Monday, March 17, 2008

The Final Countdown

The time has come. I am setting out on my final week of training before my taper. The final push. Am I excited? Yes. Am I scared and nervous? Hell, yes. But I know on race day I will have done everything I could have done to try and get myself across the finish line. What more can I ask for?

The Training Plan--my new "bible":
During these final 3 "Build" weeks, I have been obsessively reviewing my training plan to the nth degree. I have highlighted my key workouts and reviewed my weekly volume to exhaustion. (Don't worry. During my taper, I'll divulge my secret training plan in so much detail, you're eyes will glaze over). I have followed this training plan so closely, it actually scares me. I've never done that before. The exciting thing is that I think it's working. My endurance feels superhuman, and I'm in the best shape of my life.

Key Workouts:
As the taper approaches, I'm focusing much more on detail. Everything is becoming very race specific. I know I need a few 4,000 meter swims at race pace to make me feel confident. I plan on making these ocean swims. If I can do 4,000 in the ocean, a 2.4 mile swim in Tempe Towne Lake will feel like a walk in the park. I plan on just 2-3 of these during the next few weeks. The nice thing about swimming is that you can still keep a fairly high volume during the first 2 weeks of taper and still easily recover afterwards.

As far as the bike goes, I'm pretty much there. I'm no longer worried about the distance. I wouldn't mind a few more short (~30 mile) rides in windy conditions. Saturday, I rode 74 in extremely WINDY conditions, and it wiped me out. I much prefer hills--at least you get to recover on the downhill! In wind, I just feel like I'm grinding endlessly in the same position forever, and my muscles seem to fatigue faster. I'm planning on 1 last high intensity brick at Fiesta Island during "Final Push" week. 4-6 laps around Fiesta will give me some wind and a solid 10K run in Mission Bay afterwards will give my legs a taste of what's to come. During the first/second week of taper, I plan (as long as I'm recovering well) on 1-2 high-intensity, short (~17 mi) rides on the Silver Strand (Coronado), guaranteed to be flat and windy.

As far as running goes, I am concentrating on injury prevention. My left achilles started acting up 2 weeks ago. I was seriously freaking out. I did a lot of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation, not to mention ibuprofen) during the first week and active stretching and massage the 2nd week. Yesterday, I ran 17 miles on the flat sidewalks (hard, flat surfaces are better for tendons) of Mission Bay with 0 pain. In addition, my energy levels felt great, and the run actually felt "easy". I think I'm in the clear but I will be pretty conservative during my mid-week runs during "final push" week. If I feel okay, I'll try a track workout tomorrow with SDTC as long as I promise to pull out if I feel any twinges. My grand finale will be 20 miles (Mission Bay again) this Sunday.

My nutrition has been coming together nicely as well. I have it dialed in (thanks to my nutritionist!), and I have back-up plans in case of emergency on race day. I've been focusing on getting lots of sleep (9 hours a night plus 1 hour naps), and lots of stretching daily. I've also been doing weights 2x/week for ~40 minutes, which has been great for my overall strength, endurance and injury prevention.

This week, I will write out my taper workouts in extreme detail so I have no choice but to follow my plan. That will restrain me from overdoing it during the final 3 weeks leading up to race day. I will also start writing up my "lists" of what needs to be done during the taper to help make myself feel ready (race list, race schedule, schedule bike tune-up, race visualization tactics, etc., etc.).

I can't believe after a year of planning and training that race day is so near! I have to pinch myself sometimes. Is this really happening?

17 comments:

Wes said...

Yay! I love top secret training programs!! Wrap up this final week then taper smart! It's show time in 26 days, 9 hours, 16 minutes and counting :-)

Sara said...

holy crap sounds insane - 17 miles easy? Wow.

26 days huh - time flies!!!

Good Luck this week! And can't wait to hear your secret training program (and be amazed and speechless at it I'm sure!).

Mallie said...

YAHOO! Sounds like you're exactly where you want to be. Plotting and planning in those final weeks before an event is soooooo much fun!

jameson said...

your training has been awesome. There is no doubt you are ready to have a killer race! You have derinitely put in the work. Now it's just about showing up at the start line rested and ready to go. You should be confident.

Leah said...

SO exciting. I have to admit, I can't wait for your race report.

Rainmaker said...

You are sooo ready to rock IMAZ. It will be awesome to see you cruise through it and finish!

Your plan of concentrating now on getting to the start line in one piece is a smart one.

don said...

Bon Chance Mon Ami. Your blogosphere friends will be here to support you all the way.

CVSURF said...

I can't wait to see the rest of the training plan. Sounds like your in a great position for your Ironman.

Marcy said...

9 hrs plus 1 hr naps?!? Oooooo you lucky woman ;-)

lfar said...

I'm super excited to read about the top secret training plan. I've got 10 weeks until my first tri of the season!

Sherry said...

My inspiration! You rock! All of your hard work and dedication will pull you through. Yes, this IS really happening! I can't wait to read your taper workouts. :o)

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Sounds like your training has you right where you need to be. You are right to focus on injury prevention from here on out, especially with the run. It's good that you got some wind riding in, IMAZ has been notorious for high winds on the exposed bike course. That's part of the reason the the race is moving to late in the year.

Good luck with your final push.

triguyjt said...

if you divulge your secret plan, it won't be secret anymore and then I will be very confused.......
not that it takes much for me to get confused....

getting real close..

TriSaraTops said...

Sounds like you are doing everything right and it's coming together for you...very exciting!

I HEART AZ. Thinking about IMAZ in 2009--now that it's moving to November us chilly folk can train for it. Excited to hear how it goes for you! Taper and rest well!

Camilo said...

WOW...can't wait for you to reveal the secret training program...

"when i grow up"...

Good luck the rest of the way

Coach Tammy said...

Yes, it's happening! And you are gonna be sooooo ready, as long as you really taper! :)

You've done a lot more than I have... and will have a stellar race! Since I'll be halfway around the world, we'll be racing back-to-back, so let's channel each other... you go girl!!!!

Andy said...

Ummm, can we say that you are ready for this??? I am excited to hear about your super secret plans after you begin your taper. Keep up the good work!!! Hopefully later this year I will be in the same place that you are in, all stoked about my training levels and ready to race.

Murtha...