It's time for a little acceleration. I have a couple of more posts until I'm caught back up to the present.
Labor Day weekend is typically a last chance for me to get to LBI aka Kootman's house for a last weekend of fun. In years past, it would consist of a few of us. Now that some of them have babies, etc, it's a little different. And, unfortunately for me, I had to use that weekend for some big training. After all, you can't expect to do well in an Ironman and lose a few days by going to the beach!
I was looking for a big week/weekend and I got it. That first week of September I got in 23k in the pool, and 221 miles on the bike. To keep it somewhat balanced, I ran just about 34 miles. From Wednesday through Labor Day Monday, I rode 6 days, including Friday morning 2 hour ride + Patapsco hour run, and then headed to Frederick on Saturday with OJ. The plan was to get after it. Riding with OJ out there is sure to make it tough. I chased him up the hills all day, and ultimately finished up at 3:01:23 for the ride. It was the fastest I've ever ridden it by a few minutes, and OJ's ride time was just under 3 hours. We chased this with a 5 mile run, and all in all it was a good day of training. I was finding it easier to put away 3 disciplines in the same day now, getting into the pool for 3500m after getting back to Baltimore. Truthfully, one of the only reasons I was getting in the pool was because it was nice outside, and I wanted to hit the pool every day that weekend. I had been swimming outside all summer and accrued a tremendous speedo tan, so I was going to keep working on that until the pool went back inside.
That Sunday was a 67 mile ride, easy 2k in the pool and then a chill 7 mile run at Robert E Lee Park. Had to "rest up" before Monday. The prescribed workout that day was a morning 60 mile ride with Pat. After about an hour we hit some hard sections of 5-10-15-10-5 (minutes) with about 5 minutes in between each. By the time we got to Roland Park and were a few miles from home, I was cooked. Didn't feel like riding anymore, just tired. We still had to run, too. We headed out for our 6 mile loop and made it down to the Square in 6:10 or something. We decided to push the pace until 18 minutes, then chilled out for a bit, then picked it up for the last 9.
After the good block, I was going to take it easy for a few days. Had a good 40 mile ride with OJ on Wednesday, but then started feeling a little sick. I blamed this on Ed, as he had the croup or the whooping cough or something. When he gets sick, he gets SICK. His cough lingered for weeks, and despite my normally insane immune system, even I get weakened when I'm on that line of hard training. I was a little disheartened, because I was hoping to race Lancaster Triathlon on Saturday. I was feeling good about my swim, and since I've only ever ridden my road bike there, I figured I'd ride about the same as normal. Running was going well, and in general I just felt like it would have been a good race.
However, the sickness wouldn't have been the only thing stopping me from competing. In all the years I've done that race, I've always signed up day of. One of the nicest things about that race. Except I found out the day before that they were no longer doing race day registration, and that the race had apparently closed 6 weeks prior online. WTF? This is Lancaster. Not Columbia. Stupid. It was a really nice day, too. So then I thought maybe I'd jump up to Delaware Diamondman on Sunday, as they did offer race day registration, but when I woke up Sunday I still felt under the weather and it was also pretty shitty out. Saturday, despite feeling ill, I made it out for 64 miles with Pat and OJ. It did not go well for me. Then ran at Robert E Lee for another 7. Sunday, the sickness took me out, and I just made it out for a short 6 miles.
I started feeling a little better, and managed a good TNT workout that next week, before getting out on Wednesday for the Rocks 83 mile ride. Despite rain for 3.5 hours of my day, I rode pretty well. And because I left real late, I didn't get home until late, so it was dark. The long days by myself were good because I could control my efforts a lot better, but they were also pretty boring. I was planning on banditing Philly Distance Run that Sunday, but it didn't stop me from running 11 at Patapsco with Kris on Friday. My parents and brother came down for the Orioles vs Yankees that night, and then I got up early Saturday to squeeze in a 4 hour ride before heading up to Philly. It's one of my favorite trips of the year, and this one did not disappoint.
