And 262 days later, I’m leaving for Lake Placid. Yes, I’ve counted the days, the hours, the miles of training. And what a journey those 262 days have been! As much as I’ve loved those 15+ hour training weeks, taper has been glorious!
Minus the taper, the past few weeks have been crazy and very stressful. I began a new job in a surgical center, had a nice bike crash that left me bike-less until today, had a deep tissue injury, and am still trying to figure out how I’m going to finish these 140.6 miles.
The bike crash I talked about last post has finally run its course both mentally and physically (and financially). My skin is almost all there and the bone is only slightly bruised with just a little pain when pushing on it. I’ve been able to swim, bike, and run on it so that’s all that matters at this point. After taking my bike to the shop, I was able to upgrade the frame to a DA – thanks for the hook up, Felt! The frame is sleek, sexy, light weight, and everything a triathlete dreams of. Too bad it took about 2 weeks for everything to be put back together. 4 days before race day and I’m just now getting my first ride on it. A buddy of mine offered to let me use his Reynolds race wheels, but that was even more of a nightmare. After putting them on, we realized there was an issue with the breaks and housing on the break cable that had to be fixed so I’m stuck using my not sleek, not sexy, not light weight training wheels. But…at least I have a bike. (I have to give a big thank you to the Otremba’s who helped me out last minute at 11PM.)
The crash and the new bike has put a little bit of doubt in my mind. On my Felt B12, I felt great. I knew the fit was just right to get me through 100+ miles on the bike with enough left to get me through the run. I had the handling down pretty well and felt 100% confident and comfortable. Going into a race with minimal training on a new bike is a bit daunting. As anyone will tell you, the worst thing you can do is go into a race using something new. With this, they usually mean something like new nutrition, new goggles, new socks, etc. But a new bike? One thing I’ve learned through my training and racing is that endurance racing is all about making the best of every situation and adapting to it – anything can happen. The winner isn’t going to be the person that has the best fitness and the best bike and the most training miles and hours. It’s going to be the person that best adapts to one of the many things that can go wrong during an 10+ hour day. So now I just have to adapt my race strategy to the situation. The first lap is all about getting comfortable. It’s about figuring out what I can and can’t do and how the bike handles. I can use the hills out of T1 to figure out what gear I need to be to make the climb up Whiteface Mountain at mile 40. If it works, I can push it on lap 2. And if it doesn’t, at least I get another try.
Bike issues aside, I am so pumped for this race. After getting my equipment ready and organized, the pre-race butterflies began to emerge in my stomach. That sense of forgetting something has made its way into my head. It’s hard to sleep because all I can think about is race day. Am I ready? Can I actually do this? I use to hate these feelings and the sense of doubt and questioning. I’ve come to learn this just means you really care and love what you do so much you want to be the best you can be. Of course I’m ready. Of course I can do this. I’ve been training for 262 days just for this one day. It’s just another day, another block of training. With that, I’m off to bed to depart for the long 9 hour ride to the Adirondacks in the morning. If you have nothing to do on Sunday, track me throughout the race at Ironman.com (click on coverage and then Lake Placid). My bib number is 1123.