Friday, May 18, 2012

Ironman 70.3 for my first triathlon...I'm pretty sure I'll survive so why not?

Am I crazy?  Thats what I posted on the message board of an online triathlon group.  They say no...everyone else says yes...I think they may be a bit biased.

How I ended up signing up for the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Spring Lake...instead of the Tri-Raider sprint happening at the same location.

It all started with my new bicycle.  First two weeks I had it I was like a kid that just removed the training wheels.  Wind made me nervous, cars made me flinch, dont even mention going into aero position...too unsteady.  Thankfully I started to adjust, get more comfotable, and most important get more speed. 

Last weekend I ran 14 miles on Saturday fast enough to beat my half marathon PR, and then had an offer to go for a ride on Sunday.  I was hesitant at first, because I didnt know how my legs would feel after the run, and didnt want to slow them down.  I ended up going, and it changed everything.  I rode 25 miles with the group at just over 18 mph...which was faster than my 45 min tempo I attempted earlier in the week.  Apparently my legs are adapting, sweet.  It was a great ride and I was feeling good at the end, but hungry.

(Side note, biking makes me insanely hungry, I eat bars, gels, hydrate and use sports drinks...I'm hoping this will help me with 70.3 once I dial in the far it seems like I can take in a lot without an upset stomach...)

Well I head home with the plan of a short brick, I had my mother in law visiting so I didnt want to be out all day.  Well I got home and everyone was still asleep so I figured I would try for 10 more miles on the bike.  I downed a power bar, cytomax chews and some chomps and head out.  That 10 would bring me to the furthest I've been so far.  Well that came and went and I was still feeling good, so 10 more it was, and since I was already at 45 for the day may as well round it out at 50.  I didnt have my garmin set up for overall speed so I had no idea what it was for either leg of the ride.  Amazingly I didnt feel wrecked after it either, sure my butt started to get a little sore but nothing unmanageable. My longest ride before that was 30 miles at 17mph.  I ended up with 50 miles at over 18mph!  Well thats when I started thinking about doing the Olympic distance in Lubbock, with secret thoughts of the 70.3(they are holding a sprint, olympic and 70.3).  I mean Ironman 70.3 sounds so much cooler than olympic. 

So stats for the weekend, fastest splits yet on a 14 mile run, followed by 9 miles easy on the bike, sunday had 50 miles at over 18mph, first time going 50 miles and after my highest volume week ever (14 hours).  Well hell, maybe that 70.3 isn't out of the question.  I started looking into it seriously and agonizing back and forth between olympic and 70.3 (sprint was already out of the door). 

I figured I would consult with the all knowing interwebs.  Because everyone online knows what they are talking about so their advice can be trusted :p Fortunately I'm part of an online triathlon community that has some great knowledge and resources. 

"Am I crazy?" was the title of the post, and the general opinion was yes....but arent we all a little crazy in this sport?  A resounding go for it.  I followed up talking to a triathlete that recently joined the running club, and with a little more info he said go for it too. 

I was still going back and forth, I wanted to but I dont want to do this just to finish.  I want to race, I want to win, I'm not doing all this training just to reach the finish line.  I want to be there first in my AG.  The biggest reason I want to do this 70.3 instead of waiting is its the final Kona qualifyer that I can race this year.  Sure its a little sooner than I wanted but if I have a chance to qualify before leaving the states, this is it, this is my only chance.

I talked it over with my husband and his blunt, do you think you can qualify, was enough to make me really think about it.  I said yes...I wouldnt do the race otherwise.  So with his support I signed up that night. 

The twist:  The triathlon is the Ironman Buffalo Spring Lake 70.3.  Its regarded as a 3/4 triathlon because of the challenging nature.  Whats the problem, I like a challenge, why else would I be considering this after two months of training, having a bike for 3 weeks and well I could count the times I have swam on my fingers. 

Then I saw the elevation chart...well shit.  8 challenging hills (in and out of a canyon...a freakin CANYON!) on the bike, and 3 on the run. 

We dont have hills in all...the wind is the closest thing.  So some treadmill training and gear mashing for me.  Shit I thought I would have a lot more time to figure out nutrition, transition, bricks and what I can do on the bike.  Well I was looking for a challenge, I got my fill.  Time to get to work.

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