This past weekend Alyssa and I got together for our 3rd pre-Ironman training weekend together. This weekend always takes place two or three weeks out from an Ironman and usually involves a long bike Saturday and a long run on Sunday (plus various swim/bike/run sessions mixed in). This all started last year two weeks before Ironman Wisconsin, we both needed a boost from a long season and met in Charlottesville to bang out the last huge weekend of training. We both had fantastic races and because we have very short memories, we decided our great races had everything to do with our weekend together. The rest is kind of history.
Two weeks out from an Ironman is possibly the hardest week in the entire training block. You are so close to being done, mentally you’re ready to shut it down, but you can’t because you still have one more huge weekend before taper officially starts. Planning a weekend like this, having someone around to get through the huge workouts with and actually having fun doing it, is what keeps us planning these things.
I will admit that the weekend almost didn’t happen. Between Nate and I, we have been traveling most of the last two months, and I felt like I needed a regular weekend at home to get my life together. This is my natural state, I live for my routine and the comfort of my normal training routes, pool, and gym. It took me several days to come around and recognize that this feeling I had of disrupting the natural order was actually quite silly, and I knew that once I got there I would forget about all of it. These last few months haven’t felt that bad, I’ve actually been getting through the training block well, but looking back on May and June, I realized I have done almost every training session solo except America’s Birthday. So on Tuesday, I did a complete flip; sometimes we don’t realize we need something until we take a full assessment. I actually needed a change and give this training one last boost, I was on board with another C’ville weekend.
Of course it was fun. The long bike ride especially, which is something I always dread. The sun was shining, the weather was brutally hot, we took turns pulling in aero, and we reveled in our pitstop for ice cream/red bull. We continued to talk about how great the ride was for the rest of the night. The other amazing thing about training from Alyssa’s is her dog Ramona who greets us at the end of every training session. Who doesn’t enjoy unconditional love? Needless to say, the weekend flew by despite the incredibly hard workouts. Now we can finally relax into taper knowing that all the work got done right to the end.
I don’t have any races on the calendar after Canada, just a few ideas, but I wonder if we’ll keep this tradition going for a 4th time?