Monday, April 29, 2013

TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!

I can still say, "Next month" I'm racing an Ironman.  But, not for long. It's the 29th... May 1st is staring at me on this page of my calendar.

I'm not one of those people who counts down the days to events starting with 297.

I just put my head down and train... month after month, week after week, day after day until....

the day arrives.

__________________________

I traveled to the Lone Star state a few weeks ago to check out this foreign land I plan to race in, next month.  :)

Here's what I learned.

Texans are So incredibly nice. Seriously. I had the most amazing hospitality.  I loved that. People were friendly and helpful and just seemed genuinely interested in what I was doing.  Very nice. I was away from my family and without a single friend so this was extra important to me to.

As welcoming and warm as the people of Texas were, the Driving was Not! Okay... I know I live way the heck out in rural Maine but I have actually driven around the country. Literally. I drove cross country and back a few years ago. (ok, fine, 21 yrs ago...)  And, I have lived and driven all around Boston without any issues, I've been across the midwest, through Chicago, and I lived in Southern California as well. Let me tell you, driving through Houston was NOT like any of those place. It was insane. I definitely couldn't have the radio on and I barely dared pick up my coffee to sip on that while I was frantically trying not to die while heading up I-45. Phew... glad to be back on our busy ( haha) route 26 now!

That was my only bad experience. Well... there was one other thing. I'll get to that in a minute.

I joined the OutRival Racing Team, led by Michelle LeBlanc,  for a weekend camp. I met a bunch of really great people and even befriended a few in the short time I was there. I really loved and felt at such ease with this group.  I hope I can find a few of them when we head back, next month.


We biked 95% of the bike route on Saturday. It's one BIG loop that starts in the Woodlands and winds it's way around a bunch of other towns. The scenery is so much different than what I'm used to. There were busy towns, wooded roads, and a few huge ranches to check out along the way. The course is not flat, but wow, it is Not hilly either. I'm used to Lake Placid. There are No climbs that are even close to that course. The issue will be staying in the same position for so long because there's no need to get up to climb and.... heat.

The waterway--part of the swim and run course
The run-- it's a 3 loop course. And, it's F-L-A-T!!!! I'm trying not to get too excited about that. Because again, what I lose in hills, I will gain in temperatures and humidity.  It's in the 60s in Maine this week... and that is the warmest it's been since... September? Not sure... A while. I am about as far to being acclimated to warm temps as one can be.  If it's in the 80s... or 90s.... ( and I am planning on that ), the fact that it's flat won't make a huge difference.

It's going to be hard. It's an Ironman after all. Sort of the name of the game.

And, the swim.  Yeah.... I might set a new record.  I'll tell you why. We looked at the swim course but we swam in a different lake nearby. ( You're not allowed to swim on the course. )  The water looked the same however.
Brown.
Totally 100% brown. Zero visibility. You can't see your hand Enter the water. And you can't see your hand pull under your body.
This is Texas remember. So what does that mean? It means I'm swimming in warm dark brown water with Snakes!
Like I said, I might set a new personal record. Fastest swim ever. I'm on a Mission to get IN and get OUT of that water.
(appreciating the cold maine waters even more... :))

But seriously.... it's going to be a tough one.  Training for an early Spring Ironman was a risk, and I knew it when I signed up. I've trained hard and I've trained smart. I'm mentally ready and I know I can handle the conditions. I've done it before and if I keep my head on, I'll do it again.
The next three weeks are tricky though.
Plenty of rest, all good food, keep training enough, but don't train too much.... pack and travel and get all the work done at home around the edges.
deep breath.
again and again and again......

It's still only April after all. The race isn't until next month. :)