I somehow made a turnaround and am feeling great -- relatively speaking when you're training for Ironman. Energy is there. Motivation is there. Ability to do work is there. Most my training is MAF style, so it's not like I'm breaking any records with speed/pace at all, but I am handling the loads and have put together a few good weeks, for me, and am having fun. I think I reached a point after Vineman where I said to myself, "It's time to sh*t or get off the pot" (in regards to Vegas Worlds and IM Tahoe training). I wasn't feeling that hot prior to Vineman, but with a little racin' and a lot of self-talk, I'm now in a better spot mentally and physically.
I took an easy week after Vineman, which included some fine Napa wine tasting, then the week after ramped it up, ending with 20+ hours of training in the bank. The highlight of that week, for me, was a huge day of running on a Saturday that I loved. It started with 17-something miles under 2.5 hours, followed by another ~10k that night around Fiesta Island in SD with Rousey, who was doing his annual 24-hr run. I was literally running when I'd otherwise be asleep, that was interesting but really fun and memorable. However, that caught up to me (including lack of sleep), and I failed miserably on our long ride in East County the next day. Bummer! Called it after 2.5hrs :( At least that ride ended at Alpine Brewing for a beer sampler.
The next week I scaled back a bit, ending the week including a quick trip to Catalina Island for one day of complete R&R and a second day of hard trail running in the hot sun, with 3L of hydration on my back - yowza! It was worth it though. The Catalina Marathon is now officially on my bucket list. Oh yea, did I mention I saw a friggin shark while we were crossing the channel?! Ugh.
Then, no rest for the wicked, last week was solid too, highlighted by way more miles put on my bike than on my car. I love weeks like that. I'm starting to feel like long rides go by in a blink, even long-ish trainer sessions. And running long is the same. Sunday I did something I've never done before: I ran 3 hours nonstop (minus bottle refills), with a goal of getting in 21 miles, but in the end I got 21.4 miles, and that was coming off a long ride/t-run the day prior. I ran an out &back rolling hills kinda route on PCH, ending with hills the last 3 miles. The coast is not flat, folks.
By the way, I honestly think I want to marry my Hoka One One's. I've been doing all my long runs in these puppies and they are like heaven. I think they're in for Tahoe. Also thinking ahead to Tahoe and nutrition, I'm pretty sold on using Huma gels. They are jivin' with me on long runs. I know I'll only have limited Skratch plus course nutrition/whatever I can carry (I prefer to carry as much of my own stuff as manageable before using course nutrition). Gels aren't my fave, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and I actually like the Huma gels including the chia in them. Wrote more about them here.
As for swimming, well it's coming along. The necessary evil ;) I do most my swims these days at lunchtime in a hot outdoor pool to really suffer in prep for the Vegas
A few other life randoms:
CHEESECAKE. I am also eating plenty of cheesecake right now, like almost every evening. Sounds crazy coming from me, right? Well, there is one line of cheesecakes that I 100% approve of and love. What is this magical dessert called? Earth Cafe Living Foods Cheesecakes. These slices of heaven are found in pretty much any Whole Foods, and lucky for me the company is based out of Orange County, so I've met the guys and really love them and what they're doing. Makes me want to be a supporter even more when good people are doing good things to make this world healthier. If you haven't tried these cheesecakes yet, get on it. They are raw, vegan, and free of gluten, soy, dairy, etc. The nuts they used are raw and soaked, which is careful attention to details and health that you normally don't see. Leave a comment with your email on this blog, and I'll send you a discount code.
HRV. I am also now using heart rate variability (HRV) in attempt to become more of a biohacker, a term you hear going around these days -- learning from Dave Asprey, my buddy Ben G, etc. We talked about it on a podcast here. And I'll also talk about it on a podcast with Dr. Phil Maffetone that I'm releasing this week. It's fun. So far, it's dang interesting to monitor HRV in the morning when I wake, after workouts, when working, before bed... etc. It gives such clear insight into your stress levels and tells you what HR alone fails to expose. It's very interesting to draw correlations between HRV and training performance, and it's also a useful tool to guide your training by maximizing the good days and scaling back on bad days. I am all about listening to my body...
VEGAS 70.3 WORLDS PREVIEW. Last but not least, I'm writing for Ironman again like last year! I've chosen to scale back on freelance writing these days, but I take on the projects that I love, and this time of year that means one thing: championship preview articles! Over the weekend, I finished my Official Ironman 70.3 World Championship preview article (an honor to author this once again), highlighting the top-10 men and top-10 women toeing the line.
I love writing these articles because I get to totally geek out on the triathlon season, in particular the season's best triathletes. I compile their stats, analyze their race results, talk with them about their training, racing and lives, etc. It's quite a bit of work getting all the information gathered in order to write insightful pieces on each athlete, and I had to turn this one around quickly so this past week was been a grind! That said, I am going to share all the nitty gritty details of the info I've compiled on the top-20 pros racing Vegas in a future blog coming soon... and later, will be doing the same thing with Kona! So keep an eye out for that :)
And, that's all for now. Sorry, no time for pictures this round. Off to Big Bear for a 3-day training "camp" with my man!