Feb 22, 4:33 a.m.
Got both workouts in yesterday. My swim went better than expected. My 100 m time was the fastest so far in training. Still slow by most standards but fast for me. My swim style was once described (by my swim coach in 2004) as a “truck driving through water”. That means fast and no resistance right? The pool was packed yesterday morning. The only lane available was the lane designated for slow swimmers and walkers. It was frustrating being passed by all those walkers! One walker told me to get out of the lane and go lie on deck and just swing my arms around…same difference🏊🏻
This morning I am off to see my trainer Andy. I go to Achieve Studio where he works out of and he puts me through my paces for an hour every Wednesday. I have been going to see Andy for about 3 years now. He is fantastic, except he loves PINK FLOYD. There is no one Pink or a person named Floyd in the band!!!
Workouts are always new and inventive, never boring. Some of the toughest workouts I have had have been just using my body weight. We do a lot of leg work, squats etc, at every workout but they have become a real focus since he knows I am doing IRONMAN. Plus, he nags me about my stretching and diet🍔 He does it in a nice friendly way though. Tonight, another yoga session. No excuses, can’t skip yoga anymore.
Support comes in many ways when training for and completing an IRONMAN. We know that a race of this magnitude cannot be held without the support of the volunteers. They are truly the show. I once heard that at IRONMAN CANADA, when it was held in Penticton, there was at least 2 volunteers for every athlete. I think at one point that race had over 2000 athletes so if we have 2 volunteers for every 1 athlete we have…A LOT OF VOLUNTEERS! Too early for math. You will hear the athletes all throughout the race thanking the volunteers and the volunteers, no matter how late, never stop cheering on the racers.
Probably the most important support one receives is from family and friends. Let’s face it, training for an IRONMAN is one of the more selfish things a person can do in life. “Hey honey, I am going to go bike for 6 hours, you look after the kids, get groceries, walk the dog.” Ya, not cool.
I am very fortunate that Jen not only encourages me to do stuff like this but also takes part in some of the training with me. She swims and bikes with me when she can. Doesn’t matter the distance, she can crush it. She likes running as much as I like swimming = does not like running.
Having kids to raise takes a lot of coordination between spouses/partners so I tip my hat to LAZ and H right now. Having a daughter and getting all the training in takes a lot of give and take and understanding and forgiveness and patience and bribery. Actually, not sure if there is bribery involved. I will ask Laz and H next time I see them.
RV and Joe have the support of their spouses and families as well. RV and Nikki ride together. Joe is still out there coaching his daughter’s hockey team so he, like LAZ, has to juggle parental duties and fit training in where he can. Not easy, you have to be really focused and have family like Joe does that knows when it is time for Dad to get some training in.
Friends too. They are there for you to help you train, they understand when you have to go home early or not go out at all due to your training. They will poke fun at you for about an hour first and then understand but they do understand.
The last support I want to talk about is the SPECIAL NEEDS BAG. I forgot to mention this when I talked about the bike and the run. You support yourself as an athlete doing an IRONMAN. Around the 120 km mark on the bike and the 21 km mark on the run there are special needs stations. This is where you can pick up a bag that you stuffed with items you may need later in that portion of the race. You stuff the bag before the race, drop it off in the morning of the race (it has your race number on it) and lo and behold it is there waiting for you when you pass through these stations. It might be more gels, some type of salty treat. Stuff that you don’t have to carry for hours on end. It might be a dry running shirt at the 21 km mark or socks or a long sleeve shirt if you are going to finish in the dark hours.
In 2004 I took full advantage of my bike special needs bag. I stuffed every possible thing I could imagine into it. I had a snickers bar, salt and vinegar chips, coke, jelly beans, a slice of pizza. You are probably wondering why I would stuff pizza and chocolate bar in a bag, leave it in the sun of 5 hours until I arrive?!? I also stuffed a mini cooler into my special needs bag! That bag was so full I had to use duct tape to close it. When I arrived at the bike special needs station there was 3 people holding it for me. One of the volunteers said that it was the biggest special needs bag in the race. So I have that going for me😁 I didn’t need all the items in the bag so I shared what I didn’t need with the group that was holding the bag. I fed 3 volunteers that day. The pizza slice, coke and S and V chips were all delicious. I would lick each S and V chip first before I would eat it. The salt at that point in the race was yummy.
Let’s face it, it is always yummy.
My run special needs bag was tiny in comparison. A long sleeve shirt, a couple of gels. No medal for the 2 large special needs bags😏
2008 comes along and with experience those bags were more subtle in size. Packed them lighter, didn’t over shop to fill them.
Got to go get ready for the gym.
Again, thanks to all that have visited my blog. I am really stoked about how many people have taken a moment to read and leave very positive and encouraging comments. It does not go unnoticed. Most of the views are from Canada and the US but there have been views from Australia, China and Russia. Maybe they are trying to rig the race in my favour✌️🤞
Talk to you soon,