The Authentic Race Plan

I am packed and ready to go…I had no idea how much crap there was to organize for an Ironman!  I wish I could take the minimalist approach and not pack a damn thing but there are too many variables when you could be out exercising for 17 hours.  I can’t even imagine the prep required for an Ultra!  At this point my special needs bags have special needs bags of their own.

The plan:  Breakfast 3am.  Sleep or pretend to sleep.  Wake up at 5am.  Leave hotel by 5:30am.  6:15 am eat a snack and sip Gatorade.  6:30am eat Ginger candy for stomach.  Swim.  Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.  If I get tired, rest.  If I have trouble breathing, rest.  I can always float.  I will start out to the right of the course with the slow folks and try to draft someone that can sight better than I (which is almost anyone out there).  I swam two days in a row in the worst conditions possible so this should be better.  On the second loop remind myself that I never have to swim this much ever again!  A probable lie, but a plausible lie!

Transition:  Make sure my legs are under me and get out of the water carefully.  Jog slowly up helix to transition.  Concentrate on saving heart beats.

Bike:  First hour and a half focus on low power (118 watts) and low heart rate.  Spin up hills.  Sip water first 30 minutes and start nutrition.  After first hour and half increase watts and focus on heart rate under 150.  No wattage spikes.  At mile 80 start taking in other nutrition.  Salt tablet every hour.  Caffeine pill every three hours.  Tylenol 8 hour at halfway point.  Drink only one water bottle every hour!

Transition:  Smooth and don’t make a cappuccino.  Get on run course.

Run:  First hour just jog.  Run to end of every rest stop and grab Gatorade.  Walk 30 seconds and run to next aid station.  Mile 18 count how many people I can pass.  Finish as an Ironwoman!

In the happy moments…focus on the beauty and ease of the adventure.  Give thanks. 

In the low moments…focus on the beauty and ease of the adventure.  Give thanks.

Mantras:  “As if my life depends on it!”, “The Warrior is already dead!”,  “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!”, “Pain is only temporary, pride is forever!”

Giving Thanks:  To my incredible family.  Think of how Coach and our daughter made this all possible with their love, support, and occasional ass kicking.  None of my dreams would become a reality without them.  I cherish their love and support.  To my training partners.  My year long goal fell into the worst time of many of their lives as they reached their own dreams and success.  Despite it all, they and their incredible families nurtured my dreams and paced me along the way.  To my friends.  Not all of them understand the utter insanity, but they pretended to and showed interest despite the boredom of one more talk about my power file.

Finally, I have an adopted nephew who I will carry with me tomorrow.  He has inspired me because of his battle with a relentless disease.  His faith, his strength, his perseverance and his tenacity make him the Ironman he is today.  When the pain hits tomorrow I will remember that it is nothing compared to what he has endured.  I will send him my love. 

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