumonia, I am still not 100 percent and had to go back to the doctor for a follow-up (that resulted in a further diagnosis of bronchitis). Let’s get to it…
Monday: Completed a 37-mile ride (1 hour and 52 minutes) before Justin and I headed to Portland for the night. Justin had some work obligations and meetings, so I decided it would be fun to tag along, take my tri bike to the Athlete’s Lounge for a tune-up, and spend some time roaming around the city (AKA shopping).
Tuesday: We woke up to gorgeous weather in Portland and while Justin headed off to his meetings, I changed into my running gear and headed out for an 8 mile run along the waterfront. I incorporated several intervals at a 7:00-7:12 pace with cool downs at base pace in between. It felt great!
That afternoon I spent some time at the Athlete’s Lounge, stocked up on a bunch of goodies, and did a little shopping. The hubs gave me “permission” to go to lululemon, which is always a dangerous ticket because I have an obsession with their Cool Racerback tanks and Power Y tanks. One in every color, please. 🙂
Wednesday: I started the morning with a 36-mile ride at easy endurance pace and then met up with my mom for lunch, a long walk, and a trip to Recharge Sport. I had heard about this place through word of mouth and both of the owners (a married couple) are amazing elite athletes here in Bend. We decided to stop in, get the tour, and try out some of the recovery equipment they recommended (first visit is free). The place screams “athlete” and has a really laid back and chill vibe. Both Renee (the owner) and Karly (a sports recovery specialist) were awesome and very insightful about all of the equipment, which ranged from NormaTec compression, to ice compression, infrared sauna, ice bath, laser treatment, and a number of self-therapy options. I tried the compression pants (do I look a little bloated?) and the contrast therapy, jumping back and forth between ice bath and hot tub water. Definitely an awesome place for athletic recovery and performance.
Thursday: SIMULATION DAY! I met up with coach at 9:30am for a 2100m swim (I get extra credit for accidentally swimming an extra 100m), followed by a 56.2-mile bike, and 6-mile run. The swim pretty much sucked. I was having a hard time catching my breath and by the time I headed into that last lap, I was ready for someone to hand me a floatie and margarita and call it a day. I finished the 2100m in 50 minutes, which is horrible for me. Horrible. Hopefully this does not reflect the time I will have in Boise.
Thankfully, the bike cheered me up. I was able to maintain an average speed of 20.7 mph for the first 51 miles and then dropped to 19.8 after the last 5 miles of climbing (which included some pretty significant hills). I finished the 56.2-mile simulation in 2 hours and 50 minutes, followed by a two mile cool down back to our starting point. Shout out to my coach for capturing this photo of me in the zone.
Once we reached the house I was really concerned about my wheezing and coughing, but decided to tough it out and attempt the 6-mile run. Although I had to stop a couple times to cough and catch my breath (it was bad – like breathing through a straw) I was able to finish in 52 minutes with an 8:37 pace. By the time I finished I could barely talk and felt as though my throat was swollen – but I did it! I was 6 miles away from a half-ironman.
Friday: Nothing. I went back to urgent care for a follow-up and was told that the pneumonia had subsided, but that I still have bronchitis and severe wheezing. The doctor prescribed me an Albuterol inhaler and Prednisone steroids to reduce the inflammation in my lungs. *Sigh* Please go away Mr. Monster in my lungs!
Saturday: After a couple puffs off the inhaler, I was out the door for an early morning 13.1-mile run. I felt fairly decent for a majority of the time and was able to follow coach’s instruction to pick up the pace for the last 30 minutes. I completed the run in 1hr and 48mins.
That afternoon, Justin and I attended an open water swim class for beginner triathletes and learned a bit about sighting, drafting, swimming among swarms of people, and etiquette. Although Justin has already completed his fair share of triathlons, he came along anyway to show support for me. Bonus points, right?
Sunday: 2 hour ride on the trainer for 39 miles. Justin was up early to catch a flight to Spokane for work, and I, being the morning person I am, decided to get my ride finished early. I watched a couple shows and enjoyed the cool breeze coming through the window from the wind whipping around outside. Wind is so lovely when not in the form of a headwind.
Week 12 Totals:
Swim: 1hr 50mins, 3,200 meters
Bike: 8hrs 42mins, 168.3 miles
Run: 3hrs 42mins, 27.1 miles
Time: 14 hours 14 minutes
I am continuing to struggle with how much effort, intensity, and time I should be putting into my workouts, and at what point it hinders or keeps me from recovering properly. On the one hand I physically and mentally feel strong, ready to tackle the world. On the other hand, that world cannot be tackled with a pair of “pissed off lungs” as my doctor referred to them (those exact words).
My coach made a really good point about rest when I voiced my concerns about whether or not I am resting too much, as my primary concern is losing the fitness I have worked so hard to gain. My coach noted that there are a couple ways I can go into this race, one being sick, unhealthy, but well trained, or two being fresh, healthy, and a little undertrained. As this will be my first triathlon, door number two seems significantly more enjoyable, as I am not trying to break records or prove anything other than the fact that I can finish. I think I would much rather take a few extra rest days and use them to my advantage in the days leading up to the race, rather than continue to struggle and grow more and more frustrated with a pair of lungs.
Cheers to another week of training! Fingers crossed that this new medication does some serious damage to whatever nastiness is trying to make a permanent home in my lungs.