My first Ironman is now less than three weeks away, which means that starting tomorrow I am officially tapering for the race. Which is pretty scary. First off, I don’t really like tapering in general. Cutting back on training makes you feel lethargic and heavy, and lots of athletes, myself included, get a little crazy — taper madness. I’m also a little nervous because it is starting to sink in that I have never really done any of this stuff. I have never:
Run a triathlon of any distance.
Entered a cycling race of any distance.
Partaken in a swimming event since I was six.
Ridden a bike outdoors more than 30 miles.
Actually swam 2.4 miles. Ever.
Swam in open water.
I truly am a runner taking on my first triathlon. With this in mind, I am coming up with some realistic goals, including:
1. Do not end up in the medical tent.
2. Finish with a smile on my face.
3. Everything else is icing on the cake.
On the upside, I have had a good training cycle. I’ve been training for the event for about 20 weeks, with breaks for the Boston Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, flu and a long weekend at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. I’m averaging about 21 hours a week in training (plus core, strength and stretching), where I run roughly 70 miles and cycle 200 miles per week. I am in the best overall shape of my life (thought I have not trained for a marathon and could not go out a run a PR). I have run a lot of hills (see graph above), and my legs are feeling good about balancing running and cycling. That’s good for my old body.
Overall, I am really enjoying the experience (so far). So let’s bring on the main event. I think I’m ready.