Here I am, 3 weeks before our second 70.3 which is at Galveston this coming April 6th, and only 7 more weeks to our first IM. It has been 4 months of a lot of mixed emotions. Emotions that fill my training days particularly those long days or even longer days that we have now.
When we finished Austin I felt strong but I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me if I wanted to get through a full IM. I think it is a fear that I’ve had all along and even though I have Puli next to me telling me I could do it, I just didn’t feel my body was cut of it or wasn’t getting any better. Then the Cowtown Half came and blew all my expectations keeping it at 2:00 when I had maybe thought I was going to even walk portions of it, guess what I DIDN’T!!!. That definitely gave me a confidence boost and confirmation that my running was getting faster than I thought and that I was being hard on myself.
By then, I was like OK I got one down, 2 more to go, meaning now it was time to tackle how to figure out the swim and bike. I know I’m not a super fast swimmer and I’m an average rider, yet not fast, nor as strong as I want to be.
On to the bike, we’ve been doing a lot of indoor training due to winter temps, work and it just makes sense during the week. Puli has been pushing me a lot on those and I sometimes feel like I’m not getting anywhere (clearly I’m not since on the trainer) however during the actual rides I’m starting to feel stronger and my average speed has increased. A few weeks ago I was very frustrated on a 5 hour ride, however I think most of the team was frustrated it was a very windy day… 20 mph wind and long day out there, it was a very mental day for me, I kept at it, however it frustrated me because it seemed like I didn’t get anywhere, slow speed and long time on the bike don’t combine too well and it concerned me to know that in that amount of time I hardly put 70 miles, 70 hard miles, but I was far off from those 112 miles that we have to reach. Adding also to that, the fact that my legs felt like I had been beaten with sticks of how much in pain I was didn’t help, knowing that I eventually had to run after the long ride. I simply didn’t have any legs left. Last week, it all came clear. We had a 5:30 hr ride on the schedule, a long loop which most of us have done once or twice so we took off with a group and Puli stayed with me the whole time. We pedaled away at our pace, talking, chatting away, don’t even think the conversation was deep, just keeping each other company me trying to stay on his rear wheel (which I did) before we knew it we had done 82 miles in 5:15. Coach had told us to do 82 in the 5:30 and it felt really good. Best of all, we pace our selves in a way that we had plenty of legs left (not plenty but you get the idea), at least we were able to walk, go home and actually do some yard work. So I think is coming all together on that end, also it felt even better when I actually was able to run 14 miles on Sunday and my legs didn’t feel like a tractor trailer had run over them the night before. Which has been a feeling I’ve had after many long rides. I have to say, those 14 miles were done in 2:20. 🙂