It’s not as this thing was unplanned (it’s been in the distance for years). It’s not like I haven’t been working my way up to it. It’s not like today is any different than yesterday.
But it is.
Eiiiieieiieieiiiiieeee! It’s for reals!
Because we actually plunked our pennies down (all 710+ 56 dollars fee ><) to go through… let’s be realistic… probably about 14-17 hours of sweat and effort and pain and smiles and hopefully not blood but probably tears in Woodlands, TX, on April 22, 2017.
268 days to go.
I’m sure I’ll be discussing this in length for many posts to come, but I have a few initial thoughts, at which I’m sure I’ll look back at in 8 months and laugh, but for posterity, here we go!
First of all, finishing at 16:59:59 is good enough for me. All told, if I have the most amazing race day of my life, my prediction this far out is I think I could finish right around 13.5-14 hours (specifically, a 90 minute swim, a 6.5 hour bike, and a 5.5 hour marathon). I will certainly have goals to meet the day of, but as long as I cross that line in the time allotted, I’ll be super thrilled.
Thanks random sign, I hope I’m Ironman tough…
Cycling is really my limiter, so I will have my butt on a bike a lot from now until April 23. I expect come December, I will be biking just about every day (and I’m going to have to get a LOT more cold weather gear, because I pretty much hang my bike up from October until the spring). Luckily, the course does play to my strengths of being fairly flat and not many turns, but it can get wiiiiiindy in April, so there’s that.
Swimming, I’m the least worried about, but I’ll definitely be getting in some longer open water swims before the lake gets too cold, and then I’ll be back in it as soon as it’s reasonably tolerable. I usually avoid the lake from about November until April. Also, I plan to do lots of long swim sets in the pool over the winter. I’m actually super duper excited about this. I love swimming and am excited to have reasons to swim for 60-90 minutes more often!
Sure, this is a long hard run for me right now, but that will soon change.
Running is somewhere in between. I’ve done 6 marathon cycles now, but never with cycling and swimming prioritized. It will be interesting how I’ll be biking most of the week but then there will be this random long run every once in a while. It’s a lot of pressure off just to expect that my marathon is probably going to take close to 6 hours and there will be some walking. Also, knowing that the weather will get COOLER as I go is a huge boon and I love running in the afternoon/evening.
Weights will stay in the mix throughout, though at some point I’ll probably stop aggressively upping my numbers and stick with maintenance. Someday. I’m still having fun with it now.
I’m not exactly sure what the weeks will exactly look like yet, but I have ideas. I’m pretty sure for my sanity, I’ll need one full rest day most weeks, but I think I have to let go of that being Sundays, except maybe on recovery weeks. I think the hours will grow organically, and the more I’m immersed in this 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule, the more I like it. I can push myself for 2 weeks, knowing the light at the end of the tunnel is not far off. Especially when I have 8 months to build.
After the Oct 30th half-ironman, I have one race scheduled – 3M Half Marathon in mid-January. No full marathons. I’ll definitely be looking for some longer supported rides to join up with over the winter, it would be AWESOME to not have to deal with 100+ mile rides on our own. The rest of the season is up in the air and may just be awesome lovely long blocks of training.
More miles = more tacos. Which is always a plus.
Eating is going to be an interesting conundrum. I will need to continue to track my food against fitbit activity, because things get weird when I train a lot. Some training days I burn a LOT more than expected, especially if I’m generally active the rest of the day. Some days like Saturday, I burn less than expected and EASILY can outeat my burn and more. It will be interesting to see if there’s a level of training I can’t outeat.
Hopefully in 269 days or so, I’ll look back at this and think how silly and naive I was, but also still hold all the excitement and wonder feels about doing this crazy thing called Ironman.