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 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!