Forced Recovery

I'm off to Portland, Ore. tomorrow to witness the wedding of a couple Stephanie and I are friends with.  That has meant a (much) abbreviated training schedule this week.  To the tune of "only" 13 hours, the bulk of which have already been completed.  All that's left is a three-hour run on Saturday followed by an optional 45 minute swim. Speaking of swims, I had a rather long effort tonight with the Fortius gang: 1:20:00 straight. I warmed up with 20 minutes non-stop before the workout began, and then we proceeded to swim a series of 400s, each with descending times and drills.  Coach Gerardo estimated I probably swam around 4,000 yards.  More important, this was the first time in all my training where I basically swam the duration that will be required for the Ironman swim.  It's a LONG time in the water!  And it's amazing how easy it is for the mind to wander once you get in the Swim Trance.  There were periods of several minutes where I had the same sensation as when I'm driving long distances and I don't remember the stretch of road I just passed through.  How odd, since I'm much more actively engaged in the swim than piloting an automatic drive vehicle.  Does that happen to anyone else? It must.

I'm not sure how I feel about such a light week as I'm close to peaking for Ironman.  On one hand, I'm eager for the time off, but I know there's so much work left to be done before the big event. I was just starting to really ramp up, only to drop back down.  I'm not foolish enough to think this will affect my overall fitness level, but I can't help but wonder just a little bit if it's the difference between being 10-15 minutes faster during the actual race.

It's moments like these though where I realize how lucky I've been with my training.  For the most part, I've been able to hit every workout as planned.  Weather has cooperated.  Circumstances have cooperated.  My body has cooperated. So I need to keep that kind of perspective, and just enjoy a rest week when I can get one -- even if it's inadvertent.

I will try to blog over the next few days, but it may be difficult to say the least.  Check this space again on Monday, just to be safe.  Or I'll tweet if something interesting comes up.

Enjoy your training weekend, everyone!  It'll be rainy up north...soak up the sun while you can and appreciate our good fortune to push ourselves to be the best we can be.

43 days and counting.