Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Post-IM Report...

So here we are four days post-IM, it seems like I just crossed the line 12 hours ago.  Where did the last four days go?  The main questions I have been asked over the course of the last four days are 'how do you feel' and 'how did the Ironman brand compare to B2B'.

How do I feel....  Hmmm.  Muscle wise, I feel great!  I had a little soreness the first day or two but just like a hard workout, nothing too crazy at all.  It is actually kind of odd because you would expect to feel pain in every square inch of your body.  To be honest, I feel more sore after a hard crossfit workout.  

That is not to say that I feel 100%...

The lingering effects of dehydration stayed with me for at least 48 hours.  I had a headache for at least two days which was compounded by the head cold or sinus issue I seemed to have picked up at some point during the weekend.  Today, I finally feel like that is working its way out.  Hooray!    

The other weird after-effect is that my skin is simultaneously broken out like a teenager and dry as the Sahara desert.  Dry as in peeling to the point at which only Aquaphor on your face seems to help.  I am a sight to behold.  Trust me on that one.  ICK.

 So let's talk about the ironman brand versus the "non" ironman brand 140.6...

In the end, which type of race you choose is more about personal preference than anything else.  What I like and the things that I think are important in a race probably aren't the same as anyone else.  Obviously, if you are about getting to Kona, the only way to do that is through Ironman.  If you are more about a smaller race size, you might look to one of the off brands.  (IM LOU had 3000 athletes compared to 835 at B2B - I think Rev3 has around 400 at Cedar Point).  The short answer is that I preferred B2B over IM LOU.  I really just prefer a smaller race with fewer athletes.  It just feels a little more personal.  Keep in mind, I am not about Kona.  I like to have a solid finish time but am more about finishing the race and enjoying it than anything else.  

With that said...   here are some of the ins and outs of each if you are interested.  

Ironman Lou just felt big to me.  Lots of athletes, lots of walking to get from one place to the other, and lots of volunteers.  For whatever reason, the main difference that sticks out in my head about IM LOU is how organized the volunteers seemed to be.  They were well trained somehow even though you know they just showed up for their shift without training like any other volunteer gig.  They seemed to know what you wanted (i.e. they took my bike at special needs and set it up against a random pole then pointed me to a bit of shade under a tent).     

I don't remember B2B feeling like they had a lack of volunteers but they weren't as hands on as IM LOU.  Not to say that they weren't fantastic and helpful - they were - but the ones at IM are just a little more hands on.  While the volunteers at B2B might not have been helping people change in the transition tent, I passed plenty of stretches of road where the volunteers were cheering us on as though we were winning the race which in my book is better than helping me tie my shoes in transition :)    

Expo and Swag:
Let's face it, we all know Ironman is a marketing machine.  Tons of gear to choose buy.  Not a whole lot of swag included as part of the race entry considering the entry fee.  We received a backpack, finishers hat, shirt and medal.  The expo is surprisingly small (as compared to the kind of expos you see at a marathon - not a huge deal for me but interesting that there aren't more vendors).

B2B had an equally small (and maybe slightly smaller) expo as IM.  The race gear available for sale the first year was a little disappointing.  Last year, they had a MUCH better selection although the variety was nothing quite like IM.  Swag that came with the race the first year was a beach towel, socks, 2 shirts and a medal.  Last year was 2 shirts, drawstring bag, medal and a cap.

Aid Stations:
On the bike, I would say that IM might have had more stations.  I can't remember the exact mileage numbers but they seemed to be slightly closer together than those of B2B.  Plenty of water, perform, bananas, ice, etc.  On the run, they had aid stations about every mile and similar offerings as the bike (with the addition of coke, oranges/grapes and chicken broth).  

The thing that I liked about the B2B aid stations was that they weren't quite as frenzied (going along with the theme of preferring a smaller race).  I didn't feel like I was going to get knocked over on the bike getting in and out of there.  If I needed salt tabs, sunscreen, whatever, I could stop and it was there.  On the run, the aid stations are stocked almost like a century ride.  A little bit of everything,  I think they must have aid station awards because the aid stations are always decked out and enthusiastic!  Just felt like more of a celebration on the run with B2B.

