Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Iron Dilemma



Thanks everyone for your thoughts on Dave. Luckily, he's home this week so I can "monitor" the fire ant damage and help ward off infection. One time he got several bites on his foot and it swelled into a big wiener so he couldn't put a shoe on it for days! Of course, that hasn't stopped him from walking around outside barefoot or sitting on the ground where those buggers may be ...

Anyhoo, I have a BIG dilemma and I need some input from you again.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this coming weekend will be my biggest week in training volume and then I get to taper. To date, most of my long runs have been done a day or so *before* my long rides. This was mainly because of Dave's travel schedule (he usually got home after midnight on Fridays and could not ride long on Saturdays). In an iron tri, however, you ride long and then run long and many iron training programs have you ride long on Saturdays and then run long on Sundays. This weekend will be the first and only time I will do that: Saturday - 105 mile bike plus a 5-mile run, Sunday - 18 mile run.

Now Coach has said I can actually do this last long ride on flats to spare Dave more agony (he really should not be riding hills in heat without a solid nutrition plan). But a big part of me actually wants to head back out to the hills again knowing that a few weeks ago I couldn't even imagine running after riding the new Great Floridian (GF) course and nearly bailed on doing the full distance. Last weekend, I rode 74 miles, the toughest parts of the course, and then ran 7 miles off the bike without too much difficulty, which makes me feel better but I'm still worried, esp. since the swim may very well turn out to be not wetsuit legal. This week's highs are still over 90 degs (~100 deg heat index) -- WAH!

So, here's my dilemma:

If I leave my loving, supportive (and itchy) husband at home and ride the GF course by myself this weekend, I'll get a much better sense of what to expect on race day. However, Dave will feel left out (cycling is the one activity we try to do together every week) and he'll worry about me being out there by myself, although it's fine by me (the riding alone part, not his worrying). More than likely, he'll force himself to come with me and do as much as he can again and, similarly, if he gets into trouble, it'll be hard to modify the route and there aren't many places to rest/refuel along the way. Plus, this weekend's weather looks to be even hotter than last weekend and so even if he does only half of the ride with me, he'll still have to wait 3-4 hours for me in the heat to finish my ride and run (even in the shade, it's plenty hot).

Alternatively, I could ride flats nearby our home with Dave and just hope the training I've done will carry me through the race. Riding flats is much easier for Dave in the heat. We can also do multiple loops passing by multiple places to rest/refuel as needed. He can head home and get out of the heat whenever he feels he's done and still be fairly close by while I'm out riding. However, riding flats is nothing like riding hills to me and doing so will not help my confidence much for GF, although it will help for B2B.

Please let me know what you think I should do!

27 comments:

Wendy said...

Well, I believe your training will carry you through no matter what you decide for this weekend's training!

Spokane Al said...

Aaahhhh – the conundrum of love – when you figure this one out let me know.

Jenny Davidson said...

Listen to Coach! Flats will be fine for this workout - you'll do the miles on this ride either way, and I am confident that you have both the mental and physical strength to excel on race day whether or not you ride the GF course one more time!

Road Warrior said...

Well... any chance you'd do a short ride on Sunday (on the flats) after your long run? Sounds ridiculous, but it would take care of both scenarios.

Otherwise, I'd go the flats on Saturday for the sake of harmony.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

what's more important the race or Dave?

easy peasy - besides, even your coach agrees!

Lesser is More said...

At this point, its probably more about nutrition and practicing execution, than the training effect from the miles. Either way, it will benefit you if you stick to the plan.

If you don't feel like the flats will give you enough of a challenge, you can always shift into a harder gear to simulate pushing harder, as if you were on the hills.

Best of luck!

jen said...

I think it really sounds like you want to do the hilly ride and are over-compromising to ride with Dave. As much as you guys love riding together, YOU are doing the ironman, not him! He'll understand. There are only a few short weeks until the race(s). I think you need to be selfish for a while to achieve the best IM possible.

Lily on the Road said...

Okay, here is my take, you do the ride, and Dave can shadow you while driving the car. He can meet you at specific destinations with gels, water, sports drinks, whatever is needed and he will know you are okay. You can achieve your goal and both of you will feel as though you are doing it together....

Hope you two work it out!

Maria said...

I agree with everyone, ride the flats with Dave. If you ride without him, chances are your head won't be in the game, thinking more about your loving hubby than the ride. It's nice that you guys have something to do every week, no need to break the pattern!

Molly said...

What about Dave meeting you with the car for refuel breaks and maybe riding one out-and-back or loop? That's what my husband will do when he can't do the full thing with me.

