In previous posts, I've talked about my Ironman aspirations. I think many triathletes have this goal deep down but it's often difficult to decide when to do it. Before I even took my first swimming lesson, I wanted to do Ironman Wisconsin. I have family there so for me, there couldn't be a more perfect place. After discovering I love triathlon, I immediately thought about doing IMWI next year but then started to have second thoughts. I didn't want to wipe the entire race season just for the sake of one race and I'm still in this for the fun and don't want to drain the enjoyment out of it. But after some serious reflection and soul searching, I made the decision to do the race in 2009. I will be flying out to Madison for this year's race on September 7, volunteering for as many posts as I can squeeze into the day and then signing up in person on September 8.
While this will certainly change what the 2009 race season looks like for me, I am determined to keep it balanced and enjoy it. I'll still be doing my two half-Ironman races - New Orleans on April 5, which I'm already registered for, and Vineman on July 19, which I'll register for November 1. I'm going to build the rest of my season around these three key races with shorter, local races.
I'm excited and terrified at the same time. I've always known I wanted to do this, but never thought I would be able to survive the swim. Now that the swim isn't an issue (except for my snail's pace), there is nothing stopping me. When I run the NYC Marathon this year I'll no doubt be thinking about the fact that my next marathon will come after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride.
With that thought in mind, today was all about rest. And rest is a beautiful thing. After the beating my body took yesterday, I briefly thought about swimming, but ended up deciding otherwise. When my alarm went off at 7:30 I could barely lift my head off the pillow. My eyes were heavy and without moving, I could tell that various parts of my body hurt. I turned it off and went back to sleep thinking I might swim tonight. Then I got up, went about my day, ran some errands, and decided to skip the swim. I walked a lot and my legs were getting more sore as they day went on so I thought it best to take it easy.
I usually don't like a full rest day, but I really enjoyed today. I caught up on a lot of things that have been nagging at me and I took advantage of the free time to visit Cadence Cycling, my favorite tri-bike shop, under the guise of needing a new saddle. I bought the saddle, but spent most of my time looking at the bikes and getting a tour of the training facility. The bike I have my eye on turned out to be a little cheaper than expected which was very exciting news for me. I'd like to have it by fall so I can get some time in on the roads before winter, then do some indoor training while the weather is less than ideal. My biggest challenge will be being prepared for Ironman 70.3 New Orleans by April 5. I didn't even start riding this season until the first week of May.
I'm planning to book my Wisconsin trip tomorrow and officially sign up for my volunteer posts. I'll take whatever is available, but I'm going to request: (1) Body marking pre-race; (2) Female athlete changing tent (only because they won't let me volunteer for the male athlete changing tent!) at transition 1; (3) Finish line catcher. If I can get all of these, I will have the chance to experience the full race day. I can't wait.
If my legs still hurt, and I have a feeling they will, I think I'll swim and ride tomorrow. I want to try out the new saddle to be sure it's going to work. I checked it out on the trainer for a bit and it felt a little rough so we'll see. If I ever find the right combination of cycling gear, I'll be a really happy woman.