I have been training for races since the summer of 2006. Some months and years have been more prolific than others depending on the races I have been focusing on. 2009 and 2010 were years where building my base and running long, hard miles were the main focus. As 2011 started speed became a priority of mine with intervals and hill work taking the place of some of my standard workouts. It paid off in the form of back to back PR’s in the marathon on hilly courses at Austin and New York. It also allowed for break-through performances in the 10K (37:30) and half-marathon (1:23:46).
After coming through the chute in Boston this April my focus shifted back “to the long stuff” and the journey to the starting line of our first half-ironman. Kerrville 70.3 – September 30, 2012.
I knew that I needed to run longer, swim further and cycle both longer and harder to prepare for the rigors of that event. More than 5 hours of racing. A pain cave we have never entered to this point.
May, June and July were base building months that deposited us ready to rock the month of August. August would be our toughest month of training in 6 years, one that would hopefully take us to a new level of fitness that would not only put us in a great position for Kerrville, but also allow us to hit the ground running in our preparation for the Houston Marathon in January and our attempt at breaking that 3 hour barrier in the marathon.
So with a 10-mile run on Wednesday, August 1st – the day after my 45th birthday we started things off.
Last Friday, August 31 – Dawn’s birthday – we ran 12 miles in the morning, followed by a 30 mile bike ride in the afternoon.
Totals for the month:
238.10 Miles of Running.
407 Miles of Cycling.
21 Miles of Swimming.
64 hours and 20 minutes of training.
We didn’t do any racing in August, passing on a couple of fun events that we would have liked to have participated in, but honestly we could not afford to take time away from our training. It’s all about Kerrville right now, and after a couple of wetsuit swims to acclimate to our suit prior to race day, I am starting to feel my confidence building from a fitness and preparation standpoint. I know as the taper begins in two weeks however, that confident feeling is going to start to wane a bit and be replaced by nervousness and those feelings of wonderment.
Could I have done more?
Should I have done more?
But as I look back through the appropriate lens – now slightly less than 4 weeks from the event, I think we are exactly where we are supposed to be.
We kicked off September with a 2 mile swim and 56 mile bike ride on Saturday morning followed by an 18-mile long run on Sunday that we closed out with a final mile in 6:58.
Two more heavy duty weeks and we’ll start to cut things back a bit for a 2-week taper prior to race day. In some ways September 30th will be a day like no other. Distances we have never raced, tests we have never faced. But at the end of the day I know that those 64 hours and 20 minutes of training in August were well worth it. There may be faster, stronger, younger and more talented triathletes standing next to us in the water on race day – but I don’t think there will be too many who are more prepared.
Bring it on I say.