Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ready To Roll

Well, that's it; The hard work is over and I'm ready to roll. Nothing left to do now but taper down and sharpen up.

This weekend provided a much needed confidence boost. I must admit that I was a little concerned that I might not make it to Timberman in very good shape thanks to the down time that I was forced to take after Eagleman. Three weeks of very little training will do that to you, no matter what kind of shape you were in before being sidelined.

However... the 3 consecutive weeks of intensive training that I just completed seemed to have done the trick. Yesterday's pace ride went very smoothly, as I ripped off the workout's main segment, a 40k at 70.3 goal pace, in under 60 minutes, feeling very much in control throughout. It had been a while since the system had felt that sharp, thanks in large part to the huge training load that I've been dealing with for the past 21 days (read: fatigue!).

I was pleasantly surprised with that session, but was even more so with today's: An intensive long run of 16 miles. Going into the workout, I wasn't expecting much, but my legs had plans of their own as I gradually descended down from 6:40 - 6 min./mile pace over the course of the run. I clipped through the last 5 miles of the "Around the Cape Course," (executed, as usual, in reverse so that the worst of the hills hit me towards run's end when glycogen stores are getting low and fatigue is setting in) in under 31 minutes, feeling exceptionally in control and aerobic throughout. The track work that I've been laying down has clearly paid off as my respiratory rate was at an all time low and the lactate levels were as well. I can't recall the last time I floated that fast around the Cape. A very encouraging sign for sure.

Oh, and Julie/Beth: If you're reading this, sorry that I didn't stop for water. I was clipping along with 4 miles to go and didn't want to break my rhythm! Thanks for the effort though and I'll see you tomorrow at Niles for our distance swim!!!

So that's that. I'm looking forward to doing just enough work over the course of the next 2 weeks to keep the system "open" while allowing it to fully recover. I just hope that I'm not too rusty at the Lowell Olympic distance tri next Sunday, as it's been quite a while since I raced last. As long as all goes as planned at Timberman however, it's all good, especially since next weekend is nothing more than a tune up.

Okay, time to hit Lanesville and flat rocks for a little blackberry hunting and a dip in the Ipswich Bay. Summer already seems to be winding down, so I'm trying to make the most of it while it's still here.


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