12 Days till Ironman Louisville!
The weeks that I looked forward to for so long with anxious anticipation have come. First came the peak weeks of training that seemed so daunting and nearly impossible when I was looking at training plans many months ago. Then, the taper started. I’m in the taper. I want to eat, sleep, cry, and bounce up and down all in the same moment. I also want to buy all new gear and new running shoes, and maybe even a new tri kit. Well, because “taper crazy” does that to you.
peak weekend training
My peak weekend (after an already vigorous week of training sessions) began with a 100 mile bike ride last Saturday, followed by a 10 minute run straight off the bike. Then, Sunday was a 20 mile run followed by a 4000 swim. I seriously never thought I’d be capable of that particular training weekend when I first started planning this spring. I did it! This is what I’ve trained for all summer, and I was physically prepared for this.
The bike ride was great, I was able to ride the first 50 miles with my friend I’ve been training with all summer. The second half of the century ride was done solo because I wasn’t able to find anyone to ride with. I was actually ok with this, as I had a great route that I felt very comfortable with (and only encountered a couple aggressive drivers). Hubby actually came out to meet me part way through that second half and brought me some cold water and encouragement.
The run, well, was everything you’d expect out of a 20 mile run. It was hard. I did it, though, and felt good about it. I was lucky enough to have 2 friends join me for separate parts of the first 3/4 of my route (which was awesome!). The last 6 or so miles were really rough, mentally. Hubby and kids met me about 4 miles from the end with a COLD Gatorade Prime pouch, which tasted amazing and gave me a boost. This magic potion will be in my special needs bag for Louisville, so I wanted to make sure it agreed with me before race day! I finished my run, had a healthy lunch and short recovery, and headed to the gym for my swim. Surprisingly, I actually felt better after my swim, despite the fact I’d done so much over the past two days.
Peak week is over!
Peak week showed me how ready I am. I felt so good, and practiced my nutrition strategies laid out by my sports dietician, Niki. Not once did I feel physically depleted (maybe a bit tired and mentally drained) but I am going into Ironman Louisville knowing that I am prepared in every way that I possibly can be.
That weekend took so much juggling to put into motion, though. One kiddo had a scout camping trip, another kiddo had a scout den activity, and Hubby was accompanying them both, in different directions. It took a couple back and forth trips from Hubby and timing things just right so I could get all this done. For that, I am so grateful. I cannot believe how much support my family has given me. I’m also very grateful for the friends that have also supported me through this, and all the training partners that have endured long bike rides and runs with me. I truly love the entire circle of friends that I’ve made through triathlon. I’m so blessed.
After my peak, my taper really doesn’t exactly have me sitting still, but my training volume is down quite a bit. For example, this past weekend was a 70 mile ride followed by a one hour run, and then a 5-mile run and 4000 swim the following day. This coming weekend (the final weekend before the race) is a 50 mile bike, 10 mile run, and 4000 swim. Months ago, even that would have seemed like a lot…but from the perspective after the last few weekends of training, it really is giving my body a huge break so I can be rested and ready to go Oct. 9th.
So, as I hit the “taper” phase of my Ironman training, I have a bit more time on my hands than usual. This extra time means that I have more time to stress and obsess over anything and everything that may or may not be within my control. Hence, the taper crazy. My nutrition is dialed in, both pre-race and during. I think I know what I’m wearing at certain points of the race. My bike has been inspected, and is ready to roll. Travel plans are in place. I’m re-thinking and figuring out gear. It’s all coming together. Oh, and I have a number assignment for IM Louisville! I’m #815. It’s real.
With all that in mind, I am hitting a big reality of what my new “normal” is going to be post-Ironman. I’ve lived and breathed swimming, biking, and running for the past 6+ months. Sure, I’ll slip back into that off-season comfort zone of enjoying a run, bike ride, swim, or weight-training class most days of the week, but it will be different. I hear so many stories of post-Ironman depression because the focus and goals have already been reached. I don’t want that to happen to me. I want to look forward to the next season, and have new goals in the meantime.
New site Launch! (Oh My!)
This brings me to my big announcement. I’m re-launching my blog (right here on this shiny new site, where you’re reading right now)! MomCanTri.com is going to be my new focus to keep me sane until next triathlon season–and hopefully after. I want this to be my new job, so to speak. I’m working hard to get more readers, and to get affiliates for my site. My Hubby has asked me many times over the last few years, if I could do anything at all for a job, what do I want to do. I want to write. So, here I am. I’m in this, and I hope you will be too.
I’m launching a Facebook page and Twitter to get my social media started. I’ve been inspired to do this, and I hope I can somehow inspire others to do the same. Whether you want to do triathlons, run, bike, swim, blog, or even something completely unrelated to this outside of your comfort zone–I want to inspire you. Please join me on my journey!