Sunday, May 12, 2013

Keep Austin Weird - Texas "Heat" Training for IMTX

Straight from the New Orleans adventure I came back to PA and headed back into my last really big build week of the season.  This proved to be very interesting as I was also heading to Chicago to serve as the communications director for a Sports Nutrition Conference from Thursday through Sunday.  It's a volunteer position that I've very much enjoyed, but that has kept me a bit busier than I realized through the year.  I did get to do my last really long run of 20 miles along lakeshore drive and after arriving home late Sunday night I got up on Monday morning to do my final 6 hr 40 min ride and 50 min run off the bike.  That almost killed me.  However, I made it and after a recovery week and packing up again I traveled to Texas to get ready for Ironman Texas.  I came about two weeks prior to the race to get used to the heat and humidity.  There's only been one problem, it's hasn't been very hot and humid since I arrived on Monday of last week! 

I was lucky enough to have a good friend who I've known for years that was willing to put me up in Austin for a week and then I'd make the 2.5 hour trek to The Woodlands where the race will actually be hosted.

Let me tell you, Austin is one cool place.  I'd always heard it was a fun eclectic place as the "live music capital" of the world!  It is laid back, cool, funky and has some great places to train, hang out and of course EAT!  My friend Garry is 75 years young and knows all the great local for getting out there to swim, bike and run.

He first took me to Barton Springs to this amazing "open water" pool that has wild life, fish, plants and is simply breathtaking underwater.  It's clear and you just swim around looking at fish the entire time while you're doing your 8 laps to a mile.

 Now, it IS a bit chilly, so you have a faint heart, I would bring a wet suit if I were you.  I did get in the first time and lasted about 30 mins before bailing because I just don't have enough body fat to really make this work right now.  Another time of year I'll totally be fine.
 They don't have any lanes, you just look around and make sure no one is swimming into you and practice your sighting! It was a real treat! All in all, I was in love with this facility.  It is $3 for adults to enter and I wish I had this back home.  It would be perfect on those hot summer days.
 This is the fun shirt I got (that I happen to be wearing as I type this) from an Austin Bike Shop! Armadillos swimming biking and running - does it GET any better than that!  Great stuff.

 Another morning Garry took us to a private residence that had access to Lake Travis.  You should have seen these houses on the lake.  You could fit two of my house in most of them!  Beautiful!  The gentleman who lives there, Craig, volunteered to kayak with me for safety since I was going a little further than than Jody (left - also 75 and STILL doing tri's) and Garry.  I ended up doing about 2.2 miles and felt really good for most of it.  I pushed the pace a little since I don't usually have an opportunity to go that long in open water this early in the year. Seeing the sun rise over the trees I felt so blessed to have this opportunity to see different parts of the country and meet such amazing people.
 Of course, there have been a few bike rides, most of them around 3 hours with some hard intervals mixed in and for that we drove out of town a bit.  Garry has a road he likes to ride called "Parmer" that has a nice wide shoulder and takes you to a small town of Andice.  Along the road, you'll see real working cattle ranches and endless wildflowers.  It has only been in the high 70's with moderate humidity so I wouldn't say the heat acclimation part is going quite like I had hoped. I'm doing my best to be out there at the hottest time of the day between 10am and 2pm to get my sweat on!

If you come out to this ride, make a stop at the Andice General Store.  First of all, two words - REAL COWBOYS.  Second of all, if you are really feeling spunky you can get the special - Green Chile Burger which you may or may not regret in about 4 miles after you stop.  

Beautiful landscape! 

I refrained this time, but if I ever come back just to train - mark my words, I'm doing it! 

Instead, in between throwing down bottles of Powerbar Perform, I had this little gem (also known as rocket fuel).  I was in love.  Nutter Butter you complete me.  I don't eat this kind of stuff EVER outside of training, but during training a little cookie filled with peanut butter and a coke sure hit the spot.  Pretty sure if they had this at an aid station in IM TX on the bike I might just stop and chow down. 

A taste of the Texas sun (and this is with 30 SPF).  Maybe I got a little base sun for next Saturday, but I doubt it.  

One other cool perk of living here is town lake trail that runs in a big loop around the city.  I've been on it three times to run.  People also bike as well.  It was busy, but even on a hard interval run you can make it work if you are willing to dodge some dogs and baby strollers. 

 There are also water activities that you can do as well.  Renting kayaks or "water bikes" is popular.
Of course, you also need to scoop your puppy poop if you come by with a little four legged friend! I thought this was a cute way of encouraging people to do the right thing! 

All in all, I love it here, but I'm definitely ready to get to the race site.  I feel fit and ready to see where I stand next weekend and even though the weather isn't cooperating to really get hot like it may be on race day, I still think it's good to be down in Texas and experience this new place.  I miss Kyle and my friends, but he will be down on Friday before the race so I'm looking forward to seeing him.  Until then, it's just time to stay off the feet and mentally prepare for what's to come - 140.6 miles of fun.  It is always a blessing to be healthy and get to race.  I never take it lightly. 

 Happy Mothers Day to all of the wonderful Moms who sacrifice so much for their children.  My Mom is definitely one of those who would do anything in the world if I asked her.  She's quite the women!  So happy Mothers Day Mom!!  I love you and you are always in my heart no matter where we are on this particular day.


GoBigGreen said...

Best of luck Kim!!!

Beth said...

Oh....Nutter Butter aid station in Ironman...I think you are onto something!!!!! :) Safe travels to the Woodlands today!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I always stop at places like that and get intrigued by some "special" food, but i've learned my lesson not to go for it if I still have miles to go. haha

Sounds like you've got quite the adventure going on down there! Keep it up and enjoy. Best of luck @ IMTX.

Valarie said...

This is cool!