Sunday started off a lot warmer than we expected. I warmed up with Melissa, who was doing a marathon pace run inside of the race. We did about 3 prior to the start, and then I did another 1 after to make it 17. I think she did 20. I started off and felt like I was running low 6, but was disappointed when I saw I was at 6:22. I kept the first 4 within a few second range, running with Matt Castille, but by 4.5 I was pretty much done. It was no longer comfortable, and I considered stopping. I wanted to get in some miles, though, so I continued on at a slower pace. I was no running closer to 7's, and didn't want to have any miles OVER 7, so as each last 100 or 200 would approach, I would run fast enough to sneak under 7 then slow down. Stupid, I know, but I didn't really care. I didn't like the reversed course, and I didn't like the loudness of the music on course. I finished up just under 1:28. Far off where I thought I could run, but I wasn't going to concern myself with it. After we got back to Baltimore (it was now real warm), I still had to ride.
I had to go up to NJ the next day for a doc visit, which I was not psyched about because I had driven to Philly twice in the past week and just didn't feel like being in the car anymore. One Philly trip was, of course, to PDR, but the other, a few days earlier, was to the Lady Gaga concert. That was pretty awesome.
Thursday came and the temps were still kicking in over 90 degrees. I hadn't gotten out for a real long ride in a while, so I decided that would be the day. I rode up to OJ's, where I met him for a 50 mile ride. I was not prepared for the weather, or something, because I was getting crushed from early on. The 3 hours of riding with OJ felt real twice as long. Then I had to ride home still. It was rough. 101 miles I think but it took me over 6 hours. That's what Cockeysville and north county rides will do to you. The next few days of the weekend were going to be another big push as I was racing the next two weeks.
Hit Patapsco on Friday with Kris, running 2 minutes faster than last week, and then Saturday rode with Pat. It was 95 degrees when we started at 11:30 though, and Pat was having a rough day after 2 hours. It wound up taking quite a while to make it through the 85 miles, so I got home late. That meant getting into the pool late, so doing just a short swim before it closed. Then I still had to run. It was a real good training day, and it was really nice by the time I went to run. The WineFest was going on in the Square, so Canton was packed. Sunday I almost welcomed the rain as it kept me from riding. Pat joined me for a long run out to the Fort and back. Neither of us felt great, but we got it done.
My brain just keeps thinking "one more day, one more day." I keep saying I'll start taking it easy. But I just kept feeling good, and by now I was freaking out about the two months I had before Arizona. I wasn't going to make a final decision on whether I would race until after the half Ironman I was going to do on 10/10. So I absolutely had to be prepared for that race.
Last week of September, and it was time for a good track workout. We were doing 1600 hard, 3200 tempo, 1600 hard. It was a small group, but a great night for track. Originally I thought that 5:30, 12:00, 5:40 would be reasonable times for me. Once we got going, in the dark, I felt great. We negative split our first 1600 and ran 5:19. Then we perfectly evenly split the 3200 at 11:33. Wow. I was feeling pretty good still, but I knew the last interval would be tough. I ran with Prada and Elijah and we were moving well, again negative splitting, and I finished in 5:22. It was a great workout and now I was feeling pretty confident about the weekend ahead.
The next day I got out for a 77 mile ride, and was riding decent despite the wind and getting rained on again. That last day of September I made sure I got out for a run, so was just going to go do 6. But then Chris Nowakowski ran into me and we got to chatting. It had rained all day so the Harbor was really flooded, but it was nice out while we were running and we got in 8 for the day. Not bad!
September ended up as another big month. Not only did I record big volume, but I started mixing in some real efforts, and brought my long runs up again. I finished with 75000m in the pool and 885 miles on the bike, and a "whopping" 159 miles of running. By hours, the weeks were 24, 20.5, 21.17, 21.75 and 20.75.
I had some races coming up and was feeling ready to go. September, always a good month for me. Next up, my return to racing, the month that was October and finally making a decision about Arizona.