Monday, May 13, 2013

Ironman Race Week....Here we go!!!!!

As hard as it is to believe, race week is here.  Race.  Week.  Is.  Here.  The emotions this time are quite a bit different than for my first Ironman.  I wouldn't say I'm feeling pressure (although I certainly do have a time goal this time around but more about that later).  I think the main difference is that this time, I know what to expect.  I know that anything can happen despite the fact that my training has been spot on.  Once again, there are only so many things I can control on race day and the key now is to let go of everything I can't control and continue to focus on the few things I can control. 

Stress.  I can definitely make a strong effort to control this.  I'll be working from home on Wednesday & Thursday of this week and am taking Friday as a vacation day.  When I work from home, I stay very busy but have the flexibility of working in my PJ's or working out at a decent time vs 4am or 9pm.  Working from home will help me stick to my nutrition plan better and will also make it easier for me to hydrate.  I won't have to wear heels which is an added bonus. 

The festivities of the week get going on Wednesday when Athlete Check-In opens.  I'll be heading over there mid-day to get my goodies so I can start preparing my gear bags early.  Thursday is the Athlete Banquet and Athlete Meeting.  Friday morning will be our practice swim in the bathwater of Lake Woodlands.  Bike/gear check also opens on Friday morning and this will be the time I bid my bike farewell...if only for a few hours.  I've made my to do lists for the week (shocker, I know) all in the hopes of keeping Friday evening as stress-free as possible.  

That's me, #1844!
I'm going to have a fabulous support crew on Saturday!  Keith is going to be out there all day long, cheering me on.  He'll be my sherpa Saturday morning as I go to transition to put my hydration/nutrition on my bike.  He'll get me over to the swim start so I don't have to walk the 1 mile there.  And of course, he'll wait with me pre-swim and help keep me calm.  After that, he'll be headed to the bike course where he'll meet up with me at miles 50, 65, 80 and 100ish to let me know how I'm doing.  Finally, he'll be out on the run course for all 3 loops before heading to the finish line.  Keith won't be alone of course.  I've got friends & family who are going to be out there for a majority of the day as well.  I can't wait to see everyone when I finally make it to the run course.  I'm so looking forward to their smiling faces!  

I didn't do too bad with the taper at first but today, I find myself irritable and frustrated.  Mentally, I remind myself constantly that I'm not losing any fitness and I'm going to be ready on Saturday.  I'm still practicing visualizing the race one piece at a time.  And as if I wasn't anal enough, I've now put to paper how I plan to break up the day.  I've heard that having tiny goals or milestones throughout the day will help.  I've broken the swim, bike & run up into 3 sections each.  Yeah, super anal.  Sections by section, I've thought about what I will face in good or bad conditions.  I've thought about how I'm going to mentally fight back if it gets bad.  At some point though, I need to just sit back and let it all be.  

Like I said, the taper wasn't so bad at first.  I really enjoyed my workouts last week and by the end of the week, found myself feeling very strong.  I was so tempted to push it at times but reminded myself that now is not the time to test speed. Just do what coach orders. I'm ready.

I have a feeling I'll be blogging a lot this week.  I want to talk a little about my goals.  I also need to share with you my race day, I still haven't ironed it all out completely.  I'm sure I'll talk a little bit more about any last minute jitters and what's going through my head.  And then of course, I'll have a post the night before the race because we all know I'm not really going to fall asleep at 8pm when I climb into bed.  

My next post will either be about my goals for the race or Ironman Blues (because nobody told me about them the first time I did Ironman).  Until then, happy training!!!!!

After my final "long" ride on Sunday.  Leia doesn't look impressed.

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