Oh yeah… I did finish Ironman

Real race report to come. I was fortunate to take a post-Ironman vacation to Maui with my boyfriend and his family. I mostly unplugged from electronic devices and enjoyed the outdoors with some snorkeling, canyoneering, hiking and swimming. Nice way to come off of the IM high, for sure (though next time I’d add some more “beach-laying”…Steve did *not* just do Ironman and had plenty of energy for adventures).

A few things to leave you with…

  • Finished in 12:52, had kind of thought that 13 hours sounded like a good target, so that’s pretty great
  • Told myself I didn’t want to do another
  • Now considering St George
  • Also considering sticking with 70.3 distance races, maybe shorter stuff
  • I’m not quite sure what to do for now – I want to maintain some of my fitness and I like being active, but I’m debating jumping right back in to full-on triathlete mode and switching gears to do Crossfit and climbing and maybe masters swimming (I kind of laughed at a friend’s suggestion to go to spin tonight, guess I’m not ready for that one)
  • If you’re considering Ironman, give it a shot. It’s a tough road of training. Really tough. There were plenty of days that I did not want to train. I couldn’t skip out every time I wanted a day off. But I’m really happy I did it anyway.

Good night!

Past few days have involved much travel – SF to Chicago, then Chicago to Madison. Some bike maintenance headaches. A little swim in Lake Monona. A little jog along the lakefront, a short ride to get a feel for the rollers.

And a lot of Ironman prep. Registration, pre-race dinner & meeting, shopping at the IM store, dropping off my bike and transition bags… I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight. Early wake-up tomorrow for racer #427.

Here’s what I wrote to my training crew earlier today:

Weather out here is looking good… high in the low 80s, sunny. Lake is right around 70 deg, but very choppy (I can swim in the Bay, I can swim anywhere). Hoping it’s calmer in the morning. Did a little bike preview by car – endless hills that I will gently go over (The hills are there and I will go over them.), particularly on the first lap (As the race gets longer, I get stronger). Wind will be a factor on the exposed sections. Quite a few sharp corners that may be a challenge if I’m surrounded by other riders. Run is all over town – I’m excited to see some antics by the frat and sorority houses… and looking forward to the evening cooling off as the sun starts to set. There’s one hill that everyone talks about that was closed last year due to construction, Observatory Rd… and we get to do it this year. Whatever (5 mile uphill trail run day, the pain is temporary, embrace the moment).
 
Good atmosphere here with lots of attention and acknowledgements given to all of the first responders that are participating. It feels like the organizers have figured out a positive way to commemorate 9/11 while at a race.

Thank you, everyone, for helping me train for this event! It’s been quite a journey – looking forward to capping it off with a fun day tomorrow (after about 20 minutes into the swim when I’ve finally calmed the eff down!).


9.1.11-9.6.11

9/6

Last PSOAS massage. Last spin class. Lots of love from my training buddies and coach.

Thrill of the day – finding out that a few more friends will be up in Madison to cheer me on. How on earth am I so fortunate to have such awesome friends? Feeling so much gratitude right now.

And now… I will pack. So many bags. So much spandex. So many plastic bike bottles (um, may just buy some up there, those suckers take up room!). So much gear. Oh, and some normal clothes, and things like soap.


————————————
9/5
Open water swim day. The Bay. Temps were not so bad. Could have actually stayed in the water more, but I had stuff work to get done. Rode to and from and tried out the swimming with my bike shorts and then hopping on the bike. Not so bad, really. And I can’t fathom trying to put something *on* while I’m all wet. So… there you go.

————————————
9/4
Huh. The Y is much more crowded than expected on a Sunday afternoon. Did a 40 min swim – some intervals, some w/pull buoy & paddles.
Followed it up with a 60 min run. Warm-up, then 6x (3min quick, 1min relaxed), 5 min steady, 4x (2min quick, 1min relaxed), steady to finish. Knees felt okay, but not 100%. Some pain on the outside of my left knee still. I need to stretch a lot – PSOAS appointment on Tuesday before I leave town on Wednesday morning.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/112504934

—————————————-
9/3

Bike ride with Annie G. About 45 miles. Some good, long climbs. Worked on getting some confidence back on the flats (But couldn’t go in my aero bars along the Bolinas Lagoon, where I crashed – actually, really impressed that we pacelined along there so many times. The road is absolute crap.). The first downhill was absolutely atrocious. Hoping that I forget about all of my insecurities come race day.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/112504949

Time: 03:17:24
Distance: 41.64 mi
Elevation Gain: 5,032 ft
Calories: 3,216 C

Realized that my heart rate monitor just needs  a new battery. That’s why it’s not working… I’ve been blaming the watch all this time!

Followed up the ride with a 20 minute jog. Nothing too fast, outside ligament of my left knee felt kind of achy on and off, but otherwise okay.

Today’s thoughts on my IM training:

  • Loved getting to know a new group of awesome athletes. I hope that at least some of us will be able to enjoy each other’s company in a non-training environment (like uh, dinner, drinks, normal people social stuff). It’s kind of like grad school or work – you have this situation that brings you close for a period of time and then when that situation is over, how will you connect later, when everyone’s trying to also re-connect with their friends from *before* the situation.
  • Enjoying feeling confident on the bike. I know that I’ve gained tons of speed and endurance training with this group and it would be challenging to repeat that on my own.
  • Would have liked to be able to have a better sense of when each weekend workout would start and end so I could properly plan the rest of my life on the weekend.
  • I managed to do IM training without owning a car, but I don’t love having to ask for a ride each weekend. I don’t know that I’d sign up for a training program like this again until I have a car.
  • IM training makes you feel guilty every second you’re not training.
  • I need a more structured swim training program.
  • I need a more structured diet program. I eat when I’m hungry and based on all of this training, I should have lost weight. I have pretty much stayed the same.
  • I kind of wish I had done Canada with the group, even though I’m really happy that my family will be in Madison to see me.
  • I’m sick of Ironman being my excuse for everything. For being tired, for not being social, for going to sleep early on Friday night, for my apartment being a mess, for all of the trips to Sports Basement for more gear, for my giant biking thighs, for always being hungry… and this week, for being a total stress ball.
  • I think that I’ll be a wreck up to about 8:00 on Sunday. After the first hour of swimming, I will assume that everything else will take care of itself. Kind of can’t wait for that feeling.
——————————————-
9/2
Swim. Found a waterproof bandage that would allow me to swim in the pool. Felt good, though I was surprised at how many people are at the Y from 7-8pm!
20 min continuous warm-up
300, 3×100 – x3, mixed in pull buoy, paddles
~1:05
——————————————
9/1

Sports therapy massage w/Jason at PSOAS

Marathon of driving down to Santa Cruz and back with my bike – all fixed up. Turns out carbon *can* heal faster than skin.