Ironman Coeur d’Alene is three weeks out. I had my last BIG push these past two weeks, and now, for the most part, I am as ready as I will be physically. I do have a couple of small items such as a 5k swim next Saturday (Death Valley swim meet), but for the most part my focus is now to refuel, recovery and prepare to race.
Have I ever mentioned that I do not taper well? All of a sudden I have extra time on my hands and….I over-analyze things. The races where I focus on what I need to do, more often than not, I fail. Where as the races I have just not thought too much about nor set high expectations I have done well. I wouldn’t say this record is perfect but….it has happened enough that I dread taper. I know the purpose of tapering, and get it. My problem is I start to obsess on items…especially as excitement builds. I will post this here, and let you know how it goes once it is over but my goal for this taper – to let myself focus on enough details such that I can let my body race strong without over analyzing/stressing. Also to focus on the fun of the event, and not worry about my time goals. If I did that….I won’t enjoy this time very much! So my goals for taper are to (almost) ignore my upcoming race (I am as ready as I can be….I can’t worry about anything now. I have to trust my training, body, mind and nutrition), and to plan the rest of my triathlon season. I will be racing as a part of the PodiumGirls team and have a few required team races but… I need to work everything out.
I could post all the things that haven’t gone right in this training season. But I won’t. In fact, I want to do the complete opposite. I want to exercise some of my fear demons by focusing on what I have done right in training for IMCdA (And I will keep track of the number of times I have to delete a paragraph because it has a negative skew to it).
1) Weekly track sessions. My coach, Mary Doyle Smith, is opening her own business Fusion Physical Therapy, Fitness, and Coaching. The concept is to “fuse” the various practices of injury prevention, fitness evaluation and training, coaching, and injury treatment all under one roof. As a part of her new business, she has started a weekly track session coached by Deb Alexander. I have been hitting paces I never thought imaginable. Deb and I are near the same pace, so there are times we are competing against each other. To say it is hard but SO MUCH FUN is a huge understatement. It is helping to teach me that I can dig that much deeper, and hold an uncomfortable pace to reach a time/distance goal. It has been invaluable. I have also gotten a lot of pointers and tips from Mary on my running form. And I am almost always working on it/thinking about it on any run I do.
2) Energy Lab. Almost like my track sessions – here I am immersed with people who push themselves to go faster, harder and dig a little deeper. I know a lot of people do not like riding on the trainer, but I I do. And I love riding at the Energy Lab…it has some serious positive energy! It has helped me push a little harder and a little more. Now…to translate that trainer effort to the road….(OK – that’s a little negative about IMCdA isn’t it?). To me my bike is my weakest link. Two accidents have made me slightly wary on the road
3) Dynamo – three times a week I am at Dynamo Masters swim. And, again, I am among people who push themselves and are working to give more and get better. Sounds like a running theme in my life, right? Believe it or not….I love it. After being there for over a year I finally decided to jump up a lane. I have seen my swim race times come down, and at Masters I am starting to give chase to the men in my lane….a good, solid chase. Yes – Maria will say I have a lot of form work to do and I can do nothing but agree. I have also made some friends here (it has been over a year), and really look forward to my morning swims!
4) Continued work with Marni Sumbal for race and daily nutrition . I have worked with Marni for over a year now off and on. And her help has been invaluable. As I learn to hurt and take the muscle soreness from pushing, I am learning how to fuel and trust that fueling so I can fend off fatigue as long as possible, and as it arrives, trust my fueling strategy that I can work through it. That mixed with my training schedule…I am fulfilling my goal of “learning to hurt to race”. I still have a ways to go, but have gotten to take my enjoyment of what I do a step further by doing it well fueled. I also have the added bonus of just feeling better all around.
5) Strength Training. I have been loyal to my strength training for awhile now. I really enjoy it. And it has (in my mind) paid dividends.
6) Being on the Podium Race team. Nothing like reading about people pushing themselves and reaching new heights (and reading what they are doing!) to make you want to do the same!
7) Worked on keeping friends closer. Friends keep me sane. Friends….make my life richer. Sometimes it is just a comment of FB, and sometimes an email, text or call. And even working in the occasional face-to-face visit! I have tried to keep in touch with people more this time that when training for IMAZ. And also just to say “Thank you” and “I am grateful for your friendship” or just “Hi!”. Training for IMAZ and TNT has been an amazing experience in my life and taught me the power and importance of friendship as I never experienced before.
I have done interval work in all three sports. I have done long, endurance work in all three sports. I don’t just read a workout – I take that workout to heart and try to fulfill the purpose of each workout. I no longer just “do” a workout. I have worked on recovery, nutrition and am fine tuning nuances. I am ready. Now…to use the next three weeks to get in to the mindset I need to be in. And feel good about what I have done. And I didn’t have to delete many thoughts in this posting!