Monday, April 07, 2008

Locked & Loaded

I have 6 days. I can't believe it. It's all come down to this. Taper Week 1 was my week of hibernation but I got through it. Taper Week 2 was nothing but nerves but I got through that too. I'm beginning Taper Week 3, also known as RACE WEEK!!!!! This is my Week of Excitement. I can't wait! I feel good. I feel healthy. I wish I was racing tomorrow!
I finally feel good and have started hitting my taper workouts the way I want: short and hard.

Here's a synopsis of my Ironman training. All 22 weeks of it. I will give a detailed synopsis of the training plan after the race when I can do a "post-mortem" analysis. I like the drop in volume for the taper--50% for week 1 and about 60% for week 2. Feels just right for my body.

And I even added up my total swim, bike and run miles.

Taper Week 2 Workouts:
Monday 3/31: Day Off (massage)
Tuesday 4/1: quick 18 mile bike ride on 56 path with all the "gear" (race wheels, aero helmet). I looked like a doofus. Some cyclists commented that I looked like a "real" athlete. "No, I just pretend," I replied. Luckily, I got to fight some good headwind on the way back--good practice for IMAZ. The 56 is great--mostly uphill on the way out with a tailwind; downhill on the way back with a headwind--exactly how the IMAZ course will be. Guess what? The wind didn't bother me! Yipee!
Wednesday 4/2: masters swim (long course) 2700 meters. I felt sluggish and kind of panicked at the end. My master's coach (Sickie--the bomb) calmed me down, reassuring me that swimming 4,000 meters in a wetsuit with drafting would be cake. This was the height of my "nervous" taper phase. That evening, I saw my nutritionist (Kim--also the bomb) for the last time. She also calmed my nerves down. She also put the kybash on a 2nd workout that evening. Her words of wisdom: "You shouldn't be doing 2-a-days anymore. You need to let the glycogen stores get replaced in your muscles." No more two-a-days? Not fair! I nixed the second workout and went home and stretched. And went to bed early.
Thursday 4/3: Woke up feeling good. Really good. For the first time since I started tapering. Guess Kim was right. Hit the trails in Torrey Pines that evening for a nice, refreshing 4 mile tempo run. That's all I get to do? I'm going crazy here! I feel like such a slacker!
Friday 4/4: Active recovery day. Supposed to be an "off" day but there was no way if I wanted to sleep that night. Can we say jitters? I picked my bike up from B&L (; also the bomb) and took it for a quick 20 minute test ride to get the kinks worked out. Rides like a dream. Jumped in the ocean at Fletcher Cove to test out my new wetsuit (Zoot women's Synergy) for 15 minutes. The waves were rough but it was like glass past the breakers. Man, can my new wetsuit cut through the water! I felt SO fast! I can't believe what a difference a higher grade wetsuit makes. I'm SO glad I made this investment. And it's comfy too! Finished up with an easy 1/2 mile jog around the track.
Saturday 4/5: 30 mile tempo ride on the Silver Strand (2 laps). Good IMAZ simulation because it's flat and windy. I took it easy on the first lap--made sure all the equipment was running smoothly. Torch rode like butter. On the 2nd lap, the headwind picked up, and I went to work. I actually enjoyed it (especially the tailwind on the return). I couldn't believe I was done with my "long" bike in less than 2 hours. What to do with the rest of the day? Pack for Tempe, of course!
Sunday 4/6: Carlsbad 5000 ( I figured a nice, hard (and fun) 5K would dust off the cobwebs. I felt like crap beforehand--very sluggish and icky. Jogged about 2 miles to warm up. Lined up at the start in kind of a crabby mood. Then, I realized--"wait a minute....I like this. I LOVE running. This is fun!" Took off at a good tempo pace--my turnover was high but breathing was low and steady. Hit the first mile at 7:50. Picked it up a little--my breathing increased but was still rhythmic. I was confident I could hold that pace for quite awhile. 2nd mile 15:12 (7:twenty something). Held back a little between miles 2 and 3. Felt the adrenaline start to surge about half a mile from the finish. 3 girls passed me. I couldn't hold back any longer. I took off, sprinting through the chute and re-passing all the runners who had egged me on (passed the 3rd mile at 22:something (7:00)). Finished in 23:12. I felt great! No more cobwebs! Plus, I PR'ed for my 5K time by 4 seconds! Not only that, but when I had set my first PR for the 5K, my RPE (perceived effort) was much harder. This didn't feel that bad. It was wicked fun. (Plus, I'm not sore today and don't feel like it took anything out of me).
Jumped in the ocean at La Jolla Shores afterwards to continue breaking in the new wetsuit. The water was C-H-O-P-P-Y! But I felt awesome. LOVE the new wetsuit.

Went home and packed for IMAZ. I am ready to go!