More people in a race equals more fans at the finish.  It is that simple.  IM LOU was pretty much rocking from one end of the chute to the other.  It was pretty awesome.  

B2B made a HUGE improvement last year by moving the finish line downtown as opposed to out by the battleship.  When I was running towards the finish there were tons of people cheering at the various bars lining that road and down the finishers chute.  Not quite as many as in Louisville but enough to make it pretty special and exciting.  

Like I said, we all prefer different things.  I am giving the tip of the scale to B2B.  I genuinely feel like they are glad I am at their race.  I think they do a good job of listening to the racers and making little tweaks each year to keep improving.  I just really love the small town feel of it.  It is one of those races that I wouldn't mind doing time and time again (obviously).  Don't get me wrong, IM LOU was great in its own right.  They put on a great race and had wonderful volunteers but if I had to choose one or the other, I would have to say I would go with the smaller race.

.... and there you have it folks.  These are my opinions based on my experience - I am sure there are plenty of people out there who will think I am insane.  :)    Hope you all have an awesome weekend!



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

IM Louisville The Race...

You know how this goes.  It was a long race.  It will be a long re-cap.  VERY long.  You have been warned....   If you just want to skim the pictures, the short version of the story is that CR and I had a good trip and I finished the race but I was pretty disappointed with my time.  The end.

For those of you who want more detail, read on...

CR and I drove up to Louisville Thursday morning.  I wanted to get checked in to the race Thursday afternoon to avoid the crowds on Friday.  We had a nice scenic drive making a few stops along the way.  One of which was the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.  CR admired all the lovely cars and we went on our way making it to Louisville around 3:30 or so to get checked in.

As we were unloading the bike, CR noticed that the rear wheel seemed to be off kilter as is rubbing against the frame (it had apparently been off kilter since I had the new tires put on and the tune up done).  We had some discussion of whether the mechanic should look at it or not.  I knew I had ridden at least 100+ miles with it on that way so wasn't all that concerned and was really leaning towards not changing anything thinking that if the guy here made it worse somehow, then I am in the middle of the race course with an issue.  CR was pretty insistent that he wanted it to be fixed so he took it to the mechanic at the expo who not only fixed the wheel but noticed that the rear brakes were sticking and the cable needed replacing.  (I mentioned I just got this thing tuned up, right...  how they didn't notice a the cable I don't know.  I wish I could remember the word the guy used, not rotting but the cable was doing something along those lines).  Anyhow, he was so very helpful and I was glad we got it fixed.  (I was also hoping it might make me faster since I wasn't riding around with the brakes on anymore).  Ha ha.

Most locals loved us.  Some did not.

Friday morning we got in the truck and rode the bike course.  Some of the locals in Louisville have bike rides on the course throughout the summer but I never made it up for one of those rides.  I just felt it was a little too far and I was thinking that I had not pre-ridden B2B so I would just do the next best thing and read race reports as well as the Troy Jacobsen video.  I knew going in the course was hilly and honestly it seems fairly similar to the riding in and around GA except that the hills might have been just a little more frequent.  Post race, my Garmin had the ride at 3050 feet of climbing.  Riding the course in the car confirmed that it was going to be a challenging ride.  There is some flat leading into and out of the hilly sections but they are covered up with cracks in the road every 10 feet that jar your bones.  Like I said...  a challenge.  

On our way back, we stopped to check out the swim start.

After assembling all the various swim, bike and run bags we headed over to meet my friend Keith who was also racing for the athlete dinner and meeting.  CR and I had been interviewed for the video so we were quite excited to see we didn't end up on the cutting room floor :)  

Saturday morning was a quick dip in the Ohio River for swim practice and then back to the hotel for breakfast.  Everyone talked about how murky the water was - I didn't think it was any worse than some of the lakes I swim in around here.  You can't see in front of you, but that is pretty much what I am used to for an OWS.  Water temp was 81 but really didn't feel like I was overheating.  Felt pretty comfortable temperature wise.
Keith getting last minute FB updates before the swim

Post-breakfast we did some last minute transition bag packing and headed over to drop off my bike.

