So for those of you not in the know, I have about 7 weeks to go until my first 70.3 triathlon race. I would call it a half-ironman, but I really hate that term- when I run 13.1 miles, I can’t stand the term half-marathon, and I really don’t think busting my butt for 6 hours should be considered half of anything.
I have rewritten this post twice because the first 2 times were super, super whiny. Admittedly, my “why can’t I go to IKEA and eat lingonberries and let my children play at SMALAND on a Saturday like everyone else” self as the culprit for these drafts. They were both quite, quite, small-minded.
Today I busted out my big ride, and I did it in no half-ass fashion (unlike last week, where I broke it into MTB riding and road riding). It’s quite amazing what 10 hours of good sleep + a day off will do for a person. I got on the Dark Horse ( that’s my pretty speed machine bike) in Stockbridge, rode the Waterloo Rec loop for recon on a future mission, and did Chelsea-Dexter-Ann Arbor to finish it out. Which is pretty awesome. I love going places via bike that I have never gone before. This gives me an opportunity to see things I don’t see via car, like a geodesic dome farmhouse, or a Harvestor Blue Silo, which is something that you only see in the midwest and also Mr.Prepared’s grandfather created and sold the patent for these to Purdue (ok, I know that fact is boring, but still!)
I rode into Ann Arbor to the bike shop for a re-fit on the bike as part of my ongoing “let’s be intelligent about training” process. I think I have a few key factors that have made the difference in this season going forward:
- Training. I have used Endurance Nation as my coaches for the season. These guys have built triathlon training for the age group athlete to a science. I respect that as I build my own business that they have their own mission and success dialed in, and I can only hope to be as good as Rich and Patrick at what I do. I am certainly sold on the model and the advice that these guys give. I just have to remember to get my ego out of the way.
- Injury Prevention. Shawn Kitzman of Synergy Movement Therapy has been a literal game-changer. Many of you know I stopped running in the fall to try to give physical therapy a chance to work. With Shawn’s Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), I no longer have to wait to see if something works in a couple of months. He must truly be one of the best at what he does because I have lived with hip pain for a couple of years. In the first few weeks of working with him, I kept checking my back pocket or purse for a missing wallet or phone because I couldn’t figure out what was missing. It was hip PAIN! He is amazing, such that I am thinking about adding NKT to my practice by getting certified in the fall.
- Dialing in the bike. Between working at Hometown and finding a great crew at Transition Rack in Ann Arbor to help me with my TT bike, I have gained a ton of confidence on my bike in terms of fit, fix, and find. I found my beautiful bike, I can fix it now, and I have resources to fit it too. Lucky me.
Most importantly, I know that I am grateful and honored to be able to do what I do. Many people would love to be able to race, ride, and run like I do most days without thinking about it. Trainer Guy once told me something that has stuck with me almost every day:
I am grateful for the day. I am grateful that I am alive in this body and that it can do what it does.
I know this mantra will carry me through Rev3 WI Dells and the rest of my race schedule because I am racing with a grateful, happy heart.