Race Checklist:
long sleeved shirt,
comfy shoes
lucky visor (signed by Kate Major)
fresh pair of contacts

Awesome new Zoot Synergy wetsuit
Tri top
Speedo bottoms
cap (for practice swims)
2 pairs of goggles (1 back up)
Body Glide
Ear plugs

Torch totally pimped up!
w/Zipp (404) carbon tubeless (Tufos) race wheels
Aero helmet
Sidi T1 Shoes
Oakley Sunglasses
(Spare Tire)
(Aero bottle w/H20)

Bike Attire/T1:
Jersey (# pinned to back--1996!)
2 20 ounce bottles with InfinIT
Wright socks w/baby powder
Bike seat bag (w/CO2 cartridges, hex wrench, tire lever, CO2 dispenser, Pit Stop (for flats))
Bento Box (w/Tums, ibuprofen, Thermolytes, Cliff Bloks, Cliff Bar)
(Sunblock, chapstick w/sunblock, eye drops, spare pair of contacts, Body Glide--in T1)
towel (not shown)

Bike Special Needs:
2 fresh 20 ounce bottles w/InfinIT
Cliff Bloks and Bars
(not shown--PB&Js, Red Vines, Snickers)
eye drops, sunblock, chapstick w/sunblock, Kleenex, spare pair of contacts, Body Glide
electrical tape, zip ties, CO2 cartridges, Pit Stop, spare tire (not shown)
Spare aero bottle sponge, straw, rubber bands

TCSD singlet
tri shorts
visor (lucky CA 70.3 visor)
Wright socks w/baby powder
fuel belt w/2 bottles loaded w/InfinIT (H20 at aid stations)
Cliff Bloks
Thermolyte, Tums, Ibuprofen
spare pair of contacts, eye drops, body glide, sunblock, chapstick w/sunblock
And of course--RUNNING SHOES!!!
(Brooks Adrenaline)

Run Special Needs:
2 new fuel belt bottles w/InfinIT
Cliff Bloks
Body Glide (not shown)
Blister Kit (only medical tape shown)

And I've put a detailed description of the entire IMAZ course on by swim, bike and run pages. Take a look if you're curious.


Shan said...

ZOMG Rachel! Your post made my heart beat so fast! We're going we're going! I'm so glad you are excited for the race, and it sounds like you're having a similar taper as me - full of jitters but finally coming around race week. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a cold right now, but I've been hammering it back with lots of Emergen-C and Airborne, juice and sleeping. I think it'll force me to rest this week anyways :). Keep me updated on where everyone's meeting for dinner in Tempe. You're going to ROCK this race, girl! (Nice race wheels by the way) ;)

Ange said...

You have me all excited and nervous and wishing I could do a race Now!!! I'm so pumped for you. Thanks for sharing all your gear and workout details. It's great. You are SO READY!!

RunBubbaRun said...

Good luck to you at IMAZ.. You'll do great.

Enjoy your IM week and also Remember to enjoy the final stretch to the finish line. Soak it all in as you cross the finish line and hear your name..

Like the bike setup, with the aero helmet too. Now that's sweet..

jameson said...

good luck on sunday!!! have you seen the forecast? Pack those thermolytes!

Paul said...

Good luck!!! Hot with sizzling sunshine. I can't believe said sizzling!!

don said...

Good Luck Rachel. You have really put in all the work. Super job! Now just enjoy your big day!

TriGirl Thea said...

Woah! You ARE organised. But then this is HUGE!

Good Luck! Cross that line with a smile sister - cos you are awesome!

Leah said...

This is a print-out-and-save post for any Ironman newbie (or wannabe). Great stuff! Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes...

Cliff said...


Have a blast this Sun :)..u must be feeling wickedly strong and anxious right now :).

Just let things flow...w/ the training u have under ur belt, u are ready to tackle this.

Remember to spend some time to look back where u started from..the journey is truly amazing...

Marni said...

good luck!! Great blog and i love the pics!

Dan said...

What a great post. I have yet to do my first IM but I will be checking back here for reference when the day comes for me to pack my stuff. Best of luck!

Ann said...

Good luck !
We think alike with all the spare sets of contacts. It will prob. be one of my big worries come Aug.

Nikee Pomper said...

It was nice meeting you on Saturday. You are ready! See you out there.

Sara said...

oh my god I can't believe it is this weekend!! So So exciting!!!

I can't believe all the stuff you need - crazy crazy!

Can not wait to hear all about it! In case you are too busy to post again - good luck good luck good luck!!!!

Shawn said...

YOu are totally prepared for this event! I wish you nothing but the best and enjoy the experience!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Sounds like you are very prepared. Good luck at IMAZ!

jessie said...

Wow, I can feel the nervous anticipation through this here interweb... Good luck out there, know that we're virtually cheering you on this weekend :)