I rode over 100 miles today!
I needed that. I have done some long trainer rides, but I hadn’t been out on the road for more than five hours. Today, I did a two-part ride to give me the time in the saddle that I knew I’d need to build my confidence. I rode from my friend Fred’s house out to Parmer, a ways past 2238, which was something over 60 miles. Then I rode the dam loop, which is 43 miles.
I was tempted more than once to cut it short, but I didn’t. Last year, when I was racing Canada, I had quite a bit of confidence on the bike, in part because I had done a tough half, a double dam loop ride, and a 100 miler. I haven’t done a double dam this time but I did want to get my 100 miler in. That was a huge physical and mental accomplishment today.
Plus, I ran for a solid 50 minutes afterwards. Last year, at most I would run 10 or 15 minutes after a long ride. A couple of weeks ago, I did a crazy long trainer session of seven hours followed by an hour run. Between that and today’s workout, I’m feeling pretty proud.
I felt ready last year. I think I may be more ready this year. I’m leaner than I was. My running has improved drastically. That I’ve done longish runs after long rides astonishes me because I usually do at least some walking the first hour of an Ironman run.
I need to think goals now. I have some goals for before the race and for during the race.
First, the “before” list:
- Figure out the wetsuit situation. My wetsuit split at St. George. A sweet friend has given me hers, so I need to try it on and see if it fits. That’s a good project for tomorrow.
- Figure out nutrition. I need to write down my plan and study it, so I don’t forget nutrition on race day. I tend to get so focused on what I’m doing that I forget to eat or drink. I don’t want to make that mistake this time.
- Pack early. I’d like to get my gear bag and suitcases packed by next weekend. I’m going to be out the night before I fly, so I won’t be able to do last minute packing unless I decide to stay awake all night. To that, I say a big fat, “No!”
- Clear my head. At St. George, I didn’t do a good job of clearing my head, and it showed. I need to go into this race with a clear mind and total focus.
During the race, I’d like to:
- Have fun. I have a lot of worry associated with these races. More specifically, I have a lot of worry associated with the clock that governs these races. If you don’t make the cutoffs, your day is over. I worry about the clocks a great deal. I’d like to worry a little less.
- Push myself harder than I have before in any race. This is related to the clocks. But it also has to do with wanting to run as much of the run as I can. I do walk the aid stations because I can’t eat or drink and run at the same time. But aside from the aid stations, I want to run. If I can run for an hour after these long rides, maybe I can run for six hours.
- Be in the moment. I want to enjoy the trip, the people who are making the trip with me, the time spent driving the course, my workouts while I’m in Coeur d’Alene, the time spent getting my gear bags together, the opening dinner, race morning, race day, post-race celebrations, and the closing dinner. I want to appreciate all of them and not be thinking about anything else.
The race is two weeks from tomorrow. My body is ready. I’ve got a little work to do on my mind, but today was good for it, and I think it’ll be ready too.