The Butlers had a good weekend. I was able to finally get my letter out dedicating my Ironman to Deborah Olney as a fund raiser for them (www.olneyfamilyonline.com). That is something I (with the help of a few others) have been working on for what seems like months but it went out. The fam caught a movie Friday night, Nathan slept in a tent that we setup in our bedroom (Kathryn had little interest, too uncomfortable) and Rene raced in the New Town Triathlon. Just a note on Rene, we have been dealing with race week for her (more on that in a minute) all week. It was 1000 Meter open water swim (her longest to date), 20 mile bike and 4 mile run. The water temperature was 86ish degrees so no wetsuits at all. Any temp above 84 and USA Triathlon rules state that it is unsafe due to over heating so they are not allowed. Long story short, she rocked it! Her goal time was 2 hours: 15 minutes and she finished 2:06. Her swim was exactly as she predicted (nerves and all)transitions were very fast, her bike was 1.5MPH faster on average than her prediction and spread over 20 miles that is a time bump of almost 6 minutes and her run was ahead too! She was very very very pleased and she did a great job. There was A LOT of team members at this race and our coach won overall female by more than 2 minutes. Great Results...
Now let me describe race week (any of you that do them, you know the hard to describe feeling). Anytime there is a tri that is a stretch of ability (for me it is Olympics and longer) it starts when you see it on the calendar about 2 weeks out but really hits home for me when I see my race week training schedule (normally on Sunday night before the race). All of the training is geared around tapering which equates to shorter but intense efforts. Where I may typically have a 1.5 hour endurance run, I will have a 45 minute fast tempo run instead. Where my training week might be 13 hours, this week it is 5.5 hours. Everything is different.
This week is rough, you wonder if you have done enough, you wonder about the unknowns of the day, the 1500 people you are racing with, the waves in Lake Michigan on the swim, will the power you push on the bike "blow out" your legs on the run, what are you going to eat on the bike that won't kill your stomach, will the run be hot, how much salt and carbs should I take in etc.... There are just so many unknowns that are impossible to plan for but you have to (if that makes sense) it is just a tough mental week and regardless of work and family demands that take priority, spare time is filled getting ready for the race. Anyway, it is what it is, the goal this week is to think through the race plan, just like in life, think through what could happen, plan for the most likely and if the least likely crop up deal with them and get ready. As my daughter and I talk about a lot when she gets nervy, nerves are your minds way of preparing your body for a challenge. This weekend will be a challenge and all of my training since January 1 has prepped me for this benchmark and reality check on my road to Arizona. Now it is time to go get it done. The neves that build from here to the cannon going off Sunday morning will be met with the satisfaction of finishing Sunday afternoon and the release associated with it.
So now, it is time to push as many negative thoughts that try to creep in to my head all week with reassurances of being ready and getting ready. With each race it gets easier but these long ones are too spread out with too many unknowns to see the going away anytime soon.
I just keep telling myself how insignificant this is in the grand scheme. It is just a triathlon, it is not life and death, it won't impact my ability to make a living or pay the mortgage, however, anything that I have spent this much time preparing for I want to do well at and that is where the pressure comes from.
My next post will be race expecations probably on Wednesday.
Until the, have a great week