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Longest training weekend so far…

By Craig Gabel

This past weekend’s training went well.  The whole family went to Branson to meet up with the Garber clan at their very spacious condo they so graciously made available to us and our Redman friends Kim and Jon. 

Kim, Jon and I all participated in the Swimmin in Moonshine open water event at Moonshine Beach on Table Rock Lake on Saturday morning.  I swam 2 miles and it felt good to get in a longer distance swim event before Redman on Sept 25th. I have done a lot of lake swimming this summer in local KC area lakes that have short 200-500 meter loops.  It’s such a different perspective when swimming a mile long loop.  It seems to go on forever sometimes.  The crowd of swimmers seemed to thin out rather quickly so we were left out there with a hundred plus yards between us giving that illusion of being out there all alone… it’s a little creepy but you just deal with it and keep on moving forward.  My finishing time this year was about 6 minutes slower than last years.  I must be getting old!  I did not get a chance to make a 3 mile loop unfortunately.

Sunday we rode 100 miles in the Summer Breeze event out of Lee’s Summit.  The morning started off great.  Temperature was really nice and the course full of friendly and familiar faces.  The first 10-15 miles were a bit hilly and then we turned to the south straight into a 20-22 mph headwind gusting to 28 mph that just did not stop at all. Since Jon, Kim and I were training for Ironman we all agreed to stop only when we needed fuel.  So we skipped a few SAG stops along the way.  After 35+ miles the 45 and 70 mile route had turned off the 100 mile course and the next thing I knew I was by myself for miles and miles and miles.  Jon and Kim had slipped behind me and I didn’t even realize it.  At one point I began to wonder if I had gotten off course even though I was following all the course markers.  I thought a SAG should be coming up but didn’t see one and I was on the verge of pulling out the map when suddenly a tent with water coolers appeared like a mirage.  By this time I was at 55 miles and really starting to feel the heat.  The guy manning the stop had some hand towels soaking in ice water…OMG that felt so good on my head and neck.  Kim met up with me at that point and we cruised on up to the lunch stop.  It was so hot and I was really hungry.  Our moving time was crushed by sliced beef and turkey with some KC masterpiece drizzled over top.  It was so worth the time off the bike though.  All three of us finally group back up for the final 16 or so miles.  Jon was really feeling the heat as well.  Once at the finish we all agreed a run was just not going to happen at the end of the ride. It was just too hot and I was starting to feel a bit dizzy. Kim seemed disappointed and yet relieved at the same time.  I really picked up on her disappointment though.  On the ride home I was really feeling the guilt of not running our scheduled 15 miles after the bike.  The thought of “what would I do at Redman” entered my mind.  I wouldn’t have stopped no matter how hot it was during the Ironman event.  Then again we were not at Redman and I’d rather be safe than sorry had the heat really gotten to me on the run course.  I had my sights set on sitting at home cooling off for a bit and then running later in the evening.  I went outside around 6:00ish hoping the sun had gone down a bit and temps had lowered.  I open the garage door and the sun hit my already sunburned face and arms like a laser beam.  Opening that door felt like opening a hot oven door.  The combination of humid 95+ degree heat and the radiant sun immediately told me running was still not a good idea.  So I got a good night’s sleep instead.

Monday I felt great.  Hardly any soreness at all…that’s a good sign!  I texted Kim to see if she wanted to get in our 15 running miles we had skipped out on.  She was all for it and I got a few others to join us as well.  We started a bit later than I wanted so we got in a good solid 12 miles cutting it 3 miles short mostly due to time.  We easily could have gone the last 3 miles but it was getting late.  We wrapped it up around 9:30 PM. 

Today my legs are a bit sore but I feel the pain dissipating quickly.  So it’s onward tonight with a mile swim and maybe a short run.



Peak Ironman training this weekend

By Craig Gabel

Tonight we are headed to Branson.  Tomorrow morning I will swim a 2 mile open water swim and maybe try to see if the event organizers will let me go back out for a third lap.  Then I will road trip back to KC tomorrow afternoon with my team mates Kim and Jon while Leesa and the kids stay in Branson to hang out with our family.

Sunday is the long day.  I am riding in the Summer Breeze event with takes us on a 100 mile route through Jackson and Cass counties in Missouri.  Afterwards we have a 15 mile run.  If we can survive all this then we can survive Ironman!  Training is getting ready to go into overtime!  Wish me luck!



Ironman Training Update

By Craig Gabel

Sorry I haven’t posted here in a while.  Training has been a struggle for me this summer.  It got hot and humid and just threw my schedule all out of whack…not just training but everything in my daily life it seemed.  Last week Leesa told me some words I needed to hear and that got me motivated once again.  She told me to go back and read some of our old posts.  I didn’t go back and read any old posts but I know what they say and that’s all it took.  Saturday I ran (well walked mostly) 18 miles and I was really hurting at the end.  All the normal aches and pains associated with long runs along with some new ones…it’s like I had won the pain lottery! Anyway, that was a sure indication that I have to get my butt in gear and take this Ironman training much more seriously.  After all I only have 46 days, 21 hours, 11 minutes and a few seconds…not that I am counting or anything.  I rested most of the weekend and today feel pretty good.  I made myself get out of bed at 5:30 this morning to go to the gym.  As I pulled into the gym parking lot I saw the Healthridge Boot Camp class out running laps.  I saw my neighbor Sue and that was even more motivation for me to get my miles in.   You were looking great Sue!  I rode 10 miles on the stationary bike.  I knocked it out in about 33 minutes which is about 18 mph.  Not bad…although it was stationary and not in the real world.  Then came the swim.  I have been struggling all year to get my mile swim back under 30 minutes.  I think the closest I came was 32 minutes a couple months back.  I have been out of the pool and into the local lakes the last few weeks so I knew my time could be interesting in the pool.  I was just hoping to nudge a little closer to 30 minutes but to my amazement I finished it in 27:55.  Plus, I took seven 20 second breaks (every 200 meters) mostly to push the lap button on my watch and see what my time was.  If I calculated those rest periods out that hypothetically speaking puts me at 25:35.  So now it sound like my new goal is to break 25:00.

So Leesa is off chemo this month.  She still has her eye on the KC half marathon.  I can’t wait for October to get here when she is off chemo for good and can get back to Boot Camp.  I know she misses being there and I know they miss seeing her there as well.  Or we can train together P90X style!  I guess we’ll figure that out when the time comes.