It's all about the numbers, the numbers, it's the numbers we all want, isn't it? When we talk about training, racing, running, riding, swimming, eating, drinking, working, most anything and everything we do in our lives each and every day, it's all about the numbers. And I've been thinking of numbers (or #s, if you will) a lot in the past few weeks.
For example, I thought about numbers today when I stopped at Woodman's Grocery after my post work swim. I was picking something up for dinner, and I was checking numbers on the food labels, looking at the calories, the carbs, the fat, the sugars. Really, I don't obsess with the numbers on foods, much of the time. I eat fairly healthy. I work out. I can't remember the last time I had fast food. I don't drink much soda (a small 8 ounce regular Coke is the bomb for post workout recoveries, however, and is my exception to this rule). I try not to drink too much beer.
I was looking for pizza dough, so I could make a homemade pizza tonight. But, we simply cannot find frozen or fresh pizza dough, at any of the grocery stores within roughly 20 miles of us. WTH? They used to sell three different brands right up the road at Pick N Save. I even called our local pizza haunt-Derango's the Pizza King-to see if they'd sell me a few pizza doughs. They wouldn't. Hmmpfh.
So I settled with Tilapia and turkey burgers, so we had a choice. We opted for the burgers. Tomorrow, baked Tilapia. And speaking of numbers, there must be a number of ways I can make homemade pizza dough. I need to find a recipe for this ASAP.
And more numbers I've been thinking of-the number of days left before IM Racine race day. Less than 7 days to go. And after my swim today, I was thinking of numbers again, as I drove around in search of pizza dough. My race buddy Bob asked me last week what kind of numbers I had in for the year, for biking, running, etc. I told him I had no idea.
So, I ran some numbers on my workouts, just to see what I've done to prepare for this long, strange trip to the land of IM 70.3. In looking back at the training logs, I started training for this 70.3 race about mid to late May (pathetically short, I know. It snuck up in me, and I procrastinated fiercely.). Here are the monthly #s:
5 bike rides, 122.96 miles (only 3 on the TT bike)
4 runs, 16.76 miles
10 swims, 11,300 yards
7 TT bike rides, 182.73 miles
11 runs, 52.61 miles
JULY: **Updated 7/12/10**
3 swims, 4,750 yards
3 TT bike rides, 36.84 miles
3 runs, 22.5 miles
**July 12th update**:
The TT ride today was simply awesome! I rode part of the IM course, for a total of 18.08 miles in 55min 30sec. I averaged 19.6mph, even with several stops for stop signs and traffic (this won't be a problem during the race-the LE officials hold up traffic for the racers at each intersection). My HR was kept in check, despite the good time, averaging 147 bpm, and 161 bpm max (on a small climb, of course!). My legs felt super, rested and strong. My aero position felt great, and I rode in aero for much of the ride (probably 75%). This was a bit faster and harder than I intended on riding, but I felt simply great. I also tried some new nutrition, Hammer Perpetuem, a powder you mix with water for fuel. No problems with this Hammer nutrition-it tasted fairly good (a little watered down, but better than too strong or too sweet), and I had no GI problems. I drank one small bottle of Perpetuem and one bottle of water, perfect amount. This was the best I've felt on my TT bike this year, and builds my confidence for the bike leg of the race!
I'm still waiting on that package from FedEx-it should be here tomorrow AM. But I did make a purchase today, kind of a matching item for the one I'm waiting on. I will post pics of both new "related items" when I get that package!!
So, there are the (updated) training numbers. My swim numbers are low, which is ridiculous, because this is the area where I needed the most work and improvement. Not to say I haven't improved in the swim-I have, big time. I can swim much faster than when I started flopping around the lane. I feel stronger in my shoulders, my chest, my abs. I can swim a 1.2 mile course now (did this today), whereas in May, I would have never been able to. Am I going to swim the course in sub 40 minutes, no. Will I finish, yeah, I think I will be OK.
The bike and the run, these are my stronger areas. I rode the entire IM bike course twice, and rode good chunks of it at least 10 other times. I know the course, and my TT bike is dialed in for me (finally). My run has been decent, going from slowing down after I got sick in the beginning of May, to picking my pace and learning to train in multi disciplines every week. I did a bunch of bricks, both swim/runs and bike/runs, and felt good doing it. My last long run was this past Wednesday, 10.5 miles in 1h 39m at about a 9:25 split. This was in the dead heat of the middle of the day, 11am to 12:36pm, with temps about 85 degrees and a heat index in the mid 90s. I felt good, with some left in the tank afterwards. I did this run at that time frame, deliberately. Why?
Well, IM Racine finally put out the swim wave times in the past few weeks. There are 19 waves, going from 7am to 8:20am, with a total number of racers at 2008 persons, per the IM site. Wow, this is a big race. That's not why I ran the long run in the heat of the day-I did this because my swim wave is at 8:16am, second to last to start. Well, this is good, and this is bad. The good-I won't have but one wave behind me, so there won't be a thousand of us in the water, swimming over each other and kicking each other in the face. The bad? Yeah, this means my bike leg will be finishing around noon, and my run will start just as the heat of the day is peaking. I looked at the extended forecast too, just to see. The weather gurus are forecasting a high of 86 degrees, mostly sunny and light SW winds, a low chance of rain. So, it's gonna be HOT! I feel ready for this now.
What's left for training and other misc activities? Well, I've started my taper. I've got a TT ride planned for tomorrow, maybe 20 miles, at an easier pace, just to spin out the legs one last time. Tuesday will be my last run, maybe a 4 to 5 miler at under race pace. More of a recovery run than anything. Wednesday, I will catch a pre-work swim. Thursday, my buddy from work (who is also a first time tri guy, doing this 70.3 for his first, albeit he is over ten years younger than me!) and I are doing an open water swim at North Beach in Lake Michigan, right where the race runs. Water temps have been good, surprisingly, from the mid 60s to about 70 from all this heat and lack of strong west winds. Got to love it-a hometown race advantage, being close to the race site is an advantage, right? Friday sees the official IM expo open, so we'll be heading down during the day for packet pick-up, maybe a little shopping for IM schwagg, and dinner at a little Italian place downtown with friends. Saturday, we have the race meeting at noon, and then bike check-in. Gear checking and packing/unpacking rituals will begin in the middle of the week. Check over all gear, pack it up. Unpack it. Repeat. I'm stocked up on Hammer gels, Powerade, Luna bars and Perpetuem fuel (also by Hammer, which I have switched to almost exclusively).
Speaking of shopping, I'm expecting a package from FedEx in the next day or two. I will post a quick pic once I get it-yeah, of course it's for the race! I will post some pics of the IM expo and race areas on Fri and Sat. My buddy is borrowing my DSLR to shoot race day pics on Sunday, so we'll have a ton of race photos too. I told him to get a pic of Craig Alexander and TJ Tollekson, they'll be eating and showering by the time I start my run, I bet!!
Thats about all I got for now. Stay tuned for updated race info as the week goes on! IM Racine 70.3 is getting close and I'm getting pumped!