Monday, August 06, 2007

Clicking and Planning

Things are starting to click, my friends.

Finally, they are starting to click.

The couple of weeks following the HIM in West Virginia were tough ones for me -- lots of doubt about ability and serious concerns about making it through the cutoff times at Wisconsin. Every training ride and run after that was steeped in those memories and I kept hitting a cycling wall -- convinced that I lacked the training necessary to do what I set out to do. And there was much disappointment. I was disappointed that I couldn't make a strong showing that day, after such hard work for months and months prior. And it took a couple of weeks and some mental gymnastics (wrestling) to come to terms with that emotion, knock it around for a while, and then toss it over my left shoulder and move forward without glancing back to see if it bounced.

Now, the last two weeks, in comparison, have been much better. Lots and lots of clicking. Some great swim sets that have really built my confidence that I won't need rescue in Monona. I've been having some really strong runs, too, that I just haven't posted about. Long ones are still hard on my joints (knees and, now, my right ankle), but I'm getting them done and staving off the discomfort until later and later in each session. And my century last weekend was another moment where I was able to feel in some way what the 9th will feel like.

All of these are just attempts at approximation, but they're so helpful for me, the newbie who got a little hopped up on caffeine and luck last September and signed up for this Ironman thingie. Approximation is really helpful. I know that a 4000+ straight set won't make major differences in my swimming ability, but it will make me enter that water with more confidence. And sometimes ballsy bravado can get you through some tough sit'cheations. I'm assuming Ironman qualifies as one of those... .

So, now I'm starting to feel the excitement around this, rather than the fear. I'm starting to plan -- with lists and more lists. I got all giddy last Friday (yup, I'm a dork) when I took Mighty M over to Kmart to get just the right sized plastic bins to transport my gear in the car. (One large for racing clothing and shoes, One medium for wetsuit, three small for tools for the bike, nutrition, and electronics.) I have -- I kid you not -- a SEVEN PAGE LIST of things like my nutrition plan and what goes in what special needs bag.

Oh, and don't forget my wardrobe. Must not forget wardrobe. There are lists for that, too.

It's so weird, though, to see the timer count down to these last two weeks of high volume training and then the taper period. It's so weird to know that I only have two long runs left. It's weird to know that I only have one long (100+) and one medium (75 mile) ride left. It's weird to be talking to my LBS about my last tune up.

Weird in a good way. Not in a fearful way. Weird in a very good way.

15 comments:

Mallie said...

Don't worry about your list making anal retentiveness. You should see the ones we make for those 24 Hour dealies. And bins are always good. Lots of bins. Bines in every size and color.

Latly...I have no doubt you'll power through and make each segment in plenty of time, before cutoffs.

Jane said...

Cool - it sounds like you're already mentally there! It's a pleasure to see that you're conquering that mental hurdle. To quote you "Booyah!" (I've never used that phrase; is that like an east coast thing??)

Laurie said...

I'm glad you have come around mentally. You can do this. I'll be cheering for you at the finish line on the 9th!

Kim said...

um yeah you might have to pass me along that 7 page list of yours for my IM next year!

i think IM moo is the same day as my HIM...i am gonna be thinking about you!

greyhound said...

I am right there with you. I know exactly how the doubt is turning to a glimmer of confidence. I powered through last weekend's long workouts with more strength than ever, and I've only got one more huge weekend left.

Well, I'm with you everywhere except the seven page list. That's mad.

jp said...

Lists are a normal way to burn off excess mental energy during taper mode.

:-)

tri-dogmom said...

You will do amazing. Once that race starts, the fear goes away and our body just does what it is trained to do. It's simply amazing!

Tea said...

Thank you so much for this post! Thanks for being real and showing what it takes to be an IM. Good workouts, bad workouts, it doesn't matter. You've shown that they will ALL come together. I cannot wait to read about your race!

Duane said...

I am so excited for you! Make sure you post your bib number for us. As soon as I get home that day from my race, I'll be online tracking you and I hope to still be online when you cross that finish line! Im Able maybe to Iron Able? :-)

LBTEPA said...

Nothing is as nice as knowing you have done the work and will be ready to give it your best shot - except maybe lists mmmmm and the right size boxes!

Jeremy said...

What a great post! I love when you get to the point in IM training when you classify a "medium ride" as 75 miles! Keep up the terrific work.

JohnnyTri said...

You've been consistent through the good and bad and you will prevail at IM..!! Yes, You Will!

rockon`

Comm's said...

word from the wise, I learned a valuable lesson at Florida, that is very applicable to IMMoo. Bring your cold weather bike kit. Esp. cold weather cycling and running gear, tights and gloves.

Wes said...

Weird because deep down in your soul you know you are ready. You have done what had to be done. Slain the beasts that crept unbidden into your mind. Overcome the mental, emotional, and physical trials that precede the path to Iron. Maybe, and most definitely, realized that there are hordes of fellow athletes that will be living their dream through you on IM day. Be strong... and kick ass...

Amy said...

What a great feeling when it all starts to come together. I think packing and the anticipation is half the fun.