After yesterday’s long training we slept in. And ate. And napped. And ate again. We were planning 2 short sessions for later in the day and we put it off as long as possible. Online, we found Beat’s (another competitor from Switzerland) training log and seeing the volume of training he was doing got us on our feet. I was going to do a 2 hour recovery spin on the indoor bike trainer and Kamil was going for a 26 mile (recovery?) rollerblade. This was the first time we didn’t train together. We figured out how to turn the tv on (remember when you just had to hit the power button? (does that make me old?)) and I started spinning. Kamil left the same time. I found Universal Sports (yes!) and they had the Tour in Spain called the Vuelta, I think. These guys were going up grades as steep as 23%! The longer I rode, the more I felt like I was suffocating. Even with a low heart rate (115) I was struggling to get through those 2 hours. I decided to skip the swim and do that as my last session tomorrow before flying back to Illinois for my big weekend. Kamil got caught in the rain and warmed up in a restaurant before coming back. He was exhausted and frozen and crashed by the fire immediately.

Sleeping by the Fire

Sleeping by the Fire

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Colorado!

Colorado!

It’s 4:30 am and I’m heading to Colorado with my buddy, Kamil and 2 of his friends. I’ve only had 2 hours of sleep in the past 48 but feel wide awake as I’m staring at the full moon directly in front of us. It seems like a beacon, telling us, “this is the way.” I’ve finally arrived at my biggest training week for the Triple Iron Triathlon, which is only 4 weeks away. We plan on having the largest volume of training this week at a base altitude of 9000′. The lack of sleep and unorthodox training seems natural at this point.

Last night I pulled an all-nighter at the health club on the spin bike for 3 hours before heading to the city with Kamil and Robin to swim in Lake Michigan. When we arrived, the 5′ choppy waves were there to discourage us from trespassing. I’ve had scary swims before because of inexperience but this was the first time I was scared to go in because of dangerous conditions. Nevertheless, we pulled our wetsuits on and walked out in the dark churning water. It was only 5:30 but the lights along the bike path revealed the strength of the waves every 50 feet. All 3 of us looked at each other knowing the battle we were about to engage in. Kamil and I were planning 7 miles but knew the conditions wouldn’t allow us to do that within the time allotted. We both had to go to work after the swim. Robin was going to swim a couple of hours before heading to work too.

So in we went! It was difficult to sight with the large waves because not only were they blocking my sight, but I wasn’t sure what direction I would end up facing after going down the backside of the waves. Half the time I was catching air off the waves, the other half I was stroking almost entirely under water. Every now and then I would have to skip taking a breath when my face didn’t surface. Relaxing in the midst of the chaos was challenging also, but necessary because conserving energy is important. That energy is best used to pull yourself through the walls of water. After a while we couldn’t find Robin. We thought he was with us but its easy to lose sight in the maze of waves. We went to our nutrition bag tied to one if the rescue ladders and the waves had beat it up pretty good. The bag was ripping and nearly lost in the water. So we got out and ran along the shore searching for Robin, only to find out he was safe back at the beach. We quickly devised a backup plan to go eat breakfast and talk about the high seas adventure we had just survived.

After that, getting through work was next on the list. Finished around 6:30 and headed home to pack. I got picked up around midnight and we’ve been heading west ever since. I’m sure the training will be crazy and I’m pretty sure it will seem normal to us by now. With only 1 tough week remaining, anything goes!