Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thinking about Ironman

As mentioned before, in preparation for Ironman Lake Placid 2015 (hereinafter IMLP 2015) I have been reading books on the topic, whether it's training, nutrition, or stories about age-groupers (i.e. - non-professionals) beating the beast.  I've also been talking to several past participants and even a triathlon coach.

I've been warned about the "let down"...be mentally ready for the potential to not finish.  As hard as you train, there are just sometimes things that are out of your control that happen, like weather, mechanical failure, etc.  I've also been told to be ready for the time period AFTER the race.  You spend months training, it consumes you, and then all of a sudden after you cross the finish line....you're done.  Kinda like, "So what's next?"  There's no more swims to schedule or century rides (100 miles) or long runs.  Now with all this free time...and a boosted metabolism...what do you do?  It's a huge letdown...like post-race depression.  My friend (who also happens to be a triathlon coach) suggested I take my boyfriend and we go on vacation.  We shall see if that can happen (time and money being big contenders).  I also read to keep the race in perspective; a goal versus a purpose.  The goal is to finish, but that's not my purpose in life, so keep that in mind.

Speaking of mental....I think that's going to be more difficult than training for the physical demands of an Ironman.  The long distance gives you a lot of time to get in your head.  You can push your body as far as your mind will let you.  I cannot mentally defeat myself; I must stay out of my head and remain focused on the goal and task at hand.

On multiple occasions, in multiple sources, I've read of the swim being better referred to as the "human washing machine."  While IMLP has implemented the staggered swim start (ie-waves), rather than everyone for him or herself mass start, people still bunch up and end up swimming on top of you, over you, kick you, grab you.  Guess that's one of those mental hurdles I'll have to conquer.  Just take it nice and easy,  but making sure to finish under the 2 hour and 20 minutes allotted for the 2.4 mile open water swim.

Then there's the ability to train while working overnights.  Sure, half iron distance is doable, but an Ironman is TWICE that distance.  And then you add in all the other demands of growing my AdvoCare business, life (like laundry, cooking cleaning, paying bills, etc.), boyfriend (and our opposite schedules already keep us from seeing each other much).  Guess that's why I need this blog to vent!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Books Planting the Seeds

In preparation for the Ironman (and in an effort to sharpen my mind), I thought I would checkout some books from my local library.  2 books that I’ve really gotten inspiration from are “You Are An Ironman” (about 6 ordinary persons’ journeys to hearing those much anticipated words) and “Life Without Limits” (authored by late-blooming triathlete Chrissie Wellington). 

From the first book I garnered the idea to start a blog (hence what you are reading) and to race for a cause (see right hand side for link).  I think that this is a great way to streamline my story so that everyone can feel that they are a part of the day.  I also think it’s a great outlet for the stresses of life and training.  The cause I am racing for is near and dear to my heart, and every police officers’.  Please consider making a donation to ensure that every fallen hero is given the proper remembrance.  

I’ve only begun the second book, but so far it has had a profound effect on me.  I connected with author Chrissie Wellington (but more on that in a later blog).

For now it is time to, yet again, get shaking and moving!

The Beginning...

To think this all began shortly after I joined a running group and finished 7 miles with a severe UTI.  (Probably too much information to start with…but now that that’s out of the way, we can continue.)

Many of you reading this know me from back when I was in high school.  I was pretty sedentary.  I spend more time in the books than in the gym.  My favorite sport was softball because it required little running; defense on the soccer team was where I preferred to be (again, because of the minimal running required).  Nowadays, thanks to overhaul of my nutrition and the energy and natural high I get from a good workout, I rarely miss a workout.

Since April 2013, I’ve completed 5 triathlons (2 sprint distance, 2 olympic distance, and 1 half iron distance), 2 half marathons, and multiple smaller running races.  Next weekend I’ll be participating in my second half iron distance tri.  In October of this year, I’ll be running my first full marathon.  Then in January 2015, I’ll be participating in the Disney “Goofy” race (half marathon with a full marathon the next day).  All of this is leading up to Ironman Lake Placid 2015!  I never thought that a book smart, less-than-popular girl from a small town in “Upstate NY” would be participating in such a sought-after event.

Alas, it is time to sign-off and get moving!