Bruce Stewart (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I hope the training goes well, although I don't think Dave should ride with you on your real training rides. If you want to go for a ride together do so, but the focus should be on going at his pace and what is best for him. There is a big difference between someone who does little else but train all week over a long period of time and someone who has to cope with the stresses of work, travel and only the occasional weekend ride. For me even in the best of times, a 60-mile ride in the heat required a lot of effort, and that was when I had 3 x 30 mile rides during the weekdays, too. Having extra weight to carry (especially up those hills), plus the hot weather, etc. only makes such rides intolerable. Our lives are not judged by how far we can bike, but by how successfully we can handle the many demands put upon us. Sport is a necessary part of that to perform optimally, but it cannot be taken to extremes in such a way that the rest of life would be jeopardized. Macca has his training schedule and I have mine.

Regina said...

I can appreciate your thoughtfulness where Dave is concerned and I love that he wants to ride with you. But by the sound ofit, you really want to do the hilly ride. You are the one who is training for a race. I'm sure if you explain to him that you want to do this ride in the same thoughtful manner you' have here, how can he deny you?

Like you've said, he's a Marine, he'll be fine on his own and you've certainly proven your own fortitude in your training. Perhaps he can meet you with nutrition and such on your route?

I'm sure you're plenty prepared either way, but I understand that little extra "I'll feel a lot more confident if I do this one last thing".

Good luck.

Meg Runs said...

THis is a dilema that we've had before. Sometimes I need to go farther or faster and if BS comes along, I feel like I need to stay with him. Lately, we've decided to start together so we have have that time together and then if I need to go on, I do and as long as BS isn't waiting longer than an hour or so, he waits!

BS says you should do the loops and Dave can head home if need be. This is SUCH a had decision, I feel for you! Let us know what happens!

Shannon said...

I'd try to convince your husband to rest and do the long route. I have the same husband at home and I just recently convinced him that the 60 mile route I did by myself was fine. He finally agreed and I called him on my cell from time to time to put his mind as ease.

I don't think I've told you lately....YOU ROCK!

lindsay said...

while i'd probably want to do the harder, hillier workout myself, i'm definitely a sucker for "joint workout time".

your coach even said that the flats will be fine. trust your abilities! have your normal honey-buns ride and enjoy the time with dave. this one ride will not determine your successes at the tri and you know that. you've put in weeks and months of hard work, and that is what will get you through.

MaineSport said...

I agree with jen. Do the hills. Eliminate the aprehension from race day.

Marlene said...

Not an expert here... but trust your training and trust your coach!

RoadBunner said...

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer (just the fact you have a big dilemma about this shows how sweet you are). But here is my take:

If it were me, I'd do the hilly course. You're training for a big race and this is just one week. It is not like you are cutting out your ride time with hubby every week for months and months. I love Lily's idea of him crewing from the car. This way he won't worry about you and you get to get this done as a team.

p.s. Hope his ant incident heals up fast. Yikes!

jeanne said...

Ahh, Dave has to stay home. It's just one week! You need to FOCUS! He will understand!

X-Country2 said...

Coach is your coach for a reason. You're ready. :o)

Calyx Meredith said...

The responses seem as mixed as your original feelings on the matter! I'm pretty sure that means there's no wrong answer here. Seems like you can trust both your training and your wonderful marriage and go with either plan. (Maybe flip a coin?) :D Hope Dave is recovering and that you get what you most need out of your training.

PLANET3RRY said...

I see that you are doing well as always! I am sure that if you rode last weekend and then gave Dave some Fire Ant Loving, he'd be perfectly happy.

Hope your training is well.

EndorphinBuzz said...

You know what to do but I would feel that David would understand your situation and agree to have you go all out by yourself and share a nice relaxing evening together after. If you are entering into Taper there will be plenty of time with him soon anyways.

lizzie lee said...

Every head is a world, but after what I have gone through this year I would definitely do the flats. We sometimes put ourselves in a position like if we are going to the Olympic trials, and that's good for the most part, but sometimes we may lose perspective. In the other hand, the time you ride together is irreplaceable or ... priceless??? Live in the Now. It's all we have.

sincere-lee
lizzie lee

Brent Buckner said...

Not a vote on your route, but I will comment that one should trust one's coach or change one's coach.

Kelly said...

I just found your blog- I have no major advice though I think maybe you should do the hilly course and have him drive as someone else suggested. It will make you feel confident on race day. But whatever you decide (short of him coming with you when he is not prepared) I think will be fine. Yay for almost taper time!

Vickie said...

What if he just drives the course to check on you? Not quite the same for togetherness, but you'll know he's there and he'll know you're okay.

And I realize now that your weekend is over, so wonder how you solved that dilemma?

As for weather, I don't know what's worse: 90+ degrees or 30 with a windchill. Personally, I can deal with the heat far better than the cold.