So what did I do today with the family at Michigan State? I got this email earlier in the week:
Next Saturday we have a special day planned for our Ironman group. It is 100% open to the entire LITC group --- past, present and future. It will also be offered to the members of Team Runner's Edge. The portion of the day that will be exclusive for LITC is the post workout massage. YES, we will have 2 massage therapists available for a quick rub down at the completion of the workout. Again, this is for LITC members only.
The day will start at Eisenhower Park for the swim....6 to 7am (straight swim) then head back to my home for a quick transition and a 5 hour bike ride with a special needs station out on the course (you provide what you would like half way through the ride and we will have it cold waiting for you!). Then another quick transition and a 2 hour run with aid stations at mile 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 13. After the workout there will be food, drink and rub downs available as previously mentioned.
Who do you think shows up for a workout like this? Fat, old, gimpy guys? Not so much. Hard core triathletes in the middle of a training cycle? Bingo. Athletes that are training for IMLP (our "local" Ironman)? Yup. First timers that have been training for months for said IMLP? Give that man a cigar. The skill level ranged from the bottom of the barrel (aka me) to the cream of the crop (professional athletes). There were multiple multiple Ironman finishers, multiple multiple Kona qualifiers and others of that ilk. I showed up too after all I am one of the LITC folks and a member of Team Runner's Edge. I might be the black sheep of the crew but I thought I'd see what happens.
The first problem started the night before since I joined training buddies for dinner at a Brazilian Steak House (the kind with all you can eat skewers of seared flesh served to the table until one said uncle). We said uncle probably a little too late since this dinner was still a lump in my gut when I woke up bright and early to swim.
I got there a few minutes late and there were six lanes of swimmers going at it. I was placed into lane 1 (guppies) but lapped everyone within 100m. I then jumped into lane 3 and finished my warm up. Then a continuous swim for about 35 minutes that I considered jumping up into lane 4 since I was one of the quicker swimmers in the lane. I lost count on the laps but felt like this was a good swim for me. After a short cool down, it was time to get changed and start the bike.
LITC has a standard route that is relatively hilly and we were going to hit it a couple of times. The routes are used for IMLP training and I've done them before. I'm guessing we had about 30 people doing the ride and when the groups went out, they sorted themselves rather quickly. I didn't want to go too hard but found myself going a bit harder than I wanted even though I found some good folks to ride with. After the first rest stop at 43 miles (with my ice cold bottles waiting for me), I stepped down the intensity a bit. Some of the folks I was riding with then (the groups were loosely defined and people moved from group to group) wanted to get to the run quicker so we cut the second lap a bit. Power was a little lower than I hoped but that was mainly because I chose to dial it down. Before I dialed it down, I was right were I needed to be for 43 miles. All in, 66 miles done and I was happy.
Since I wasn't running (I am still a gimp), I went home and showered up. Everyone seemed to be doing different paces and different distances for the run. I got back after cleaning up to have some burgers off the grill but skipped the massage figuring the people that did all three events should get priority.
I think I held my own. Sure, I could have done a little better but the lessons of today's swim/bike brick are money in the bank to be withdrawn on Eagleday in a few weeks. Even so, not a bad day training wise. Organization wise, though, this was a phenomenal day. Jose and the rest of the LITC coaches deserve kudos since they all went above and beyond.
Thanks for a great day! Looking forward to the next Ironmadness "Special Day".