Wednesday, July 2, 2014

3rd Times a Charm - Right??

   A few years ago I participated in my first triathlon and from that great experience my love for triathlons was born.  Like most athletes, I have always been driven to see how far I could push myself, what new challenges I could overcome, etc.  So far, I have completed 4 marathons, a handful of 1/2 marathons, and multiple triathlons with the furthest distance being an Olympic race.  My goal was to complete a 1/2 Ironman and then maybe one day build and do the full Ironman.  For those of you that don't know, a 1/2 Ironman is 70.3 miles broken down into a 1.2 mile swim, followed by 56 miles on the bike and finished off by 13.1 miles of running. Typically this is point where I get a zillion comments like "you are crazy", "why would you ever want to do that?" with an occasional Good Luck thrown in there.

      The past two summers I have trained with the 1/2 IM in mind - with no luck.  The first year, I got injured a week out - A WEEK OUT! I hurt my foot and was having a hard time walking on it, I even went for X-Rays and the Dr. told me that nothing was broken but that I should definitely stay off of it and not race. NOOOOOOO!!! Those are seriously the worst words a triathlete can hear!  The next year I followed an intense training program and came down with a mono-like virus that had me sleeping about 20hrs a day with absolutely no energy to train.  This year, I decided to give it a go again, and while race day isn't here yet, I'm feeling better and stronger than ever!

       I've been following an 18 week program with an average of 2 workouts a day.  I've been watching what I've been eating and how my body reacts in my workouts.  But I've found, the most important thing this year in my training has been truly listening to my body.  If my body says, "Woah, Em - I need a day off!" I take a day off or even two in a row.  I really focus on a good recovery and I sleep a TON!  My family likes to tease me about it - a 2 hr nap doesn't stop me from sleeping at night.  If my body says, I need salt, sugar, protein - and yes you can really tell if your body needs those things - I don't hesitate to eat things to fill those needs.
An intense Hill workout before the storms came through - look at those clouds!
       Now as my race is only 18 days away - woah - I have been looking back on the progress I have made through my training.  And, man oh man, am I proud of myself!  I can now swim well over a mile without stopping, bike for hours and not be bored out of my mind and run and run and run.  I have no idea how race day is going to go, so many things can go incredibly wrong but so many things can go completely right.  Either way, I am proud of where I am at and what I have achieved so far! Bring on Racine!!!


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