As I mentioned here, this week was the last one which counted. From now on, it’s taper time. The goal now is to rest, stay loose, healthy and injury free until November 16. I won’t gain or lose much; as they say “the hay is in the barn.”
To me, it seemed I woke up last week. I felt “crap, time’s running out and I am not done.” I needed to hit my mark to enter the race feeling somewhat confident.
I’m confident I can do it; I just would rather it not take forever. Then someone on my Ironman Arizona Facebook Group posted this picture:
I laughed, smiled, and took a breath. Talk about #truth.
Your body will do what you tell it to do. I have found that to be true in endurance, I am not sure about speed since my mind will not tell me I can go faster. With endurance, getting to an impossible mileage is all about being mentally ready to do it.
I ran 20 miles last Monday. I thought about it on Sunday, arranged my day, and I was ready. I set out knowing I would be out there for a while, and knocked down interval after interval (I am now doing a run/walk). All of a sudden … well not SO sudden but …. 20 miles were gone and they were no worse than the previous weeks’ 10 miler. I was ready for the challenge.
The same happened in my 100-mile bike on Saturday. I was on my own the entire time, and once traffic picked up I went into Virginia Key – a 3.5 mile loop. I stayed there for 70 miles, round and round. The wind was tough, but the monotony didn’t kill me. I had set my mind I would do 100 and even if at 70 I thought I would stop at 80, then at 90 … I knew deep down I was going to complete 100.
But Wednesday’s 2.5 mile swim didn’t go quite so well. I just didn’t feel like doing it. I had SO many things on my plate I was almost resentful I had to lose so much time to go out and swim. My pace was a little slower than usual (I have NOT been swimming at all!), and I repeatedly heard myself say: “when is this going to end?”
The only thing that made it bearable was the sea life. I saw a school of at least 100 fish, twice. A manta ray flew up in the air right as I turned to breathe, another smaller ray hung out on the sand, and some bright orange sea stars almost in a straight line seemed to show me the way.
With all of this, I would usually come out feeling gratitude, energized, happy, and fulfilled. But I was too busy thinking of all the busy things I had to do. All I could think of was: “dammit, I went two minutes slower than expected and I still have a huge to-do list.” As if two minutes were a big deal in a 13+ hour race.
That is not how I usually feel about my swim, especially in the open water.
Yet I put in a solid week, and can now enter the taper knowing that at least I finished my last week of Ironman Arizona with a bang.
Let the taper tantrums begin ….