It Was Never Random

Greetings from Louisville, Kentucky! I was going to do a final recap of my training with all kinds of numbers and statistics, as is my custom, but I couldn't do it. This race is so much more than the last 20 weeks of official training.

This race is YEARS in the making. Six and a half of them, in fact.

This race is three months of Couch to 5k, when I started from square one and learned to run for the first time, just for one minute at a time. It's one minute turning in to two and then three and then eventually 30 straight. 

This race is four more months of getting more comfortable with running. It's three months after that of training for my first half marathon, and finishing long runs week after week, astonished by the distance I had just covered.

This race is another year of running, of training, of getting up the courage to try the half marathon for a second time.

This race is three months of off and on running through an injury, and getting my first road bike so I wouldn't lose my fitness or sight of my goals. This race is six more months coming back from my first injury.

This race is three months of training for my first sprint triathlon, and three more of training for my second one, my third one, my fourth one, and my first Olympic triathlon all in the same summer.

This race six months of training for my first full marathon, and two months of training for my next one. This race is three more months of training for another marathon and reevaluating my goals, which turned out to actually be three months of accidentally training for my first sub-2 half marathon.

This race is four months of training for my third marathon, three months of getting back into triathlon training, and four months of training for my first half Ironman, which was by far the hardest training I'd ever done.

This race is five months of training for what was supposed to be my fifth marathon, which led me to two months completely off from running because of another injury.

This race is four miraculous post-injury months of training for my first full Ironman. This race is four months of training for my first sub-4 marathon and two months of training for my third half Ironman leading to, finally, four months of training for my first second first full Ironman.

I've trained much, much longer than these past 20 weeks. These past four months may have been the ones officially designated on my calendar as "Ironman training," but I have been training for this since before I knew what an Ironman was, or what any triathlon really was. Every step, every stroke, every pedal of these last 6.5 years since that first day of C25K has in some way contributed to and shaped my race on Sunday. The past 20 weeks were an important part of the puzzle, but they were certainly not the only part of the puzzle. It's all cumulative. It's all there. All the highs, the lows, the successes, the failures, the triumphs, the disappointments.

It was never, ever, ever random.

You can track me on Sunday here or by downloading the Ironman Tracker app. My bib number is 449 and the race starts at 7:30am!

Ironman Louisville Race Plan + Goals

Two summers ago, literally the day before I started training before my first half Ironman, I took a class with yoga teacher and endurance athlete Sage Rountree. I found out afterward that Sage is also an Ironman and triathlon coach, and she has a book called Racing Wisely, which covers everything from choosing a race to recovering from it. As someone who tends to overthink and worry about pretty much everything (in racing and life in general), Sage's guidance to mindfulness throughout training and racing has been hugely beneficial to me in the past. One of my favorite parts is guidance for creating a race plan (worksheets available in PDF format here), and I've been writing them for big races ever since that first one nearly two years ago. 

I've been waiting ever since then for the day that I could write a race plan for a full Ironman, and even though I'll be holding my breath at least until I actually get in the water because of what happened last year, I think I'm ready to finally put this one together.

The Years They Felt Short, But the Days Were Long

Race week is here. After 20 weeks of Ironman Training Round 2, 16 months since I started Ironman Training Round 1, with 4 half marathons, 3 half Ironmans (Ironmen?), 2 century rides, a marathon, and thousands of miles's finally race week. This day has been a long time coming. 

I'm finally coming out of hiding this week to finish this journey, and that includes documenting it. Part of the reason I stopped updating was that once I felt behind, it was so daunting to think about catching up. Week after week piled up until I had more weeks absent than not. I won’t bore you with every detail of every workout of the last 9 weeks but I do think I’d like to take a quick (or not) little trip down memory lane.

Week 9: I had my first big breakdown of this training cycle and took 2 unplanned rest days. I went to Target and bought new sheets instead of training one night and it actually might have been the best thing I did all training cycle because I woke up the next day feeling like a new person. I also completed the Farm to Fork Fondo (53 miles) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It was my first time ever visiting Amish country and the hills were challenging, but it was breathtakingly gorgeous and one of my favorite rides I’ve ever done.