One month. It’s hard to believe I’m this close to Ironman. My training feels strong, but the plan is never 100%. When I look back over my training some weeks are as low as 7-8 hours (!) But there is no point in focusing on that.
Last week was a killer. A nearly perfect training week, less a bachelorette party resulting in my less than perfect bike ride on Sunday (I could have called that). Although I paced myself during said festivities, I still woke up with less vim and vigour then my usual self. I’ve turned into quite the lightweight when it comes to booze.
After Sunday’s ride – which was far from sunny and hot – I forced myself to dunk into the ocean for as many drinks as I consumed the night before. When I told my girlfriend (and fellow cyclist) what I had done she laughed and said “You’re hard on yourself!”. Isn’t she right?
But aren’t we all? This crazy sport of triathlon is much more mental then I ever knew. The thoughts that go through my head at the end of a 18K run, or the “you got this” to the “you don’t got this” back and forth for one large hill climb. The feeling of being the strongest I’ve ever been in my life – unstoppable even – to the self doubt of “Who do you think you are, going to ironman – have you seen these other athletes?” Sometimes my thoughts exhaust me more than the actual workouts. Other times – most of the time – I stay positive and enjoy the view.
I really only have 3 decent weeks of training left until race day. What I do now will have only minor impact on race day outcome, assuming that I don’t push to hard and get injured. That leaves the mental preparation. I’ve not been overly nervous and when I talk about the race (and when people tell me I’m crazy), I let them know that the training is intense, I’m looking forward to my “vacation” and I’m looking forward to race day. That I will get through. (And I’m likely not going to win 😉 )
95% of the time I believe what I’m saying. But truly, I’m lucky that I have this opportunity to travel with my friends, experience their first, or second, or 20+ ironman. To visit a beautiful, new place, and stay in a wonderful condo with my best friend. To have amazing support and what I know will be an experience of a lifetime. I don’t want to blemish this event with a lot of anxiety and worry. That comes from a positive mindset and takes its own preparation!
Over the past few weeks. I’ve enjoyed the training, especially the bike. I’m biking with a half dozen people on a somewhat regular basis. The other evening after some gruelling hills I wondered out loud: “Am I even getting better? Its hard to tell when everyone around me is getting better too!” But I know the answer…100K rides don’t seem scary (where they seemed near impossible less than 3 months ago), and while I still have a long way to go on the hill training, I’m no longer concerned that I will have to get off my bike and walk up a hill that is too steep. I know I can power climb through (the tears).
I still have some homework – cramming at this point! – I’m working on my run – still having knee issues that I’m working on with the help of an amazing osteopath – and I’ve discovered I have a new found anxiety when I’m swimming with my wetsuit on and my food. Always working on putting the best fuel inside my tank.
I have 4 weeks to work out these kinks! Wish me luck 🙂