Here we are, just having finished Week 15. With just 9 weeks to go at this point, it’s good to have the feeling that my bike and run abilities are coming along well. I am still struggling with the swim, and will be focusing on this to ensure success on race day. It’s such a small portion of the race, from a time perspective, but can be disastrous for the unprepared. Many will attempt this race, and fail on the swim portion. To that end, I will indeed do whatever I have to in order to succeed. I’m dedicated to the preparation.
One of my favorite quotes:
Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t. – Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice, for those unfamiliar, is a retired American football legend, who played the majority of his career for the San Francisco 49ers football club. He won three Super Bowl rings during his 20 year career, and is considered by many as the best player of all time. The attribute that he is best known for is his relentless preparation. Rice is remembered for his work ethic and dedication to the game. In his 20 NFL seasons, Rice missed only 10 regular season games, 7 of them in the 1997 season, and the other 3 in the strike-shortened season of 1987. His 303 games are by far the most ever played by an NFL wide receiver. In addition to staying on the field, his work ethic showed in his dedication to conditioning. One of the best known examples of his dedication and ethics may be “The Hill”, a long and steep hill that is “two and a half miles up”; Rice would sprint across the hill literally every day to improve his abilities. “The Hill” has served as an inspiration for many other players in 49ers organization, among them former first-round pick wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who neglected to train with Rice on “The Hill”, and was subsequently traded. Known as one of the best blockers at his position, there was no aspect of playing wide receiver at which Rice did not excel.
What we can learn from this is the importance of work ethic. Yes, we sometimes suffer when we get out of bed extra early for a swim workout, or when we compromise family time to get our long rides/runs done, but this dedication – this work ethic – is what can set us apart. I am committing to doing what I have to do for race day success, and that includes finishing every swim workout, and having an exceptional work ethic. I will not fail.
I was home again this week. Instead of the typical Monday recovery day, I ran the Bolder Boulder 10K race. It was a decent fitness test, and I ran the race primarily in zone 2, then zone 3 at the end, to simulate race day pace. Even my low-heart-rate training runs are beating my previous PRs, so that’s a good sign, I’m sure. The running is going well. I also spent time doing some specialty training, by running with a rucksack on. I’ll be participating in the GORUCK Challenge on June 6-7, so I’m in the final stages of preparation for that. On both Wednesday and Friday, I did my normal run workouts, but also did a short, slow run with a 40-pound rucksack on my back. The shoulders are getting a key workout. I’m ready! Since I’m racing in the Boulder Peak Triathlon (Olympic) on July 13th, I’ll be doing my long rides on that course, to familiarize myself. Also, the Ironman shares part of that course. On Saturday, I rode the course, then an extra 28 miles. Great ride. On Sunday, I had a nice long run of about 12 miles. My friend, Roy, ran a 5K on Sunday, and finished in 20:18. Not only is that a great time, but he is 52 years old, and he was keeping up with the college track stars! On top of that, he told me that’s a comfortable 10K pace for him. Nice job, Roy! You’re an inspiration, so keep it up.
The nutrition aspects of training are going well. Since I’ve been doing this for 15 weeks already, everything is pretty much habit. Being at home makes it easier, but I’m finding it not to be a problem when I’m on the road, too. Over the course of this training plan, I lost weight at first, dropping almost 15 pounds right at the start. I started at 180 pounds, but I’ve been sitting at 166 for the last 7 weeks, so that’s clearly going to be my race weight. I went from 16% body fat down to 9%, and now I’m about 7.5%. That’s probably the biggest change. As the training demands have increased, so have my caloric requirements. I was eating about 2,200 calories a day initially, and now I’m over 5,000 per day.
I’m on the road again for at least two weeks in June (maybe even three), so the rides will suffer, but running and swimming won’t be a problem. The end of the week will culminate in the GORUCK Challenge, so that should be interesting. I’ll do a full report on that.