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I did my first broken toe test ride tonight – about one hour on the trainer.  All appears to be okay.  There were a few moments of discomfort, but no pain.  So things are looking up.

I didn’t want to overdo it, so I just stuck with the hour on the trainer for tonight, followed up with lots of ice and elevation.  Tomorrow I hope to do a two hour ride and a swim.

I’m trying to track down all the little odds and ends I’ll need come race day – today I picked up some toe covers and a very light jacket (both highly recommended due to the wind in Wilmington).  I also stopped by my local bike shop for a long bike route recommendation.  Everything around here is crazy hilly, and now with the toe, I really don’t want to be straining to mash up any hills this weekend, especially since the B2B course is flat and the hill training is not super necessary.  So I think I have a good plan for this weekend.  We’ll see.

Things appear to be okay for now.  I really need to get my eating under control now that I can’t run until race day.  I’m still eating like I’m in full training mode and it’ll catch up with me quickly!

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And I broke it.

My big toe, that is.

DAMMIT.

Monday night I dropped a 40 pound box directly onto my big toe.  I screamed and cried like a big baby for a good portion of an hour.  Yesterday (Tuesday) I went to the orthopedist to get it checked.  Normally I wouldn’t bother for a toe – there’s nothing they can do, you just tape it and move on.  But with this being my peak training week (long swim, 20 mile run, and century ride), and the ironman in three and a half weeks, I wasn’t about to mess around.

I did indeed break it.  I cracked the tip right off.  Blech.

HOW DO I ALWAYS DO THESE THINGS AT THE WORST POSSIBLE TIME???

My orthopedist thought I was being ridiculous when I said I had the ironman in less than four weeks, but I told him I was going to do it anyway, so what did he suggest?

So I’m not supposed to run at all until race day.  That’s fine, I’ll manage.  I’ve done enough marathons to know that I can suck it up come race day with my longest run to date being 17.5 miles.  And realistically, I probably will be mostly walking at that point in the day anyway.  I just hope I can walk fast enough to make the cutoff.  Limping is slow.

I can swim.  That shouldn’t be a problem.

My biggest concern is with the bike.  My longest ride to date has been 4 hours (61 miles).  Race day will be 112 miles.  I HAVE to get a long ride of at LEAST 80 miles in this weekend to feel comfortable.  I was told I can ride, as long as there’s no pain.

So when I got home from the doctor’s office, I gingerly put on my bike shoe to see how it felt.  It was a bit tight from the swelling (he gave me prescription anti-imflammatories, so that should help), but not painful.  I stood in the shoe, putting my weight on the cleat, as I would when pedaling.  Fortunately, I didn’t appear to be putting much weight on my toe, so I think I’ll be okay.

So the modified plan is now swim and bike as much as I can, and no running until race day.  Biking should keep my run fitness up enough to be okay.  So right now that’s going to be my big focus.

I just did this Monday afternoon/evening, so I haven’t tried anything yet.  I wanted to let the swelling go down some more so I took it easy yesterday.  But I think tonight I’ll put the bike on the trainer (not risking it outside just in case I need to bail) and do some easy spinning to feel things out.  And I’ll probably head over to the pool to get a decent swim in.

I’m terrified that on race day I’ll start out okay but will end up in some serious pain.  It’s not going to be anywhere near healed, and I know it’s going to hurt like hell.  But, as I said in between the screams of agony on Monday, if my friend can do IMLP with a broken collarbone, I can do B2B with a broken toe.  I just wish it wasn’t the big toe.  That’s like the boss of the foot!

Okay, time for more ice.

Beach2Battleship is only four weeks away!  ACK!!!

I don’t know where the last several months went, but they somehow flew by and now the ironman is looming, like a big scary beast.

I haven’t posted much of anything (at all?) in the past month because there’s been too much going on to deal with it all, and something has to give.  I don’t want to get into it right now, but I will explain more later.  Just not yet.  There are big changes happening in my life that are stressful and emotionally taxing (no, I’m not pregnant).  Unfortunately, those changes have come right during what should be my peak training for B2B.  These things do not coexist nicely.

