Yesterday was Ironman Coeur d'Alene. We had several friends racing this event and we tracked them on www.ironmanlive.com. We were obsessed all day long - "are they out of the water?" "Have they passed the first bike checkpoint?" "Are they going to make the bike cut off time"? "what is their pace for the first mile"? "are they going to finish before midnight?"
It was nuts. I was so nervous and anxious, almost as if we were racing ourselves. My chest was tight during the day and I couldn't stop thinking about them. There were three we were tracking. One is a friend who was trying to qualify for Kona. He needed to finish top 5 in his age group. He was racing the clock. We had another friend who was making good progress and making his way towards the finish. We had yet another friend who was moving along nicely, having a blast, but really coming close to the cutoffs. She was fighting the clock in a different way.
The first, qualified for Kona, but finished 6th in his age group and didn't know until today that he made it. The next, finished in 15 hours and 30 minutes, right on track. The last, did not finish and was picked up at mile 134 at 10:30 pm - 15 hours and 30 minutes into her day.
I had so much emotion for all of these people and I couldn't help but think about how my day with be, how my race with be run. And it scared me. It scared me a lot. We started this journey more than a year ago and to believe that we will complete an Ironman is impossible to wrap my mind around. I realized that I better start wrapping my mind around it. I better start shifting my thoughts to the possible.
Last year, the idea of completing a half Ironman was just as impossible. And I did that. In fact, I did it again on Saturday. I have run 3 marathons in the last 12 weeks. I am in the best shape of my life right now. Ironman is just another step on the way.
I figured that I can either be afraid or I could train. I have been training all this time and it has worked pretty well for me, so I think I will just continue with that. I sat down today and finalized our training plan for the next 9 weeks. It feel good to put it down on paper, to look at it and know without a doubt that these are the things that will prepare me.
Saturday's Half Ironman was a very good gauge of my abilities and I realized that I am right on track. The swim always scares me, but I get through it because I train for the distance. Over the next 9 weeks, we'll train for the 2.4 mile swim. I feel confident on the bike, we just need to put in some long rides. I have 5 rides over 90 miles planned. That should help. The run? That's my strong point. I can run a marathon. I can finish a marathon and I can do it strong. We'll run three long runs in the next 9 weeks - 15, 18 and 26 miles.
Mentally, the time has come to really get to work. That is where my event will be won or lost. I will spend lots of time visualizing my success, my event and who I want to be that day no matter what happens.
As it gets closer I will work on the logistics for the day, times/splits, etc so I won't have to spend any energy doing math on how far I need to be by when. I found it difficult to do any math during the half on Saturday, I expect that will get more difficult as the miles wear on.
Ultimately, this event is something I chose to do. No one is making me do it. I have to remember that. I love how it feels to push my body further than I ever thought possible. I love how it feels to see Trevor do that same. We'll be out there together, along with Doug....living it up. That should be exciting! Not scary. And so it will be.
2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run - what could be better than that? In 9 weeks, I will know. Its time to look forward and put in the work.