At this stage of my training it seems that every weekend is a test. It starts with the test of my will to get out of bed, prepare my bottles, set up my transition in the garage. Testing of my nutrition strategy for Ironman and my ability to finish my scheduled workout without cutting it short and never looking to far ahead in the days training.
Saturday my scheduled workout was my own personal triathlon. The best part of this triathlon was that regardless of my circumstances or how my body felt, I would finish first! My "event" started with a 1/2 mile swim followed by an 80 mile bike and then a 6 mile run.
Although the first day of Fall had passed, the weather forecast for the weekend was very unFall like with predicted temps of 90's to 100's.
My swim went well although I felt tired from my swim workout the day before but I finished and headed to transition one which was the back of my Honda Pilot to get on the bike. The first 40 miles I did the usual local race ride or "Food Park" as it's known then headed from the coast inland to pick up more bottles at home and ride Santiago Canyon to get in some hills. Now I knew the weather forecast and riding inland was not a good idea but hey...I'm training to be an Ironman right? As I rode further in to Santiago Canyon I watched my computer temp rise steadily from 94 degrees to ....107 degrees! My toes were beginning to heat up in my all black bike shoes and after a few miles I was getting the dreaded cyclist hot foot. The feeling of your toes cooking in a microwave like little sausages ready to explode thru your shoes. Fortunately I got a flat in an exposed area totally devoid of shade which allowed me to get off my bike and take off my shoes.
Now I was spending a little more time on the bike than I wanted to and my two bottles were empty partly because I used them to douse my toes. This is one of those training moments I thought where I just pull out my cell phone, call for help and have my wife pick me up. No one would blame me...it's 107 degrees! Oh and of course when I get home I will still run my 10K. In my cell phone pouch I see the $10. I remember there is a store within 5 miles. I can fix the flat and ride to the store get some Gatorade, finish my ride and start my run. I fixed the flat was able to ride to the store downed one bottle of Gatorade and put the second one on my bike. Finally at home, I started my run with a side ache for the first two miles (too much liquid before the run) and finished the days workout with one of my slowest runs ever. My personal triathlon was over, I finished first or last depending on how I chose to view the outcome of the days events but one thing I learned from this "race". During an Ironman weather can be unpredictable, flat tires are a possibility, you can come up short on hydration or nutrition and you can make a choice...you can throw in the towel and DNF. No one would blame you...it's an Ironman, or you can overcome, persevere, push on until you finish.
Today I gained just a little more mental toughness, an edge if you will, for my Ironman.