Taxes are due. I'm coaching a future first time Ironman finisher. Team Challenge Tri Team coaching preparation is in full swim. I take time to eat healthily. I have full work days. There's important family time. I haven't made much time to post an update on training. Here's a quick one.
Ironman Texas is less than 40 days away! The flights are booked, car is rented, hotel is set, bike case is reserved, and plans are firmed up. The goal is still there - place in the top 2 in my age group, hopefully snagging a Kona slot (Ironman World Championships), and cross that finish line wearing my orange CCFA Team Challenge racing top. Bib number were given out this week - I'll be #2680. It gave me a little surge of excitement - it always makes things very real when they issue the race numbers.
I've been on 2 antibiotics for the past 30 days due to chronic inflammation of my internal pouch. Recently it had been similar to a mild case of ulcerative colitis. For the past 13 years I've avoided dealing with pouchitis by using dreaded antibiotics but finally I gave drugs a try. This week I came off them with what seems to be a successful outcome and am back on probiotics. I hope to have my "gut" in good shape for the race.
I had been struggling to get to my race weight. (Sorry to my family and friends who give me a sideways look of disgust when I say I think I'm fat. Even though I'm really not, it's a relative perception.) A couple of days ago I got on the scale and found myself actually below race weight. The only time I was this light since I was 15 y.o. was right after surgery to remove my colon. Looks like I'll be upping the calories a little.
I'm still struggling with the plantar f-ing-itis; I so want to run 4 times a week but have to do much training on the elliptical and save the real running for the weekend when I know I'll be back with my chiropractor/physical therapist on Monday. I would love to be training on my own terms but it just isn't happening.
I am very fit otherwise. The next 3 weekends are very big - part of peak phase weeks. Intensity and quantity are both going up. Today my 3rd swim of the week was 4500 yd. Tomorrow is a 6 1/2 hr bike/30 min run Brick, which means I'll have put in 19 1/2 hours of training altogether. Next week will be even more, including a 7 hr ride next weekend. I've been in the power phase for strength training too. I can really tell in the pool because there's no speed. I know it will return in a big way next month because, as I posted in the lead up to Ironman Arizona last November, I "trust in the taper".
This past week I also started specific "mental game" training with Kirsten Lewis and her Awesomeness of You program (that's also the name of her website). While I know I have a relatively strong mental approach to racing, there is room for improvement. Her methods include some things that are very similar to what my triathlon hero, Mark Allen, did so there's even more reason for me to embrace her teaching.
If I'm not already, I should be grouchy and cranky for the next 3 weeks thanks to all the training. Thanks to anyone and everyone who has been, or will be, putting up with me. This will pass... I hope!
I am forever grateful to be able to do this. The support I get from Linda, Mom, my friend Phil, and my boss (and friend) Michael is amazing. Diane who set me on the right road for strength training and the many others who have helped me make strides and shown me where the stepping stones are have been critical parts of where I am now and where I hope to go.
The journey can be difficult; persistence pays off; success can be hard to achieve. Whatever the outcome of the race and whether or not I achieve my stated goal, I will be grateful that I was able to pursue this dream. I will be grateful that I was able to challenge myself physically and mentally, to push myself to beyond what I thought my limits were. And I will be grateful that I can share this experience with others and possibly inspire them to do more than they ever imagined.