Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Off Center

I don't know why but I tend to do things just a hair different from conventional wisdom. Example: I signed up for an Ironman with only one Olympic distance tri and no half ironman races under my belt. Some people thought I was nuts, but I felt sound in my decision. So that's the reason for today's song selection.

Here's another example: take a look at my training schedule for this week. It estimates out to about 24 hours of workout time. This will be the largest training week for me all year. Everyone else doing IM WI seems to be in taper already. Me? not quite. Go ahead and ask: "But you're less than three weeks from your Ironman and you're not tapering? Are you crazy?" Well, yes I probably am a little crazy, but no I'm not too worried.

Almost one year ago, I swore I would take a four week taper. Even as late as early July I was planning a four week taper. But then Musselman. Ever since then it seems as though I have been seeking redemption and a validation of my training and abilities. So much happened in July that in early August I was wishing for a few more weeks to get back on track. Well my coach has given me what I want.

So yes Monday I got in about 50 miles on the bike (had to cut the ride short) before getting in 3600 yds in the water. And yes this coming Saturday I intend to ride somewhere between six and seven hours, rain or shine. And yes Sunday I intend to run about three hours or about 20 miles. If the peanut gallery needs an explanation, well let me enumerate.
  1. I want another crack at the nutrition thing
  2. I need more bonding time with my bike
  3. I need to dial in to my race pace
  4. My body seems to really like this low intensity, high volume stuff. Right now I do not feel beat up. (Although I am trying to stave off some more knee problems.)
  5. Last week was a recovery from a half IM, so I feel pretty fresh. If you take that into consideration, you could probably say my taper started last week - four weeks out.
So it's all good. No worries. I don't know much about tapering, but it sounds as though the key to a good taper is in your mental state. And maybe if I trick myself into a two week taper period, I can keep the pessimism some where other than in my brain.

You'll probably see an increase in the number of pictures and posts from me in the next few weeks as I reflect on the journey I have taken. Let's roll...

See below for the most unphotogenic athlete.
I may have the dorkiest expression on my face
but at least I don't look like the walking dead this time.


E-Speed said...

well if you feel you are unphotogenic thats okay. Your legs photo very nicely! I wish my muscles looked so defined!

Cliff said...

yeah....your upper body migh tnot be unphotogenic but your legs are .. :) just crop the top off..

as for going long....be ware. Those hell weekend can take a beating on the body.

triteacher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
triteacher said...

Hey, good luck doing it your way - sure worked for Sinatra. I'll be interested to hear how it goes as I am one of the "already-in-taper" folks. Also, thanks for stopping in. Let me know what you find out in Madison.

TriSaraTops said...

Hey! I think that's a good pic! I second e-speed's comment...holy crap your leg muscles are hella defined! *jealous*

Hey, you do whatever it is you gotta do to get you across that finish line...no explanations necessary! I know you'll do fine. See you Friday night!

Jodi said...

Do what makes you the most comfortable going into the race. As long as you're well rested on race day!

Looking forward to seeing more posts in the coming weeks :)

Eric said...

If the extra workouts provide you with the mental edge to go into race day feeling good then go for it. Your confidence level should be high because you will do fine.

Let me know if you need any Carbo-pro

Lloyd said...

Al, nice post.

I can't comment from a tri perspective, but from running multiple marathons and ultras, I've taken your path. Two week taper worked fine. Sounds like you're doing three weeks, so even better. I have no idea what an IM schedule looks like, or what the last 14 days of said schedule says. For me, I know if I do zero running in the last week before a big race...I will feel confident.

I echo everyone about being rested come race day.

Not a tri, but my longest run was just under 16 hours at Laurel. Ultrarunners don't often have the luxury of many aid stations or drop bags. I relied on Succeed caps for sodium. One per hour. (Succeed has about 8x sodium as Endurolytes, but much less Potassium) Just an FYI.

Yeah, subjects like taper and salt requirements...they are all very personal and everyone is different. Good luck with your last big weekend. It sounds like you're in a good state of mind to settle on some race day stuff. Good luck.

(Did you read how Eric ran his IM without looking at the watch? Unreal.)

RunBubbaRun said...

I'm with you, I have a big week as well concerning training. I'll be riding a 6-7hr bike ride also on Sunday, rain or shine. All good stuff. I think if it gives you (and me) that extra bit of confidence, why not. Stay strong..

Chris said...

Woah, that's a lot of volume. But I guess volume is really relative. Someone that doesn't exercise much might think that 3 hours a week is a lot...

I don't think there is anything wrong with biking long per se. But I'd be weary of the running. The last thing that you want to do is show up fatigued or worst yet injured. Everything that I've come across says you shouldn't run long more than 18 days out from IM. But if you feel that mentally you need it and that there is no other way... well, be careful!

Flatman said...

Dude, you're ripped! Good luck in Madison. :)