After suffering from some heat exhaustion last Saturday and just an overall intense 7 months, nothing feels better than knowing you don’t have to do any 3 hour rides, two hour runs, or three days a week of swimming. Letting the body heal and rest to allow better performance. Now that is what I like to hear.
This week was slow. I made the mistake of working 11 hours again on Sunday in the heat, carrying beer and ice over God’s green earth and discovered that was extremely stupid to do after completing a 70.3 the day before. Monday was the rest day I needed. I slept in (until 8:45—crazy!) and stretched a ton. On Tuesday I got my mom to come with me to the high school so I could get 1000 yards in. Turns out, it was my fastest 1000 yards (22:07), AND 500 yards (10:51) I’d ever swam. I looked up at the wall and saw the fastest girls and boys records for the 500 were 5:05 and 4:55 (I think) respectively. I laughed at my joy of hitting my fastest times, but was honestly proud. My first 1000 yards was like…31 minutes or something. I think I must’ve gotten better or something. Those 4:30am wake up calls to get in the pool apparently did some good.
Wednesday I biked 8 miles in my basement just to get some blood flowing and did a ton of stretching. Thursday I biked 15.25 miles outside and really struggled with my heart rate. It was skyrocketing without doing much. I felt okay, but I think between still recovering from Saturday and changing a medication, I was just a little off. This morning, before it got unbelievably hot, I hit a three mile run. I learned something this morning—I am no longer the youngster who could get up and workout early and eat breakfast later. I came home, tried to stretch, and threw up. Between no breakfast and the heat, I should’ve known better. Lex, your body is getting older and needs food to survive. Lesson learned.
I’m getting super excited for 9 days from now. The amount of support and positivity that has been shown between my gym family, my friend family, and my blood family has been nothing short of incredible. I know, without anyone telling me, that people had doubts I would stick it out. But I did. Just like I said last week (or Monday), regardless of what happens in 9 days (so crazy to think it’s so close), I’ve already proven myself. How can you not be proud of that?
It’s been a long road to this point. It’s been a lot different than originally
thought. So many emotions both high and
low go into something that you train seven months for. Saturday was the culmination of training and
brought everything full circle.
Thank heavens it wasn’t fucking HOT on Saturday, it was much
cooler than during the week. It started
off with our new puppy Stella deciding six was too late to sleep in the camper
and she wanted up dammit. I drank my two
meal replacement shakes and some water and got prepared to head to the
beach. This was going to be a family
affair, the only way we know how.
We got to the beach and Stella met some dog friends and was
running around swimming. I was
pleasantly surprised by the clearness of the water. I was also surprised by the temperature of
the water. It was very humid out
already, despite reports of it being forecasted as a cool day. We wandered off into the swim, Lex and I were
a team today… NO MATTER WHAT.
The swim hasn’t been a concern of mine but with the recent
drownings in the area, Lisa and Debbie watched from the shore and I kept
checking to verify where Lex was. Unfortunately,
we ended about quarter mile from each other at one point and just had to trust
the training had her prepared. It
did. I finished in about thirty six
minutes (I’m not really sure because I naturally overshot my target). Lex finished in fifty or so.
We lightly conversed and started getting shoes and all on
for the bike. Liberally applying
sunscreen (did I mention it wasn’t very hot?) and drinking our hydration drinks
from CR Juices. Lex had a little hiccup
with the handlebars, we ended up needing to take a wheel off and deflate it to
fix everything. This meant transporting
back to the camper to pump her tire back up.
After the brief detour, we set off on a nice and easy (not to mention
cool) fifty six mile bike.
The scenery was beautiful, the traffic was plentiful and the
first half of the loop wasn’t bad. Then
we hit wind plus elevation. Imagine
climbing a quarter to half mile hill with about thirty mile an hour winds in
your face and dumbass cars trying to show you who deserved the road. That was the next thirty minutes. The plan was to just go right into the second
loop, I called and audible and took us back through the park to ease the
tension for a bit. Then we would do the
loop again in reverse and have ten miles to make up at the very end.
The second loop, no talking, no real enjoyment. Miles thirty to forty six was just silence
and legs churning… harder than they should’ve been this early in the
event. We ended up timing things almost
perfectly as after the ten mile stretch of just weaving in and out of any side
road we could fine, we headed back to the campsite, having just drank our last
sip of water. In typical fashion, we
overshot the bike too. We were at three
hours and forty minutes for the bike.
