Monday, March 25, 2013

Character Building

6 Weeks?!  How can there only be 6 weeks until the 70.3 IM??  How is that possible??  This thought invokes terror into the heart of me.  I've run marathons.  They're nothing compared to this training.

For anyone wondering what I'm talking about, it's a 1/2 Ironman Triathlon.  It consists of 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, ergo 70.3 miles.  It seemed like a great idea.  The one I picked is an Inaugural race, the first ever, and the first public sporting event, privately organized to be partially inside the restricted gates of Kennedy Space Center where the shuttles launched and lived.  Plus, cool scenery around the wildlife refuge there.

Yesterday, I set out on what would be my longest bike ride EVER....50 miles.  50 miles?  Alone?  Yep.  Great tunes, beautiful weather, new trisuit, Beast mode on, at least it was like that for 36 miles.  I drank my water exactly as I was supposed to, ate my blocks on time, even had some oatmeal muffins along the way.  Then, I made the turn to come back home, and it hit me. the face...15 MPH, and gusts from every direction up to 30....for 14 miles on legs that still had to run.  OH NO.  I put my head down, laid out over my bars, and peddled home.  My hands hurt, my feet were numb from effort, my eyes were watering, I was a mess.  I thought, "overall, that was good, except the last hour". 

Transition.  Let the puppy out, have a snack, get the Garmin going, change shoes, get my hat, put on my sunblock, pee, out the door to run.

The first mile off the bike always feels like and alien has inhabited my body.  Miles 2,3,4 were brutal because the wind I had battled on the bike was stopping me in my tracks on the run, but my pace was still good.  I was actually feeling good (and LOVING the new suit), and then it happened.  I bonked.  My legs literally quit moving.  My hamstrings and calves had been shot to Hell on the ride, and were barely making it through the run against the wind.  I could feel them asking to cramp.  So I stopped.  I stretched.  I ate some extra electrolyte blocks and walked...and walked...and walked.  Have I ever mentioned I hate walking? 

Knowing there was no chance of making it 8 miles, I cut through and ended up with 7. 

I went into this knowing that not every workout will be perfect.  Some of them are downright awful. This was one of those days.

By the time I walked in my house again, I was ready to cramp out (which happened soon after), puke and die in my floor.  And I was ready to call it quits.  But, my coach says "Bricks build character".  So, with 6 weeks to go, I'll rest up, train harder than ever, eat for fuel, and keep building character.  Not everyday will be perfect, but I will certainly TRI no matter what. 


  1. I commend you fully for doing this, it's a massive undertaking and personal commitment, you will give it your all and you have 6 weeks to go! There are even good days and bad days for the best of athletes, YOU GO GIRL!!

  2. Training is tough because your body is constantly tired, but on race day you will be ready. Hang in there.

  3. Hey there, Training for a 1/2 IM has been a little harder for me because I try to make better times then in a full IM. I hear others say they push much harder on a half. I did my first IM at age 48 and I weighed in at 252 which was a big drop from where I started at around 300. It took me 1 year of training and a couple shorter tri's to get ready. I wish I could be there to see the look on your face when you finish, there's nothing like seeing someone finish their first race. It will be so amazing... Good luck and keep up the training. Oh yea I take potassium liquid added to my bottles and I have never bonked again, or cramped for that matter. Good Luck Girl..