I signed up two weeks before the race and competed 31 days after my release from the hospital. I was definitely not at my best, but I executed the race exactly as planned despite some of the toughest racing conditions I've ever experienced. It was 90+ degrees, heavy humidity and the run course had several hills that were difficult to even walk up.
Syracuse bike course
A couple days after Syracuse I went to Vermont for a training camp in the Green Mountains where I was able to ride 235 miles with more than 20,000 feet climbing over 3 of the gaps. We did Appalachian - one of the harder gaps - twice in one ride. It was some of the most incredible cycling I've ever done and definitely contributed to some huge fitness gains. Plus I got to catch up with some good friends.
Top of App Gap with my friend Dan
We did a fair amount of open water swimming as well and one simple tip shared by my friend Dan, who is also a coach, improved my swim by 20 seconds per 100. I've been swimming for 5 years, but have never improved until now.
Post-swim fun at Blueberry Lake
High Volume Heat Wave
Two weeks ago we had 8 straight days of record-breaking heat and humidity in NYC. Of course this was timed right when my volume was going through the roof so I suffered through 18 hours of training in 100 degree weather. I was waking up as early as 4am to attempt to beat the heat but it was 85 by 5am and in the 90s by 9am. I had some big accomplishments that week on the bike and swim and logged a solid 16.8 mile long run that was only about 45 seconds slower per mile than my usual. The highlight of the week was the Governor's Island Swim, a 2-mile race around Governor's Island in the NY Harbor. I swam my best ever time in choppy water without a wetsuit.
Huge swim PR
First Peak Week
Last week I did my fist peak week of the schedule, a week my coach called "super compensation" since I did maximum volume on both the bike and run. I'll have additional peaks in the coming weeks, but each will focus separately on the run and bike. The key workouts went very well, especially my long run.
Yet another Garmin shot...
I was fatigued for some of the shorter workouts after this run, but bounced back for a huge ride last weekend to Bear Mountain, where we rode up to the summit twice. We hit a total of 115 miles with 9,000 feet climbing.
Ironman Wisconsin Recon
And finally, this past week I had a chance to do some training on the IMWI course in Madison. I booked a trip for family reasons and decided to bring my bike for course recon. I haven't been on the course since 2011 and I was terribly out of shape then so I wanted to see just how far my fitness has come and how much good it will do me on race day. Things could not have gone better. On Thursday I did a half course ride at slightly harder than target race effort and totally nailed it. I completed the loop in 2:17, way faster than anything I've done in the past, and the half in 3:06. My race goal is 6:15 so I am right on track. I followed it up with a really strong run off the bike, much faster than race pace.
I did some running and two swims on the course - one short and one 2 miler. Again, right on my goal pace.
But the highlight of the week was my full course ride yesterday. I rode conservatively and managed to negative split the loops and the out and back. I felt strong the entire time and finished slightly faster than my PR in 2010, but slower than my target pace this year. With a few more weeks of training and taper, I'm confident I can reach my goal.
At mile 96 of 110 with my friend Phil