I'm in the last week of training before I begin recovering and tapering for Ironman Wisconsin. I feel amazing. I have tons of energy and feel fitter than I can remember. I feel like a super hero. Able to lift all the heavy grocery bags in 1 full swoop. I'm absorbing the workouts, and eager for more. I can't believe how much I've been working out. It's been 20-25 hours a week.
I think the key has been devoting as much time to recovery as I do to training. With the summer off (I'm a teacher), I've been able to train like a pro. I take naps in between workouts. I eat small meals all done long full of protein and fruits and vegetables. I stretch and do Yoga. I work on mindfulness. More importantly, I just feel happy. Can I just stay here forever? (Alas, school starts back next week so that will be a tough adjustment).
I have been experimenting with foregoing recovery days during these tough build weeks so I can fit in the extra workouts and spread them out throughout the week. It's been working, and I actually love not dealing with the inertia of taking a day off. I have a recovery week next week so it's easy to push hard right now.
I did a tough open water swim off Coyote Point in the SF Bay on Friday, sharing the waters with windsurfers and getting tossed around like a stick in a hurricane. Saturday was the Mt. Tam Century, hosted by the Marin Cycling Club, 100 scenic miles with 8,000 feet of climbing. Honestly, it felt pretty easy, and I hammered the 2nd 50 miles after the tough climbing was done. The miles flew by quickly. Don't get me wrong; I'm still slow, but everything just feels easier. On Sunday, I did a hilly 17.5 mile trail run in Huddart and Purisima Creek. It was no big deal. In fact, it was exhilarating, and I had a runner's high the entire time.
Monday was 8x500 in the pool to mimic the Ironman swim. I was slow but it felt easy, and I wasn't sore or breathless. This was followed by a 5.5 mi neighborhood run with the dogs. Juneau can no longer keep up with me. Yesterday, I did a 24-mile rolling loop bike followed by an hour of hard weights. I finally felt sore and tired. I just have to make it through this week, and then I can recover and get ready for the taper!