Me and my volunteer escort

We got lunch at Smashburger (delicious!) and then went to the finish line to practice what now has been dubbed "my signature spirit fingers pose"  :)

Went to bed so very early on Saturday night but could not sleep.  It felt a lot like a Disney race, having to get up at 3 AM to be downstairs by 4 AM...   Finally got to sleep around 9 or so and then woke up around 2:30.  Good enough....

Met Keith downstairs at 4 AM - if that sounds early, it is!  Transition opens at 4:45 but then there is a mile walk from transition to the swim start AND the real trick is that IM LOU is a time trial start so you start in the order you get in line.  The clock starts with the first swimmer so the further back in line you are, the less time you have for your race as the cutoff is midnight for everyone.  A little different than the other IM races - if I had to guess, it seems like they might do it that way because the area where you start is a little narrow.  I can't imagine a mass start or even large waves of folks trying to get through that first section.

These are the people waiting to get into transition at 4:30 AM or so...

Keith and I were about a third of the way back by the time we got there and ended up hitting the water at 7:08 (I know this because of the picture I lifted from Mari's FB page ... thx Blue Iron Coaching!)  

The swim wasn't bad since we were all kind of spread apart to begin with.  I had the occasional kick or pull and a couple of times my goggles were knocked off but nothing too bad.  I liked that the swim went around an island and under two bridges as well as the numbered buoys.  All that helped me divide the swim up in my mind.  Instead of not really knowing how far I had to go, I just counted down the buoys (there were 9 yellow and 9 orange).  I also knew that to the end of the island and the turn around was 1/3 of the way and then another 1/3 or so to the first bridge then I was pretty much headed home from there.  I felt like I did a decent job of sighting.  I noticed some people hung closer to the shore than I did but my plan was to swim down the buoy line and that worked well for me.  I was pretty happy with my swim time.  Swam it hard enough but left plenty in the tank for the rest of the day.

Decent run from the swim out to transition.  Grabbed my transition bag and headed in to change.  I tried to move quickly but was more concerned with being comfortable than being fast.  As I got to my bike I was surprised that there were so many bikes still on the racks.  Guess I was further up in the swim line than I thought!

Took off on the bike and felt pretty good.  I was maintaining a decent speed at that point but knew I wanted to just sort of take it easy (ish) until I got to the last 30 miles.  That was the plan anyhow.  The first bit is flat and then you head into the hills and they keep coming and coming.  There is one little out and back section that was the hilliest of them all - both up and down but even with the screaming downhill, I was glad we only had to do that section once.  After the out and back we headed to the loop that passes through LaGrange where a lot of the spectators come to cheer.  It really is a great pick me up after all that climbing and sun blazing down on you.  I saw Colleen and Tom!  On the second loop I was excited to see CR!  The original plan was that he wouldn't come out there but then he was so upset that he missed seeing me at the swim he decided to try and find me on the bike course.  So sweet....  (He was at swim out and was apparently just missed seeing me, I didn't see him either.  There were so many people...).

I don't know what was going on in my head on the bike but I just was not having a good time.  I remember thinking once "this is not fun".  I was hot and I was being passed by soooooo many people which was truly discouraging.  I would see people and think 'I am going so slow' and then have to remind myself that these people riding around me basically started at the same time I did so maybe I should cut myself some slack.  I just did my best to try and keep my head in the game and keep going.  I loaded up with two bottles at every station in fear of dehydration, kept eating according to plan and watched the miles tick by.  They were ticking a little slowly for my taste but they were ticking by nonetheless ...  As I got to special needs, I took a break for a few minutes (the only time I got off the bike all day).  I stood under a tent, ate one bite of a peanut butter sandwich and couldn't choke it down.  I ate some pringles but they weren't tasting great either.  Shortly after that, even the thought of water didn't sound good even though I kept taking it in along with a salt tab every 30 minutes.  I knew something was going on either with my stomach or dehydration but wasn't sure which thing.

