Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The ABCs of it

Some people have asked what the Ironman race itself entails. Here's the scoop:

a) a 2.4 mile swim in Mirror Lake (two 1.2-mile loops around buoys)
followed by
b) a 112-mile bike ride (two 56-mile loops)
followed by
c) a 26.2-mile run (two 13.1-mile out-and-back runs)

140.6 miles total.

It starts at 6:30 a.m. It ends when it ends, and it all depends...

The official cutoff is midnight. I'm told the crowds get wilder and wilder as the night goes on--a comfort to those of us who will be counting on their energy to us across the finish well after dark. All I know is the massage tent stays open till midnight. 

I have no idea how long it will take. I can swim the distance in about an hour and a quarter. I averaged 15.8 mph on one loop of the bike course last weekend. I ran 12 miles of the run course at a 10:22 min/mile pace. I have never run a marathon, so I have no idea what happens to me after 15 miles. (!!! I know, right? Insanity.) I have no idea what happens after a 112 mile bike ride and a bigass swim. 

I'm not going in with a time goal (well, I have a top-secret time goal, but it's not my real goal), I'm just trying to stay open to all possibilities and focus on finishing without injury. My only real goal is to be glad I did it. 

My plan is to swim hard and steady, be strong on the bike, holding back on the uphills and pushing the flats and downhills, and then do whatever I have to do to survive the run. Maintain forward motion. Walk through water stops.

Eat as much as I can. Pee on the bike. Flirt with all the boys and maybe some girls. Cheer back at the spectators. Enjoy the scenery. Stay in my body, out of my head. Have fun.

Fingers and toes crossed and crossed again. 

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