There’s no time like now for a little training update. Right? Especially since tomorrow marks exactly 3 months out from August 25, also known as Ironman go time?
After IMC last year I was ecstatic about my race for a couple of days, then exhausted for a few more, and pretty soon after that I started thinking about the next one. It didn’t take me very long to decide for certain that there would be another, but I didn’t want a repeat of 2012. I wanted, and still do, a lot more than that.
I want to go to Kona. And if I don’t get a spot I want to walk away knowing there was not one thing that I could have done to be more well-prepared to earn it. If I believe that in my heart, I will be a happy Ironman no matter what.
I can’t complain about my 2012 season or Ironman Canada. If I had a magic ball the only things I’d change are things that can’t be controlled anyway: freak weather in Boise, freak bike crash in July, more freak weather at Lake Stevens. I have not an ounce of regret about how I handled any of it, but when the season quieted down I knew, and know, that I can do better.
What worked for my first Ironman (and second summer of triathlon) isn’t the same thing that that will help me continue to grow as an athlete. If anything, 2012 was more of a preparation against failure rather than aggressive and planned growth. So last fall I outlined what I needed to do to be better and came up with a few things:
- Bike more. No matter the bike, no matter the weather. Saddle time!
- Train, purposefully, with FAST friends. Force myself to (try to) keep up.
- Join a master’s swim group to swim more. <- Thinking that if I swim more, I’ll get better, and hate it less, maybe.
- Challenge myself. Make myself uncomfortable. Work through it, and find confidence.
- Have fun.
Then in December I did something that was pretty challenging for me (thus meeting one of my goals?). I broke my routine with the friends and coaches I had become comfortable with and joined a new tri team: Pauole Sport. And I think I was more afraid for that first day of master’s swim than I was the morning of Ironman Canada.
The good news is: it’s working. I’ve gotten stronger in the water and on the bike. And on my run off the bike as well. I have a pool (literally, ha) of talented athletes to use as carrots, training buddies, and resources. And I’ve met some awesome people who I’d want to hang out with even if we didn’t all have to ride for a million hours every Saturday so we may as well do it together. And on top of all of that my new coach is fantastic.
Things still feel exhausting and hard on many days, but having confidence in my coach’s plan, having friends to endure it with, having resources to learn from, and having the occasional day off is currently making all of the difference in the world for me. These things make it possible for me to spend time with my family and friends, have a (small) life, stay sane, and still think Ironman is fun while getting better.
Greg LeMond’s quote is the real truth, “It never gets easier, you just go faster.”