I am ready! There are 20 days left to the race and this weekend the biggest milestone was a mental one. For the first time since signing up for Ironman Louisville I feel ready to tackle the race. I know it’s going to be hard, I know I’m going to feel tired and I might even have a few moments where I want to quit, but I know without a doubt that I am ready!
This weekend was the grand finale of Ironman training and today I have officially started the taper. I’ll tell you all about the taper on Wednesday when we meet up for Ironwoman Wednesday. Today I want to share my weekend with you, because it was full of highlights and milestones!
On Friday I volunteered at the Achieve Kids Triathlon, a youth summer triathlon camp that ends with an official USAT sanctioned race. If you’ve been following the blog, you know I love volunteering at races [Read More in my recent blog post for the Nation’s Triathlon].
Volunteering at a kids is race is even better!
I volunteered as a running mentor, which was super cool, because I got to run with multiple kids, many of whom where completing their very first triathlon. It was so fun to run with the winning female and look back over our shoulder a couple of times to make sure the 2nd place girl didn’t pass us. Even more fun was running with a kid and his mom. His mom ran with us almost the whole way…in jeans and flip flops! She kept telling him how proud she was of him and when he got a cramp and said he couldn’t do it, we both encouraged him to not give up.
I shared my mental strategies with all of them:
- Walk a few steps if you have to, but always keep moving forward!
- Dig deep, your mind wants to quit, but your body is capable of more!
- Pace yourself (adults have a hard time pacing, can you imagine kids?)
- And more…
The coolest part was seeing the joy when you told them they were so close to the finish and seeing them cheer on and come back out to run with their friends. It was the perfect inspiration for what was ahead of me this weekend!
On Saturday, I met my riding buddy, Catherine, for a 110-mile tour of Maryland. Due to a road closure we had to make an adjustment to our route, which inspired us to go the extra miles and push ourselves to 112!
It was a scenic and hilly ride and we had lots of fun. The weather was supposed to be rainy, but we lucked out with an absolutely gorgeous day. We also avoided any major problems, like flats and dropped chains, although I did have some minor mishaps like launching my full water bottle, dealing with a loose cleat (yay for my multi-tool) and having my aero bottle holder break at mile 80 (tip: always carry rubber bands…and now, I’ll be adding some electrical tape too).
After hours on the saddle we reached our goal: 112 miles in a little over 7 1/2 hours!
We also did a 40 minute brick run. While we really enjoyed the ride, I have never felt so happy to be running! At first I was worried about running, but around mile 105 all I wanted was to get off the bike and head out on the run. I stuck to my 5:1 run/walk pattern and got in a solid 3.5 miles at an 11:30 pace, which is pretty good for me, especially considering I had just spent 7 1/2 hours on the bike!
It started raining halfway through the run, which felt soooo good! I wanted to stop and just stand in it, but my stomach had other ideas. The water bottle malfunction threw my nutrition off a little, so by mile 3 of the run I was starving. We got to our cars, said our goodbyes and I inhaled a protein bar and some fluids. At home I snacked some more and then we went out to dinner with our friends and basked in the glory of achieving our cycling milestones (Pablo and John cycled 110 too).
Sunday started lazy…Kyle had me up super early, but by 7am, I was on the couch taking a nap. I took another nap at 2pm and then I decided it was time to finish peak week (yes, 2 naps a day are totally acceptable when you’re Ironman training!)
I ran from Alexandria into DC on the Mt. Vernon Trail for a 20-mile monument tour.
I took it easy on the run, because my body was definitely tired from the previous days’ work. I don’t know if it was the cooler weather or the adrenaline of knowing I was at the end of peak week, but I felt amazing the entire 20 miles.
And now…now we taper, but first, what better way to celebrate my milestones than with a giveaway?
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably seen this shirt before:
I love it, not just because of the awesome slogan, but also because it’s super comfortable and fits perfectly. It’s by the company One More Mile who makes all kinds of fun shirts, stickers, headbands, hats, and other accessories. You can even design your own shirt!
One More Mile graciously donated a shirt for my upcoming Team in Training auction AND threw in a bonus shirt for a giveaway! How awesome are they?
If you win the giveaway or have the winning auction bid, you can pick any shirt and slogan you want. Here are some of more favorites and they have a whole bunch more on their website.
Enter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway