Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer of '11

It doesn't have quite the pop as "Summer of '69", but the summer of 2011 is stacking up to be a beast of a summer.  It's brutally hot here in Oklahoma.  I know it's brutally hot around a lot of the US right now, but we're now at 32 days of 100+ degree temperatures this summer in Oklahoma City.  The all-time record for Oklahoma City is 50 days in 1980.  According to the local weather guys, we are well ahead of pace to beat that record and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  The reason I bring up the weather is because I've tried really, really hard not to complain about it on my blog.  I am fascinated by the weather though so it's hard for me to let it stay off these pages for too long.  I thought I'd at least share a little weather info with those of you not living in Oklahoma.  I hope it's cooler where you are training.  I'm just excited I picked the hottest summer on record to train for my first Ironman.  Mother Nature knows how much I love the heat.  She must have ordered it up especially for me.

Today was my long bike session for the week.  Again, as expected, I hit another new mileage personal best.  I ended up riding a little over 4.5 hours and logged 86.14 miles.  I teamed up with my coach and one other guy and we headed out from Lake Hefner about 6:30 this morning.  We biked a similar route as last week, but did it in reverse order to break up the monotony.  We had several glitches in our ride today.  Cadence sensor problems, flats, dropped CO2 cartridges, a little wind, and a lot of heat.  We all noticed that by 8 AM it was noticeably hotter than last week's ride and thus adjusted our hydration stops to be more frequent.  I went through nearly 14 bottles on this ride.  I'm a very heavy sweater and it's essential for me to take in fluid frequently, especially when it's 104 when you stop riding.  I also have been trying to avoid switching over to bike shorts/bibs for my long rides which hasn't been a problem until today.  I was very happy I decided to take an extra deal of chamois butter with me on this ride.  I think I would have been walking funny all week if I hadn't applied some extra at the halfway point.  Overall it was a pretty solid ride for me.  Riding with other guys has made me push my pace a little more which will only help me in the end.  I ended up averaging 18.6 mph today which is much faster than I expect in Louisville.  I'm hoping when I settle into a groove at Louisville these days of pushing the pace will make the 112 miles a bit easier when I settle into a slower pace.

This week also ended up blowing last week out of the water as far as total mileage goes.  I logged 132 miles this week so I'm inching closer to actually completing that 140.6 in one week.  Next week I'm sure I'll get close because I'll have my 2.4 mile swim rehearsal and a big 6 hour bike next weekend.  I'm still going to lay off running and substitute the elliptical.  My Achilles is showing some signs of improvement during the week and then I blow it up again on the weekends when I do my long rides.  I have 3 more big weeks ahead of me and then it's taper time.  I'm hoping the taper will help heal it even more and I'll show up on race day with a little pep in my step on the run.  We can always hope, right?

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