The trials, tribulations and nonsensical babbling of a triathlete training for her first Ironman.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Enemy Within / Reality Check

"Things crawl in the darkness
That imagination spins
Needles at your nerve ends
Crawl like spiders on your skin
Pounding in your temples
And a surge of adrenaline
Every muscle tense to fence the enemy within
I'm not giving in to security under pressure
I'm not missing out on the promise of adventure
I'm not giving up on implausible dreams
Experience to extremes
Experience to extremes...

And you...revolution or just resistance?
Is it living, or just existence?
Yeah, you! It takes a little more persistence
To get up and go the distance..."

Rush, The Enemy Within

I discovered this song on my final day in Lake Placid on my last long run of my training. How appropriate. I have been filled with fear & self doubt over the course of my training and this past weekend I think I can honestly say I've put those doubts and fears to rest.

We arrived in LP at noon on Friday to sunny skies. By about 3:00 pm it had started raining. I rained for a bit, got sunny, rained again, got sunny, rained again--welcome to LP. so we decided not to swim. All of us hung out in the room watched the World Cup and got ourselves ready for the Epic Ride that was scheduled for Saturday. Saturday morning we woke up to clear sunny skies. An hour and a half later, it was cloudy and raining. ARG. Not another crappy day for riding! At least this time it was warm out. We drove down to Mirror Lake, parked our cars and headed out. Half an hour into the ride, the rain stopped. WOOHOO!. It was stll cloudy though which was ok. Cloudy and muggy. By the time I got to Keene the wind had picked up and was blowing me around all over the place on the down hill. It didn't help that I still had my jacket on (d'uh). By this time the boys were long gone and I was by myself. I stopped at the bottom of Keene & took off my jacket. There were tons of people on the course--a bunch of the Tri Rudy gang from Ottawa--they were really friendly. So I was never totally alone--at least not on the first loop. I was motoring along to Jay / Upper Jay (avg speed was about 34 km/hr) and then hit I the Wilmington climb. ugh. The wind had really picked up and was blowing hard from on my left, which meant it was going to be in my face on the way back in to LP. Lovely. I rode the out and back--saw the boys--shockingly I wasn't too far behind them. As soon as I turned on the the highway back to LP, I was hit in the face with a huge gust of wind. I was going downhill but I wasn't accelerating!! That's how bad it was. I got in my aerobars and tried to grind my way past the waterfall doing 12 km/hr. Great. The second loop was going to be really hard. I got thrown around by the rock wall by the wind--it was scary. Just before I got to the Cherries, the wind calmed down a bit due to the trees. That part of the ride was relatively sheltered until I hit the Bears and the wind came again, full force in my face. Climbed up the Bears, legs like jello and seriously contemplated putting a 27 on my bike for the race (I'm going to try to get to Wheels this week!). Rode around Mirror Lake drive and back to the car to re-fuel. I noticed that I hadn't drank half as much as I should have (tsk tsk) and it was hot out. My nutrition however, was spot on. I switched to gel and the occassional bit of solid food (clif cars, saltines & a peanut butter & nutella sandwich). Much better. No stomach issues what so ever. Went out for the second lap. It was windier and hotter. But, suprisingly, I was only about 5 minutes slower on the second loop! I was shocked! I thought for sure I would have been a lot slower. So, at least I am consistent. 7 hours and 1 minute after I started, I got off the bike. Threw it in the car, donned my running shoes and visor and went out for the best 45 minute run I"ve had over this training period! I turned over 5:15 km's and my legs felt GREAT. How is that possible after 7 hours of hell. I don't care, I just hope it happens again on race day!!!!!

Sunday for whatever reason, Richard decide to try to kill us and gave us a 2.5 hour ride and a 2 loop swim. It was another really windy day. Worse than the day before! So, I wussed out and rode the run course (flatter and more sheltered). It was nice. I did 3 loops and rode back to the hotel--which meant I had to climb the massive hill that leads you in to town. ARG. That was a sufferfest. I think I was going about 7 km/hr. with the wind in my face the entire time. Later that afternoon, we all wandered down to the lake to do our swim. I was a little apprehensive--not as bad as I thought I was going to be. I kept telling myself I know how to swim so I will be fine. I was the first person it the water. Deanne & Silvia had rented kayaks and were in the water with us so that was nice. The water was really choppy. I didn't notice it at first, but the farther out you got, the choppier it got. I had a few freak outs as I was getting tossed around and disoriented. I got to the turn around and had to hold on to Silvia's kayak to catch my breath. Gary caught up to me (I started way before him) and swam with me for a bit. The way back was faster as the wind was at our backs (yay!) I passed Mike & Fred (Fred ended up drafting off me) and got back in to the dock in 37:25. That was with 2 panic stops on the way out! the second loop was even choppier and the wind changed direction so the final 1km I kept getting pummelled by waves. My shoulders were exhausted but I kept going. I got back to the dock in 1:18. I was 4 minutes slower on the second lap! But, considering the conditions, I can't complain. I did it and that's all that matters. If it's like that on race day, I'll be ready.

Monday, I had my last long run. My legs were EXHAUSTED. But, I went out and plodded away--it took me a little while to get warmed up but once I did, I held my pace. I had a great run. I felt strong even though my legs were tired. I ran the ski jump hill twice because I'd have to do that on race day. Ran the hill in town twice. Didn't drink as much as I should have, had to stop for water but I still felt great. Had some good tunes on the ipod and kept visualizing what it would be like race day. When I finished, I couldn't help but smile. I was ready. I had conquered my fears, done the distance.....3 weeks to go and I was ready.



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