Monday, May 25, 2009

It happened

I've been waiting for something to happen.
Some told me I might never actually get this feeling. Some told me it arrives slowly.
I have been waiting patiently for my body, my brain, my heart to show me signs that I was ready.
140.6 miles
2.4 swim- of course. no problemo. Ready to go for it here...
112 bike-yup. I can do this. Will it hurt? surely. Will I swear at the 19th climb? definately. But can I do it? absolutely. I am ready for this too.
26.2 run-I've done 6 marathons. Some prettier than others. I've hobbled to the finish line, I've sailed in feeling strong, I've been lifted along the final miles by the crowds in Boston, and I've nearly collapsed from heat exhaustion in Chicago. But I have finished each and every marathon. PR of 3:27. A decent time. I'm proud of it.
But...here's the catch. I have never done a marathon AFTER the aforementioned events. Ha! We all know THIS is the trick to the Ironman.

I have been working hard for....years.
I conquered the Half Ironman twice last year. I won my age at Timberman and then was 5th at Worlds. I have a good base...
I have been working harder this spring.
Miles upon miles upon miles.
However, I must admit, regardless of the long bricks, long runs, long rides, I still had an inkling of doubt.
Could I actually do this??

Saturday I had a workout and now folks, I am convinced. Yes, I can. And, I am ready. In fact, if someone had told me the race was that day.....GO! Hey LADY! The Ironman is NOW! Keep runninging.....20 more miles! I would have chuckled, smiled, grabbed a few more gels and been psyched as hell. 'Cause I had IT that day!! What a feeling.

I had planned on this long brick...I knew it would be on my plan before it was there. At the last minute (aka-earlier that week) my family planned at workday at the cottage. ugh. conflict. Conflict. conflict. I do NOT do well with this......I carefully explained to my Dad that I had this committment. I went through the awkward explanation of why I couldn't change things around. It was tricky for me. long story short....I was convinced by him that it was FINE. (for the record-my parents are my Biggest supporters....100%...Dad has a picture of me riding as his screen saver for example...) The other cool thing-my husband insisted that he go early with the kids and put in the work. pretty awesome. I owe him.
Because of all this, I was determined to get up and out the door even earlier.
So I was up at 4:30 and out the door within an hour. (had to have some breakfast, coffee, and who knows what else. It just took me this long)
I rode and rode and rode and rode and rode. I covered most of southern Maine I think. I had a route from my friend since I was doing a point to point ride. She gave me some super roads to ride on and a great 30 mile loop in the middle of my journey.
I had to stick z4 efforts in every 30 minutes....OUCH! that is hard. z4 on the bike is practically all out for me.
That's ok, I was feeling it that day.
I worked hard on the bike and enjoyed the ride.
A little over 5 hrs of riding and there I was at my parent's house...
I ran in, threw on the running gear and headed out the door for my 30 min run. I was feeling the pressure to get down to camp to help. Everyone had been there for hours.
But as soon as I stepped out to run, I forgot about all that. What was this?? My legs! They were...FINE! I mean, Fine! Ready to run. And run. and Run. At home, all of my T runs start with a 1/2 mile climb. It's tough. It's just what I do though.
This was flat for a mile or so. A treat. I was easily holding a 7-7:15 pace. Sweeeeeeeet. I stayed rigth there. My HR stayed in the 140s-150s. Aerobic for me. Totally fine. My energy levels were even throughout the 6 hours. My brain was focused. I was in the zone. My body was responding.
That was it.
Breakthrough.
As soon as I ran in the driveway, wishing I could continue running, I knew I was ready.
Two months from tomorrow.
Now-I know I can do it.
People can tell you you can and assure you it'll be fine-but you need to feel that certain something.
I felt it. I am going to be an Ironman. Yes!
Thanks Jen. :)
When I told my husband I could've done it that day, he just chuckled and said, "Jen knows what she's doing with you. She's playing you like a fiddle....of course you can do this Ange."

The next day wasn't recovery..not yet.
I had a 1:30 run. The bulk of it was spent alternating between 5K pace and marathon pace. Hmm...marathon pace. I could pick from 1 of 6. Instead, I picked a pace that I think I should be able to hold. That was 7:30-7:45. Maybe not for Ironman, but for a flat Marathon.
It was Hard! My legs responded though. I wasn't shot from SAturday. I didn't shuffle and struggle. I worked hard, got the HR up, and pushed the pace. Success.
Next up: ice bath.
Shower
Two days at our new camp with lots of R&R.
No complaints from this girl.

Two weeks 'til Mooseman. It's going to be a blast.

9 comments:

Jennifer Harrison said...

YES YES YES! Great job ANGE and you forgot the BEST: DAY OFF TODAY to enjoy the holiday! :)) hee hee. Keep up the good work. Those BT workouts are IMPERATIVE - so glad yours was Saturday! YAY!!!!

Marni said...

Great workout! I just love breakthroughs! I just had the same convo with Karel. I was like "finally, my biking is coming along!".
You are doing great. Can't wait to "watch" you (ironmanlive) on race day!!
miss you! Hope you are doing well with the nutrition (looks like you have plenty of energy!)

IronMatron said...

It was exciting to read this. I don't think I've really felt that yet--but just reading about your breakthrough made me feel as if I had one too!
Yeah!
(and btw, you can hold faster than 7:30s for a straight out marathon, I'm pretty sure.)

Kim said...

WAY TO GO ANGE!!! what a fantastic training day - physically and mentally! cant wait to experience the same sort of BT this season!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

It just goes to shower the mind has over the body. Great job!!!

Plus I have to throw in some kudos to your hubby.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I am hanging on every workout of yours... Holy s**t girl, you got some serious aerobic power going for you, not a surprise of course. You seem to be rising the ranks of triathlon - can't wait to see what you do race day!

MaineSport said...

Great job. I chuckle when I tink back to seeing you and Mary show up at Wild Bear a couple of years ago looking like deer in headlights. I look forward to see what heights you reach. Keep it up. Stay healthy.

Swimming for ME said...

Wahoo! I am psyched for you!! See you Friday....

LG said...

It is all coming together for you Ange! I really admire the dedication you have put in and how you are doing and having it all right now and that most importantly you are really enjoying and cherishing this experience and journey!! inspiring!