A little less than two weeks out from my first Ironman distance race of the season. 10 days to be exact. I feel good… almost eerily good. I’ve never felt this way before an Iron distance race before.
Looking over the past few years of racing Iron distance events, I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t physically and mentally exhausted before going into the taper for a the 140.6 mile race. The last couple years, all I wanted to do the entire month before the race was sleep. My training those years was forced. I very rarely felt good for the long training rides and most of the running workouts were a struggle to just get through within the intensity that I needed to be doing them as prescribed.
This year is different… for a few reasons. I think the two biggest reasons are my reduced work load at the hospital. Last year I was working 3 days per week. Now I’m doing 2 days per week and doing some personal coaching for fellow triathletes (Progressive Endurance). The other big change is the coaching that I’ve been under since the middle of February. The workouts seem to be much more tailored to me with specific wattages to hold, and race specific training… and even some race simulations to build some confidence before going into the race. Of course, there are many other reason to why this year is different. A big thanks to my sponsors to making it much more affordable to do this triathlete business by donating product, money, and various other services. Pure Fit has helped with my strength endurance and overall fitness level by getting me in the gym twice per week to do some strength training, which I have never done before.
Instead of being worn down and physically exhausted and completely drained mentally, I’m feeling great… and the confidence of doing well is there too. My wattages are up significantly from last year and I feel comfortable holding them for duration needed to complete the bike in good shape. Hopefully about a 4:45 bike split. About 10 days ago, I raced the Derby Marathon in my hometown of Louisville, and ran a 2:39. I am hoping that after getting off the bike, I’ll have have endurance and will have fueled properly to get me through the run around the 3-hour mark.
A month ago, I swam a 26 minute 1.2 mile swim in Galveston. I am hoping for a 54-ish minute swim, add in 5 minutes for transitions 1 and 2 and it puts me right around the 9 hour mark for an Iron distance race. I would love to hit that time… in my mind it’s a huge bench mark. A sub-9 hour Ironman!
Because I feel so good about this race, I’ve decided to change my original plan for the race. I was going to use it as practice run for Ironman Louisville and stop after the bike (or after 10K of running). I’ve decided to go for it. All in. Leave nothing on the course.
Cya at the starting line…