Hey Kids. I'm in heavy-duty Taper Mode now. What does that mean exactly? Well, the number of workouts has gone down some. There aren't quite as many two-a-days. The intensity has actually gone up a little bit - I'm supposed to try 'just a bit' harder when I'm working out. The biggest change is with the duration of my workouts.
At this point in the season, my fitness level is as good as it's going to get. Even if I wanted more endurance or more speed, it ain't gonna happen in the next 10 days. The idea is to work out just enough to keep my legs fresh, but spend most of my time resting and healing up any minor annoyances. You know - sore joints, tight muscles - that kind of thing.
Now, you'd think that after more than 4 months of increasing my workload I'd be loving a less-than-grueling schedule, but the fact of the matter is that, well, I miss the work. I suppose that part of the issue is that I like the structure that a workout plan provides. It's nice to have someone - or something - else making the calls for you. I think that another factor is that I've grown used to the opportunity to turn my high-octane, gas hog 'Work Brain' off for a few hours at a time and let my environmentally friendly, high MPG, low maintenance 'Training Brain' take over.
I'm also making final preparations for race weekend. There's an insane number of ducks to get in a row. Some of it is directly related to the race. I've put new tires on the bike, stocked up on nutrition and picked up a fresh pair of running shoes. But there are plenty of other things that just kind of sneak up on you. Who's going to watch the Bark 'n' Sniffer? Does the car need an oil change before the road trip? Who's going to take care of my Fantasy Football team? (I'm a MAN. These things are IMPORTANT).
I've also had time to think about life AFTER the Ironman. I've been working off and on (but mostly on) for the last year an a half towards this goal. That's all fine and good, but unless my heart explodes as I cross the finish line, life will continue to go on. So, what's next?
Of course, it's too soon to tell. I may compete in the Ironman and decide I've had enough of this whole Tri Thing. I kinda doubt that'll be the case, but you never know. I do know that my body is going to need to take a break. That may take up to a month. There are a few local fall running races that I'd like to give a try. Goodness knows that I still have a lot of room for improvement on my run.
I'm also eyeballing some other tris next year. There are a lot of fun, shorter races in my area, and a thriving tri community. Next summer, I'd love to do more, smaller races. Shoot, my best race results - compared to the rest of the field anyway - have come from sprint tris. It would be great to compete in a few events and still be able to walk down stairs the next week.
As far as Ironmen go, I'd love to train for another one of those as well. 'Competing' still remains to be seen, but training has been great. Unfortunately, until I start pooping $20 bills, I'll probably have to hold off for a year or two. These suckers are expensive. Registration alone is $600. Once you travel to the event, buy some meals and pay for your hotel room, it can make a pretty big dent.
Who knows. My father-in-law lives in Florida, so maybe their Ironman is in my future. I hear the bike leg is a drag race. There's also Ironman-Louisville. That's still technically just a 1-day drive away, so I'll file it under 'maybe'.
Do you see know? Do you see what happens when I have time to think? I start waxing philosophical and talking about defecating currency. Bah. I've got to get off this tapering thing and back into some long-distance goodness soon.
I'll be back in a day or two. I'll likely be posting my race estimates and goal times. That's right. ACTUAL goal times. All this hard work is going to pay off - and I'll try to guess how long it will take.
Hasta la tarde amigos!