Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Training Weekend in Madison

On Friday Jen, Cindy, and I headed over to Madison for our first training weekend on the Madison Ironman course. Once we arrived in Madison and got all checked into the hotel we headed over to the bar next door for a quick appetizer before the training weekend officially started. Friday we spent the night meeting everyone that was part of the group, going over the bike course, and the schedule of the training weekend. Knowing we had an early start on Saturday, we were in bed early.

Saturday morning we got up at 5:45 just in time to get breakfast and head out the door for an open water swim at Fireman's Park. We spent most of the swim working on sighting, drafting, and positioning to get started. Dwight on of the guys leading the weekend also filled us with tips to help us through situations such as when our goggles get water in them or get knocked off. To finish our swim, we had our wetsuits stripped off-just like at ironman.

We then headed back to the hotel grabbed our bikes and nutrition for the days bike ride. Once we got going we headed to Morona Terrace which was about 16 miles from the hotel, where we got a chance to practice biking up and down the helix of the ramp (this is part of the ironman course-the coming and going from the transition area). We then headed back to Verona biking the stick (the out and back section of the bike course) before coming to the loop. On the bike ride the groups got a little messed up and I ended up with the A group, Cindy got lost, and Jen was where she was suppose to be with the B group-but it got worked out after our little gathering at Ma's and Pa's. One of the guys leading the training weekend had parents that live right at the start of loop so they had us over to regroup and refuel.

The loop is about 40 miles long and it contains all the hills. We were warned about the "Big Four" these were the most significant hills all having something special about them such as steepness, being windy, or having the inclines really close to another not allowing for you to get "free speed" from another downhill. We ended up riding one loop of the course-in ironman we will do two loops of the course.

Following our ride we headed back to the hotel where we spent time working on core strengthening exercises, learning about nutrition, and talked about the swim and run courses. Then at about 8:45 that night we headed over to Ma and Pa's for dinner.

Sunday was a early morning as well, again getting up at 5:45 for breakfast before heading out for a swim in Lake Monona. We ended up swimming approximately 1.5 miles-Jen was the speed demon! I took it a bit easy since my shoulder was acting up. To finish up the swim again we got our wetsuits stripped off and ran up the helix (to practice for ironman day-yep we run up the helix). Then Brian quickly showed us where we would be picking up our transition bag and changing room were located.

We then made our way back to our cars for a quick clothes change and get ready for the run. The plan was to run on loop of the run (ironman day will be two loops) equaling 13.1 miles. The run went well-Cindy and I should start our own pacing company! Cindy kept the group at a comfortable pace and I controlled the 5 & 1's. Cindy and I left the group for a short time to make a pit stop and the group was relieved to have us back once we returned.

After the run, we hung out with the group for a bit longer talking ironman training weekends and strategies for race day. I was starving and couldn't shove another peanut butter sandwich down my throat, so Cindy and I headed over the Irish pub for food. I got my yummy egg sandwich!

Cindy and I decided to stay another night in Madison hoping to get in another loop on the ironman course but the wind had picked up significantly so we only biked a bit in Madison.

After biking we got cleaned up headed to Target so that Cindy could get a outfit for work on Monday. We then had some awesome Mexican food for dinner. Monday we were on the road by 3:30 am so that Cindy could be back in time to meet her rep at work and I could lead swim club. I didn't get much swimming in Monday.

Today, I headed over to Moore Lake LTF and swam about 1200 yards. I plan to head to the P2 practice tonight.