This whole training for your second Ironman thing is really weird. The first time around, every single week was a repeat of "omg, my coach is trying to kill me!" to "well, maybe I can do all that" to "I killed that workout!". Everything was new. I was doing distances I hadn't done before, riding in places that were new, and the idea of doing an Ironman was a big scary thing.
And then I did one. and I lived.
So now I'm training for my second one and it's really not so bad. I keep waiting for the "I'm going to die" part, but really, it's not so awful. Sure I'm a bit more tired than normal and a bit more hungry than normal, but I'm not constantly freaking out about my workouts. Its more like "ok, I got it". I don't think about it - I just DO it. Probably the biggest difference, other than experience, is that I have people to train with and I know I'm riding the proper terrain for my races.
As part of my training, my coach wanted me to do a 70.3. I really wasn't interested in Galveston. As fun as it would be to race with friends, I really, really, really hate that run course. Blech. HITS Marble Falls was an option (hills) but the travel element was a bit of a pain. I thought hard about NOLA, mainly b/c I have a free place to stay, but honestly, what will I gain from doing a flat 70.3 as a test for CDA? So like a lemming, I signed up for St George with several of my Denver tri buddies.
I think the logic was that maybe St G would be so hard that CDA would seem easy? I really don't know. I'm not even sure someone like me has any business doing that race. Really.
And then I obsessed about the bike course.
I was so wrapped up about the bike that I totally forgot that the run is actually worse:
Oh and it might be 90 degrees. It is forecast to snow here, the day before we leave for the race. And the winds could be wicked.
Normally I'd be freaked out, but really, I'm just hanging out. I figure it will hurt. I'm expecting the worst. Who knows, I may suprise myself. I have been riding a ton of huge hills. Deer Creek is 14 miles and 3,000 ft of climbing. And I've done that 3 times in the past month. And I ran 10 miles and 1,000 ft climbing a few weeks back and actually felt good doing it.
My coach is doing the race also. In fact, I'm driving her home from the race. She asked me to develop my own race plan. I replied back with "I plan to survive the race". Somehow I don't think that's what she meant. So I sat down, looked at my old race times, looked at what I've been doing, and came up with a plan and some times. I have some "worse case" some "I'm ok with that" and "super happy" times written down. I'm curious to see what she thinks I can do.
I'm so laid back about the dang race that I don't even have my nutrition worked out. Its been too damn cold here to worry about that. I'll go ride for 4 hours and consume 300-400 calories. That is no where near what I'll be consuming in a race. So I've hobbled a plan together with some back-up options, in case my main plan fails mid-race. We'll see.
Oh, and this is my first race in nearly 2 years. And its my hardest (from an elevation perspective) race ever. WTF was I thinking?
Hopefully I learn a lot and suprise myself along the way :)