Last week was a step back week of sorts. It included slightly less than what I had been doing, but it was still pretty intense in some ways. I did my longest tempo run, I still did a 3 hour long ride, and there weren’t any fewer workouts than normal.
Monday was rest.
Tuesday was 2 x 15 minutes at tempo pace on the bike for 1:15 total.
Wednesday was a 5 mile run with 3 at 8:10 pace.
Thursday was a 1:00 ride.
Friday was a 7 mile run (that was a little step back).
Saturday I rode the trainer for three hours because of a rain storm lasting all morning.
Sunday was a 10 mile run at 9:40 pace.
And this week, it’s actually and officially taper time. I did a shortened tempo ride last night with a brick run and have a short tempo run and swim tonight just to keep things moving. Thursday and Friday will be completely off, and then Saturday I’ll head to Venice to compete in my first 70.3.
So, how do I feel? That question is so difficult to answer, because I feel so many things.
First of all, I didn’t think I was that nervous, but as I write this post I’m getting anxious with butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. Clearly, the nerves were just waiting to come out until the day actually got closer.
I think in a way the reason I haven’t been as nervous up to this point is because I’ve been so focused on all of the other big spectating weekends that were the weekend before and two weekends before mine. I loved tracking Marine Corps Marathon, Beach 2 Battleship Half Ironman, Ironman 70.3 Miami, NYC Marathon, Indiana Monumental Marathon, and Ironman Florida in the last two weeks. Because of all of those races, mine has been a bit of an afterthought in my own head. Everyone else’s plans peaked earlier than mine, and they were tapering as I was finishing up my peak weeks. Going through peak weeks mostly alone when I had been training with others through most of it made them feel less than notable. In a way, they were just workouts to get done, whereas I had been looking forward to long rides and runs in the past because of who I would have been able to meet up with. And in a way, they made me forget what I was pushing for. They made me feel like they were just workouts, not part of the bigger plan.
I feel like I’ve been training forever. And in a way, it’s partly true. My training plan started somewhere back in mid-June, which feels like ages ago. I just never really counted the weeks like I did for my marathon, which never made it feel quite as “official”. Because I’m newer to triathlon, the goal race seemed like more of an unknown peak in the distant future, and counting down to it was on an not-well-marked path. Now that it’s actually here and I’ve actually reached the mountain to climb, it has kind of caught me off guard.
It’s really here! All of these 8-11 hour weeks I’ve been putting my body through has actually been for something all along, and it’s this weekend! My brain is still working to conceptualize that yet.
And though I’m starting to get nervous for the race, I’m also starting to get a little anxiety. There are so many more unknowns in triathlon than there are with running. I was nervous to run my first marathon because I didn’t know how I’d feel, but I’m really actually scared to do this race on Sunday because of all the things that could go wrong! I won’t go into it, but when a sport includes swimming, biking, running, eating, and transitioning, there are a lot of things to remember along the way. I just need to map out a plan and visualize what I will do if and when something goes wrong.
I’m scared for the biking part mostly. It’s still the newest to me, and though I’m gaining confidence, as I wrote in my last post, it still takes me five miles or so to shake off the nerves and settle into the ride. Luckily it’s a 56 mile ride, so I’ve got plenty of time to hunker down and get comfy. I’m really nervous for the three U-Turns on that part of the course.
In a way, I’m also not sure how nervous to feel? I’ve heard from at least 4 people now that it’s not as challenging as completing a marathon, but what if that’s not true for me? What if it’s a lot tougher. I’ve not swam in two weeks (I will swim today) because it’s the thing I focus on the least because I feel it’s my strength. What if all goes wrong?
I still haven’t made a hotel reservation in Venice. I just almost feel like it’s not real. I don’t feel the same as I did before my first marathon. I don’t know how to explain it. Surely I’m not the only one. Did you feel like this before your first Half Ironman? Do you know what I’m talking about? Sorry my thoughts are so disorganized. That’s exactly how my brain is right now as well…
Any tips or thoughts to share?
I’m going to post a goals post tomorrow, but I can assure you of one thing. There won’t be a single number mentioned. I have absolutely and truly no idea what to expect as far as time on Sunday.