Well, today was my last "long" brick workout. In Kona-like winds, I did a 2.5 hour ride w/ 3 x 20 min over/under tempo intervals (15 min recovery) followed by a 4.5 mile run. The weather was absolutely beautiful, in the upper 70's and I had a lot of fun riding with my hubby during my warm-up. Tomorrow I have an hour bike + an hour run, followed by a long flush-massage, w/ visualization from Marjorie. I welcome this last "long" weekend as a way to test out every item that I will be using in training. I have my race outfit, shoes and aero helmet ready to go as well as my fuel belt, visor, sunglasses and running shoes.
On Fri I very focused at work today as we had another busy patient load at the hospital. I saw some very interesting patients and as always, learned A LOT! In the past few days, my energy has continued to build and I found myself nearly BUSTING out of my scrubs with excitement.
I find myself constantly reflecting on the past 13 weeks of training, in addition to the past 6 years of Ironman training. Right now I have a full-tank of energy and my mind is in the right place. But I can't help but think about all of the "good days" and "bad" days that helped me get to where I am today. Although the Big Island of Kona will be filled with the top Ironman athletes from around the world, who have qualified for the Ironman World Championships, the one common thread that unites us all (no matter fitness level or finishing time) is that we ALL have dreams and goals and we are not afraid to try and reach them.
One of the fabulous things about being an athlete is that your status as an athlete is not defined in one race and your ability to improve is not determined in one season. For in the sport of triathlons and running, there is always another distance and another opportunity to reach your goals.
It's kinda funny thinking about the last 6 years since I started my Ironman journey. In the first year of my IM training, all I read about was training long. Doing that 100 mile bike and that 3 hour run was the "BIG" thing to do. In my 2nd year of training, it was all about nutrition. Finding out what works and of course, what doesn't work. In my third year, there was the theory of becoming metabolically efficient, being able to use the least amount of energy while getting physiologically stronger, as you focus on nutrient timing. And lastly, in my fourth and fifth, it was all about time management - quality training.
Now it is 2011. It has been 6 years since watching the Ironman World Championships on NBC in 2005 (while in graduate school - studying in the library) and saying to myself "I WANT TO DO THAT!".
I never take for granted an Ironman finish and I feel lucky that I have started and finished every Ironman that I have signed up for.
But nevertheless, I am still trying to find ways of becoming a faster, stronger and smarter Ironman. I love the power of goal setting and doing everything possible to reach that goal. Not only am I a goal setter, but I am a dreamer. I am constantly thinking about life and what I want to achieve in life.
Mental training has been a vital component of my training. Having the right amount of confidence is an essential component of a successful Ironman athlete and helps to build a strong mind. Regardless of the finishing time, an Ironman athlete has to
trust his/herself, in all parts of training and racing. We never train in order to fail so stop thinking about all of the "what if's" that did not stop you from getting out the door and having an awesome 100 mile ride or a great brick workout or that long swim that you never thought possible. And while you are at it, in forming positive thoughts, don't forget to reflect on all of the obstacles that you overcame in life and training, that helped you get to where you are today.
I believe I AM READY! I KNOW I AM READY!
"Accomplishing anything in life requires discipline... not the regimented, abusive kind of discipline... but the discipline that requires you to remain focused, committed, enthusiastic and motivated to do whatever is necessary to achieve your goal.
The discipline to persevere with your goal, to deal with obstacles as you face them, and to continually take action on your goal...
This kind of discipline is the empowering kind of discipline... and allows you to achieve whatever you desire in your life!"
I wanted to share this video that was posted on the Trek Bike Store of Jacksonville Facebook page. I Hope you enjoy it!
Speaking of mental training...here is a GREAT series of articles from LAVA:
Mental Fitness: The Fifth Cornerstone : LAVA Magazine