On Saturday my brother and I had planned to do L'Alpe Bl'Huez Time Trial (Blue Mound, WI TT). But leading into the night before and the morning of, we were hit with some pretty good storms in the surrounding area. Ready to ride in the rain, and up early to make sure we had everything ready for the short drive from Madison over to Blue Mound, we got a text message around 7am telling us that due to the storms in the area, the race was cancelled and a rain date would be settled and sent to us later on. Unfortunately, no refund. But it was fairly cheap, so we're not too concerned.
In light of being a bit bummed about missing out on some crazy hills in a time trial setting, we were able to hit up the local bike and triathlon shops that morning and got a few miscellaneous things we were both needing. I grabbed some gels and bars and he got a new Speedfill A2 to mount on his aerobars and a few other things.
He took off home to get in some training, and I grabbed some lunch and got ready to do some training of my own. I wasn't really planning on doing a big swim, but since I missed out on the morning training session, I went all out. My wife, along with my sister, mother, and mother-in-law, all had a spa day, so I had the day to myself to do whatever while they were off getting pampered and having a good time.
I hit the pool and wanted to get in some good yardage. So I got it in my head that I would shoot for 5k yards and see how it went. Luckily the water was a little cooler than it generally is, so I wasn't worried about overheating. I kept my rest short between sets, but also never really pushed my limits either. I knew I hadn't swam this much in one session before, so I needed to pace myself. I started off with a short warm up and some stretching and got right into my main sets.
Starting off with 5 x 200, I was able to get in some good yardage pretty quick. I followed that up with 2 x 500 to get a little more endurance building and see how it felt after having in over 1,000 yards already. Next I dropped back down to 10 x 100, then back to 5 x 200 again, and finished with another 10 x 100, but broke the last 200 yards into 4 x 50 as my arms were aching.
I took a good while stretching and relaxing after that and checked in to see what the ladies were doing, and since they showed no signs of being home too soon, I relaxed for a bit, refueled, then decided to hit up some hills. I wasn't too sure about how hard I could go, so I got on the soft trails behind our place and found a good hill that rises probably about 30-40 feet over about 50 yards and did some sprints there after some jogging around the trails and disc golf course that intertwine with each other.
My knee was feeling great, and the soft ground from the rain was making me feel good too. I didn't need to worry much about too much pounding, so I got after it and put in a good 10 hill sprints and it felt great. I hadn't gotten my HR that high in a long time, so it was almost like a new thrill all over again for me. I missed that!
After I finished my last hill, I took a nice slow jog about a mile around our complex to cool down, then got inside and called it a day. I grabbed some food and just sat on the couch the rest of the day waiting for the girls to come home. I was stuck on dog duty for the day, so I had three dogs running around me trying to play, but it could have been worse!
I just wanted to write this to show anyone out there that gets frustrated about a race being cancelled, that there are things you can do to make up for it! Even though I was mentally prepared for a TT, I was able to switch my thinking and get ready for a different kind of rough day. Something you should always be ready for on race morning. Let's say in a triathlon, the open water swim gets cancelled due to high winds. Can you mental prepare yourself to start the race on the bike and deal with the winds all day? Or if the heat takes a marathon down to a half marathon like it did in Madison over the weekend, can you mentally get yourself ready to run shorter, but faster in such a short amount of time?
I honestly can't understand why they moved the marathon down to a half. Ironman events go off all the time in conditions much worse than what the weather was on race day up here in Madison. Both 70.3's I've done were hotter and they last much longer than most people ever think about finishing a marathon in. But that's a whole other can of beans for me!