For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The weakest link

Me at Nationals - very nearly (but not quite) broken

This post has been rattling around in my head for a while and it's time i got it out. But before i get into the meat of it i'd like to extend a big congratulations to Dave Madvig for finishing the toughest Iron Distance race in the country yesterday - the Silverman Triathlon, held in Las Vegas Nevada.  Despite very limited training Dave managed a solid finish - a testament to his determination to push through perceived physical limitations.  Way to go Dave!

I had at one time planned to race both Nationals (adventure racing) and the Silverman (with Dave), but life had other plans, and i had to give up the silverman.  I was bummed for quite some time (more at the thought of not getting to visit with Dave than racing) but all that went away last sunday as the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) started to set in from our 19+ hour effort out in Moab.  As it turned out, the effects were severe but short lived and i may well have been able to knock out the race (though in less than top form) - but i imagine the lasting effects may well have been detrimental to my training efforts as they are being applied towards my biggest race of the year, Abu Dhabi, which is only 5 weeks away.  And i've got lots of training to do.

For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, i found myself the weakest link on a team.  I wasn't just slightly weaker either - the difference between my fitness on the final 3 hour bike to porcupine pass and that of any other team member was startling.  No matter how long i'd been on tow, the moment i came off i started to fall behind.  I had no power to speak of.  My forward progress was limited to spinning in my easiest gear, even on moderate grades.  Every time i tried to stand to get some 'ummphhh' both my quads would cramp or start spasming.  I didn't feel particularly tired (though i was a bit sleepy), nor hungry or thirsty (in retrospect, i probably didn't eat enough, or at least that's the opinion of my team-mates).  I realize now that i was probably bonking - though the experience was decidedly different than anything i've experienced before and much more subtle than i would have expected.

I've got lots to think and worry about now - not only am i taking a second stab at defending my thesis in two weeks, but i also need to get (much) stronger in a short amount of time on two wheels.  Not being able to keep up with the front bunch of riders won't be an option out in the desert if the team is to have a chance of finishing in the top 10, which is our goal.  While i initially thought that maybe i'd just have to scrap the whole 'three hours a week' thing during this final preparation phase, the way things are working out i'm going to be lucky to be able to stick to it - grad school deadlines are quickly approaching and the amount of work left to be done is startling -  and this coupled with all the other demands i'm facing (having been gone for a week at nationals and then leaving for 10 days only six weeks later means i need to put in some extra hours on the family front!) makes scheduling even this minimum amount of training difficult.  We'll see how it goes....

My planned training schedule is now up under training links - it'll be modified and filled in as the days pass.....

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