Monday, November 25, 2013

Candy man can...

Two of my busiest days of the week are Monday's and Fridays. Today's Monday didn't disappoint. Phone meeting after phone meeting. Email after email. Decision after decision.

With only 5 days until Ironman Cozumel and in the taper I still need to get in some training. Today I needed to get in a swim and a bike.

I had a small window in the morning to do a swim. Before I could I had to go to Walmart and pick up a new Ironman watch and a lock for my locker. I had two Ironman watches a week ago and now I can't find them. I had a lock a week ago and now can't find it. I need the watch in order to keep track of how many laps I did. Without a watch I need to try and count and it's near impossible. If my mind drifts I lose count. With a watch you can always have a frame of reference for distance and speed.

Walmart is definitely different than it used to be. In the past if you asked where something was the associate would walk you to the location. Now they just point and say to ask someone in that general direction. Which I did, twice. Then I had to get the watch that was behind the counter. No sales person, I had to go to a cashier and have them page someone. All this waiting cut into the amount of time I could swim.

I was looking forward to my swim. I was going to get to try out my new iPod playlist. I picked about 350 new songs. I did manage to get a 2000 meter swim in, I could have went longer but had a meeting. Even though it was a shorter swim I was happy with it, I felt stronger than I have in a long time. I was swimming around a 1:40 per 100 yard pace. It felt good.

The one good thing about working over the phone is I can multi-task. As I was listening in on one meeting I took my bike out of the garage and put it on the trainer downstairs. Multi-tasking at it's finest. Something I like to call a good work-life balance.

As much as I wanted to ride before dark there was no way and by the end of the day I was tired. It also hit me that I have to have my bike, tri gear and bags packed by tomorrow evening, my flight to Mexico is Wednesday morning. Whoa....time is now flying. It also hit me that I don't have much time left to get last minute training in.

I almost didn't get my ride in tonight. Instead I started watching "American Horror Story" with Alice and was lying down on the couch. I had a craving for the smarties and goodie candy that Alice had in the cupboard. My Iron willpower melted and I had some. It was the first time in over 30 days. I wasn't happy about it but it did taste good.

My plan was to fall asleep and wake up refreshed and get on the bike. Instead I didn't want to fall asleep and fall into my old trap. Instead I had to mentally pick myself up and get my butt downstairs to put in a ride. The plan was to just get started and squeak out an hour. Just enough to keep the legs loose.

Social media was my savour. I had my computer on the bar and started riding and did some facebook and twitter posts. Then started reading others posts that lead to articles that lead to videos and before I knew it 40 minutes had gone by and I started to feel great. I just had to be careful with the sweat drip-age. Riding inside without the wind you sweat, a lot. Very easy to drip into the computer if your not careful.

I wish I knew how fast I was going but I didn't. My speedometer didn't work. I think there is some magnetic fields in the basement. It works outside but not downstairs. Rather than getting upset because I want accurate data, I just rolled with it. All I cared about was having my heart rate up around 120 bpm and I was able to do that. Although I didn't have speed it felt like a strong ride. I felt so good I managed to blow by the 60 minute mark and go for 90 minutes.

Tonight was an example of how it's not over until it's over. It would have been easy to not train, to blow it off, but having that little bit of sugar helped to motivate me. It motivated me to get off my butt and burn those calories. The other motivation was not to lose the gains I made over the last month.

This morning I did body measurements. The last time I did them was back in April of last year. I've definitely seen improvements. Highlights included my waist going from 38.3 " to 36".  My thigh from 24.3" to 23". My bicep un-flexed from 13.3" to 12.5 and flexed it was the same at 14.5". The only thing that grew was my calf by half an inch to 16.5". The numbers don't lie, I'm moving in the right direction for sure.

I can't believe I'm only 5 days away from race morning. It will be interesting to see how my taper turns out. Tapering is truly an art form. I have a general idea of what I'm going to do for training each day, but during taper it's also based on how I feel. For example, I know what I want to do tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes it will depend on how I feel and whether I should do that workout. It's very intuitive and based on feel. At this stage of the game I can't get in any better shape, I can do damage if I do it wrong. The key is to do just enough to keep you strong but still allow the body to recover fully.

That's the mystery of Ironmans. I don't know anyone, myself included that can predict how their race is going to unfold. I can do everything right. I can train right. I can eat right. I can sleep right. Yet on race day it doesn't mean I'll race right. I find that until I hit the bike I don't know what type of day I'm going to have. You basically do everything you think is right, do your best and then "hope for the best" and the best advice I got from Mark Allen is on race day, "expect the unexpected". Don't let anything rattle you.

So her I am. I started the night tired. I did a mini pig out fest on candy and in one dimension I would have just fallen asleep on the couch and felt like crap in the morning with guilt. Instead, I ate candy and mentally forced myself on the bike and ended up having a solid workout and now feel like a million bucks AND I'm going to wake up tomorrow feeling mentally stronger.

Swim - 41:59 / 2011 meters
Bike - 1:30:00 / 45 km / 30 kph (estimated)
193.6 lbs


  1. Here's a thought, buy a cheap Walmart keyboard, only use it for turbo training and when it gets buggered due to sweat then get another one. They're pretty resillient so I reckon you wouldnt go through more than one a year and it means the laptop survives. You're welcome fatty.

  2. Good idea. Your just not another ugly face. haha