Here it is. The final days before I embark upon my first half ironman. I cannot believe I'm finally here. I feel like this has been a long few months of training and this body is ready to race. As I mentioned previously, I'm not going to post any time specific goals. I don't want that pressure and since this is a first, I am going to enjoy it and do my best. I obviously have a general goal time in my head that I'd be happy with but again, if I don't reach that for whatever reason, it's not the end of the world.
The Swim (Click headings to see course maps)
I'm looking forward to the swim. I keep hearing how fast the swim is at Augusta but I'm trying not to let that get into my head too much. I worry that since I'm comfortable in the water I should be swimming this at some silly ridiculous speed and I don't want that pressure either. My goal for the swim is to swim strong and steady. I also have a goal to not stop to breaststroke like I have been known to do in OWS. It slows me down and I need to keep my arms moving.
Oh, the bike. The bike. My former Achilles' heel. I say former because I'm no longer scared to ride this distance. I am still not fast and I'm sure the hills of South Carolina (almost the whole bike course is in another state, go figure) will further prove that but dammit if I won't enjoy those downhills and riding through my birth state. Part of me is happy it's a 1 loop course but part of me wishes it was more than 1 loop for the mental fact of knowing the route. My goal for the ride is to enjoy it and take my nutrition properly. It's a simple goal really and I'm sticking with it.
I wish I could say I'm more excited about the run, but with this dumb IT band, I'm the most nervous about the run. I find this ironic since this is typically my strength in the triathlon. In any event, I have done all that I can possibly do within the last two weeks to make the IT band feel as "right" as possible. I've iced, stretched, strengthened, NSAID-ed, massaged, and taken it easy. I'm hopeful that I'll get through the majority of the run before it acts a fool but if not, I'll be doing the run-stretch-run deal. My goal for the run is to run. I don't want to walk. I know I'm going to want to walk real bad and if the IT is bothersome that will make this goal a lot harder but I'm going to do my best.
The overall goal is to finish strong and, as always, enjoy myself and have fun. Last weekend I did the Miles for Hope charity ride with my buddies from the A-Train (See Stephanie's blog about it HERE). As we were riding, I popped up and commented on how beautiful the scenery was and how lucky we were to be riding on such a glorious day in Florida. One of my friends said she liked how I looked around and soaked it in occasionally during the day. I definitely feel that as athletes we sometimes get so bogged down in the race or training itself that we don't take the time to enjoy all of the outdoor awesomeness we get to see.
In the words of a very wise man, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Name that movie!)
Happy Tuesday peeps. Only five sleeps to go.....