Monday, September 5, 2011

Race Week Reflection

I'm doing an Ironman this week!  Wow.  How did it happen so fast?  I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin the day after last year's race....almost one full year ago.  I started training with Well Fit in early February and have spent every last waking moment thinking about this race for the last two months.  It's been quite the journey to say the least.  So before the craziness of race week completely takes over, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the high (and maybe low) points of my Ironman training.....

- I've become much more independent on my bike, completing 105, 93 and 91 mile rides in and around the western suburbs of Chicago primarily by myself....this includes lots of time on the Centennial Trail in the 95 degree heat and sky high humidity...and lots of stops at gas stations for water and PAYDAY candy bars
- I completed three long runs of between 2.5 and 3 hours by getting up and running at 4:30am before work....and then still working a 10 hour day (one of those days included a happy hour at the end)
- I've logged 137,000+ yards in the pool and am swimming my best ever....definitely got good use out of my Oak Park pool pass this summer and loved the hours logged in the outdoor pool
- I completed my third half ironman on a day when the temp reached the high 90s and dew points were well over 70....and I still felt great at the end and had a blast!
- I struggled through my last epic training weekend in Madison, as a miserable 71 mile bike ride on the Ironman course left me in tears on the side of the road; but I learned an important lesson about nutrition and finished my run that night....without walking even one step
- I learned how to change the tire on my bike, something in the past that I could not accomplish in less than an hour without lots of help from my hubby; I practiced over and over and over again, until I was confident I could do it myself
- I realized it's okay to let things go sometimes in order to prioritize workouts and recovery....things like drying my hair and putting on makeup for work, making dinner and having a social life :)

I've also discovered that I'm a lot stronger than I think.  And no matter what happens on Sunday I am SO proud of what I have accomplished this far and know that I can count on myself to handle whatever situations I face on race day.

I think I'm finally ready!  Bring it on Madison!

- Her (IMWI athlete #620)

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