Almost time for 70.3 number 3!!!

Almost time for 70.3 number 3!!!

After a rough couple of build weeks, I am pleased to report that I had an awesome solo weekend of training. Granted, it was shorter due to my upcoming 70.3, but I had some really great realizations and positive reassurances that will serve me well heading to Springfield, IL this weekend for my third half-iron distance race. Plus, it’s recovery week, and as we’ve established, I simply ADORE my recovery time!

Although I’m still having a lot of discomfort in the saddle, I had a fairly comfortable 3 hour ride on Saturday…ON FLAT GROUND! Hooray! A break from hills! I think my brain really needed that as much as my legs did. I hit the MCT trail system for 2 loops of a familiar route I’ve taken before. I started around 6:20 to beat the insane heat we’ve had here in the Midwest, and that worked out really well. It was still a sweaty ride, but I never felt overheated. Bonus – a lot of the miles I covered were on partially shaded trails!

During these 3 hours, I was able to practice filling my aero bottle from both cages while riding, something I haven’t done much and was worried about. I don’t have great bike balance, and don’t often feel comfortable releasing a hand from the handlebars, so it was great to feel secure handling the front and back bottles to refill my aero hydration system. Victory and confidence boost #1!

I also decided to try fueling with salted potatoes instead of chews as I’m getting really sick of all the sweetness I eat each weekend. I don’t consume a ton of sugar other than fruit and dark chocolate, so the sweet Infinit drink mix, Huma gels, gluten-free Honey Stinger waffles and the faux-fruity chews I use just get to be too much for me. I was hoping potatoes would be a good add-in. Unfortunately, I don’t much like the texture of cold cooked potatoes, and it took a lot more fluid to get them down. Also, I didn’t pre-unzip the second bag of them, so when I tried to access the second round of potatoes, I couldn’t open the damn bag (see above re: bike balance). Then I hit a super bumpy section of pavement and wouldn’t you know it? Those f*ckers flew right out. Gone. No more taters for me.

I ended up only eating one small baggie of potatoes plus one waffle, but made sure I drank all the Infinit I had with me, so even though I lost some nutrition, I was able to finish the workout strong. Another good lesson – even if things go a little wrong, the day can be saved. And the waffle I did manage to eat, I was going 18mph while eating it!

I also had a bit of heavy wind to contend with at the end of the ride. I’m still adjusting to bike handling with race wheels when there’s a crosswind. I was able to talk myself through it and recognize fully that if Saturday is really windy, I might not hit my goal time, but I’ll survive the ride and do my best.

The biggest success is that I’ve mentally taken all the pressure off of myself for this race. It helps that I’ve had some really great indicators that my fitness is improving a lot, and I’m at my lowest body fat percentage maybe ever (still lots of room to improve, though, so I’m not done yet), so I’m physically beyond ready. But I’ve been putting a ton of pressure on myself to PR this race, and in a big way. That pressure is enough to make me fall apart mentally and put me in a really bad headspace going in, so I’ve finally been able to take that pressure off.

Here’s the deal. This is ultimately a training race. It serves a very specific purpose of testing my training and nutrition to see where the gaps are and where we need to focus going into my last few months of build. That’s all. It’s a gauge. And beyond that, I AM READY. I have never been more ready, and last year for Ohio, I was pretty damn ready. My body can do this, and do it well. But if I wake up with a sour stomach despite nailing my nutrition plan, or if my legs cramp despite the stretches and prep I’ve done, or if the wind ignites a panic attack I can’t control, or if I get a flat no matter how closely I check my equipment and watch the road…these are things that are beyond my control. What if? Ok, if any of these things DO happen, I deal with them as best I can, and I FINISH THE DAMN DAY BECAUSE I CAN. If I leave without a PR, then I wasn’t meant to PR. I’m going to Springfield to have FUN, to party the day away because I’ve worked hard enough to enjoy racing, to smile and laugh and high five people and celebrate the amazing things this body can do – amazing things made possible by the hard work I have diligently and consistently put in.

I won’t be the fastest athlete out there. My best day is still someone else’s bad day. But you know what? My worst day is someone else’s goal. Everything is relative. I’m not a pro or an elite age group athlete. I’m not racing to win. I’m racing to push my own boundaries, to discover my full potential, and to show myself I am capable of more than I have ever dreamed. Saturday is just one more step on that journey, and I cannot f&cking WAIT to see what I’m capable of! And I’ll have my best friend Teresa with me, cheering me on with Tim. It’s going to be perfect no matter what.

Not gonna lie…also SUPER excited to put away some food after the race. And have a cocktail or two. It’s always nice to take a break from militant food prep, as long as it’s a short one.

See y’all on the flip side – next post will be a race report from the Route 66 Half Iron Distance Tri! WOOHOO!

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