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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer is here

Well, we held out as long as we could here in Oklahoma.  After a couple of really hot weeks in early April, the weather moderated in a big way, as noted by the bone-chillingly cold rain during the OKC Marathon on May 1st.  It looks like we might be making the final turn into summer now.  This weekend featured temps in the low 90s and the forecast ahead looks to be more of the same with only a day or two break here and there.  I'm OK with the change into summer because I need the prep work in the heat.  It's funny how my mindset has changed from dreading anything that resembled a run in the heat to now trying to embrace the late afternoon runs in the hottest part of the day.  I'm not going to say I enjoy it, but I do know what's necessary to succeed in Louisville.  Case in point, today I didn't have anything on my training schedule, but I laced up the sneakers at 3:30PM and went for a 5k run in the neighborhood with temps at 92 degrees and 31% humidity.  It's a great way to start the long process of becoming acclimated to the Ironman marathon.  Last year I would have never dreamed of running in the afternoon by choice.  Watching the Ironman Texas race online yesterday motivated me to get out and get my butt moving in the heat today.  It's always so cool to watch the finishline video for those races.  I never saw Jeff Irvin, but I was looking.  Judging by his finish time, he might have finished during the marriage proposal so I might have missed him during the chaos.  Congrats Jeff on your first Ironman!  I'll be picking your brain over the next couple of months if you're willing!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  I ended up house-sitting/dog-sitting for a friend this week so my schedule was all flipped upside down.  Sleeping in someone else's bed and trying to make another house my training base was not ideal.  My apartment is geared around my training, gear, and habits.  When you are living in someone else's normal, it's never quite as efficient/relaxing.  I love hanging out with the dogs for a week though so I'll do it whenever asked.  It's a small price to pay for some awesome bonding time with the pups.  I get to satisfy my dog fix and not ever have to own one myself!  It's perfect!  Plus, these NBA playoffs sure aren't kind to endurance athletes.  The 8PM tipoff times are not good for my sleep/training schedule.  I'll continue watching as long as our hometown OKC Thunder boys are still playing though.   I'll have at least one more week of odd scheduling due to the playoffs.  The good thing about my current schedule is that I'll be entering my taper for Ironman Kansas 70.3 soon.   Only 3 short weeks until go time!

Training was really up and down this week.  The aforementioned sleep/living issues contributed to some fatigue/lack of motivation midweek.  I ended up pushing my long run up in the week to Tuesday due to weather concerns and my brother's high school graduation.  I logged an easy 12+ mile run mostly staying in a comfortable zone1/zone2 range.  I went after work, but the temps were only in the low 80s so it wasn't unbearably hot.  The legs felt really good so I'm confident in my run at the 70.3 race.  I spent Wednesday night on the trainer because I needed to get in a quick workout so I could get to bed early for a Thursday morning swim.  I was dragging major butt on Thursday AM and my swim was pretty sucktastic.  It's easily the worst swim I've had in many weeks.  I left pretty disgusted, but glad to have finished it.  Friday was my long swim prep day again.  I tested out the pace for the full 1.2 mile swim again and landed right in the 45 minute range again.  I felt surprisingly fresh at the end of the swim which is really what I want coming out of the water on race day.  I don't want to sacrifice a ton of energy for a few minute improvement in my swim time.  In the grand scheme of the race, it's such a small piece of the puzzle.  Calm and collected in the water is my goal.  Yesterday was my long bike for the week.  I did the Okarche ride again, which is what I did last week for my race prep.  This time the wind was 20-25 mph out of the south, as opposed to the north like last week.  I'm not sure if I just was a lot better about nutrition or if the south wind is much more bearable for this route, but I left the bike feeling pretty good about my bike.  I ended up logging nearly 65 miles which is my longest ride ever.  I took in about 100-150 more calories per hour this time around and drank much more frequently which really helped me from hitting any big lows along the ride.  Hopefully practice makes perfect on race day.  I also had another flat on this ride.  It's the second flat I've gotten on this new bike.  This time I ran through a patch of glass and immediately could hear the air rushing out of my front tire.  I made a little pitstop on the side of the road, changed out the tube, aired it up, and hit the road.  It's super easy to change out the tires on the new ride.  A big plus if I flat during a race.  I'm hoping to avoid patches of glass in Kansas and Louisville though!

Hope everyone had a great weekend of fun in the sun.  I'm outta here to get some stuff done around the apartment.  This place won't clean itself unfortunately.  Run happy friends!

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