Coming off of IM Mt. Tremblant and looking toward the end of the season, I had a few hurdles jump, both mentally and physically. On the mental side, I've had a decent year of racing and earned 'enough' to call it a year and continue to call myself 'professional'. With Sidney taking up a great deal of time and energy, I had thoughts of making the off-season come early but my competitive fire wouldn't have my failure at IMMT be the last result from 2014. On the physical side, my ribs were sore as hell and swimming was just not going to come back easily. I knew fitness wasn't an issue, but rehabbing cracked ribs is an exercise in frustration. Long story short, I had to hit the month of September with a mental and physical reset. I took a deep breath and started to focus on IM Chattanooga for my final race of the year.
So, here's a quick rundown of my last month and a look forward to my 'real' Ironman debut.
I had to take two weeks off of swimming to really let my ribs heal and deal with the damage from IMMT. It was maddening, but I used the extra energy to put in some quality bike and run work.
I've spent countless hours on the bike and most of them were high quality, specific work. Sustained efforts north of 300w are getting pretty pedestrian and threshold workouts started to look like my prep for Olympic distance races. I even put in a few 100+ mile rides just to make sure I could run well on tired legs... All systems go on two wheels and the legs are strong. the IM CHOO course is a bit long at 116 miles, but I find myself wishing it was longer.
I was even able to sneak in a few few plyometrics and strength work:
On the running front, I've continued to be able to put in the miles and build the durability that wasn't able to be shown off at Mt. Tremblant. I've never been the fastest guy on two legs, but I tend to slow down a lot less in the long haul. I'm looking to pull off a solid negative split run in two weeks that should put me sub 3 hours... Based off my previous two full distance races at Cedar Point, it will be a matter of not running the first half like an idiot... Here's hoping.
As for the water, my usual ally, I've re-learned what it's like to have to find some sort of feel after over a month of limited to no swimming. Luckily, I've been able to build up to 5k of pain-free swimming (well, soreness sadly follows) and have found my stroke coming back slowly. I've got two weeks to turn my swim back into a weapon and I'm giving it my best shot. At the very least, I'll be able to keep pace with the lead group. Best case scenario, the first 400m will be the last time I have company for the entire race (race strategy spoiler for any of my competitors reading... Not a great secret).
Thinking back to the end of August, even touching the water left me exhausted.
With two weeks until IM CHOO I'm fit, healthy, and ready for a nice taper. If all goes well, I'll be writing a race report on a successful race as opposed to the DNF that accompanied my last IM attempt. After the race, I'll be taking a nice offseason break to take care of Sidney and perhaps post a few more pictures...