I feel so behind. I know I’m really not, but I can’t help but feel that way. There’s so much to be thinking about and testing out, and I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.
I haven’t really done any experimentation with my on course nutrition – I’ve just been popping a gel here and there and drinking some water. With no real rhyme or reason to it. In my marathons, I used to be much more structured with my nutrition. But now with the ironman, when it’s so much more important, I haven’t figured out my plan yet. I just feel like my bikes and runs haven’t been long enough to deal with it yet. My longest run to date has been 14 miles (this past weekend), and my longest bike has been 40 miles.
Which brings me to my next part where I feel behind… I feel like my bikes have been waaaaaay too short. I’ve been listening to one of my audiobooks lately (“You are an Ironman” by Jacques Steinberg), and I’ve been enjoying it a lot. However, it keeps talking about the people in the book doing centuries right around this point in their training. My training plan (Beginner Triathlete iron distance plan) doesn’t have me doing any century rides until five weeks from now – which is just a few weeks before race day. So again, I’m not really behind, but I can’t help but doubt the plan – which I know is normal. Everyone always says to just stick with the plan and trust it to get you through race day. That doesn’t stop those nagging feelings of doubt though.
So while I’m really enjoying the audiobook, it keeps making me feel unprepared. I need to start experimenting with my nutrition and coming up with a structured plan for it. I also need to start coming up with an actual race plan. I’ve never really needed one before. For marathons, I just run and roll with the (inevitable) punches. That works alright for shorter tris, but it won’t work so well for the full iron.
On a positive note, I did an hour and a half on the trainer tonight and I feel like my bike is getting stronger. I used to fight to keep a 15 mph average on the trainer, and tonight I averaged 17.8 mph. Even if that’s not totally accurate (there’s usually some variation between trainer and road), it’s improvement!
This week is a bike focus week, so I have a four hour ride this weekend. If I can maintain a 15 mph average on that ride, that will get me to 60 miles, which would be great.
Two weeks from now I have my first half iron distance tri. I think that will be a strange mix of reassuring and terrifying. While it will be nice to have a half for a benchmark, and get a chance to test out preliminary race and nutrition plans, I imagine it will also be scary to think – “I have to do DOUBLE that?” The one thing I have going on my favor with that is that the half iron course is very hilly – compared to the full iron course, which is just about flat as flat can be. The effort I spend on the hills in the half will get me much further than 56 miles in the full.
Oh my goodness. I just counted. As of tomorrow morning, it’s 71 days until race day. When did that happen???
On a totally unrelated note – this Olympic BMX biking is crazy. I would hurt myself.