Time: 1 hour
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about the swimming portion of the Ironman. I enjoy swimming in the pool, but I know it will be completely different when I'm in open water with other contestants. There was a story in the news today about a man who died at the half ironman this past weekend in Chattanooga, TN. I write these posts in order to make fun of myself because when I laugh about what I'm doing it becomes more enjoyable for me. However, I was reminded today of how serious, and sometimes dangerous, these races can be. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the athlete who passed away, and all I can think to add is how grateful I am to have the chance to compete in such an extreme and challenging event.
I will continue to joke and make light of my training, but I hope my humor does not downplay the high respect I have for the Ironman and its participants. I swim today with a heavy heart and a determined mind.
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes/1 hour
Distance: 22 miles/5 miles
Someone asked me today which part of the race I'm most nervous about, and the truth is I'm most nervous about the transitions between each segment. I've practiced the individual legs of the race so much that I feel ready for all of them, but I've never practiced the logistics of drying off, changing clothes, getting on and off the bike, etc. I know it sounds dumb, but that really is what makes me nervous.
It's funny how repetition reduces anxiety. The more you practice a speech, the less nervous you are when you give it. Same for a triathlon I guess.
Time: 1 hour
Distance: 6 miles
Today felt great. It's crazy to think that a few months ago I could barely finish a 6 mile run, yet now I enjoy them. I never thought I would say I enjoyed any length of run, but here we are.
I shaved my legs today...
Here's the thing, there is nothing more emasculating than having to borrow your brother's beard trimmer to shave your legs. "Hey, I know you're a man because you have a beard, but I was wondering if you could loan me the thing you use to keep your manly beard under control so that I might shave my legs to have a more womanly look and feel." That's not a direct quote, but that's more or less what I said. My self-respect is at an all time low. I will say though, I now have a huge respect for all you women who have to shave your legs. It is a miserable task, and I totally understand why lots of girls are happy for cold weather because it lets them wear pants without having to shave their legs as often. I get it. Shaving your legs is not fun.
Also, there is so much surface area to shave. I'm used to shaving my face, which only takes five minutes, but it took me well over an hour to shave both my legs. Granted, I had a lot of hair on my legs (been growing it for over 23 years), but still...aint nobody got time for that. And don't even get me started on the knees. First, there's the knee pit. How exactly are you supposed to contort yourself to see what you're shaving behind your knee? I had to shave blind, and that's something I strictly try to avoid. Then, there's the knee cap. That part of the human body is not shaped in a way that encourages rubbing a razor on it. Needless to say, I have cuts on both my knees.
Ladies, your struggles are under appreciated. That's all I have to say on that.
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: open water
I went to the public swimming area at the nearby lake to swim in open water because I know I need to practice at least once before the race, and man I'm glad I did. It's so much harder! Not only can you not see, but the waves (and granted, I'm in a lake) make it so much harder to maintain a rhythm. Also, I know there aren't sharks in the lake. I know that for a fact. I really do. I swear. Sharks live in the ocean, and I am in a lake...but there is still something inside of me that wonders about what is below me in the water where I can't see it. Could there be sharks swimming under me? No. I am in a freshwater lake. But could there be sharks swimming under me? Maybe...
Things I Googled today: sharks in american lakes
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Distance: 56 miles
This is the distance I will be riding two weeks from today. I've now successfully trained for each of the distances in the half ironman. I feel ready.