But I'm going to finish the race. I don't care if its on my hands and knees Julie Moss style not finishing is not even a consideration, has not crossed my mind.
Maybe that sounds cocky, but I know I've put in the hard work, the hours and dedication to ensure my body is more than capable of finishing the race. There is no question in my mind I am physically and mentally capable of this.
The only question I have, is how fast? I've put my heart and soul into training for this in the last year, I can count on my fingers how many sessions I've missed in that time. Its been a year of 15-21 hours of training.
I haven't just survived that training either, I've craved the sessions, HR up at the beginning of them because I have another opportunity to see what I'm made of, and another step towards that finish line. I've always been driven when I put my mind to something, but never like this, nothing has held my interest this long.
I've heard it said in a very supportive way, but I've also had it said in a condescending, practically patting me on the head kind of way from some guys I've tried to get triathlon advice from. Like does she really think she can race something like this, just take it easy and worry about finishing. I know I hadn't backed up what I was doing in training in my first 2 Half Ironman races, and hell Ironman may turn out to be the same way, but I am going out there to give it my all without doing something stupid and blowing up. I can do a leisurely 140.6 swim bike run on my own time.
That fuelled me in Cotswold and pushed me below that 5 hour mark. I'm a very happy go lucky, positive person in day to day life, not much ruffles my feathers, but when it comes to racing there is a shift. I'm fuelled by competition, anger, if someone says I can't I will. Not a side of me a lot of people know. When I'm hurting in a race I find a target, and I will fight until I'm in front, I've never lost a sprint finish. The trick with Triathlon seems to be not letting that instinct kick in until late in the run :p
I have a very general time idea of what would be good, but with so many factors over such a large amount of time I'll be racing not by speed but by output. I've made that mistake before having time expectations, when you don't hit the times its a hard hit mentally, and I don't need that stress. I'll survive the swim (given myself a very large margin for error on that) have Watt targets on the bike, and some paces and HR stuff to keep me from going too fast in the first half of the run, then its everything I have left.
August 17th, Kalmar Sweden I will be an Ironman