Friday, November 13, 2015

The Lead-Up to Ironman Arizona

I may be better at taking actual leaps than leaps of faith... 

As I sit here with my feet up getting ready for Ironman Arizona in a couple of days, I want to take a few minutes and reflect on the last few weeks and how I am feeling going into this race. I hope to do this more often because it can be difficult to objectively look at a build-up for a race AFTER the race already took place and you know the outcome. 

 After a week away from home at Silverman 70.3 and in Arizona, we all got back into our daily routines which I love just as much as mixing it up and traveling. Kids are in school, Karl is writing his dissertation, and I am in training. Afternoons are spent at the soccer fields, with friends, on adventures, or playing at home. Six more weeks until Ironman Arizona and I am feeling good! I usually swim before the kids wake up, and then run and/or bike while they are at school. It's been a great fall in Utah so far and only the last couple of weeks have been getting cold and wet. I love this time of year! The husband's parents' home (where we are currently living) is in one of my favorite places on earth: The Tree Streets in Provo. I mean, check out this yard! 

Definitely in love with the colors on Locust Lane on a beautiful autumn day!

Karl and the kids wanted me to come camping with them at Goblin Valley (one of our favorite places in Utah) after I had missed out on most of their camping trips so far this year, and so I took a weekend off from training and we headed south with the Wilson family! These kids spent the first 5 years of their lives basically as siblings as Jen and I took turns watching them all while the other enjoyed some free time. It was great to get them back together and explore Southern Utah's playground some more!

waving to the rest of the family down at camp

Jen and I went for a morning trail run and ended up high above the campground. The kids enjoyed their own adventure on the fun rock creations until we all reconvened for breakfast. What a great start to our day! 

We explored slot canyons and had fun with the goblins

I was a bit hesitant to take this break in the middle of a training block so close to Ironman but I am grateful I spent this precious time with family and friends in such a great place. I really wish our idea of camping (in a tent off the beaten path) was more compatible with triathlon training. But maybe it doesn't need to be. Maybe I can stop doing one for a bit and completely immerse myself into the other. It's what I tried to do this time and it worked out really well. If only there were more lakes in the desert and I was into off-road triathlons... 

Lots of time riding the hog this fall and ALWAYS grateful for company. I am so fortunate to be able to choose from a variety of beautiful rides up here and the Alpine Loop is a definite favorite. 

This entire preparation has gone really well. Hopefully not too well. I don't think I have had a build-up to an Ironman, including traveling and race week so far better than this one. No sickness, no injuries, no major life stress, etc. Sure, there have been a few niggles here and there but we addressed them right away and they aren't bugging me anymore. I feel like I honestly nailed most of the sessions this month and that gives me more confidence than I have ever had in the bike and in the run. I have been doing exactly what I am supposed to do in the last few days and have a good feeling about this.

Nutrition has been going well. I am weighing in a bit heavier than last year - on purpose - but a bit lighter than at Ironman CDA and Vineman Full this year which is what I was shooting for. We'll see how this goes and if I can figure out my ideal Ironman racing weight soon... And then actually nail it on race day...

Provo River Trail - great for long runs

Thanks to Dr. Stuart Porter's treatment of my hip/glute/hamstring area, running has gone well. Which isn't always the case for me. Usually the run is where I am lacking confidence the most but I've had enough good runs and many solid runs to KNOW that I have a good marathon in me on Sunday. 

And running into my beloved high-school cross-country coach (during my exchange year at Provo High) while Max and Noah are racing in the kids 3k down at the park has got to be a good sign, right?!? 

I am excited and a tad bit nervous for Sunday but not overly so. I am honestly ready to have a shot at a great race. I feel prepared but still have a LOT of respect for the distance. I am going to focus on my own race but also race the other girls when the time and opportunity comes. 

Because I really trust her advice and am trying to internalize it, here is a snippet of what Coach Liz says:

Have your plan but don't be afraid to deviate. You now have the confidence of knowing that you DO have what it takes to race the race within the race - there will the top 5 women, the top 10 women, the top 15 women - see which group you fall into and race THAT Race. Give nothing up out there - race THROUGH the finish line and when you finish - no regrets

The start list looks like a GREAT group of mixed women at all levels of PRO. This is not YOUR first rodeo. You know how to race pro - be gritty, smart, resilient, and fierce. Above all - with your experience and training - don't be afraid to be fast. If you find yourself mixing it up with some faster women than you think you belong with - GO WITH IT! Do not overthink it or wait for the race to change. Be in control, proud, and TRUST your stuff out there. 

Ok! Time to believe in Coach and prove her right! 

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