This will be TMI but also a funny story so ....   Somewhere after my last pass through Lagrange I was peeing on the bike (I know...  do what you got to do) and this guy comes by and passes me and says "good job".  I laughed for a minute because I wasn't sure if he was commenting on my peeing skillz or the riding.  LOL.   I will say I normally can only do that when it is raining because it is pretty gross but it was do it there or nowhere so there you have it.

And after 112 miles of riding, I was FINALLY pulling into transition and getting off the bike.  Thank the Lord!  Someone took my bike (hopefully not handling the pee seat) and I made my way to the changing tent.  I was thinking T2 would be quicker than T1 because I was only putting on my shoes and a hat but somehow it ended up being much longer.  I credit my walking from Bike In to the tent and then I taking my sweet time in the transition tent trying to cool down and assess the hydration/stomach situation.

I headed out of T2 and saw CR almost immediately (he was making all sorts of friends while cheering - I loved that he seemed to be having a good time).  I stopped to talk to him for a second and then moved on.  Immediately I knew this run was going to be different than B2B.  My legs did not feel as fresh as they had in those other two races.  This should be interesting.

I did a lot of walking that first mile, taking in a Huma gel and water.  I saw Colleen, Tom and Jennifer somewhere along in there so stopped to admire sweet little Caffrey and to meet Abigail for the first time (I can't believe she was sleeping through all the noise!).  After that I settled into my run a mile walk a minute plan.  I was running around 9:30 minute miles when I was running so was pretty much on my pace.  The only thing was I didn't feel like taking water.  I was trying to choke it down but felt like it might come right back up.  I took it in anyhow.  I was feeling slightly lightheaded but kept going.  My plan around mile 8 became run a half mile, walk a minute.  That worked until around mile 12.  The stomach/light headed weirdness was getting worse so I just kept doing a run/walk to special needs.  (at that point it was run a block, walk a block and those blocks seemed awfully long!).  Made it to special needs, reloaded my Huma gels into my pack, took a few pringles and moved on.  I went through special needs about the same time as this other woman who was power walking her way to the finish.  It was a fast clip so I just tried my best to keep up with her and keep moving.  I was feeling less lightheaded when I walked even though the feeling like I might throw up any second was still there.  We walked together for a while until I lost her at an aid station.  (I ended up seeing her later so she might have stopped for minute).

I started walking with another guy and we ended up walking the last 12 miles together.  Yes, the run / walk plan left me at special needs and  I ended up power walking for 13 miles.  We laughed as we passed the timing mats thinking "at least the people at home will know we aren't dead out here".  This was not the shining moment for either of us so it was nice to have someone to joke with for the 3+ hours it took to walk to the finish.  We even had a moment of pride when the people handing out the glow necklaces for the later finishers didn't make us take one because we were "almost done"  -  even though "almost done" at that point was easily another hour.  I was still feeling so light headed.  I assume it was dehydration but then kept thinking that I had been peeing not only on the bike but along the run course too.  Who knows.  My mouth was dry and I was taking in water, coke, and perform when I could.  I was sure I would need an IV when I got back to the finish.  Me and Brian (my walking BFF), started calculating what it would take to keep him under 15 hours so we picked up the walking pace and made that our goal.  I counted down the miles and eventually we were rounding the corner to 4th street and the finish line.  I told him I was going to start running once we got to McCrory's and I took off heading into the chute and the cheering crowd.  So much fun, even after all of that!

Me and BFF Brian

I got my medal and finisher swag and headed over to see CR's smiling face :)   I said goodbye and a big thanks to my IM LOU BFF, Brian, as it would have been torture to walk all that way without him.  I had planned on finishing between 13 and 14 hours so I was pretty disappointed that it took me so much longer but at the same time proud that I didn't quit.  I never did get that IV bag although I probably needed it.  I ended up drinking ridiculous amounts of water the next day and am just now starting to feel "normal" again.  So very strange and one of those things where you don't know what you could have done differently.  I mean, I drank two bottles of water with nuun every 15 miles on the bike along with 2 salt tabs every hour.  I would have thought that would have been enough.  Oh well....   I finished and I will just have to be proud of that and not pick it to death with the things that could have been done better or differently. I will have to save that PR performance for next time :)        

SWIM:  1:16
T1:  8:50
BIKE:  7:27
T2:  11:50
RUN:  5:58
Finish:  15:03

**  I have had a couple of people ask me how I would compare the IM branded race to a non-branded race since I have done them both now.  I will save that for another post in the next day or two.  I think I have given you enough for today (and then some...)


