Almost There

The countdown has really begun, 11 days until Ironman Florida.  It is almost unbelievable that it is finally more than just a date.  I have learned so much about myself throughout this journey.  I think the most important thing I learned is, “you can do anything if you are willing to do whatever it takes.”

At least that is what I am hoping on Saturday, November 5.  My goal is to finish within the 17-hour time limit.

The past two weeks have been the hardest training weeks, with 4000 yard swims, 17, 14, and 10 mile runs, 6+ hour bike rides.  Before a few weeks ago I had never swum more than 2800 yards, now I am swimming 4000 yards one day each week.  One Friday I swam 4300 yards just to see if I could do it.  My bicycle rides of 96 and 100 miles plus a 6-hour trainer ride were other feats I was able to accomplish.  Nine years ago I rode 100 miles, but not since, until this fall.

Some of my runs have been down right miserable.  Once again I ran more than I have ever done in my life.  Knowing the science behind increasing distances and fully understanding and accepting that it has actually happened is still baffling to me.  I know I did the work and gradually built up to these distances, but it seems as though it “just occurred instantaneously.”

I am also learning about tapering.  This week and next week my workouts are cut almost in half. Well except the swim this Friday, another 4000 yards.  

During the months of training there are many things I have left unattended.  I am mentally making notes on some of the things I need to do beginning November 6, well maybe 7th.  It is time consuming to do the training, but not so difficult that I had any trouble doing the workouts.  My hat is off to those young people with careers, spouses, and children who train for an Ironman.   

By this time next week I will probably be a nervous wreck.  I have a list of the advice from friends about what to take, how to mark my bags, and other helpful hints.  For the past few weeks I wasn’t sure my son was going to be able to do the race with me.  The floods in Louisiana, he has had a virus that had knocked him flat, and his multiple jobs, led to little to no time for training.  He texted me a week or so ago and said “I am doing Florida.”

My son - my coach - has gotten me this far. It is my turn to take it the rest of the way.