Wow-- so last year, when I knew I was going to do an Iron man, I had the benefit of knowing that I was going to do it with Team in Training's IronTeam-- a group of folks dedicated to curing cancer AND training for distance events. I'd have coaches (three of them no less) to design workouts; team captains to provide routes, mentors and other captains to provide support on the courses. . . Basically, all was taken care of and I had nothing to worry about.
This year? I have nothing.
O.K. well, not completely nothing, I've got books with triathlon workouts in them; I've got 1/2- 3/4 of my season's materials from last year; I've got maps of good routes here in Marin county; I've got the Internet-- try a quick search for Iron man triathlon training. . . I'll wait right here. . .
See what happens? By my computer, there are almost 2.8 million articles, stories, plans, groups to train you, and coaches on the web. . . Yeah-- that helps. Not to mention that most of these coaches, plans etc cost money-- the one thing that (after having to pay the Foundation Fee to get my race entry) I'd rather not do.
Yep, you guessed it. I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of doing this all by myself.
That being said, I know that there are some things that I want to do this time.
If you've read my previous entries, you know that I was not happy with my run-- to the extent that you can call it a run. Throughout last year's season, I didn't feel like I was running enough-- never felt like I was going to be prepared for the run part of the course-- and I was right. Now, I think that the reasons for that are twofold-- first, we didn't run enough and second, no one (no matter how much they try) can fully mentally prepare you for the way you feel starting out on that marathon at 4 in the afternoon. So, one thing I want to do is improve my run (and my run time).
Most of you also know by now of my off again love affair with my bike. I've never been a biker. I'm generally terrified of my bike. BUT, at some point during last year's season, I developed a confidence on the bike. I was slow, but I was capable. I climbed some killer hills. I pedaled some killer distances. I was able to do this. By the time race day came around, I knew that I could complete the 112 miles on the bike. . . and I thought I could do it in the time limits.
I was hoping to do the distance between 7hours 45 minutes and 8 hours. Due to the heat (103 degrees on the bike) and some problems with water (the race not having any at a few water stops) I pushed the higher end of that envelope and finished in 8 hours and 4 minutes. This year, I'd like to do better.
Finally, or more appropriately, first off, the swim. I'm generally pretty strong here and put forth a confident swim time. That being said, I do think I could do it a little faster next time-- I know that while I was in the water I kept thinking about one of my coaches, our swim coach, who left too much of her energy in the swim during her first triathlon and had a rough afternoon because of it. So, I don't want to change too much here-- maybe shave off a minute or 2.
I know my goals:
Swim- 2 minutes off my time
Bike-30 minutes off my time (8 to 7h 30 min)
Run-30 minutes off my time (6 to 5h 30 min)
and now you do too. . . now we just have to figure out how to get there.
As an afterthought, the other think I'd like to do better is transitions. I spent about 5 minutes in the first transition (changed from bikini bottom to bike shorts, socks, and got shoes, bike helmet and sunglasses and bike)-- which was respectable. I spent 14 minutes or so in T2. Changed shorts, top, hat, socks, and got out the door. . . not sure what happened here. . . OK-- it had something to do with a 103 degree bike ride and a large (3 ft) fan in the changing tent . . . but I know I can do better here as well.