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My Ironman training cycle has consisted of valleys and peaks thus far.  The highs have seen me reach new heights in all three sports.  Although there have certainly been disappointing stretches over the past few weeks, I’m in the best shape of my life and am ultimately very pleased with my progress.

I participated in a follow up run time trial with my Ironman training group last night after my initial assessment eight weeks ago.  The goal was to analyze the data from a 30 minute run at 75% effort to establish training paces and target heart rate zones.  As I mentioned in my post after the first assessment, I performed extremely well that day and far exceeded my expectations by running a 6:38 pace for 30 minutes.

9 miles per hour?  I'll take it!

9 miles per hour? I’ll take it!

Fast forward eight weeks – I’m only days detached from my 110 hour work week and month of travel.  My expectations were very low going into last night’s assessment, but I posted a great time, and logged 30 minutes at a 6:44 pace.  I suffered a cramp roughly 13 minutes into the trial while I was cruising around 6:25 and pulled back for the second half.  Although I didn’t improve on my last time trial, I know that I would have if it wasn’t for the travel.  It’s also worth mentioning that I logged a 4000 meter swim before work in the morning.

When I raced Ironman Lake Placid, I split 1:20 during the 2.4 mile (3800 meter) swim.  The pool arguably tacks on time due to the walls and lack of wetsuit, but I split the 3800 swim in 1:07 yesterday – a significant improvement from my benchmark two years ago.

Getting excited to race again!

Getting excited to race again!

Perhaps most importantly, I’m down almost 10 pounds from Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3 last summer, and my power to weight ratio on the bike is improving.  I can climb longer with less effort – something I’ll need ahead of Wildflower Long Course in two weeks (!!!).  I’m excited to race and reap the benefits of a challenging training cycle thus far.