Branson-Bound!

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Race weekend is here!! Tomorrow after work, I’ll be making the 9-hour drive up to Branson so if anyone along the open roads of Texas, Arkansas or Missouri sees a teeny blue convertible and QR passing by them – mostly likely 10+ above the speed limit… I have a problem – honk and wave! Image 35

In other news, this training business is hard stuff, y’all.

At this point in the days leading up to Tremblant, it was still mostly sunshine and roses. The second time around has involved significantly more trips down struggle street – physically and mentally. The good news is that it’s not that I just didn’t recover from MT or that I’m fading in the back half of the season but that the workouts really are getting tougher.

That’s the bad news about putting down a solid performance- you get harder targets. Post-race, I went back to do one of my more regular workouts, one where Hillary assigns a set pace to stick to on the treadmill for various intervals. Even though I couldn’t remember the pre-MT numbers, I knew from the first few steps that things just got significantly more serious. I emailed her after and her response was that I earned myself the paces for “someone who runs a 3:30 IM marathon”… blessing and a curse. : )

Luckily I have plenty of beautiful places to train, like Austin's many odd-length pools. 33-yards, what? As if counting laps in the fog of IM training wasn't hard enough, you mean I now have to do math? I think I ended up doing a bonus 700 yds on this set.

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To say I was going into Branson a bit nervous would be putting it lightly. We’ve had a bit of a taper but things are very much full steam ahead to Kona otherwise. Coming out of Branson, I’m mainly worried about recovery. Right now the Kona count is at 23 days, and I ship off to the big island in 15. It doesn't help that a friend and fellow athlete going to Kona has been posting terrifying quotes from some documentary or article to twitter every 10 days, with gems such as:

“Survive the toughest swim start in the world, and find space...let the body do what it is trained to do. Still 140 miles to go.” 45 days.

or

“The ‘ho’omumuku’ crosswinds come in violent, unpredictable gusts. Brute 60-mph punches routinely blow riders clear off bikes.” 30 days.

or

"The Queen K is daunting for those who don't know what the lava fields feel like...haunting for those who have come undone there. 35 days.

While I’m confident that coachie of the infamous back-to-back IMs knows what she’s doing, I’m not taking any risks. I’m bringing the Normatecs to Branson, I’ve been focusing on eating clean, taking my vitamins and drinking my Biotta, and for my birthday last weekend, I partied in a way that would make even the most saintly of nuns yawn. I already have a post-Branson massage on the schedule (a  real treat for me!) and know that coachie is a pro at shaking the dead legs out of my system after a race (why the first thing I did the morning after MT was hop back into Lac Tremblant instead of sleeping in). All I know is that all of this boring today should help translate to one hell of a party come next month!

t-minus 3 days to the Big Hills of Branson!

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.... I guess this was a bit of a me, me, me post (sorry, guys…), just wanted to provide an update on why everything has been crickets around here lately.