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Four Weeks to the Half-Ironman.

21 August 2017

My training has stepped into a different gear, and I am feeling more confident. The big thing I did last week was a 50 mile bike ride. It was long, and difficult, and actually a lot of fun – at least in retrospect. Sure it hurt at the time, and it was a lot of work. But I rode 50 miles! By myself! At almost 16 mph average!

It was a warm, but not hot, day. But it was almost 100% humidity. So my sweating didn’t cool me off at all and didn’t evaporate. So by mile 20 my shoes were puddles and I was sloshing through. It had rained heavily earlier in the day, and each way there’s a 2 mile section of the path which is hard-packed dirt and sand. I was coated in filth. It was awesome.

Last week I also did a 1.5 mile swim, which is 25% further than I’ll need to go on race day. I hit my race-distance split (1.2 miles) in 54 minutes. And I think I swim a little faster in the open water. So I’m feeling prepped for that. I have a 60 mile ride upcoming too. This week is a “cutback” week, which means I’m doing silly amounts of work but not ludicrous.

This weekend I had a 25 mile bike ride on BB’s heavy mountain bike, and an 11 mile run. My legs felt heavy, but I got it in in exactly 2 hours. Not bad considering the path we took finishes on a 5 mile uphill. I’m beginning to feel like I can complete this race. Which is all I want to do. Finish.

I am just hopeful that the weather cooperates, and we get to swim. Think kind thoughts of the mid-Atlantic in September, people. Think cool and dry. Think still. Think calm. Think peaceful. Radiate that out into the weather. I’m pretty sure that works.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 August 2017 07:49

    50 miles wow that’s awesome 💪

  2. 21 August 2017 07:49

  3. 21 August 2017 08:07

    Wow. You are really doing it! I am so proud of you! This is phenomenal.

    I am hoping to learn how to bike long distances so that I can do some big rides next summer. Like Ragbrai? Or a 4 day ride across the plains in Colorado. For now, I have just been training for small tris, so I have not got the distance down. But YOU DO! AWESOME!

  4. Rob permalink
    21 August 2017 08:16

    Hi, hope you don’t mind me asking a question – I’ve read about you quitting smoking using nicotine gum. I desperately want to quit but have got myself (via ego and pride no doubt) into a real mess. I’m sure using gum would reduce the trauma of quitting and therefore make things easier, but I’ve convinced myself that using it is somehow “cheating” and that unless I “man up” and quit cold turkey I’ve somehow cheated and it “doesn’t count”.
    It sounds crazy reading that back, but it’s causing me a big problem. I don’t know if you had similar thoughts but I’d welcome your opinion……

    • 21 August 2017 08:45

      Hi Rob! There’s nothing “cheating” about using the gum. I couldn’t quit without nicotine replacement.

      I respect wanting to quit in a way that honors your masculinity. Just remember that as men, we are never stronger than when we are using the right tool for the job. You wouldn’t fix a car with nothing but a crescent wrench. You wouldn’t ask a Marine to go into battle with only a BB gun. You wouldn’t try to ride 100 miles on a child’s bigwheel.

      So grab the tool that works. I don’t think you HAVE to wrap your masculinity up in this, but if that’s important/inevitable for you, remember that being manly doesn’t mean “setting yourself up for failure.” It means recognizing and respecting the difficulty of the goal you’ve set for yourself, and using the available tools to achieve it.

      Get the gum. Read the instructions. Follow them. And expect it to be difficult anyway. Game on.

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