It has been a lovely day.
Basically I decided that I am treating myself to a MONSTER TRAINING WEEK!
I rode down to Chelsea Piers and met up with Lauren for the last bit of her long run - I just did an easy four miles with her around the track. Then hopped into the pool for a very high-quality swim.
It was the day of NINES (I love doing a workout on a pattern, it makes the whole thing much more satisfying to me).
A Jim Bolster-style warmup (and I am going to have a coaching session with the man himself before I leave town, to discuss iron training and get his input on my plan):
200 free, 100 IM kick, 200 free, 100 IM drill, 200 free, 100 IM swim
200 IM, 150 IM no free, 100 IM, 100 IM, 150 IM no free, 200 IM (on 30 seconds rest)
9 x 100 free hard on 2:30 (managed to hold around 1:48-1:49 very well - benchmark set rather than true accomplishment, but it felt very good)
2700 yards total
plus 10 miles biking (terribly windy on way back!)
Post-swim and after getting a quick bite to eat with Lauren at Chelsea Market, I stopped in at Sid's Bikes. Had a useful conversation with a guy there, though I am not sure it will thoroughly resolve the foot issues. He observed that the SPD/mountain bike system are not really designed for long road rides; I knew this already, but I am definitely not yet ready to try real road shoes and Look cleats again, I hated that slippery-slidey feeling so much and really need at least for now to have the recessed cleats so that I can walk in them as needed. But he thinks the shoes I have are good and wonders whether switching out the pedals wouldn't be a more economical and practical solution.
I have been riding on these Shimano pedals that have a regular platform on one side and an SPD binding on the other - they were absolutely and wonderfully what I needed when I first got them, but in fact I now always ride clipless and I have been thinking I should upgrade to a more grown-up set before my ironman. So he sold me a pair of these, which he says may alleviate foot pain insofar as they spread the pressure from the foot over a larger platform than other SPD pedals, and he also concurred with my notion that it would be worth moving the cleat on the shoe to the slot closest to the midfoot (it is currently in the middle slot of three, middle in the rows from front to back).
So we will see - I think I will do a park ride tomorrow that will be long enough to see if this will help, and that still leaves me time to go and get a new pair of shoes this week and test them out before the long ride on Sunday.