This week has been strange, very strange. After the weeks training holiday where I did 30hrs in 10 days I seemed to lose the plot. It started on Saturday night when on a whim I spent a bundle of money buying bike kit off the internet and then even more randomly put my car up for sale. Then I just lost the plot and really just couldn't be bothered to do anything. I was working some long hours but no longer than normal and training totally went out of the window. I've never had the typical personality of a (reasonably) quick Triathlete. The people I duke it out with when I race are focused and dedicated to their training where I'm the total opposite. I'm hugely lucky to be blessed with a certain amount of natural speed because it certainly hasn't come through any dedicated training regime. That probably explains my previous IM performances because I can blag a Sprint/Olympic race without putting massive amounts of time and energy into it. The long stuff takes a bit more though and I get found out. I'm far more likely to train if somebody is there to drag my ass out of the door, if they're faster than me then great, if they're slower than me so what.
Anyway, enough of that old tosh. Back to the training, or lack of it. Basically I did nothing, zip, stuff all from Monday to Thursday which no doubt wiped out all the good work I'd done the previous week. By Friday I was in desperate need of something. Don't get me wrong, I don't go stir crazy like some folks if I don't train but I want/need to finally nail this IM so something HAD to be done. My new purchases had appeared so I put some cleats on my new bike shoes, stuck on my cone-head helmet and headed out of the door for the local 20mile Muddiford loop. I worked fairly hard, got stuck at a few lights and behind a few cars but it was all good. The new shoes felt great, the helmet was ok and other than a few cramp twinges I was happy.
Saturday was another disaster for the new bike. I took the ZIPP's off on Friday and put the standard wheels on to see if I could get rid of the damn noise, it seemed to work so I kept them on for Saturdays ride - big mistake!
The plan was between 5-6hrs or around 100miles. I cycled out to meet a friend and when I got there I noticed my back crake was catching -odd! A bit of tweaking and all was well so we were on our way. My ride partner was with me for 20miles and then I was on my own, things seemed fine and away I went. About 10miles later I looked at my Garmin and it said 17mph. That seemed odd as I was on a flat section of road, down on my Tri Bars I should have been comfortably sitting at 20+mph, maybe my brakes were catching again. I stopped to check and they were, but this time no amount of adjustment seemed to help. I span my wheel and it looked as though I'd been bouncing it over kerbstones, then I noticed that I had several loose spokes - brilliant! For want of a better word the wheel was shafted. I called my bike shop "Pop it in" they said "it's a new wheel, sometimes the spokes will need tightening", "But I'm 20miles away", "That's ok, it'll be fine".
I turned around and headed back on what was now beginning to feel like a clowns bike, my back wheel wobbling all over the place. It literally hung on until the very last minute and then 20meters from the shop it popped a spoke. The wheel is now fixed which is testament to the strength of the rim as it didn't collapse totally, but the ride was over and I hadn't the mental strength to get out there again.
Sunday was another bike ride, this time 75miles without any major trauma except for a puncture at 25miles which took me 30mins to change. I'm not great at the tyre changing stuff and will be praying for a flat free day on 1st November.
Monday was a nice steady 16mile run at sub 140bpm. There's probably just time for one or two more long runs before race day which is a blessing as 2hrs is a long time to be pounding away on your legs, especially after 3 bike rides in 3 days.
So basically the deal is that in the last 2 weeks I've trained like an arse. 30hours in 10 days followed by 4 days of total inactivity which has now been followed by another burst where I've done 12h30m in 4 days. Whatever will happen next?