Starting on Friday and ending today I had the last "testing" workouts of my training plan. I started out with a bang and ended with a whimper but in the end, I'm feeling good heading into my last two weeks of training before IMKY.
Fri. was a great day for my 10 mile bike TT. There was a pretty strong headwind for the first half of the ride but I tried to maintain a decent cadence knowing that I could make up some of the time on my way back. In the end I finished in 00:26:30 with an average of 22.6 MPH. This was my fastest testing TT yet and I still didn't feel like I was anywhere close to leaving it all out on the course. Coincidentally I finished the first 10 miles of Steelhead just under 25 minutes... so it's not like I am being overconfident when I say that I can still do better. I just have to put it all together. I guess that post-IMKY will be a good time for that.
Sat. I was at the pool to set my T-time for the last time. It took my 00:16:43 to swim 1000 meters and this was good enough to shave 4 seconds off of my previous best. The new t-time was 00:01:40. Again, I still felt like I could do better (although this hasn't been the case in the past... when I set my t-time last time I felt like I was giving it my all and then some). It is definitely encouraging to be this far into my training and realize that I still have room to improve. And, with that being said... here is a great example of how just how bad I CAN be at times...
This morning, Sunday, I hopped on my bike and followed behind Gwen while she did her long run for the week. She ran 10 miles in some pretty nasty heat and humidity. After her run I convinced her to come along to the track with me while I did my 3 mile TT. I was feeling pretty good and figured I didn't need a warm-up. This was probably the first mistake that I made. I started out a little hot but was feeling good. The first mile I finished in 00:06:59. I was feeling great after this lap and was staying super consistent running 00:01:45 laps. My second mile I came in at 00:07:01. And those were the highlights of the day. I blew up on my second lap of the 3rd mile and scrapped it for the day. I just absolutely died on this lap and figured that the point of the workout was to run a TT... and since I couldn't do anything respectable at this point... I called it a day. Anyway, live and learn.
So, onward and upward. This week I'm back to my training for a bit before IMKY. I'm nervous and excited but there is a lot of other stuff going on right now which is nice because it helps keep my mind off of IMKY. We are doing a huge renovation/remodel with our backyard/basement/driveway at home, Gwen's birthday is tomorrow (!!!!), and unfortunately our dog Hannah (the Great Dane) hurt her leg and has to go see a orthopedic vet. It is looking like she tore or ruptured her ACL. Anyway, with all this going on... I suppose it makes it easier in some ways.
So, before I sign off... I am going to post some photos from the Grand Cycling Classic that took place in Grand Rapids this weekend. Gwen and I showed up and were able to catch the last Masters Race and the Pro Race. Also, we ran into local legends Jim (from www.whispercycles.com) and Jeff (providing the best leadout in West MI for years to come), which was really cool. Anyway, the race was a lot of fun and hopefully you'll get an idea of some of the excitement from the pics. Hopefully this event will get larger in the years to come and I'll be able to continue enjoying it!
Alright all... hope your weekend was good. Check in later!
Above: The peloton comes racing in towards the finish.
Above: These are the bikes that the support crew would hand out if a bike couldn't be ridden anymore... too bad they weren't a Whisper or a Jade huh (sorry had to... check them out at the links to the left)!
Above: Race winner, Big Tom Zirbel of Bissell Cycling getting a taste of those famous GR "cobbles."