I’m fine, really I am. I had such wonderful feedback from so many people from the DRAMA post. Going into work the next day I was happy to see someone who had returned from an extended maternity leave, having been off on sick leave with a high risk pregnancy and then on Canadian maternity leave of a year (yes, that’s right, it’s almost civilized isn’t it). Well, don’t you know the first thing she said to me was, “congratulations on finishing Ironman, Alex (her husband) is doing Lake Placid this year because of you”.
Holy crap, he’s going to hate me several times that day.
The same day as Around the Bay, my Alex (husband) showed me a message he got from an old high school friend who had found his previously elite swim body 40 lbs too heavy and his self esteem fading. He told Alex that his Ironman finish had inspired him to get back into shape.
So, I guess it’s ok not to be fast. The time on the clock is not the only measure of worth – but, I’m not going to lie, I’d like to be faster and I still have lingering moments of thinking that I’m not going to get those 2 hours off at Ironman. And, you can quite rightly ask, as JohnP did, who cares what time I did it in as long as I finished. Well, I’d like to try some tougher courses and 16.5 hours at Arizona is probably 17+ at Ironman Wisconsin.
I went into Around the Bay training for long races, didn’t do a lot of 6 min/km pacing so why did I think I could pull that off on race day? I realized race week that I hadn’t actually done any dedicated hill workouts. I’m not strong on hills so, perhaps that wasn’t the best of plans. I did put in the hours but, and this is what I’m not sure of, were there too many junk miles? Without a coach I relied on a general training plan that modelled the ultra plans that are fairly ubiquitous on the internet. Generally they were 3 runs a week, shortest on Wednesday longest on Saturday with a medium one on Sunday. I know from Ironman training that going long doesn’t necessarily mean training long and, without any calls for interval runs, speed runs or cross training it was also freaking boring. But, first ultra and all, I didn’t want to screw with the formula.
So what does this mean for the 50 miler. Well, I’m not going to continue on the plan, I’ve started in on week 5 Ironman training this week (only 32 weeks to go) and I’m looking forward to the cross training. The pool is closed for another month and the change rooms at the community pool by work are stinky and the showers suck, so, there might not be a lot of swimming but by Jove, there will be riding. Especially with the Paris to Ancaster short course (St. George to Ancaster) a week Sunday. Time to take Trinity, my cyclocross bike out, put on the tiara (tutu this year?), and become a dirty grrrrl. I’m still up for the Sulphur Springs race day, might be 25k, probably 50k, but I can’t see doing 50 miles at that point in Ironman training.
So it’s back to the grind, the gears and the chlorine. This winter’s training hasn’t been a waste, I’m lighter and smaller already that when I crossed the line at Arizona in 2009 and following (and continuing to follow WW) was great for tracking calories in and out and how to not end up getting over hungry and trying to cure that with eating too much sugar. But let me just say publicly - I freaking LOVE sugar.