Have I told you lately I am training for a Half Ironman? OOOOHHHH have I been too subtle with my postings? Man I thought that would happen. ;)
No really, I continue to say the words, see the workouts happen and tick the days off until the big day is here, but I am still living in a world where it doesn't seem real.
Does that even make sense?
Wow I am throwing a ton of questions at you guys RIGHT off the bat today. Sorry about that.
For those that are new to the blog - HEEYYYY!!!! welcome welcome - I am taking on my first Half Ironman at Pumpkinman on September 7 in Maine. Here were my thoughts from July 7 - 2 months 'til the big day.
Now we are just one month until Race Day.
Why am I freakin' out?
This is sooo far out of my comfort zone that I am plain old scared.
The biggest fear? Being swept! Yup, I am paralyzed with fear that I will be swept off the course after all this work I put in. The course limit is 8 hours.
I am a worrier by nature so you can guess that most of my workouts are spent breaking down how slowly I can do each section in order to finish in time.
After talking with friends and looking at my own times during workouts, I don't really think a sweep will happen - but you NEVER know what can happen on race day. So the fear is still there.
All I can do on race day is try my hardest whatever happens will happen. Can you tell I have been reciting that over and over again?
Every time I start freakin' out I remind myself why I signed up for this crazy thing to begin with ... to 1) push myself our of my comfort zone and 2) have fun! Ohhhh this is all supposed to be fun? Right right. Sometimes I forget that.
I wish I had a coach to bounce my questions off of and to make sure the training I am doing is correct. Am I doing enough? Too much? Just right?
But for now I just trust the book I am using and reach out to my experienced friends for help.
How is training going?
The training itself is actually okay. It is trying to fit all the workouts in to the week that is the toughest. I have been tweaking my work day to fit in an afternoon workout then will finish work in the evening.
I do need to work on more BRICK workouts in this final month - making sure my legs are used to running after biking.
I also need to spend more time stretching. I had a scary shooting pain in my right quad today that left me paralyzed on the front steps of my house for a couple of minutes - scary!! So stretching, icing, heating, etc are all high priority down the stretch...
I love swimming so the swim workouts in the pool are actually enjoyable. Not sure I am doing the speed work fast enough, but I am giving my 100% every time I get into the pool.
I think down the stretch I will need to spend a little more time in the open water in my wetsuit to get used to swimming in it. I don't find it as enjoyable as swimming in the tri kit/bathing suit - which shocks me now.
I did successfully swim 96-consecutive lengths of the pool and lived to tell the tale.
The Half Ironman swim is 1.2 miles and I swam almost 1.5, which put me at ease. I kept the pace nice and moderate and felt strong the entire time. Now if only I had a bunch of other folks in the pool trying to kick and punch me while swimming in the same direction in order to experience race conditions. ;)
Big thanks to my parents for starting my swim lessons at age six months for my love of the water.
My weakest and most hated portion of the triathlon. :P I have so much fear on the bike - flipping over the handlebars, tipping over while trying to grab my water bottle, flying off the bike while sailing quickly down the downhill, etc.
You know the normal bike fears - ohhh I am the only one thinking I will crash and burn every time they get on the bike? Yeah I figured. It's okay.
I am proud of myself for getting out last week and doing my 3 hour training ride outside and solo.
The bike portion of the Half Ironman is 56 miles.
I know this will be my slowest portion and one I pray to make it through.
I will say that thanks to training and Spin classes I am feeling slightly stronger on the bike, especially when facing the large hills.
But I really do not enjoy it. I want to badly, but the entire 3-hour ride I wished I was running. :P Maybe with more practice and less fear the love will appear, but for now I plug through the rides and am thankful for being healthy enough to bike.
If you read this blog you know that this is clearly my favorite section of the triathlon. :) Well it is my comfort zone. During Iron Girl Webster Sprint Tri in July, I celebrated lacing up my sneakers and heading out for the run.
Now I know this won't be a PR half at the end of the Half Ironman, but I hope that it will be easiest to push through since I love running.
My long runs haven't truly been happening during this training as I am nursing a left hamstring injury, but I am still trying to get out there and keep some miles on the legs. Hence why there haven't been as many BRICK workouts as there should be.
But, I do feel pretty conditioned on the running side from all of my racing so far in 2014.
So what will push me through the race besides a sense of accomplishment and badass-ery? A sweet sweet medal.
Thanks to my friend Lisa for sharing her medal from 2011
So what will the last month of training bring?
More mental work. I am doing all I can physically, but I need to get the positive, confident, brainspace to push through a long race day. Plus I need to trust in the training.
Ramp up my low-fat chocolate milk intake of course! ;)
Oh and remember I need to give it all I can on that day ... and E-N-J-O-Y it!
How do you get mentally tough for a new fitness challenge?