Bonking on my first brick

This past week I traveled to Texas for a conference, and to keep Ironman training on schedule I researched lap pools and local gyms. Great intentions, little discipline. Sure I strength trained in the hotel gym, but little else. With meetings and late nights (some lasting till 3 a.m.), it was nearly impossible to workout.

Even though I was gone for just four days, I paid the price for I bonked during last Saturday’s first “brick” practice. What the heck is a “brick”? Well — the goal of this practice is to train your legs to run after riding by
immediately running after a ride.

So last Saturday’s goal was to ride 40 miles, then run 6 miles. Riding 40 miles is nothing new for me, but I started it with little sleep, nearly a week off of training, and poor nutrition (big mistake).

My bonk hit in mile 38, and then when the running started, let’s just say it felt like I hit a brick wall. Thank God there wasn’t a camera on me. Still, lets draw the picture; I’m running in bike shorts/jersey/leg warmers (yea that’s what everyone wears when running at the beach … NOT!). I’m barely walking strait, definitely walking bow-legged (little hot mama is screaming from the poor padding in my old worn out shorts). TMI – maybe. But I got to keep it real cuz if you ever want to do the Ironman, know now that literally every part of the body get’s trained to endure the race … ouch.

I start to run. 10 feet feels like 100 yards. From the get-go 6 miles is out of line. Rather 15 minutes out then back will be enough for today. A few feet down the road my watch says only 4 minutes have passed. 15 out/back is now out of line for now I got to pee. Yes, again TMI, but do you see how the mind game works?! Sadly, this time (after 10 minutes) it won.

Hop in the car, windows rolled down, and heavy metal is cranked up — got to find a way to stay awake. Get home. Eat. Shower. With wet hair I fall asleep for 2+ hours. In other words, I bonked.

Still the weekend ends on a high note. This morning while swimming, Coach Mike worked us hard by having us swim 2,000 meters in 90 minutes. Yes, the 61 year old woman is still faster than me. Except today I discovered I’m faster than her in breast-stroke (I can hear the jokes now). Anyway, as I end my last, thankful lap Coach said my stroke was in near-perfect form. Then as I’m about to get out of the pool and said “if you hold that stretch just :02 longer it’d be perfect. Give me 50 more meters”. Good God!!! What!?!? Truth be told, he really knows how to bring out the best in people. Just when I think there’s no more energy to swim one more lap, he encourages me to swim two. Then he ends the practice by saying my form was perfect. Beautiful. It made my day. Thanks Coach Mike.

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