Those of us racing Ironman Wisconsin have reached that critical one week out point. All day yesterday I kept thinking, "where will I be at this time?" I had my final longer workout of a 45 mile ride with a 6 mile brick run and when I started the run I realized it was just about the time I'd be starting the marathon in 7 days. I certainly didn't feel like I had a marathon in me yesterday, but that's the magic of Ironman. Somehow I will have it in me when Sunday rolls around.
My cheering crew will be wearing this fun shirt:
It's my fourth Ironman, but my third time on the Wisconsin course. This race will always hold a special place in my heart.
So, how am I feeling? Definitely a little under-prepared, but essentially ready given the circumstances. My running took a positive turn over the past two weeks so if my feet hold up and I nail my bike nutrition, I may still be able to pull off a decent run this Sunday.
But I'm not placing any pressure on goals this time around. I have a race plan and will stick to the plan, but it's not about setting PRs or hitting time goals. It's about my approach, my nutrition and my attitude. For each segment of the race I have guessed a finish time, but really don't care about the number. A good friend has a quote on her training log: "You get what you train for." I trained for an Ironman for sure, but could have done better. But this is my third season of long course and my fourth Ironman, so that might count for something. My fitness is deeper even if it hasn't been my best season and I know the course, know what it feels like to be 130 miles into 140.6 and as my coach always says, I race a lot better than I train.
Sunday will be a celebration. It will be a poignant and memorable way for me to reflect on the past 10 years and the anniversary of September 11. Ironman after all is a celebration of life, of tackling challenges and overcoming them.
Jordan Rapp, in his recent speech after winning Ironman Canada said it best:
"Ironman is the sort of momentous – but terrestrial – experience that allows us, ever so briefly, to get close enough to the stars to reach out and touch the heavens... You do an Ironman because you want to reach the stars. And you want to do it the hard way. Because that is what makes it special."