Recovery is officially over and my goals have been set. Today marked the first day of training for the remainder of this season. As you read in my goals post I am looking to go sub 2:53 for the Olympic distance triathlon, sub 5:42 for the Half-Ironman Triathlon and to qualify for Boston in the marathon.
I am focusing on Austin 70.3 which means that I have approximately 5 months before the race. When I went into training for California I had no base and I trained for almost a year. That year of training was tough but so much fun at the same time. I learned a lot about myself as a person as well as an athlete. I made changes to my diet (became a vegetarian), changes to strength training and fitness. I learned how to go to the bathroom on the bike as well as on the run. I pushed myself to earn a pukie award. I discovered this world of Angels and Ninjas that helped me along the way.
So what is in store for me now? Will I have the go get ’em attitude from the first training cycle? Will I feel burnt out as we near October? Will I get bored with my training? What will be new this time around?
I don’t know the answers to these questions and that is why I am excited about this training cycle. I go into it with open arms ready to embrace anything and everything that Coach C is going to throw my way. I know that I can push myself harder so that I get faster. I know that what I did previously got me to 5:42 so I need to be better than that this time around so I go faster than 5:42 (you are going to see that number a lot between today and October 23.) That 5:42 has become the first thing that I see in the morning. It is burned into my mind’s eye and will not go away until I see 5:41 or better.
I have learned a lot of lessons from the race and will be applying that to my training. The first 2 hour ride was this weekend and I almost earned another pukie because I was determined to take in more liquid hydration than I normally have. I consumed about 36oz of accelerade and water in those two hours and it made my stomach feel so full and sloshy that it almost came up. I held it down and was happy to know that I can consume that amount of liquid. I wound up riding 33.71 miles in 1:55:47 for an average speed of 17.46mph. I rode the California course in 18.0mph on Zipp 404’s. I have since returned those wheels to my friend Juan and rode on the stock wheels. To maintain a speed 0.5 mph slower than California on inferior wheels made me happy. I really pushed hard and kept saying to myself: 5:42; 5:42. There is no choice.
Today I got in the water and it hurt. I did a strength set prior to the swim and I could feel it in the water, but I think two weeks away from swimming took its toll. It was like swimming in molasses and at one point I thought about giving up. I was tired and sore and that is when 5:42 popped into my head. I finished off my set and spoke to Greg about it. Told him how much I felt like I was swimming so slow and how much it hurt. His response was so encouraging in that he told me that no matter the shape you are in when you take two weeks off from swimming you will pay that first time. I think I will pay the 2nd time as well but there is no give up in me. I have the WANT TO. Don’t know what the WANT TO is. Well, let’s just say that greatness was never achieved without the WANT TO.
This afternoon I will ride El Diablo (cleaned) for one hour and 30 minutes with Greg and love every minute of it. We are going to attack some very large hills and I will smash my legs but I am going to be refocused and dialed in. This training cycle will be different from the last one as I am now a half-ironman and I am honing my skills. I am developing a better base for SPEED. I am developing a better base for ENDURANCE. I am developing, and will never stop.
The motto for the rest of 2011 is now THINK SPEED to BEAT 5:42