For those with math skills, you know for an eight and a half hour time
cap, we would have about four hours to complete the half marathon run then (yes
we had transitions, they will be different at the event).
We slid on our running shoes, drank some water and I had a
meal replacement shake. Put more sun
screen on (seems excessive for how cool it was Saturday *picking up my sarcasm
yet?) then loaded up two water bottles, one for the freezer and one for the
run. We would do three and a half mile
loops so we were never without water and we had four hours. The only rule, don’t stop the fucking watch
when you go inside… that would be cheating ourselves.
The plan was four minutes run, one minute walk right off the
bat. It was pretty obvious at mile one
how much trouble I was in. I don’t know
what was going on in Lex’s head at this point because I was in my own
hell. I’m a fairly positive person, yet I
like to think negatively just to make myself laugh at times. At one point on the run, I told Lex well
thank God I’m to fucking stubborn to quit because I’m fucking done. Then we walked into the camper at mile seven
to exchange water bottles.
I FUCKING SAT DOWN to pet Stella. It was over.
Fuck it, I quit. I don’t have to
do this. I don’t need this today. Then a text, from Jason Dunfee (who had to
withdraw because of a shoulder injury) that simply read… keep going. I stood up and it was go time.
Then we saw (I could be mixing up the order of these because
well that big orange thing that wasn’t supposed to be out… was out the entire
day and it was according to my weather app unsafe for sensitive individuals
with a heat index of one hundred and four but I digress) Christina hanging out
of the truck yelling at us to keep going.
The wind picked up and I remembered Joe P and the Pemberton family who would
be up at the campsite later to chill. I
remembered Cassandra and Corey were coming up to hang out. I remembered every single text or word of
encouragement from every person that has ever been sent to me. We kept moving.
I made fun of my ego for thinking a three hour half marathon
was easy in any conditions. I made fun
of the thought that walking was quitting.
I talked about singing the same fucking song (Something’s Gotta Give by
All Time Low) for the last three hours straight inside my head because well
something had to give. It just wasn’t what
I thought. It was my ego. It had to let go of expectations and just
We were down to two miles left and we decided we could run a
minute and walk a minute. We did that
until we realized my wandering around the camper looking for water left me a
few hundredths ahead of Lex. So we made
a game plan to end at the water. Which I
couldn’t tell Debbie or anyone anymore because my sweat covered phone locked
itself out because of a high temperature issue.
We finished at the beach and casually strolled to the water and fell
Here’s the thing.
When you work so hard for something and accomplish it in training, there
is zero fucking doubt come race day. No
matter what happens next, I’m a fucking Ironman and Lex is an Ironwoman. It’s that simple.
Two seconds after finishing, my kids decided to spray me
with water guns and wanted to play. This
is why I train so hard, I got the hell up and started playing with them. You know why?
Because training smart beats training hard every day of the week. Thanks for reading my “book” of a blog this
I was told when I wanted to quit, I still had more to give. I tested that theory this week.
Jay and I did a practice 70.3 on Saturday. Instead of resting and allowing myself some time to calm down, I decided to work at the LPGA event in Sylvania for 11 hours a day outside hauling beer and ice over God’s green earth. Why did my dumb ass think that was a good idea? I don’t know. I did it anyway.
Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 eating oatmeal (gluten free, of course), a bagel with peanut butter, and applesauce. I chugged a ton of water and made my way to East Harbor. Naturally, I was there early and thought I was going to throw up because I was nervous. Little did I know that Jay was planning on sticking together the whole time. That was a huge confidence boost for me. I know we won’t be able to do Ironman together that day, but knowing I wasn’t alone for the first time was just what I needed.
First of all—bless Lisa and Debbie. Both were there and incredibly supportive as we got in the water (which, by the way, was clear—WEIRD). Seriously. They made sure they had eyes on us while we swam and were so supportive. It was great seeing them before. Again, I felt calmer. Swimming isn’t my strong point. If you remember, it’s been a point of fear since day one. However, I managed to stay calm, count my strokes for something to keep my mind focused, and finish the swim in 52 minutes. I was so insanely proud. Having Jay, Lisa, and Debbie up there telling me how proud they were again, made me feel on top of the world.
