I am now only 3 weeks and 2 days away from my first Half Ironman (or 70.3) race. Time is flying by at lightning speed and I feel like if I close my eyes, I will wake up and it’ll be race morning! This is going to be a tough race but I’m looking forward to it. My training has been going well and I’ve been making corrections to issues I’ve been having. I’m not going to be a speed demon on race day but it’s not about that. My goals at this race are simple: (1) Enjoy the day, (2) Focus on hydration, (3) Push myself in the swim and (4) Stay on top of the mental game. If I can finish with a smile, I will be a very happy girl.
We’ve been asked to compile our race results for the past few years for our coach. Wow, what an eye opening exercise this has been! You know, I heard recently that a teammate expressed some surprise to hear about a good swim I had and it bothered me at first. As I thought about it, I realized nobody is as surprised by my progress in the water as I am! For every race I’ve had this year, my swim pace has been steadily dropping. I’m not talking big drops, a few seconds here and there. This week part of our swim workout was to swim 3x500 and focus on our pacing. My times were 10:23, 10:22 & 10:21. Spot on! As I looked at my time, I remembered one of my very first tri’s where I swam a 300 in 10:41. I’m swimming a farther distance FASTER. So if you’re surprised by my progress, that’s ok….join the club!
I finally got to participate in 10 for Texas this past weekend. This is the 3rd time I’ve signed up and the 1st I’ve been able to run as I’ve had stress fractures the past two years. The day was gorgeous and I enjoyed every bit of my run. This was to be a run where I really needed to stay in the proper HR zones. As we lined up at the start, I felt a tap on the shoulder and didn’t really need to turn around because I already knew it was my coach and I already knew what she was going to tell me….don’t race. I’m not going to lie, it’s very hard not to get caught up in the excitement of race morning but I knew it was more important to follow instructions. I ran by myself the whole way with the exception of the first mile or so. I don’t mean to be an anti-social runner…there are just times where I really need the quiet to think about “stuff”. I was proud of my finishing time and more proud of the fact I’m learning to stick to my workouts!
After Ironstar Half Ironman, I will have a much deserved break and then will return to racing on Thanksgiving morning with the GE Run Thru the Woods in The Woodlands. I already know this race is to be by “feel” since I’ll be coming off my longest race ever and I’m ok with that. The real reason I sign up for this race is so I can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner guilt free!
My next project is to work on making my blog a little cooler as I get bored looking at it! Wish me luck! :)