The Hay Is In The Barn!
I have been kicking around the goal of completing an Ironman race now for the last few years. . . maybe longer. I have given it a lot of thought… probably much longer and more than most people realize. I also realized that it takes a long time to make the grade and I was not going to rush it. The road along the way has been so much fun I really want to just keep climbing… but that is for another post.
I was without excuse to give it my all but it was still all new and unknown. Maybe I would crack….I didn’t know my breaking point. Was I bound to be a February rock star and burn out by May? Could I focus for so long on just one race, one day? Is there such a thing as starting too early? Would I even like going long? There are many questions and risks along the way and its all part of the fun.
By this time last year, I had already competed a couple handful of races from paddling, snowshoeing and the like. I realized that I really love to race and race often. Switching gears to “put all my eggs in one basket” and put six months into one race was a hard choice for me to make at first. Some people jump right in and somehow manage to get fit for an Ironman race on a 20 week training plan. What I found to be the longest and hardest part about doing the training is setting up my life so that I could do the work. I am very grateful for my job, wife, friends and family that allowed me to stack some hay over the last six months or more.
The last couple of weeks have answered many of my questions about my quest along the road to my first Ironman. The training “fits” ME. I love going for a ride all day long and running off of the bike. Swimming long sets are the type of mediation that sorts me out and I don’t think you can ever start too early (or too late for that matter). What was once a big volume week or training has simply become the norm and I feel like I am just getting started.
This weekend, Monique and I joined Doreen for our first Century ride. We decided to jump into this Friday and signed up the morning of the ride. It was the first time any of us had done one of these “organized drafting buffet rides” but this one was legit. You cant hide on a climb! The girls had never gone over 100 miles and this ride boasted about 11K of climbing. They picked a good one!
It was inspiring to watch these girls grind out the ride with a smile the entire time. There is something lasting about suffering together in the highs and lows of a ride. As much as it was a grind we loved it and realized it was not as hard as we imagined. Monique just got stronger the longer we rode. Good stuff and there is a lot that fits into that theme.
I banked WAY more training that I ever thought I would have along the way to this race. Many times working towards a goal without excuses does that to you… somehow you always end up doing more than what you intended and the goal moves towards you as well. I never got injured and burnout is far from a reality. I started posting my training miles on here because I kept banking a solid week and didn’t quite know if I could repeat it… Week after week, month after month. I exceeded what I dreamed about..I crushed my dreams!..ha..ha. It almost scares me to see the numbers of my miles/hours.
In the 180 days ending 2010-04-18:
My expectations for the race has not changed. I want to finish. I want to enjoy it and take it all in. They hay is in the barn and its time to taper. “Maintain, but don’t expect to build. That’s what tapering means”
see ya out there