Wednesday, October 23, 2013

T minus 11 days!

Last week was my final high volume week of training...~13 1/2 hours.  I have to admit, I am glad that those weeks are over.

Hallelujah, taper has begun!  This week's schedule has a mere 8 1/4 hours of training and next week requires only 4 1/2 hours leading up to the race. 

Last week's schedule left me tired, but at the same time it left me feeling optimistic about race day. 

The Running
Saturday, I ran with Woodlands Fit.  We had 14 miles on the schedule and I was a bit nervous, because I missed the 13 miler from two weeks before.  Also, I haven't run more than 13.1 since 2011 before the great hip blip of 2011/2012.  Thankfully, Mother Nature felt she had punished us enough the week before, because she graced us with temps in the 60s at the start!  As an added bonus, a cool front came through during the run which dropped the temps by about 10 degrees.  It was heavenly!  And, it was an awesome run!

The Biking
I have been nervous about the hills on the 70.3 course for awhile now.  Even though I survived our hilly ride in Chappell Hill a few weeks ago, I still wanted to ride the course and know exactly what to expect.  I put out a call via Facebook, text messages and email to some of my tri peeps to see if anyone else wanted to ride the course.  Not only did I have 3 friends who wanted to come, but they also had friends who wanted to join in the fun.    We ended up having about 8 women ride the course!  It was freaking cold...around 48 degrees.  Yes, I am a pansy.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes!

Most of the group decided to ride 40 miles of the 56 mile course, leaving out an out and back section (according to the Hubs, that section is pretty flat).  Yes, the hills sucked - they seemed like more of a gradual incline that took forever to get up!  But, they were definitely do-able.  While I don't think my ride will be fast by any means, I know I can survive the hills. I told the Hubs that the course wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be....thank God! 

Most of us had a brick workout on the schedule, so we needed a place to run.  Unfortunately, there really wasn't an awesome place to run nearby, so we headed over the the parking lot of the shopping center across the street and did laps.  There was no traffic, since none of the businesses were open yet.  Still, I'm sure we looked like a bunch of goofballs lapping that lot!

The Swimming
Later on the same day, a few of us went out to Lake 288.  I've been there many times, but it's been about 2 years since my last visit.  The lake is used for triathlon training, paddle boarding, and scuba practice. It's a bit of a drive, but well worth it!  The only downside....the vegetation!

When we arrived, the person working the entrance explained that there was quite a bit of hydrilla in the water and pointed out the areas to avoid.  Our first question, "Ummmm, what's hydrilla?".

This, my friends, is Hydrilla...and it is not my friend. (source)

A Plant.  That's what hydrilla is, a plant.  We figured a plant wouldn't harm us, so we donned our wetsuits and entered the lake.  There were already a handful of people swimming and a few people on paddle boards.  I was trying out a new wetsuit and hoped that this one would work better for me than the one I had been trying to use.  And, I had borrowed a friend's wetsuit just in case the one I bought didn't work out....gotta be prepared!  The wetsuit was a bit tight in certain areas, but it felt pretty good overall.  I started to swim and was happy to not feel any of the anxiety I felt during my last open water swim attempt.  None.  I proceeded to make my way across the lake.  I felt comfortable swimming and comfortable in the wetsuit. 

Until I found the hydrilla!


Looks peaceful and pretty, right?

It turns out that hydrilla is an annoying plant.  It was growing in patches all over the lake and reached all the way to the surface.  It was not easy to swim through and just touching it made me freak out.  It wrapped around my hands, touched my face and neck...I tried to speed up to get through it faster, but that didn't work. Finally, I turned over and backstroked my way out of it.  When everyone made it back to shore, we strategized about the path of least resistance hydrilla...we swam it and didn't deviate from that path.  Overall, we swam about 1,300 meters.  And other than the hydrilla encounter, there was no freakout at all!  Wooohoo!

See?  We're smiling...even after the hydrilla!
So here I am, almost to the big day.  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was scared shitless a little nervous.  But, what's life without some big hairy audacious goals (a.k.a. BHAGs) thrown in?  And it it wasn't a lot little scary, then the goal might not be big enough, right?

What is your next BHAG?  What are some BHAGs from the past?


Teamarcia said...

Excited for you! I haven't had a BHAG in a while. Need to get one pronto.

Anonymous said...

I rode the course this weekend too! I wonder if we saw each other :) A tip in case you ride there in the future - I parked at a dirt lot at Walden Road & the entrance to the resort. There were other triathletes there. Then you can run inside the resort, which would be nicer maybe. I don't know if it's allowed, but no one stopped me!

KW said...

Well, awesome that you are doing the ironman. I've actually wanted to do a triathlon this summer, but couldn't make it happen due to injuries and now surgery. So, marathon first and then triathlon. I live right by the 288 lake. When I get better, maybe we can run together?