T-4 to Mooseman 70.3. My first 'A' race of the season. I'm totally ready. Now. Back up 7 days at this hour and I was just finishing up several bad a-- days of training and racing a Half Ironman seemed both easy and inconceivable all at once.
Ironman training is interesting. There are weeks upon weeks of consistent work that is manageable and satisfying. Slow steady progress can be seen if you are patient and smart. The clock ticks and you may start to think, "This isn't too bad. Ironman training is not as daunting as it appears."
And then, a big juicy week appears on your schedule and it's 'game on.' I hit my 3-day IM sim stretch with eager legs and a positive attitude. It went beautifully in my opinion. I swam long and hard one day. I rode a solid and fairly enjoyable (despite the intense sunburn on my shoulders) 112 miles + a Trun the next day. I topped that off with a ride + 2.5 hour run in one of the season's 1st 90 degree + humid days.
Finishing that run left be wiped. Part of it was the heat and part of it the mega-miles on my legs over the course of a few short days. I opened the door to the house at 12:40. I had 15 minutes. Great day for a 1/2 day at the kid's school! I walked directly upstairs as I chugged 30 oz of water, sat in the tub fullly clothed and just poured cold water on my legs. I sat until I had 5 min left, moved into the shower, semi-washed and was dressed and out the door with 0 minutes to spare.
"Hi boys! How was your day? "
"Good. Can Matthew come over to play? Mommy my bug bites are SO itchy! We had art and I finished my submarine project. What can we have for snack?"
My kids are so used to me training like a maniac that even though I told them what I had done, they just nod and move on to their own needs. I guess it's good they think it's normal. But I had nothing left. I walked in, threw some quick snacks their way and was on the couch with my feet up within minutes.
Over the next few days, I felt it more. I wasn't sore. I didn't hurt. I was just sleepy. And hungry. And my body didn't want to play anymore. Those few days that left me feeling like a rockstar dissolved into a feeling of weakness. Now, the coach in me knows better. The experienced athlete in me also knows better. And while I was not worried, I was cranky. My bike ride on Sat, while easy, felt horrible. My 90 min run on Sunday felt even worse. My knee caused me to stop and walk with pain only 1 mile in. That resolved but the rest of the run was slow and apathetic. I just didn't feel like it anymore. And realistically, I was tired.
After kicking the dirt, I reread my files from the past awesome workouts I had completed. OVerall, success. My training has been smart and solid. I have gotten faster, lighter and stronger. It's all good.
We packed the car and headed to THE ISLAND!!!!
contemplating their first dip in the lake
Tommy teaching his friend to row...
The weather cleared in Maine and it's time for camp. We opened up our little place on the lake and had some fun. Memorial day was spent cruising the lake with friends and just chillin'. Perfect. My body was healing.
Now, it's race week.
I can't even write about it all. My head is in 50 different places during weeks like this.
I'm unsure and,
I'm confident, at the same time.
All those things and more.
I've been racing for a long long time. I've felt the pre-race nerves since I was a young child. Some races mean different kinds of nerves. With all my experience, I am not worried about completing the race. I am not worried about the swim leg. Or the bike leg. Or the run leg.
I think of the race as 1 big challenge.
Do I still have it?
Will my body respond the way I've been training it to respond?
How fast can I go? Should I expect to go faster than when I raced this 2 years ago? Why not right?
All systems point to a faster-me.
Can I put it all together?
This week is all about fine tuning. I am resting well. Eating well. I'm organizing my thoughts. I'm even mixing up my race -weekend approach a bit to avoid things that occasionally add more stress.
We'll see how it goes!!!
I know one thing.
I'm ready. And I'm going to go for it like never before.