Last week I completed 14 hours of training in preparation for Ironman Lake Placid. This was around 6 1/2 hours biking, 4 hours running, and over 3 hours swimming plus 30 minutes of core...14 hours! It was my third week of building so luckily I will have a rest week this week. As for how my body is responding to training, it is doing amazing. My mid-week rides are in the mid-19 MPH. My runs are still averaging low 8's. My swimming is showing improvement on times and I feel strong in the pool. The most notable is while I am tired at the end of the day, I am not overly sore nor feeling burnt out, YET! Do I feel ready for Ironman? I can only answer that with a big, ehhhhh. :) I know I can do it and feel more confident than I did last year. But, I am afraid of the long ride. My back starts aching at the end of my rides. It starts aching further into each ride so hopefully with many long rides I can reach the 6 hour mark before it starts hurting. In 2 weeks I have a 5 1/2 hour bike ride on my schedule. I am scared of this one. I know I will be approaching 100 miles with that ride. And I am only 2 weeks away from it. SCARY!
This long ride was full of climbs. Miles and miles of elevation gains.
Those small blips at the beginning and the end were hard hills for me last week. This week they were just blips as I felt like I was climbing a mountain out there. The whole ride I wondered what my elevation gain would be and how it would compare to Lake Placid. Climbing for 10+ miles with really no breaks was really really hard, more so mentally than anything.
My plan for the day was to make it to my new school's main campus and turn around. (This was around 35 miles from my house.) I had every intention of taking a short break there and taking a picture. Well, I didn't make it there. This was very hard mentally as I looked at my average pace and saw 16.5 MPH. This was really slow compared to what I have been riding lately. In hindsight, I probably could have made it all the way there as I had to add on a lot of miles at the end due to my faster speed on the way back down the hills. But, I stopped on a downhill as I wasn't ready to climb that hill on the way back.
The way back was much more eventful than the way out. I FLEW down the hills. I had one 5 mile stretch average over 24 MPH. While riding downhill was physically easier, mentally I freak out. One of my biggest fears for Lake Placid are the steep downhills, so I just got in aero and focused on being steady and calm.
After completing the downhills, I got back into the busier roads. And this is when my day turned not so good. I was riding along at around 19 MPH and I see a dog dart out from across the road into the street to run after me and hear its owner yell at it. Immediately I heard a car hit the dog. I turned around and saw the poor dog. My heart dropped. Why oh why wasn't that dog on a leash? This was a very very busy road. I spent the rest of the ride thinking about that poor dog. I am not a dog person at all, but I love my pets. The thought of losing one's pet hurts me so much.
When I first started running, I got chased by 3 dogs and was bitten by one of them. The owner denied it was his dog that bit me so I had to get rabies shots just in case.
I was bitten at around 8am on a Sunday morning, but again on a busy road. Why wasn't that dog fenced in or on a leash? Why do owners think they can just yell at a dog and expect that it will listen. I run on a quiet trail and often times someone's dog will chase me as I am running because the owner doesn't have it on its leash. It drives me crazy because I am afraid of getting bitten again. I know these owners feel comfortable with their dogs being off the leash, but I wish they would take into thought that some people may not be as comfortable.
My heart rate rose so quickly after this. My adrenaline was flowing and I used that adrenaline to bring home my ride. I picked up my pace and rode fast and actually enjoyed the end of my ride. I had to add on extra miles as my average pace on the way back was so much faster. (My overall pace for the day was 18 MPH, so I must have been well over 19.5 MPH on the way back.)
And 72 miles later, I made it home. I was full of adrenaline and proud of my day. I am ready for the next long ride and to see what challenges are ahead.