Well, it's race week! In just a few days I'll be competing in my first 70.3 triathlon, a half-Ironman distance. What's cool is that SuperFrog is actually the first-ever half-Ironman triathlon, so it's pretty historic. I've also competed (twice) in the Mission Bay Sprint Triathlon, which was the first triathlon EVER, back in 1974. It's nice living in San Diego, the birthplace of this fabulous sport!
I haven't posted in a while, not because I have nothing to say, but because I've been so overwhelmed with thoughts. These last few weeks have been very emotional for me as I completed my training. As I last wrote, I hit peak week 3 weeks ago by doing a 50 mile bike ride followed by an 8 mile run. The next day I swam 1.2 miles in the ocean. The following weekend I ran 10 miles, 7 of which was on the beach (4 miles of SuperFrog will be on packed sand), and did a 39 mile bike ride (it was supposed to be 45 miles, but I was getting a migraine and with 6 miles left called my husband to pick me up. It wasn't worth it at that point). This past weekend I tapered down even more, doing a short ocean swim, mainly to practice wave entry/exit, a 6.7 mile run, and an 18 mile bike. This week is all about rest. I am only training 3 days this week, and just a little. My typical weekday 3 mile runs are now 2 miles, and yesterday I swam, but only 1500 yards instead of my usual 2000/2500.
Taper is a hard thing. I'm in that weird phase, where nothing I do will build fitness. The hay is in the barn, as they say, or as another triathlete friend of mine told me, my cake is baked. At the same time, theoretically I could do NOTHING this week and not LOSE fitness. Of course, my body is wanting to hit it hard, as I usually do, but I am holding back and working out just enough to remind my muscles of what they have to do on Sunday, and to get out some of my energy. I don't want to risk injury at this point, either, so I'm trying to be extra careful. (Of course, I was testing out my bike this morning and I hadn't put the tire on quite right...so my chain came off. I couldn't clip out in time, so over I went. I now have a nice gash on my right knee. Grrrr...)
I signed up for this race on March 30, exactly 6 months from the actual race. Everything I've done since then has been in preparation for SuperFrog. Every yard I've swam, every mile I've ridden, every mile I've ran, has been for this. The races I've done since signing up (since I registered for SuperFrog I've done 3 half marathons and 1 sprint triathlon) has been with SuperFrog in mind. Every time I get tired, when I think I can't swim one more lap, pedal one more stroke or pound the pavement anymore, I think of how good it will feel when I cross the finish line. Since signing up in March, I've run 310 miles, biked 817 miles, and swam 42 miles. That doesn't count other workouts, such as getting on the spin bike or the elliptical at the gym, or doing yoga.
I think of all the training I've done as a wall, made of individual swim/bike/run bricks. I've laid a good foundation. Sometimes I skipped a workout, either because I was too tired, or I was injured (I had a foot injury in April and a back injury in July, both of which kept me from running and biking, respectively), or simply life got in the way. So there are a few spots in my "wall" where bricks should be...but the foundation is strong enough. I've done a lot. There is always more I could have done, but I am proud of the job I've done in training, while still being a good mother to my two young kids, and keeping up with my myriad other obligations I have. I can definitely have trained more, but I've trained enough. I know it. I will finish.
I've done other little things to prepare. I gave up caffeine a few weeks ago for the race. I never actually drink coffee before I work out, but usually mid-morning if I don't have a cup of coffee I'll get a headache. I don't want to get a headache a few hours in from caffeine withdrawal...so I decided to go through withdrawal last week. So now I'm caffeine-free. I've practiced changing my tire an additional 3 times.....it takes me a while, about 15 minutes, but if God forbid I get a flat during the race I am confident I can change it. I've done my beach runs---as I said, 4 miles or so will be on the hard-packed sand on the beach. I've done 4 beach runs: one was 1 mile, two were 5.5 miles, and one was 7 miles. I know I can run for miles on the sand now. (There will be a few hundred yards of soft sand, which I already know I will walk).
So now it's just getting ready....getting all my gear together and keeping calm. I FEEL calm right now. I feel like I'm in a zen-state about the race. I'm sure I'll get nervous tomorrow when I pick up my packet, but I really feel good right now.
My next post will hopefully tell about me becoming a Half-Ironman. Let's do this thing!