September 9th, the date of my fourth Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon, is looming nearer. With only two months until race day, training will become immensely challenging and time consuming until taper time in mid-August. Until then, my days will be devoured by long rides, runs, and swims. But I know the routine. And if I put in the work now, I will feel infinitely better, stronger, and well-prepared come race day.
Yesterday, I took a “vacation” day from work so I could fit in a long ride. This in hopes of getting the week’s long stuff out of the way so I can enjoy a slightly more relaxing weekend at Green Lake. At 8 a.m. I woke up and took down a bowl of Cheerios, some fruit, and a delicious Krispy Kreme donut. After packing some Gatorade, graham crackers, and honey mustard pretzels for the road, I got on my bike and did an 80-mile bike ride—one loop of the Ironman course followed by a quick tour of Paoli—which took me around four-and-a-half hours. I felt strong much of the way, but found myself exhausted after I returned. Later in the evening, I did a six-mile run to practice running with tired legs in preparation for a half-ironman race I'll be doing in Muncie, Indiana next weekend. Bike/Runs, which triathletes term “bricks,” are a crucial component to any triathlon training plan.
For the most part, training is going well. I’m starting to get some great mileage on my bike and it feels good to have a spring marathon already under my belt. A minor case of Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain, a common running injury) has been pestering me lately and I’m monitoring that very closely. It’s nothing that’s preventing me from running, but I have had to cut back my mileage a bit. I’m doing several stretches and strengthening exercises, and last weekend my friend Beth suggested that I pick up a Strassburg sock, which is apparently designed to keep tension on the plantar fascia so it heals in a stretched position at night. I’ll be getting that tonight. It’s so sexy, I can’t wait to sleep it every night until I’m fully healed.