Alcoholism to Ironman: Part 8

So much has happened in the past two months—starting with the Buffalo Olympic, my first Olympic distance. It was hot and windy, and every part of the race seemed extremely difficult for me. This race had me second guessing my choices in life. I honestly asked myself, “How the hell am I going to do a full?” I struggled to the end, and thankfully, I finished. Later I found out that many other athletes had a rough day, which made me feel a little better.

A week later, I attended the Tri Fitness Endurance Camp in June. It was well worth the time. Tons of great information, outstanding supported workouts, and the camaraderie made it all really fun. It was great weekend. Of course, two of the main topics focused on the importance of proper nutrition and hydration, which is something I was struggling with. As a result, I decided to switch my bike nutrition over to liquid calories—kind of as an experiment. This seems to be working really well for me. It makes it easy for me to monitor my intake without having to eat a gel every 20 minutes, and I feel great. I’m still trying to figure out the correct amount hydration; this seems like more of a moving target.

More recently, I completed my first Half Ironman in Chisago. It was another hot day, but a much different experience. Vicki designed a specific strategy for my hydration, nutrition, electrolytes, and pace. Fortunately, I was able to follow direction and crossed the finish line feeling great. It was a real confidence booster leading up to the full in September.

All the training hours I’ve logged this summer has made me more confident in my abilities, and it’s simply allowed me to become more comfortable. For example, I can eat and drink in the aero position, and I’m less creeped out when I’m alone in the lake. In fact, I’m so comfortable, I can’t even urinate anymore unless I’m actually on a Tri bike (kidding, I’m not to that level of comfort)!

I can feel my training gaining momentum. It's quickly picking up speed, and one thing seems to build on the other. The long rides, the long swims, brick workouts, and the races all keep me moving in the right direction, one step at a time. My training schedule is beginning to peak and I’m feeling good. I can see the dreaded FLD (F***ing Long Day) on the horizon and I’m not even worried (ok, maybe a little).

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