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Race Day Tracking...

I am all packed and ready to go!  Somehow it seemed much easier packing it all up this time around.  So easy that I can't help but think I MUST be forgetting something even though I know that I am not.  I sure I probably have at least 10 sticks of body glide, 18 cans of spray sunscreen and 12 pairs of socks.  (I don't believe in packing light...).

Last I checked, the weather was supposed to be 89 with 65% humidity.  I stopped looking yesterday because I realized it wouldn't change anything.  I obsessed over B2B weather because it made the difference between long sleeves and a regular tri kit.  This weather, not so much.  

I practiced changing my rear tire earlier today and loaded my bags with extra tubes and CO2 cartridges (word is there have been incidents of people throwing tacks on the course - what is wrong with people?).  I am prepared.  Just in case.  ...and secretly hoping that 'just in case' never happens.

I am feeling very relaxed about the whole thing.  No nerves to speak of which is a good feeling.  Sometime over the next few days, I will do a practice swim, drive the course and go see the Muhammad Ali center.  Then there is that race...  :)

If you are interested in following me on race day, you can do it a couple of ways:

1.  Through the Ironman website.  They changed the site up a bit recently so you should see something that says Live Race Coverage at the bottom of the page to get to IM Louisville.  From there select Athlete Tracker and put in race number 624 (or Whitlock).  You can also view this on iphone if you have the Iron Trac app.  Love that app!

2.  Through My Athlete Live tracker.  (this was mostly to make it easier for CR on race day but you get the benefit of it too...)  :)   Go to the My Athlete Live website, select Ironman Louisville and find my name on the list.  (Karen Whitlock).

I tracked a couple people using this app before and the total times are usually off a bit because you have to turn the device on before you start the swim and leave it on your bike.  The ironman website is the most accurate tracking in terms of race time.  The My Athlete site tends to be the best choice for your sherpas who are trying to catch a glimpse of you along the race course because you can see where your athlete is on the course throughout the day.

Fair warning -  I used My Athlete during my first iron in 2011 and lost the device in the first mile on the bike (you wear it on a belt and it fell off).  Let's hope I have better luck with it this time!  Last year, I lost my aero mounted water bottle in the first mile so if we are being honest, I am hoping I don't lose anything in the first mile of the bike this time around.  :)  

FYI - My Athlete Live also has an iphone app available.

.... and that is that!  Hoping for a great race day!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Making a list and checking it twice...

...or not.  I need to get on that.  For previous races I had the lists done by now.  In fact, I probably had them done weeks before taper.  What to bring, what to think about, notes for CR, hotel info, find the cowbells.  You know, EVERYTHING.  This time around I am not even sure I know where all my stuff is which might be a problem.  My habit for packing lately has been toss everything into the car and sort it out later.  I can't do that for this race as it would take hours at the hotel making heads and tails of what I have (and of course I would likely forget something important).  Funny how disorganized I feel this time around considering the one favorite tip I give to everyone is to pre-pack your race bags before you leave the house.  It saves a ridiculous amount of time and is one less thing to do once you get there.   I am going to have to get on that this weekend!  Running out of time...

No crazy Ironman dreams yet.  For my first race, I dreamed I crossed the line in 13:23:23.  My actual time was 13:25:05.  Had I realized I was so close I would have sped it up a bit to gain some psychic ability cred.  If I have a premonition for this race, you will be the first to know.

Still obsessing over the weather.  I looked back at my blog posts from the last race in October and I was a little bummed that the forecast was calling for 84.  A little too hot for my taste.  For Louisville, 84 sounds pretty great considering the reputation the race has for being so HOT.  I have been looking at the forecast off and on but it is still too early to tell.  It is a balmy 65 here today.  YES I still live in Atlanta and it is August.  You see why I am having trouble feeling like I have acclimated to the heat!

