Monday, May 23, 2011

Faster, Stronger, and Better with Age?

Landing in Houston I was dreading the Ironman Texas race on Saturday because I felt the humid, hot, temperatures when I walked out of the airport.  I have come to realize my body doesn't like to race in extreme weather in either direction too hot or too cold.  I race best when the weather is just right! (OK who doesn't) My training in Vegas did not consist of much heat training because this year has been exceptionally nice in Vegas.  I have had virtually NO humid weather training other than the fiasco in Costa Rica in February. (you can read my blog on my Costa Rica race if you want a laugh) Going into Ironman Texas I was less than confident about my upcoming performance.  My training was enough to get through the race but less than I have trained for in other Ironman races.  The funny thing is I was not nervous or uneasy about the race at all.  I think being less confident about my training might have been a good thing.  I didn't put pressure on myself and was just there to have fun and finish in under 13 hours.  On this course that shouldn't be a problem.  The course itself was a flat bike and run.  It was not like some other Ironman races with tons of hills like St. George. 
It is funny because in other Ironman races I always have a variety of emotions all day during the race.  I question why I decided to do the race, I want to quit, I get excited from fans cheering, the emotions never end.  Saturday in Texas I was pretty level headed all day once I finished the craziness of the swim.  The swim through me for a loop because once again I had to fight through the first half  to survive!  Here is a photo of the madness! I felt like I was fighting for 30 minutes before I could get into any kind of rhythm to swim.  I ended with a slower than expected swim but was glad to get it over.  I got on the bike and felt great from mile 1 to 112.  It was flat with some wind but nothing compared to what I have trained on in Vegas.  I did not push myself as hard as I could have on the bike but in the end that was probably a good thing because I felt pretty strong on the run.  During this Ironman I did not ever ask myself WHY I was doing it, I just focused on getting to the finish.  I took it one hour at a time and ultimately had my best finish in an Ironman event.  I finished with a total time of 11:43 and 9th in my age group.  Best of all after my race I felt good enough to go out and eat at a restaurant.  Every other time I have raced I was so destroyed from the race I could hardly move off the bed once back at the hotel.  Here is a photo from the finish after I crossed the finish line.
Today is Monday and I am doing an easy swim and light strength training.  I feel really good and am ready to focus on some smaller goals for the next few months.  Completing an Ironman is a huge accomplishment.  There is nothing like the feeling of crossing the finish.  But the time and dedication that it takes to train for an Ironman is all consuming!  You have to be very dedicated and have an understanding family and friends.  Training for Ironman events have taught me many things.  Some of the things I have learned because of my training successes and failures and some things I learn from others I meet or see doing the event.  I have met some amazing people in the past 10 years I have trained for triathlons.  It gets better each year and thankfully my performance is getting better all the time!

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome. You finished way faster than you planned. I am so happy for you.