Next weekend, I will start (and finish) my 5th IM.
I don't know if it's because I know what to expect (loosely) or if I don't want to get too excited too early, but it would seem that the effort I am about to put out is just not registering. I am calm. Maybe too calm.
In an effort to get myself 'pumped' I have been looking at old race photos.
Which, of course, I'm about to share.
2006: IM LP
Very naive. Put in lots of miles. Was injured early in the season and did basically no speed work. My coach (at the time) said track work wasn't necessary. I trained in flat southern Ontario and the Placid hills crushed me. I was throwing up and walking much of the last quarter of the run.....5th in AG. No go for Kona, but I was 10th OA. And I caught the IM bug.
I then proceeded to the medically tent for a few hours of therapy. But I was happy. I just became an Ironman!
It was round two in 2007 with IM Wisconsin!! Another hilly slaughter of the legs!
This time, it was my achillies that was the culprit and I was only able to start riding and running with 9 weeks left until race day.
This IM was seen in my eyes as a nutritional experiement. I had no idea how many calories I needed or what kind. I new what I had done in training had been good but my stomach seemed to get pissed off when I exerted myself for longer than 9 hours. I would not recommend the following strategies: chugging a red bull at bike special needs, chugging a red bull at run special needs, carrying a bag of gummy bears and eating the whole thing in the second half of the marathon.
The verdict - too many calories, again ending in the med tent with juice spilling out of both ends, yummy.
Not a bad finish considering, but still no Kona.
Next up, a move to Tucson and an IM to celebrate it! I moved to Tucson and got in a full months outdoor training to prepare. The weather was scorching! 94 degrees. I switched my nutrition to full liquids and used Infinit. I used enough salt pills to give a horse a heart attack and I think it worked. I only had to stop one time for a port a potty and it was 6 miles from the finish. A quick stop and I instantly felt better.
It was my best finish and finally, that Kona spot!!
Kona lived up to it's expectations big time! The wind howled and it was hot! After being mauled by the wind I had visions of not being able to finish the run.... but I held on and reeled some gals in!
All very educational and exciting experiences but the most valuable insights seem to be that: 1) I need to utilize liquid nutrition, and stay away from gels. 2) I should always race in a bathing suit 3) I do well in the heat (the high is only set to be 77 on Sunday).