Friday, August 22, 2014

IMMT Training Weeks 29 and 30: Wait for it...

I am not a perfectionist freak for nothing! I have to get this last update out of the way before writing the IMMT race report. So you'll have to wait a little longer for this: Irina S, you are.... an IRONMAN!!! Ooops, did I just let the cat out of the bag? My bad.... :D

But technically, it was at the end of week 30, so a mention belongs here too. Now, what the hell happened in those two weeks before the Ironman? It was supposed to be taper, but my mind was racing. And I was also getting ready to race a sprint triathlon. Oh wait, does it mean another race report before THE race report?... This blog is becoming borderline evil. But it should make this update so much shorter, me thinks.


On Monday of the long weekend, my friend Carol called me and asked if I wanted to go to the quarry. Despite the high chance for thunderstorms, we took a gamble and it ended being just perfect. Two 1km loops, nice and steady.

On Saturday of the same week I swam in Bracebridge 750m (time trial swim in a river, wicked!), then the next day I swam 2 loops at Professor's Lake (1.5km). Open water swimming, all the time!!
The week after, we took residence in a cottage by the Lake Dufour in Mt Tremblant, where I could not wait to jump in the water. Only that it rained, and rained, and I didn't feel like going in right away, so I waited until Wednesday to finally get my swim in. But it was absolutely blissful! For a last swim before the Ironman, I could not have asked for a better one.


On the same Monday of the long weekend, I also went on a bike ride, the longest since I was told that my bike most likely messed my hips, knees and ITBs. Emma organized it and a few of her cheerful friends (Richard, Sam and Nicole) attended as well. For once I chose to stay at the back of the pack and enjoy the surroundings, which were absolutely stunning!! Without exaggerating, it must have been one of the most beautiful rides that I've ever done, and it made my heart sing. 55km with my lovely chatty friends and my hubbs (and a bakery stop) - the perfect way to start the week when your mind is about to get lost in lala-land.

However, this ride, while long for my achy knees, did not convince me that I still had what it takes to complete an Ironman. I had to go back on the trainer and see how many watts I could still push. I needed some numbers to believe. So I chose Citadel, a sweet dose of Tempo and Threshold work.
And my legs worked!!

With a bit of relief on my mind, I went to the race in Bracebridge on Saturday, and rode long enough to remind myself how to switch gears on hills and fly down the inclines with a grin bigger than my face.
Then in Mt Tremblant, I did 3 more bike rides to reacquaint myself with the IM bike course and the hills of the Laurentides. First, a quick but scary 10km around the cottage. Not a minute of flat and bad roads everywhere. The next day I took my wheels to Mt Tremblant village and back to the cottage by Montee Ryan. It was all fun and games until 1.5km out from the cottage, where a 15% hill was waiting for me. I was climbing it a few times a day by car, but by bike it was a different story. One that almost finished with puking. Seriously, what was I thinking? Will you talk to my ego, please? Last but not least, a 20km out and back on Hwy117 with Ironmans-to-be Amanda and her dad. I asked Zin to come with us as well and make sure that I don't climb the darn hill again.


Runs? What runs?? I did 1h of elliptical on August 6th and yes, I did run in Bracebridge for 5km, and not on my hands. But that was all. I took a 1h walk on the run course in Mt. Tremblant while looking for geocaches. I also left mental notes to pick up in the dark moments of the Ironman marathon, but little did I know, I was not going to need them.

In a nutshell

What is the minimum that you can do with an injury in order to keep your fitness to finish an Ironman? This question kept me awake for many nights during these 2 weeks. I don't think there is a scientific formula for it though. I kept on going back to my experiences running marathons with less than the recommended 30km long runs in order to fall asleep. I know I can run a marathon, but can I run it after 3.8km swim and 180km bike with shredded ITBs?

I used this time to poke at my fitness and see if I could, if I tried. I think I succeeded, with minimum pain, or rather, a manageable amount of pain. I was somewhat relieved to see the training coming to an end. The last 6 weeks were like a long death march and I did not enjoy dealing with so much guilt, uncertainty and the constant feeling of inadequacy.

And now it's time to end this update as well. It feels like history all of a sudden...


  1. Such a tease when you know what we all really want to read about :)

  2. Dangit, your blog ate my post again. Any way, get on with the report is the gyst of what I was saying. LOL

  3. Congratulations on your finish. Being in the water was so quiet and peaceful that it was like a dream... that I was only imagining it to actually be race day.