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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And so the Waiting Begins....

So IMWI is just about upon us. The taper is beginning, the worry is setting in. I ask myself did I do enough? Did I work hard enough? Was the training plan right? Can I make the cutoffs? Can I do the work on race day? I think over my work for the past year or more and pick apart the days where I cut things short or went too slow or did what was fun instead of what I needed and wonder if it will come back to haunt me. Does anyone but me even care about this? Will anyone even be paying attention besides me on September 13th?
At this point, it is what it is, it’s too late to change things.

The Swim:
Swam the Madison Open Water Swim Challenge last weekend, which happens to be in Lake Monona on the actual IMWI swim course. It was training so I didn’t go hell bent for election, but rather wanted a feel for the distance in open water. I finished the 2.4 mile swim it in 1:43. I was hoping to be in by 1:30, so that was a little disappointing to be honest. Lets hope I can shave off some time at the big show, which serves only to give me more time on the bike. I can make this time cutoff easily, but all time spent lollygagging here could bite me later.

The Bike:
I am really sweating the bike, and I don’t know why. I have let the challenging hills of the course get into my head a little and psych me out I think. Sunday, we were supposed to get in our last 100 miler, which I was really thinking would get me a confidence boost. It was not to be however as I got called in to work and had to give up my long ride AGAIN. Now I am left wondering where I am going to fit in a hundred during my taper and if that is even possible.
The hills on the IM course are just a bitch, simply put. Unrelenting ups and downs, twists and turns that get in my head and take me to dark places where the voices whisper to me “you can’t do this” .. “it’s too hard”.. “you are a cream puff and you aren’t fooling anyone…” Dark places and dark thoughts are a definite risk here.
If I do what the voices in my head tell me to do, then getting done before the 5:30pm cutoff will be a struggle. Getting in before 4:30pm (my ultimate goal) will be damn near impossible. I think my biggest challenge will be keeping my mind right and not letting those bad boys wear on my psyche.

The Run:
I hate running this year. I am frustrated with being DFL at every running event I do over a 5K and I am just getting tired of it. There are a few days here and there that feel easy and fun, but they are far too few and far between to maintain my motivation to do it more often or better. Part of it has to do with the extra 30 pounds I am carrying around, part of it has to do with procrastinating in this discipline, and some of it has to do with me not putting forth the effort I know I should to improve. One of my biggest struggles this year is that my master plan the I adapted from the Triathlete Magazine Plan book uses minutes as a means of making workout assignments for the run, not using miles. I know for a fact that my 13-14 min/mile pace is not the norm and that this plan is probably geared more towards a 8-10 minute mile pace. And yet I am still doing 47 minutes if the book tells me to, instead of adjusting the distance to better fit where I am at and doing what should really be more like 60 or 70 minutes when it calls for 47.
Bottom line here is that if I can make it off the bike by 4:30, I can walk/slog the run in by midnight. If I am much later than that, I will have to do more running than walking. If I don’t make the bike cutoff, I can go eat some pizza and cry in my beer.

The next 18 days will be where I work on my mental fitness as I taper physically. Positive thoughts, visualization techniques and positive self-talk will abound. I CAN do this. I WILL do this. I need to believe in myself.
I’ll be reading a lot of articles and sweeping negativity out of my head.

And I’ll be enjoying watching my kid kick butt all over the football field when I need a little distraction.


Jenny Davidson said...

Mental fitness! I will be cheering you and Mike on over Ironman Live - best wishes for these last weeks of focusing & getting ready to race...

Wendy said...

Probably better to taper properly than to try to fit in a century.

Creative visualization and key words are a great way to move past the niggling doubts.

M said...

I know its hard not to get all in-the-mind before a race of this enormity, but you have to trust what you've done to this point - you will make your cut-offs, and even when things start to hurt, you will keep putting one foot in front of the other. ALWAYS. As long as one foot is in front of the other, you are moving forward. Good luck next Sunday!

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

Go, Jenny! We'll be following and cheering you from a distance!

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