What is that, you ask? Has RunnerGirl lost her mind (again) and fell victim to her cheesy and completely out of place Europe obsession?
Is it 1986 again?
Have Swedish rock bands become relevant again?
I am entering the final countdown to Welland, my first long course (Half Ironman distance, 70.3 miles) triathlon. Here is where the sweat, blood, and tears all come together. Training is nearly done and time to have faith that the training was enough to prepare my body to cover 70.3 miles with strength, happiness, and excitement.
Am I worried? Nope.
Am I excited? Yep.
Am I nervous? Of course.
This past week I decided to review my logs from the my training for Muncie. Now Muncie ended up being a race that I felt pretty good at for what I was able to do leading up to it last year. It was my epic fail of a long course triathlon, but an epic win in personal growth.
Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom. You need failure. I did hit rock bottom, and that happened when I failed myself by giving up on me.
February 2009 - Start of training and I managed nearly 6 workouts every single week. I started strong! Started being the operative word.
March 2009 - I did a workout nearly every single day for the first 18 days of the month, missing only one on the 4th. Then....
I pick back up training on the 14th of April.
April 2009 - 5 workouts, 3 workouts, 3 workouts... nothing major, and all base miles. 12-18 mile bike rides, 3-4 mile runs. *cough* Awesome for a sprint triathlon... but for 70.3 miles? Heh.
May 2009 - A little more consistent here in May. Again, mid-distanced rides (managed one 40 miler on the bike) and short runs. OK swims. Here is where I melt down.
Melissa Kelber and Kimm Bender know exactly what I mean. I MELTED DOWN.
Doubt crept in. I wanted to do the race, but I wasn't sure that I wanted to do the training, and my heart surely was not in the right place. I was battling personal issues at home and of course work kept me busy. May sucked. Worst month ever. Or so I thought.
June 2009 - As so often for the definitive points in our lives, when we think that we have hit the bottom and things just cannot get any worse, things cannot go any more wrong, the bottom turns out to be merely a ledge sitting high above the truth.
July 2009 - The truth, for the record, sucks. But then you harden up and push through. I eeked out the last few rides, a run or two for SnG, and some swims. I did my best at Muncie and had a blast. Took home 2nd place in my AG. My swim coach got 1st so I am OK with that. =)
What about this year, the year that I have felt was a repeat of 2009 in so many ways?
February 2010 - Training starts. I rocked day 1. And then I nailed days 4, 5, and 6. Then apparently I fell asleep. Oh wait no, then I went on a lot of travel and was gone for the last half of this month, and the first of the next. No training for travelling RunnerGirl!
March 2010 - Felt like I lost so much of my base that I scramble for a training plan that I could stick with and that made me happy. After a month of tweaking and brainstorming with Carol, I find it and stick to it. About 50-/50 on training this month, even running and swimming some in China. Nothing long, but lots of base.
April 2010- Something happened. I fell in love with running and long training for the first time ever. I really started to see the world differently. My job was not a hinderance on my life. While it is a difficult job to schedule around, it pays the bills and aloows me to see so much in life that otherwise I would never have though possible.
I start running more consistently, and never less than 5 miles or so. Suddenly, I was chomping at the bit to train. Forget the race, I was enjoying the journey.
May 2010 - The journey continues and I have put some major miles on my bike and my legs. I put in my first ever 11+ hour training week. And funny thing, it felt easy. Not like "walk in the park" easy, but not the absolute meat grinder I was expecting.
The training is fun, so what on earth can the race be but fun?
I have put a long ride n my bike every weekend this month. A 57.5 miler, a 60 miler, a 50 miler, and more to come. I have a 60 miler or so on tap for each weekend from now until Welland.
My running is staying consistent and I am getting both mentally and physically stronger. Slower than normal, but stronger. I am even doing a marathon this winter. Who is this girl???
I have done a few open water swims this month (way earlier than ever before) and I get right back in with little issue.
Now it is down to 4 weeks. Two weeks of training, and two weeks of tapering.
The journey has, as it always ends up being, nothing short of a life lesson.
While training for endurance triathlons is fun, it is not realistic with my work schedule in my current position. Sooo...
I am playing around with goals for 2011. It involves a "Goofy" little race in Florida to start, maybe a go at the hills, rocks, brush, confusion, river crossings, fleshwounds and Motrin race (sounds like a 50k in "Hell" to me), and of course 5 sprint triathlons!
For now I am happy to go long, train hard, and taper... and do it all over again in September at Cedar Point.