This year I decided to sign up for Ironman Maryland for the third time. I had a great race the first time and the second time I did it the swim was canceled, bike course was shortened and weather was horrendous. Needless to say I'm hoping the third time is a charm! I decided to do a few shorter races leading up to the Ironman in September. Last weekend we did a half ironman in Flagstaff, AZ. I've done this race before and the month prior we did an Olympic distance on the same course. It's a beautiful place to race and great to get out of the heat in Vegas during the summer months. We packed up the pups and drove up on Friday for the race that was on Sunday. Anytime I do a race as a training day its really great because I don't put any pressure on myself. I just go out and plan on a good training day. The prior month doing the Olympic I must have started too fast in the swim. A combination of that and the higher altitude made my arms feel like cement blocks and I felt awful for at least half of the swim. This time I planned to go out comfortable and once I felt good I would pick up the pace. That made for an average swim time for me of 36 minutes. There was lot's of fog which made sighting hard and we started an hour later than planned. This made it tough for the end of the run because by that time it was getting hot outside. They changed the bike course from the previous years and it was much harder. Before it was a pretty easy course but now it had lot's of climbing. I had a a bike time of 2:59. That's not great for me but I also don't feel my bike fitness is at its best right now. When I did this race several years ago I had a very bad cramp in my side on the run. I had to walk a lot of the run course so I was hoping to have a better run. I started out ok and felt pretty good for the run. I wasn't super fast but didn't feel the need to walk and felt pretty good considering the bike course was pretty tough. My boyfriends wave went off 5 minutes ahead of mine so I knew he was ahead of me and I was hoping to catch him on the run. I saw him at one of the turnarounds at mile 3 and he was about a half of a mile ahead of me. Then about mile 8 I could see him right ahead of me. I caught up to him, we had 5 miles to go and I could tell he was suffering. This was a training race not a race for me to try and break any records. I decided to finish with him and try to get him to the finish without walking too much the last 5 miles. We did some walking and a slow run but we finished together.
|My award for the Olympic Distance Race I did in July. I won|
the overall Female Masters (over 40)
I have three big training weeks to go before Ironman Maryland. I feel pretty fit and conditioned but not as fast as I have been in previous races. I think it is a combination of a few things and one is my work schedule is much harder now and I'm doing a lot more massage since I am a massage therapist as well as a coach/trainer. I'm not missing many workouts I just don't have the intensity that I should for some of my shorter workouts. Previously I was doing more biking mostly because I had the time and a coach. Ironman Maryland will be my 14th time starting of an Ironman and my 13 time finishing one (if I finish:). I DNF'd one year at Ironman Arizona back when it was in April and 100 degrees. I did Ironman Maryland about 4 years ago and I finished in 11 hours, which was one of my best Ironman finish times. . I would love to do that however being less fit I don't foresee that happening. Even after racing for so many years I still learn things each race and I still mess up things each race. It rarely goes as I plan it in my head, sometimes it goes much better, and other times it goes much worse. After racing for so long I don't take it as seriously as I used to and just try to have fun and stay fit. Its nice not to put so much pressure on yourself going into a race and to enjoy it a little. I loved the beautiful race course in Flagstaff.......the hills not so much!
Train Hard. Have Fun. Recover Well.