My dad has an expression for everything. So when I think about my goal of completing an Ironman before turning 40, it’s no surprise I can hear his voice telling me the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 7 months…just chewing away on a big ass elephant, which used to represent a lofty goal in a seemingly never-going-to-get-here-far-off date. But suddenly, the elephant is in my face reminding me that my Ironman race is now just a little over a month away. And there is still plenty of him left to eat.
For the most part, I’d say the training has been going well. I don’t really have anything to compare it to, since I’ve never done this before. But I’m healthy (knock on wood), injury free (knock on wood) and making progress where progress needs to be made. But I’m pretty sure if you asked my family how the training is going, they would ask if you’ve seen me lately because they’ve forgotten what I look like.
Let’s talk about the swim first….I feel so lucky to have found a home at MSA – my masters swimming program. There’s such a sense of community here which I was desperately lacking in New York. It’s nice to look forward to practice not just because I can get stronger in the pool, but because I can also have fun with my swimming peeps! They even convinced me to register for a swim meet – my first one in 20 years – and so glad I did. It was a fun distraction from the usual weekend activities. I swam 5 events at the Sunbelt Regional Meet, and never did an official “race” report like I usually do, so here are the results:
50 free (200 medley relay) = 27:8
100 free (400 free relay) = 1:07:3
100 free (400 free relay mixed) = 1:07:8
200 free (800 free relay) = 2:15:2
1650 (the mile) = 23:55:56
I continue to put the work in at the pool, and just hope and pray that some of it will translate into open water swimming on race day. Even though I’m pretty comfortable in the water, I’ve only done Half Ironman races which I’m told does not compare to the “washing machine” that is Ironman.
Ok, now the bike. I’ve mentioned my wahoo bike trainer before and how much I love it. It’s a great tool for communicating with my coach. It helps refine the workouts, and it’s been key in getting me stronger on the bike. But I’m so excited to have fallen in with an awesome group of girls here who love to cycle. Upon moving here I met a wonderful friend, Tami who has since introduced me to a group of girls who are always down for a long ride. They are fun on and off the road, and love to have a good time! Luckily for me, most of them are currently training for a ridiculously long race, so they hardly even flinch when I ask if they want to go ride 100 miles with me. They’re pretty great. We’ve done some long stuff, but we’re about to hit the REALLY long stuff so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things continue to progress nicely…
And it wouldn’t be triathlon if we didn’t talk about running. Ugh…running. My nemesis, and where I fear the most that the wheels will come off at IMTX. However, I have somewhat good news here. I’ve made progress in the last 5 months, both mentally and physically in the run. In November I ran a 2:03 half marathon almost by accident. Until then I had no idea that was even possible for me. My winter training has been going well, and I completed a marathon last month which isn’t always typical for Ironman training. I had high hopes for a great race because training was going so well, but unfortunately things didn’t really go as planned on race day. Again, no official race report, mainly because I was too upset to write one. However, my coach reminds me all the ways it was a helpful run. It gave me tools that I can pull from, showed me that I can keep going when shit gets hard AAAAAAND it was a PR. So I’ve decided I can’t be too upset about it.
Ok so finally, my favorite part. Let’s talk about my Austin peeps. Hands down…THE BEST part about IMTX training has been my coach and my teammates in Austin. Coach Karen has been coaching, supporting, and cheering me on over the last 10 years and I’m so thankful for her. She keeps me from falling apart when things get crazy hard, and talks me off the ledge probably weekly. It’s through her that I met Amy and Cecilia, who round out our IMTX team. Our little group has no doubt been my lifesaver on so many occasions, and I’m so happy to be doing this along side them. Karen and Amy are Ironman veterans, but Cecilia and I are both attempting our firsts, so it’s a good mix. Last weekend I got to travel to Austin for a mini training camp with them, and it was so much fun! We got an open water practice swim, a very soggy and nasty 70 mile ride with a short run after. And then a long run (can you hear me groaning).
And no surprise….my favorite part of training camp was the end, where we celebrated with pizza and booze. Amy got these amazing swim caps for everyone. This is definitely my favorite picture from the weekend, and it makes me smile when I see it. Love these ladies!
Can’t wait until we all meet up again in just 2 and a half weeks for Galveston 70.3. I’m looking forward to another fun weekend with this group. And it also means we’ll hit our peak training soon, then…HELLO TAPER!!