I had some bike issues due to transporting my bike that pushed our transition a little long, but got it all fixed up. What I didn’t realize about Marblehead area is the elevation. I make sure to hit as many hills as I can when I’m biking here just to make sure I’m good. It was NOTHING compared to what we hit. Add in some insane wind and I threw out heart rate after mile 30. Miles 30 through 56 were miserable. Absolutely miserable. The wind was relentless, cars were being stupid, it was hot, and my heart rate average was almost 20 beats over what it should have been the ENTIRE time. Get to a top of a long hill and the wind blasted you in the face. It. Was. Miserable. However, we got it done.
The run. We decided four minutes running and one minute walking. After the first mile I knew I was in a little bit of trouble. Then it got worse. By mile 6, I was toast. A lot of emotions (and thoughts of throwing up) were experienced. Trying to be positive, telling myself to shut up about being positive, wanting to quit, but then ultimately realizing we could walk the next 7 miles and still be under the time cap. So walk we did. I don’t care. We moved. We pushed on. We barely spoke for a while, but we kept going. By about mile 10, we were laughing. Did a few short bursts of running. It hurt. But we laughed, talked about the tattoos we are going to get, talked about how ignorant we were about the run portion, and how much we have learned throughout this process. It was really reflective. We finished it at the beach. Jumped in the water and happily laid there.
What an experience. It was miserable for a few hours, but it just proved how capable I am and confirmed my ideology from day one: I just want to finish. I don’t care if I’m walking. I don’t care if I finish at 8:29:32. If I finish and can smile as I cross the finish line, I won. Ironman isn’t a competition. It isn’t a test. It’s something to be respected. I am so proud of what we both accomplished that day. I am so thankful for the people who have been supportive of this goal since the beginning. Regardless of what happens in two weeks, I have already proven who I am and what I can do. No one can take that away.
Ironman 70.3 isn’t like a test in school, there isn’t any cramming. You either did the work or you didn’t. I will have almost 700 miles on the bike by the time the event comes around.
Cycling was the big unknown for me. I didn’t know anything about cycling before committing to this event. Thankfully Spoke Life (check them out) did more than their duty in helping me get prepared.
Today I hit my longest bike (50.2 miles) into an 11 mile run. I felt great and I was able to really dial in my nutrition and practice exactly what I need to do during the actual event. Thanks to CR Juices for working up a special JG3 hydration drink (a twist on our Mission:24 formula) that worked awesome. Yes, it wasn’t 90 plus today but it was still humid and I was able to test as best as I could.
One more hard week of training but as I said above, either the work has been done or it hasn’t. 20 days away.
Thanks for reading and as always, I can’t doesn’t exist! BOOOOOOOM!
This week was just a lot of thinking. Since we cannot use phones or music during the event, I just train without. It leaves wayyyy too much time to be alone with your thoughts.
These are the things I thought about this week:
•People might pee when they swim. I might be behind them. What if their pee gets in my mouth?
•Chipmunks are the squirrels of the bike trail. What goes on through their heads when bikes come at them and they just sit there? Is it a game?
•What type of sunburn pattern will I have when I finish 8 hours of this?
•I should look up how often bathrooms come up on the course. I do not want to shit myself.
•Think of this like an AMRAP. It’s a 5-mile bike like…11 times.
•Don’t look at your watch. You will be disappointed.
•Thank you for blowing your grass directly onto my bike. I appreciate that.
•Is it weird I’m casually eating tortilla chips while biking?
•Holy shit it’s hot.
Yesterday I did my longest tri practice yet. 1650 yard swim (in my fastest time ever), 50 mile bike, and 10k run. I actually yelled at mile 38 of the bike…because I was bored. That’s where I was at. It was so many hours. So many…without really seeing anyone. You can only think about chipmunk suicide for so long. I’ve had to adjust my run strategy to a 5-minute run, 1 minute walk. It just works better for me and keeps my brain working. I did suffer a phone casualty as the armband holding my phone ripped apart and my phone shattered. Whoops. But overall it was a great learning experience. As soon as I was done, I drove to my family’s river house and jumped in the water. Hung out, went on some boat rides, and watched the fireworks. Training smart. It works.