My next ironman is this May! I signed up for Texas "in case" Wisconsin didn't go well. Now, I was very happy with IMWI, but I'm still going to do Texas. These races cost too much to just NOT do the race for no good reason.
I ALMOST had a good reason. I really haven't been able to run since Ironman Wisconsin and I've been "stuck" in low zone 1-2 (easy and slow) training. I took a ton of time off after IMWI, a true off season that I really needed mentally and physically. However, when I was ready to come back.. the back of my knee did not agree with me. Despite all that recovery and rejuvenation, starting to run again- even just two easy miles hurt. I tried active release, acupuncture, massage, and ultimately wound up doing PT 3x a weeks and acupuncture together for results.
After weeks on end of this, my knee is fine but I cannot get in the aero position with out the whole leg "chain" becoming fatigued. It turns out the "driver" of all of this is my apparently weak hip flexors.
I was strongly considering pulling out of IMTX, but this setback seems worth working around and still seems very feasible so long as I take care of these hips. I'm ordered to stretch and do yoga. I believe I would get kicked out of yoga class for talking...but I'm willing to try!
So, here I go... Ironman Texas here I come. Things I'm doing for Texas:
1. Balancing my social butterfly tendencies with adherence to my goals. I will be surrounding myself with supportive training partners and supportive friends... those who respect my goals and are inspirational, funny and fun to be around. At the same time I will also be buckling down and staying true to my own personal goals. I want to be the best triathlete I can! There was a time when "just finishing" the ironman felt a challenge. Now, I want to see how much stronger I can be. There are a few others in town doing the race as well, so I'll have people to log long miles with and help motivate each other. I just really want commit this year, not to compromise my training with my social tendencies- hanging back and chatting when I "should" be in a higher zone. Staying out late or going to happy hours when I should be working out. It will be a balance challenge for me. Right now it is especially tough because my "off" season is over but everyone around me is enjoying the off season freedom I already had while they were marathon training or late season racing.
2. I'm going to "photo journal" the journey. At least once a week during my long workouts, I'll have a picture probably from the long bike ride. I started this a few weeks ago. The ironman journey is something to be treasured and enjoyed and to fully experience. Its not just sitting on a trainer for 5 hours and then going out for one day to race. Its about the experiences, the connections, the lessons and all the little moments that add up along the way to make the entire journey unique. I still have the picture of the bike Tee-pee the Hardcore Ironman junkies made during a quick store stop after descending and climbing Vesuvius in prep for IMWI. It was motivating. The photos of training help me draw from all my previous training accomplishments, bring me joy and confidence and because of the mental aspect the pictures ultimately make me faster during long endurance races. It gets tough out there and anything to help draw out confidence and positivity come race day is worth doing.
3. Nutrition. It matters. I'll admit it. I'm first trying to meet my daily protein and calcium goals. Then, move on to fix the rest. However, I know that cheetos are endorsed by a Cheetah. A cheetah is the fastest mammal on the planet and Chester the Cheeto Cheetah is adorable, so one would THINK cheetos make you faster. Oh, this is going to be really hard for me.
4. Tying back to the social side.. I've re-joined the coaching company that trained me mid 2009-2011 again. It will be fun once my leg is ready to do some workouts in a group setting. I get bored and lonely when I am sequestered away from other athletes and training by myself too much. I'm already back to masters swimming when it doesn't conflict with PT and everything else and pushing hard with others is fun. I re-hired a prior coach as well to take me to Texas and beyond. He's the coach that I believe "made me" as an athlete and took me from a super nervous mid/back of the pack participator lacking in confidence or fundamental skills to a more confident age group podium racer. I've had some struggles trying to find the right coaching program(s) for my changing goals over the years... looking for what is best for my needs as an athlete "right now" and it is not always the same needs from one year to the next. I'm confident today that this is the best thing for me to do my best as a triathlete and get closer to my potential in Texas. I'm happy. I'm excited!
5. I have to stretch!
Here. We. Go!! : )