Monday, May 2, 2011

2 + 2 = 70.3

When I was scheduling my Spring events, I figured the I'd gear up for the London Marathon, then come home to hammer on the bike and swim in preparation for Florida 70.3 on May 15th. The theory is that training for one endurance event will get you to a fitness plateau that you can then use as a base to train for the next event. This worked well for me last year, when I came back from doing the Paris Marathon and did the St. Anthony's Triathlon two weeks later.

Well, great plans have a way of coming undone. Coming back from London for the London Marathon, I brought back a nice little virus/flu that had me feeling weak and tired for 2 weeks. As I was sitting in my office last Wednesday still feeling wiped out, I thought: "There's no way I can get ready for this half-ironman." I called my buddy Jerry who I'd planned to ride up to Orlando with and share a room and told him not to count on me. I left a voice mail with another buddy John, also signed up for the event, and said I was likely to pull myself from the event. I spoke with John later and said I would try to get some workouts in over the weekend to see if I could salvage the situation.

As the weekend approached, the e-mail announcing our usual group ride failed to appear. When I sent out an e-mail to find out who was riding Saturday morning, I got back varying responses that indicated everyone was doing something different. I was on my own for a Saturday ride. That turned out to be a blessing. By riding solo, I not only was able to warm up at my own pace, but I was able to get back in the groove of the solo ride of a triathlon event. On my outbound ride, I felt like my fitness was off. I was averaging between 17.5 to 18 at best. To my pleasant surprise, I'd been fighting a headwind and was able to ride from 20 to 23 on the return route.

Sunday morning, my alarm went off at 6 AM. I awoke feeling tired and a little sore from Saturday's ride. I decided to go back to bed and slept until 9:30 AM. I cut the lawn and swam with my son, Alex in our pool. Later in the day, I made tentative plans to do a pool swim with buddy John at 4:30 PM. He was supposed to call and confirm. He didn't call until 5:30 PM, in the middle of the 3rd quarter of the Heat-Celtics game. I bowed out and wished him a good swim. I did go out for a run at 7 PM to make up for my sleep in that morning. A bit of a slog of a run in the evening humidity, but I completed the 10 miles I'd planned for the morning.

With only one more weekend to get in long training, It's still a question as to whether I can get race ready in such a short period. I'm hoping to get in an open water swim or two before the event. I'll also try to get in shorter workouts during the next two weeks. I hope my energy level continues to improve and two long workouts on two consecutive weekends is enough for me to at least complete a 70.3.


  1. Wow, thats a tough call, I bet your base in more then enough to get you to the finish line

  2. You have got it.
    Just take your time and as I say "embrace and enjoy the day"
    No podium but I guarantee you won't be last either

  3. The VO2 max associated with running is higher than either the bike or swim. Therefore, running fitness carries over to the bike and swim but you cannot go up with training on the bike or swim to help you run. You are in a marathon fog, your fitness is good enough. Trust your body. It will rise to the occasion.