Ironman Lake Placid is in just over 2 weeks! Part of me feels like, “how did the time pass so quickly?” and another part of me feels like the last 7 months dragged on. Since I am officially tapering, I have some time on my hands a plan to write a bit more in these 2 weeks.
Upon embarking on my journey to ironman, I thought that my biggest challenge would be time management. Work, kids, life plus 10-20 hours of training a week seemed intense. And it is / was! But what was more challenging was:
- Getting enough sleep. Turns out, toddlers don’t sleep as well as I thought (and my expectations weren’t that high)
- Staying healthy. I don’t recommend starting your kids in daycare whilst training. They had so many colds. And because my immune system was often suppressed from training and lack of sleep, I had just as many colds… and strep throat. What adult gets strep throat?
- Swimming and biking after a 3-4 year hiatus. I definitely underestimated the value of having a base in all three sports before embarking on 140.6. I remember how nervous I was my first time back in the pool. And, if you recall, I crashed Michael’s tri bike the first time I rode it. I’ve come a long way since December.
Well, my training was far from perfect, but race day is in sight! Which is amazing and also pretty terrifying. I always told myself that just making it through the training for something like this was a feat, and I will stand by that statement now that I’m nearing the end of training.
But, now that the volume of training is decreasing, little doubts start to bubble up. Did I train enough? Is my nutrition plan solid? Can I make it through this thing? What will I do when things get dark and I want to quit? How will I overcome the feelings of panic that I always get during the first few yards of the swim?
Ahhh, usually I start to feel overwhelmed and try to distract myself by directly my attention elsewhere. But eventually, I’ll have to face it. And by eventually, I mean at some point within the next 16 days. More on that later.
Here’s what I’ve been up to from a training perspective:
My taper officially started last weekend. My plan called for a 100+ mile bike and a 3 hour run. I biked 77 miles starting late, at 10am, because we had gotten to my parent’s house in Maryland late the night before. The ride was terrible. I was testing some new nutrition and it didn’t go well. Plus, I didn’t really have a course in mind, which was a mistake. I learned that the best way FOR ME to get in 100+ miles is to go 50+ miles away from home and force myself to cover the distance back! The only good thing about that ride was that my dad joined me for the first 28 miles or so and I saw a black bear around mile 50. It crossed the road about 25 yards in front of me!
My brother got married the next day. I was in the wedding so getting ready festivities started early. I was determined to get my run in. I ran 18.5 miles, the bulk of it around Deep Creek Lake, drank a recovery shake, hopped in the shower and was off to the wedding venue to get my makeup done.
This week, after the wedding, was spent visiting with my parents at Deep Creek Lake. Training here is different. I miss my teammates and the forcing mechanism of the group workouts, but having access to a lake to train in is pretty amazing. And having my choice of run and bike routes is nice. That said, I always miss Central Park after being away for a while. When you’re training there, you don’t have to think about it, you just run a loop or bike 3. Your course is decided for you.
Today, I stopped by the pool here for a swim. It’s about 15 miles away so riding my bike there and back would be perfect, but I don’t think there’s a place to secure it, so I drove. I was feeling pretty good about my swim (and fast) until this kid who looked like Justin Bieber circa 2012 got into the lap lane next to me and started lapping me. Hah! I completed my 3300 yards and left before he did. I’ll just pretend I swam farther than he did. He was taking long breaks in between sets. Yes, yes, I know that it’s not a competition, but this is how my mind works.
I’m planning a big Saturday! A swim in the lake, followed by a 70 mile bike ride and a 1 hour run. And then the taper will really begin!
Here’s what my nutrition looked like today:
This week has been a free for all, a see food & eat it kind of week. There were loads of vegan baked goods laying around my parent’s house and I feel like I ate them all. Obviously, this is not a recipe for success when it comes to training so today I’ve reigned it in a bit and I’m feeling much better (shocker). Over the next 2 weeks, I’ll try to keep my diet pretty clean. I’ll also phase out caffeine eventually (next week?) so that I can use it to my advantage on race day.
Breakfast – 2 waffles, banana & coffee with cashew milk
Lunch – big salad with beets, tomatoes, olives and beans, about a cup of pasta
Snack – Popcorn
Post-workout – Recovery shake (vega)
Dinner – Leftover ice cream cone and 2 slices a PB bread that I snuck in after the kiddos went to bed (at 10pm… ugh)