Sunday, August 16, 2009


I believe my only reason for doing this IM is because I can. I'm doing this for all those who can't because I can. I'm healthy and have use of all my limbs so I've decided that I'm going to use them until they don't work anymore or until I'm dead. I've done a little soul searching today and I really tried to come up with a deep philsophical reason and it's just not there. All of this training though and I got nothin' better than 'Because I can'. No magical or uber respectable selfless reason. Maybe I have some painful things that I've repressed that are driving me. I don't know, but what I do know is that I will have all the time in the world to think about it on August 30th.
On a funnier note, I've noticed that I now time myself on everything. I was getting out of the shower and started to reach for my watch and turn off the stopwatch. I just chuckled to myself and was really thankful I hadn't actually started it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

18 Days to go

Well, I kicked that swims ass yesterday! Thanks to Jo and David who were so kind to meet me out at the lake. I had to prove to myself that I could do it. Not just think that I could, but KNOW that I can. I do, however, understand that things are different everyday. A good swim 2 days ago doesn't mean a good swim tomorrow.

Today was pretty low key. Nothing significant to write about. I did get started on my race plan for the Ironman. The 2 biggest things I have learned in this whole process is 1)nutrition is EVERYTHING and 2) you must have a race plan. Key elements, my friends. If you don't have your nutrition figured out you're not going to get very far. Likewise with the race plan. It's also really helpful if you know why you're doing something. Over the last few days I've been thinking about this a lot. Hmmmm....because everyone else is doing it? Because I can? Because it's the natural progression of my life as an athlete (I use this term very loosely)? Nothing really sounds like a a very good reason so far, but when I come up with it, I will let you know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

20 Days to go

We are 20 days out and today was a rest day. I needed it to regroup and let yesterday sink in a little more. I felt much better when I woke up. I got my gear and nutritional needs lists done. That is a big hurdle, my friends! If I can just keep from over thinking my strategy and the what-if's then I'll be golden. I tend to do that to myself causing a mouthful of ulcers and an overactive digestive system (if ya know what I mean).
When I'm not thinking about the Ironman, I'm thinking about the off-season. I'm looking forward to cleaning my house (with a toothbrush), spending time with people I love, baking for the holidays and strength training. Oh my gawd, how I miss just the simplicity of a biceps curl or an overhead press. I mean I'm in the best shape of my life right now, but I'm missing the balance of the cardio and strength training. That's what the off-season is about and thinking about next year's goals. Wow! The goals of 2010! Can you freakin' believe THAT? This year is flying by and I hope I haven't lost any friends because of all this training. If I have, I'm sorry I made them feel second best. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity and you have to take those opportunities while you can or you may just miss the next best thing.
So in the very near future I will get back to a lot of things I miss and I'm pretty happy about that.

Maybe I'll even have time to knit a sweater from all the cat fur tumbleweeds rolling around under the furniture....hmmmm.....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

21 days to go

It's 3 weeks until race day. I just finished my last week of big training and now I'm in taper mode. I, however, did not finish strong today.
We made our way to DeGray Lake so I could do a 4250 yard swim in open water. I really wanted to do this swim. I mean really badly and I was ready. We pulled up to the marina to rent a kayak and were told that we could not remove the kayak from the park. This makes sense in retrospect, but totally deflated my excitement about doing such a long swim in open water. The anxiety started creeping in and doubt filled my head. Chris has a big pull behind buoy, but him being on shore with that wasn't going to help me at 600 yards out if I got a bad cramp. We were both tired from yesterday's workout. I tried to calm myself down inside my head. I may not be the fastest swimmer, but I'm a good swimmer. I've done all this training and I totally let my fear consume me.
A couple of other people showed up and we got in the water. We were to swim to an 'island' about 600 yards out and swim back. We were going to do this 3 1/2 times. I made it to the island and everything was fine. I checked in with Emily (Ed had turned around early) and we headed back to the shore. I sighted over to the right where the shore was the closest and felt like I was swimming crooked and toward it. I shifted to the left and sighted front to make sure I was headed in the right direction. Still fine. Now, I'm not sure how I did this, but this is what freaked me out. The next time I sighted front I saw the island again. I had swum in a circle and was headed in the wrong direction. I felt disoriented and it really scared me. All I had to do was turn around and simply swim to the shore. I started back - again - and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It totally threw me off and I couldn't pull myself back together. I finished that length and beat myself up sufficiently. I've had bad workouts, but there has NEVER been one that I haven't been able to talk myself down, sucked it up and got through it. I was due one of these workouts and I felt for the first time what true fear of possible failure is. I don't want to DNF and I refuse to DNF at the Ironman unless it is a physical problem (i.e. bleeding out of my eyeballs). I know I will get through the swim because I know that there are kayaks and buoys to sight. It makes all the difference in the world. I also know that 2.4 miles in the water is a very long way, so I will make peace with it now. I know I can do this and the swim is about 90% mental and 10% technique. If you can convince yourself that all you need to do is relax and stay on course, that's the ticket. It's the what-if's and the borrowing of trouble that will smack you down and (no pun intended) hold your head under water. This is burned in my brain now. You can say this stuff to yourself over and over again, but until you experience it you don't come close to understanding. I understand and I'm making peace with the fact that now my first 2.4 mile open water swim and full marathon with be at the Ironman. I will finish, it may not be pretty, but I will do it and most likely, I will do another.