It’s 5:30 in the morning. It’s dark and cold, I’m sitting here drinking coffee and reading dumb tweets and rolling my eyes at the general state of the universe. Why am I up, anyway? Oh yeah. Because I’m tired, tired, tired yet simultaneously keyed up and unable to sleep.
Oh, Ironman training. You’re a fickle friend, aren’t you?
When I crossed the line at Ironman Coeur d’Alene, almost immediately I said “never again”. But within minutes, I knew I was kidding myself. That race was hotter than hot and didn’t go as expected , but I learned a lot and knew that even though I was proud to have finished in such unpleasant conditions, I didn’t want my last IM to be one that I merely survived.
I took a few weeks to settle down, think about it and then begin plotting another race. And here we are… one month out from Ironman Arizona. My body’s holding up (with the help of regular physio and eating my body weight in… everything).
Arizona seemed like a good one to tackle. There wouldn’t be a crazy work schedule leading into for me, I’ve never been to scenic Tempe and I have a holiday planned immediately afterwards. It’s challenging for me in that it’s a flat course, so it doesn’t play to my strengths. What I hadn’t counted on was the fact that everyone pretty hangs it up after labour day so training has been a solo effort with a LOT of time spent inside my own head.
Holy smokes, do I ever bore me.
Anyway, you know that expression that refers too insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Well, it was time for a change — particularly if I wanted a different time on that finish clock!
In no particular order, some of the changes:
I bought a fancy new bike. Behold, Carlos the Felt:
That’s right. I named my bike. Because saying things like “I rode Carlos” makes me giggle. Did I *need* a new bike? Of course not. Did I *want* a new bike? Obviously. This bike goes nice and fast in a straight line, and the fine friends at Comor helped me get him going.
Next? I am taking swimming lessons. That’s right, swimming lessons.
When I first met Mike the Swim Coach, here’s generally how the conversation went:
Mike: “So tell me about your swimming.”
Me: “You know when swimmers talk about feeling the water? Well, I don’t get it, I am in a pool. I feel water everywhere.”
Mike: “Ok, hop in, and let’s see you swim.”
I swim for about 200m under Mike’s watchful eye. And a camera. And a mirror *shudder*.
Mike: “Ok, so you have zero feel for the water.”
Needless to say, it’s rather humbling to swim staring at yourself. But! Gains are being made! Mike is some kind of weird voodoo miracle worker. Go see him.
Let’s see, what else. I have a coach! The key, I believe, to a good coach is finding someone that knows you better than you know yourself. I have that person. Plus, we crack each other up. What more can you ask for? She’s pretty hard on me.
With a few weeks left till I get to go south, I am supremely sick of spending time with myself and I know pretty much every crack and pothole on the roads around here. Guess I just need to keep reminding myself of rule #5.