In other (related) news...  Did you all see that Chattanooga was selected as the newest Ironman race destination?  I could not be more excited!  Asheville, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach were all also in the running and would have been great choices too.  I had told CR that Louisville would be my last - cross off doing an ironman branded race from the list and all but Chattanooga is so close.  And lovely.  And would be awesome to get to for riding the course in advance of the race.  A two hour trip from home, it really can't be beat.  Somehow they managed to find the flattest roads in the area for the race course which is shocking to me.  (the course is somewhere around 2100 feet of climbing.  crazy.)  I expected more of a hilly course.  I am not complaining about it one bit. Can't wait to register!

...and with those bits of rambling thoughts I will leave you ...  I have bags to pack and lists to make.  (...and laundry, dishes and...).

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 16, 1991...

Twenty two years.  It doesn't seem like all that long but has been literally half a lifetime now.  A small wedding at home.  Truly the world's smallest affair.  When I look back on it now I wonder what I was thinking when I planned it that way.  A backyard barbecue, some cake and nuptials.  The honeymoon was equally low key.  We planned to camp out for a week at Lookout Mountain while Rick did his hang gliding and I swam in the pool.  We ended up leaving the camp site for a "lunch ride" on the motorcycle and were gone for 5 days.  We took a detour from Chattanooga TN to Asheville NC, up the Blue Ridge Parkway and back.  No extra clothes to change into, just a sense of adventure.  The best trip ever. 

Ups and downs.  His love of adrenaline sports, my love of the more mainstream sports :)  College graduations, job changes, leaps of faith.  Lots of maturing took place over the years for both of us.  Here we are twenty two years later and have never been happier.     

Happy Anniversary, Rick.  Love you with all my heart :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ironman Louisville Week 22...

Two weeks until race day!  Last week I officially tapered off of Cross Fit which makes me so sad.  Can't wait to get back to it post-Louisville!  I struggled so much in the last workout I did there I knew it was time to phase it out until after the race.  I was just so tired...  Just hoping I don't lose too much of the fitness I gained by the time I get back.  

Run (PM):  10 miles  Weird I can't really remember doing it but I know I did...  All the training is running together at this point.

Tennis (AM):   Prep for State Championships over the weekend.  Ideal timing, don't you think?  (yeah, not really...).  Anyhow, I felt obligated to hit some tennis balls since it had been a while.  It actually felt good to do something other than swim/bike/run.

Swim (AM)  2400 meters.  It apparently was an all freestyle week this week.  

Run (PM):  5 miles. It has finally gotten toasty hot here so enjoyed (?) getting out in the heat and sweating it up.  For the record, I normally wouldn't call a 4 PM run in August something I enjoyed but felt like it was contributing to my heat acclimation for Louisville so was happy to get out there and get it done.  

Swim (AM)  3500 meters.  
More freestyle.  It felt a little like the movie Groundhog Day training-wise today. I shared this on FB so some of you may have seen this already but thought it was worth sharing...  This swim involved 3 time trial swims and I was a little disappointed with the times. Towards the end of the swim there was a heavy set woman next to me. She would do a length and rest at the wall for several minutes. When I was done, I stood at the wall drinking water and questioning my readiness for Louisville, my decision to add strength training into the plan this time and whether I should have been spending more time swimming (I went bike heavy in the plan this time). Anyhow, as I was having my little moment of stress the woman next to me says "you are such a strong swimmer, just beautiful to watch... I struggle to get from one end to other I wish I could swim like you". Yep. A reminder to be grateful for how far I have come. So easy to focus on what you "aren't" when training (I can't run 8 minute miles, I can't do double unders...). Sometimes you need to be reminded that you are better than you think. I chatted with the lady a bit more, encouraged her to stick with it and it will get easier. Thanks pool lady, needed to hear that today 

Run (PM):  5 miles. More sweating.

