I try not to think how much time I have left, it just makes me more nervous about the race. Well, it’s about less than 7 weeks to go in case you’re wondering.
So I did a long ride + run session last Sunday, which took me 5hrs for a 146km ride and a 18.5km run in less than 2 hours. I was really fortunate to get this workout out of the way before the haze set in which has grounded me for the past 4 days. The purpose for this long 7hr torture was just to give myself the confidence of knowing I can complete the Ironman. Just like for Megatri (3km swim, 100km ride, 27km run), I did a 100km ride/ 16km run to reassure myself that I can survive the race. So last Sunday’s session was important to me.
I had the pleasure of Ernest’s company for 5hours that morning starting at about 6am from Mandai Shell Station, headed west towards Lim Chu Kang, Tuas Loop and back to the East via West Coast Road, Nicoll highway. Took a short breather and snack at Big Splash before rampaging through East Coast Park, Coastal road, Pasir Ris, Punggol and back to Mandai. Met a group along Tuas and was taking turns pulling, Ernest and I regretted later as the pace was way above our threshold and I almost couldn’t continue the run after the ride. I figured out later that my nutrition was insufficient to begin with, I had 4 gels, 1 Clif bar, and hydrated with Gatorade and water. I followed the plan of taking a gel every 50mins and the Bar at Big Splash, but the maths didn’t add up in the end.
It was definitely not enough and I’ll look into putting more calories in my hydration; thanks to Arthur for his advice after his completion of Ironman Cairns in Superman-like speed.
The plan was to run 30km at least, it was cut short to 18.5km for safety….to prevent myself from dying from heat exhaustion! I had a 1litre hydration pack with 3 gels, the plan was to have one gel every 50mins, but I was so depleted that I downed the first gel at 30mins. At the 50min mark, I stopped at an Esso Station (petrol kiosk) and bought myself a bottle of coke, almost finishing the whole bottle before continuing the run in the blazing sun. I just kept running away from home, knowing that if I turn back, I wouldn’t extend the run any further once I’m closer to home. So I just kept going….and going…till the 9km+ mark, where I just gave up and U-turned to head home. The heat was killing me.
The coke worked wonders and I felt much better almost instantly, it proved that I haven’t been refueling sufficiently, especially during the ride where I was most comfortable and when my body was able to absorb the best.
I reached home in one piece, armed with my ice pack, isotonic drink and my choco shake Jaime prepared while waiting for my return. Unfortunately my Garmin Forerunner 210 started fogging up, probably from the sudden change in temperature after getting out of the heat. I’ve had enough of nonsense from that watch and have resigned to the fact that I can still continue training and race with my trusty Casio. In the next few weeks, I don’t think I would need to know my heartrate during workouts; GPS won’t be an issue as well as most of my running routes are similar and I know the distances. I have sent it to the dealer (again) to get it fixed, the guy at the counter remembers my name now since I’ve there like 5 times. I’m a user manual kinda guy, so trust me, I have been operating this watch well within it’s capability.
No more frustrations, no more frustrations…..breathe.
Nicely cooled my legs for a couple of minutes before scrubbing myself down after 7hrs on the road, managed to update my facebook while at it!
Mission half accomplished! Even with a shorter run, I think I know where the problem lies and I’m still pretty confident of completing the Ironman.
Many people know the importance of mental preparation in achieving goals (sports in this context), but not many people have consciously tried to fully harvest the potential of their brain. I need all the help I can get with this, so now I’m at least thinking positively and know that I can complete it.
Yes I can! x 10