Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ironman Cometh

This is it, I'm off to Utah to race this weekend in St. George.  A lot has been going on with me lately, but it's been all good news and somehow I've kept my stress level low.  I've been busy.  So busy that things at home have kind of taken a dive - my sink is full of dishes, my refrigerator is bare, and my laundry is strewn about the place.  It's a dump.  Why?
Last weekend KT ran in the Los Angeles Ragnar Relay, and I volunteered to drive the van.  This race is nuts - a twelve person, 28 hour, 200 mile running relay from Ventura to Dana Point.  It basically consists of running a stage of 4 to 9 miles, then handing the baton to a teammate, jumping in a van, waiting 9 hours for your next turn, repeat.  It ended up being 18 miles of running for her with 90 minutes of sleep over 28 hours.  Then, she slept for 3 hours - got up at 4:45AM on Sunday and ran the La Jolla half marathon.  Plus, she still beat my half marathon PR by 5 minutes!  The girl is tough.
This weekend is Ironman St. George, one of the toughest IM races on the planet.  I've been packing, strategizing, buying a new equipment (why not wear a new wetsuit for the first time at an IM race?), and generally freaking out.  On top of everything else, I bought my first house - and escrow closes 3 days after the race.  Everything has gone smoothly, but I'm nervous about signing the check!
With regards to the race, coach and I have a plan.  I'm not sure I like the plan - but I agree with it and think it's a good idea.  It basically involves me going slow on the bike.  Real slow.  So slow that people will ask "what the hell happened to you on the bike?".  At IMAZ in 2008 I completed the 112 miles in 5 hours, 40 minutes.  My projections for this weekend put me at somewhere around 7 hours.  Yikes, my sit bones are gonna ache.  Why go so slow?  So I can run.  I've been running a lot lately, 30 mile weeks pretty regularly which is a ton for someone like me.  I feel pretty good about the marathon, though it still scares the bejeesus out of me.  The plan is to be able to run strong for 26.2 miles, and possibly beat my IMAZ marathon time by an hour - even on a much tougher course.  At IMAZ my marathon ended at mile 9, at which point it turned into a walk/run survival event.  If everything goes perfectly (when has that ever happened?) I will finish the race in about the same amount of time it took me to do IMAZ.  That would be amazing, considering the difficulty of the Utah course. 
I'm grateful to be able to compete this weekend.  I'm healthy, happy and ready to re-earn my M-dot!  Thanks everyone for getting me here, we'll celebrate after the final exam.