So, IMFL is about 2 weeks away now. I can say things have been going well and I am right on schedule, but now seems to be the time that I am doubting myself and my abilities and training program.
I think the big thing was that I don't have a coach. It's not like I have anyone to tell me what to do or when to schedule the correct workouts, I have just been increasing volume steadily over time while taking rest weeks in there every 4 weeks and throwing in monster bike rides and runs to keep the sword sharp. I guess it is the fear (healthy fear though) of never having done an Ironman that is banging me out a bit. I'm sure if I think hard enough back to the first half ironman I ever did. (Musselman 2005) There I was in 36th place overall having run a 5:05, but the last 3 miles felt like absolute poop. I don't want to feel like poop coming to the line in 2 weeks in Florida, but I'm sure I will have a lot of the same fears and aprehensions now about the distance just like I did slightly over a year ago. Now, the thought of a half ironman seems like it is normal. I am planning on doing 3 next year and maybe even another full if I can qualify for a slot for Placid in 2007.
I'm sure what I need to do is relax a little more and let the taper sink in. I took a rest week last week which topped out at about 8 hours from the previous week to that was at 17... but this week is back up to about 12 and I'm not really feeling the taper quite yet. I'm sure next week I will begin to feel a little fresher and the legs won't feel as dead as they have lately.
I have all the time in the world right now to train and get everything situated. It's a lot nicer to be able to have the hours in the day to, A.) clean your apartment B.) Do your dishes C.) get the laundry done. I can say right now honestly, there are NO dirty dishes in my apartment, there is one day worth of dirty laundry in my basket and I just cleaned, swiftered, and dusted my apartment this week. It's nice not to have to live in filth :-p
Anyway, training is coming along. I think I just need to relax about it and let the taper run its course. I have to believe in the training program that I have put together and know that it will bring me to the line on November 4th... But anyway, I thought aditionally I would throw some goals out there for my first ironman experience in Florida 2006. First thing first, the absolute first goal of mine is to have fun.
1. Have fun
3. Finish and stay out of the medical tent
4. Finish in less than 12 hours
5. Finish in less than 10:45 and place in top ten in my age group
6. Finish in less than 10:30 and place top five to get a plaque in my age group
7. Finish in less than 10 hours and get top three in my age group to grab a rolldown slot for Kona
The last one there is kind of a "pipe dreams" goal, although I would like to think I could rock a top five finish in my 18-24 age group and come away with some hardware. But there are so many factors that could go wrong, we'll have to wait the 14 days and see what happens.
I just wanted to kind of get those out there and on paper (kind of) to get them off my chest. I have absolutely NO IDEA how I will do in Florida, but I just want to have fun and post a good time. They say you can double your HIM time and add a little bit for fatigue and since I have gone a 4:43 at timberman this year, that comes to a 9:26 doubling it and adding 30-60 minutes for fatigue that is about a 10:15 or so. Just saying :) About a year ago (actually on 11/2/05) I worked it out that I think it would be do-able that I could snag a 10:50 at IMFL. I thought I would do a 1:10 swim, 5 minute T1, a 5:30 bike ride - for 20.5 mph, a 5 minute T2, and a 4 hour marathon - 9minute pace. Looking back on that, I definitely gave myself some extra room for the marathon seeing as I did a 1:34 at Timberman and I smoked a 22 mph avg split there as well on the bike. And with the wetsuit and salt water and HUGE amounts of people to draft in the swim, 1:10 is generous as well, but I guess we'll see.
Maybe that is what Ironman is all about, the unknown. The X factors that can affect your race in so many ways. The unknowns, no one knows how they will do until it's over. Sprint races I could pretty well predict down to the minute, but an IM, there are so many factors. Nutrition being one of them. I'm hoping the stomach holds up. But that is more for another post.
Sorry to bombard this one with a large post, but I guess it needed to be written. Rocking the taper and enjoying this free time, till next time, train hard and I'll see you on the roads.