So I’ve tried to find a balance.  It hasn’t gone too well.

With all of these things going on, I decided to sacrifice a week of my four week taper, so I still have one week of peak training to go, and then it’s taper time.

I would give you a rundown with the day-to-day training, except there isn’t much to report.  I’ve tried to do what I can.  It hasn’t been a ton, and I’m very frustrated by that.  However, it’s not really something I can let myself worry about right now.  I just need to keep looking forward.

Today was supposed to be my 5.5 hour ride – around 85 miles (assuming I average 15 mph, which is very do-able).  I decided instead of just tooling around and going wherever the wind (or the downhills) takes me, I wanted to find a route on mapmyride.com to follow.

I chose this one.  In the description it says “mostly rolling with a few moderate hills.”

I call bullshit.  I should have studied the profile a bit more carefully as I was writing down the directions to take with me.  I had no idea what I was in for.

I started out feeling good.  Last week’s first attempt at this ride had ended in a bonk at 1:30.  So I tried to stay positive.

A few miles in, however, and I was singing a different tune.

If you haven’t checked out the link, here’s the profile:

I was hating those stupid roads – swearing up a storm as I went around every curve and one uphill after another would come into view.  It was miserable.  My legs were shot.  They felt like jelly.

I couldn’t do it.  16 miles in, and I had nothing left.  I stood at the top of the worst hill yet and cried a bit – with another hill looming in front of me.

I was done.  I had ridden for 1:30 (again).  What I didn’t realize (again, totally my fault because I didn’t look at the profile enough before setting out on the ride), was that I had made it to here:

Stupid!  I wish I had known I had already done the hardest part.  Including 3 (3!!!) category 5 climbs!  I think I could have finished it.  That hill that was in front of me when I stood there and decided to turn around was that little tiny bump at the top of that monster.

I turned around and rode the same route back home.  There had been so much uphill going out, that taking the same route back only took me 1 hour – 30 minutes less.

All the way back, I kept wondering if I could even complete the 112 mile ride in B2B.  Doubts were swirling around my head every which way.  To date, my longest ride has been the 61 miler four weeks ago, which felt wonderful.  Since then, I have been so run down and mentally drained that every time I set out for a long ride, I crap out.  I have, however, gotten a (slow) 17.5 mile run in, so that’s looking okay (20 miler is next week).

When I got home, I pulled up the profile on mapmyride, and then pulled up the B2B bike profile to compare.  I know everybody says B2B is flat, but now I was terrified.  I started reading reports about false flats and rolling hills (both of which kill me), and of course, going over the two bridges coming into T2 (the bridges I already knew about).

Here’s the B2B profile:

When I turned on the % grades, nothing even comes up for B2B, which makes me feel a bit better.  However, there still appear to be quite a lot of bumps on that thing!

Comparing it to today’s ride:

While less scary, it still looks unpleasant.

However, being a geologist, I deal a lot with a little thing called vertical exaggeration (just taught that in class last week, actually).  If you take a look at the profile from today’s ride, there’s almost 1100 feet of elevation change there.  In the B2B profile, there’s only about 200.

So I scaled them to get a better sense of what I was dealing with:

Well, that certainly makes me feel a lot better.

Now I just have to hope the wind doesn’t suck too much.

So this coming week is my “make it or break it” week.  I’m going to do the best I can, and I’ll see how I feel at the end of the week.  I’m feeling a little better about the bike now – still apprehensive, but better.  This coming week I have my 20 mile run, which I know I can do, my long swim, which I know I can do (my biggest challenge with the swim is not having a panic attack about sharks), and my century ride – which, realistically, if I can make it to 80+ miles, I’ll be happy.

I will try to update again next weekend after I’m done.  Until then, happy training!

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com

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