10 weeks to go…

2 Jul

So, what’s the next event? That’s a question I’ve been hearing a bit lately.  While there may be an event in between (still not decided) the next big event is on September 10th and is the Sunshine Coast Half Ironman. Commonly known as a 70.3 due to the distance in miles, in the metric system, it’s a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.  It’s the second time I’ll be stepping up to this distance.

Sometimes when I commit to something, I’m lulled into a false sense of security…. Particularly when it comes to events… when I decided to do Sunny Coast 70.3 it was March, and September seemed like a long way away. But now, I find myself here… in 10 weeks I’ll be on course. I’ll be finished my swim and will be out on the bike, hopefully even the back end of the bike course, and getting ready to get off and run. Now that I’m here, it seems far more daunting again.  Especially because right now I’ve got a bit of a head cold, and today my training was shelved in lieu of a rest day (but I’m reminding myself that up to today my training has been consistent, and God willing, will be again soon, and I’ve just got to roll with the punches).

Events don’t just happen though and I’m super thankful I have a great crew always around to support me. My husband Dave – I simply couldn’t do it without his support, he’s always there to ensure I do get off the couch and get my training done, getting up early to encourage me at events, participate with me when he wants to, and ensuring I have some gear to get me through it all. My coach Em gives me a tailored program around my shifts that sees me working across all three disciplines, pushing my limits, teaching me I’m stronger than I think, and improving my fitness across the board – I’m grateful for her guidance and support. My training buddies particularly Elle, Jane, Kiara, Kim and Stacy (I did that alphabetically girls – don’t want to show any favouritism) who swim, ride, and/or run with me to encourage me and push me.  I’m thankful to those who are physically getting me stronger or working out some injuries – my Masseuse Julie, Physio Adam, and Dietician Fiona. Family and friends are always around to offer encouragement and I appreciate their kindness. I’m also thankful to be a fisiocrem sponsored athlete as they ensure I’m well stocked with cream to help ensure any niggles are eased away.

If you ask me how I feel about the event at this point it’s a little mixed.  I’m confident I can go the distance, having done so once before.  I have a couple of fears though, that I’m currently working through.  The swim leg is 1.9km right off the Mooloolaba beach.  There can be some decent dumping waves at that beach and that terrifies me. I know however that I am fine once I’m out past those breakers, and that the time getting in and out is so short relative to the rest of the time on course.  I also know, that on other days the beach can be almost dead flat (I’m hoping for one of those days).  I’m trying so hard to not focus on things outside of my control like this, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t causing me some concern.  As I say though, I’m confident in getting the swim done once I’m out in the deep water so I need to try and focus on that.

The bike leg is 90km – the first half looks fairly fast and flat (though could be subject to some winds). The second is a couple of laps in the hills.  Again this is slightly concerning to me, I’m confident on the flat but I do struggle on the hills. I’m working on this now, and getting hill strength work in my legs. I’m also blessed to be able to go up and attend a T:Zero Multisport training camp at the end of the month which will include riding this part of the course.  Once I’ve cycled it I’m sure much of the fear will be gone, as I will know a lot more of what to expect.  I’ve mapped that part of the route in Strava to look at the elevation, and generally speaking it looks okay.  I look forward to getting out on the ride though to remove the fear of the unknown, and to have some practice on course.  I know I can ride 90km – in 12 months I’ve really been able to increase my distance and strength on the bike and I’m far more confident going into the bike leg this time than I was in my last half ironman at the end of February.

The run… the last leg and for me, my nemesis – 21.1km. I’ve got some proving to myself to do after my last half ironman where I walked most of the run leg.  This time I’m going to come back better and stronger.  Again, not without some hesitation as I’ve had to take my running right back to grass roots recently with some knee/ITB issues.  The last three weeks though have been pain free, so I’m hoping I’m out the other side of it and can start to rebuild my distances. I’m confident I can go the distance, and while there will be a bit of a hill to content with (four times over), the rest of the course is fairly flat and the scenery of the beautiful coastline will hopefully distract me from some of the pain.

So, this coming 70.3 isn’t without its potential challenges. However, I like to think if the goal isn’t scary it’s not much of a goal at all.  I’m thankful that I’m essentially healthy enough to get out and participate in these events. I know that with the upcoming training camp, and by consistently continuing with my training I will get not only to the start line, but to the finish line as well. So here’s to shaking this cold, getting back into training, and focusing hard on the last 10 weeks prior to this event.  Time to up the ante, push hard, and then hopefully have a really enjoyable race on September 10.




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