Bike (AM):  30 miles at Stone Mountain.  The ride was a mixture of everything - heat, hills, humidity and the last 3 miles or so were in a torrential downpour.  I am fully prepared for all situations...unless it snows.

Swim (AM) 2000 meters.

State Tennis Championships in Augusta.  Not the perfect activity to drop into your IM training plan but I had a great time and it is always fun to be able to make it to state!  I only played a couple of matches so I wasn't playing from sun up to sun down.  Sweated a lot, laughed a lot.  So much fun!

Check out my foot in the pool pic.  I am the one in the white hat.  Clearly I have feet designed for swimming!  LOL.  I am part frog.  That explains why my breaststroke is almost as fast as my freestyle :)

State Tennis Championships in Augusta

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ironman Louisville Week 21...

What what???  The doubt has firmly planted itself in my head.  Floundering between "you got this" and "oh dear, I hope I have enough training hay in the barn...".  The typical pre-race jitters, I suppose.  I think I was spared the nerves last year as I had done the race before.  I knew the course, I knew what to do, nothing was unknown.  I was trying to remember if I felt this way before the first IM.  I am certain that I did.  

This year, the training has been the same but different.  I followed my plan that has worked in the past but amped up the biking and added in strength training.  Because I upped the biking, some of the long weekend training plans were changed quite a bit.  I hope I didn't alter them so much that it changed some master plan of readiness.  All that remains to be seen on August 25th.

...and if you have been following me for long you know I always get nervous, over-analyze the training and normally do just fine.  I am counting on that again :)  

I saw this on FB last year and can't remember who I borrowed it from but I love this!

This week I felt more tired than usual.  Not sure if it was the road trip from the weekend or just training in general.  I haven't been getting great sleep so that it not helping either.  I took off a couple of workouts to try and help that situation.  Not ideal, but...
Run (AM and PM):  20 miles.  The intention was to do this all in one brick but after the road trip extraordinaire on Sunday, I was more tired than I thought on Monday AM.  Regardless, I rolled out of bed and hit Stone Mountain.  After 5 miles I knew the full 20 wasn't going to happen so I decided to do 10 in the morning and come back and give it another go in the afternoon.  The 10 in the afternoon felt effortless.  So very different than the morning run.  I took it as a good sign since my Louisville run will be well into the afternoon/evening :)    Not the ideal way to do the long run but I am happy that I at least logged all the miles.

Crossfit (PM)
I had a swim and run on the schedule for this day but dropped it.  With the long run Monday and the activities of the weekend, I felt like I would be better served skipping it and moving on.

Bike (PM) 30 miles
Run (AM) 6.2 miles (guess that was my own personal 10k race)  :)

Swim (AM) 3500m  This was a lot of speedwork and a time trial.  I really like the swim workouts in this plan, just the right mix of pulling, kicking and stroke work (besides freestyle) to keep me from getting bored with it.
Crossfit (PM)

Swim (AM) 1800m  This one was all IM and I loved it!  (or maybe I just loved that it was short...)  

Bike:  100 miles, Covington Century.  Last year I did this ride with Summer.  It was her first century!  We laughed the whole way because this ride was billed as the "flattest and fastest in GA".  So. Not. True.  Easily the hilliest century ever, there was even one hill that we were sure was a wall in the distance.

Summer:  is that a hill up there
Me:  that is a wall, we must be turning up ahead
Summer:  um, sure OK
Me:  oh wait...  crap.  (starts riding up a wall)

This year they reversed the course so we rode down the wall (hooray!).  Overall, it still had about 4600 feet of climbing but we both agreed it was soooo much easier than last year.  I will say I FINALLY got to ride in the heat this day.  After a summer of unseasonably cool temps, I think we were high 80s/low 90s for the ride.  It wasn't too bad!

REST!  (Also known as the day I do laundry, straighten up the house a bit and go to the grocery store).  I did go get a pedicure and used the time to read which was so great.  I used to read books by the dozen as a kid but as I got older other things took that time away.  I need to make more time for reading.

Hope you guys have a good week!  Kids are headed back to school around here this week, can't believe their Summer is over!