Here we are, just about one week away from Ironman Florida (my first and maybe only Ironman race) and I'm struggling with the question; am I ready? The answer is really irrelevant since there is nothing that can be done between now and then to make me more prepared. The hay is in the barn as one of my old coaches used to say.
Training has been interesting as of late, had a good ride last weekend where my leg blew up at mile 95... you might think that would be discouraging, but I thought it was good. To push the body to the point where it breaks means I got what I needed out of the ride, and I learned what not to do next Saturday! Swimming has been surprisingly good. I've had several long swims where I felt remarkably fresh so I'm not near as worried about that as I should be. As for the run... that is a great unknown at Ironman races. Because it is the last thing I do and I will have been out swimming and running for 7 hours already, I have no idea how my body will feel and perform. I've had a handful of good runs. Not nearly enough and not nearly long enough.
The plan is slow and steady and hopefully I can maintain. Eat plenty, drink plenty, and try to take in the race and enjoy. If I'm having fun the pain should be more tolerable, right? Time goals are dangerous and I feel like I should say my goal is to just finish, but in reality, that is not my goal. I want to go under 12 hours and I think I can.
Aside from how the race will go, another big uncertainty is Ironman Tattoo or not? It is pretty common for people to get the M Dot tattoo. A lot of finishers get it and I've gone back and forth on the idea. My friend John got one on his calf, I think my friend Colin will get one when he finishes. I was sold on putting one on my back/shoulder blade, then I wasn't sure, now I think I will. I guess I'll see how I feel after the race and if the accomplishment means enough to me to get inked.
All in all I'm excited. This will be an experience and something that I know will be tough and teach me a lot about who I am and how tough I am. Also really looking forward to drinking on the beach the day after the race too!