(this may be a lengthy one...)
As I was doing my daily stretch routine last night, I was looking at my participant wristband, and it really started to hit me - this is happening (at least I hope it is - more below)...
This is my first Ironman - maybe or maybe not my last (more on that later). For me, the Iron Distance is so far out there, really the goal for me is to finish, and ideally, finish in a respectable amount of time. Of course I have a goal time of less than 13 hours (1:10, 6:30, 4:30), but I won't be heart broken if I don't hit it. I place more importance on doing a smart race, rather than a specific time. This of course means the muscle in between my ears needs to probably get a bigger workout than everything else.
I have heard 2 pieces of advice that have really stuck with me:
"This is a course that rewards patience"
"If you thinking you are in a good gear, switch to one gear easier"
It is my hope that these 2 morsels of wisdom ring true in my head all day on sunday.
What would I do differently if I were to actually do an IM again?
1. Not get really sick, twice :)
2. Do more strength and "speed" work (some weights for triceps/lats/legs, hard spin class, track workouts). I realize that there are some people out there who may disagree, but I know what works for me. For my first IM, its all about the raw endurance to finish, and I feel like I lost some power in my legs this season.
3. Swim more. I think I am capable of sub 1:10 on the swim on Sunday, but I realize that if I probably swim more than 2x/week at only 3,000 yds per (my current swim load), I could easily take minutes off my swim time. Even though I avoided swimming like the plague at various points throughout the season, I actually learned to enjoy it a bit more towards the end.
4. Do some longer runs
5. Keep a better clear mental state through training
6. Maybe get a coach
7. Get more massages
This entire season has revolved around IM training, and my future IM perspective during the entire season is that I most likely won't ever do an IM again. However, I have never said "I will never do an Ironman again".
BUT, I must say, being here, absorbing it all, learning from my mistakes and experience, having great friends surrounding me with great perspectives, and feeling like I am on the brink of something huge and monumental - it kinda makes me curious to go through all of this again. It makes me want to try to race an IM sometime. [I also do reserve the right to not ever want to do an Ironman again after going through it however :) ]
I want to give a huge shot out to my friends Marty, Paul, Damian and Homa and Jeff for making sure my energy level was high throughout the season, and for making sure my head was straight. As you probably know by now, my "whole deal" with training is a balance of pushing it, and having fun. Some times those don't mesh well, but my friends have helped my keep that mental balance for the entire past 9 months.
And of course - everyone who reads this blog of me rambling on and on... :)
On Monday, I got a deep tissue sports massage from cassidy's. Per the recommendation of my friend Angie, the superstar human pressure point specialist, I received a massage from a dude (vs. dudette). He ended up being like twice my size, and I got deep tissue on my back and legs. I can't tell you how many F bombs I dropped. Damn. It hurt, but it was very much needed.
I flew to NY on tuesday, and have been doing some course previewing, making fun of people with their M. tattoos, and trying to kick back as much as possible. I actually should be at the mandatory meeting right now, but I am feeling like absolute crap (throat, run down), and decided to take it easy this evening and stay at the casa to rest up. Not sure why its happening, but the humidity may not be helping it...
Lake Placid, NY
... is freakin beautiful up here. Check out some pics...
Erik putting us all to shame with his hill training...
The famous ski jumps...
The Swim ...
This is a shot of the downhill going towards Keene...
Some event in town this weekend...
The race steed - wheels courtesy of The Man, Marty Taylor... (and they sound so damn cool!)
Run course preview...
Trying to catch flies...
The wheels are in motion...
Just your "average" view during the run...
The weather was really nice the first few days, but it poured today a few times , and race day is calling for 50% chance of scattered showers. F. But, I can't control it, and maybe it will just make for some interesting stories when I get back.
So, to check my progress on race day, 7/20, hit up http://ironman.com/ironmanlive, and there should be some "Track an Athlete" links. You can search by my race number, 227, or by my last name. You may be able to check this link as well: http://ironman.com/coverage/?race=lakeplacid&year=2008#
and this one as well:
And of course, any good karma you can send my way is also appreciated!!!
Btw, there are 2588 competitors scheduled to start on Sunday at 7am!!!!!!!!!!!