I meant to start this post by telling you yet again how much trouble I have with tapering. But then I sat down to my lunch and this awesome salad I just made and now I want to talk about that!
-Large bowl of organic spring greens and baby spinach, 1 chopped orange bell pepper, healthy sprinkling of goat cheese, leftover quinoa from last night's dinner (cooked in chicken broth), raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), a light drizzle of grapeseed oil (my coach says I need more healthy fats) and a drizzle of Newman's Own Lite Italian. I am a Salad Genius!!
Anyway! Now onto my original topic. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the week before the race is really tough for me. I go through all of the previous weeks of tough training telling myself "Just wait till race week, when you'll know you've put the work in and you can sit back and do a few easy workouts and just be ready to go" but when that week comes it is nowhere near as glorious and relaxing as it sounds during a 4 hour training session several weeks before. I've come to this race week having followed a proper taper as outlined by my coach. This means my longest ride was almost a month ago! A few weeks ago I did a huge brick, but since then they've been much shorter (albeit with faster paces) and that just feels scary.
I know, I know, I just have to put my trust in my training. Going through this whole coaching process I have worked harder and felt fitter than ever before. But sitting on my tush for a week (you know you've reached a new level of sick when hour runs and 2 hour rides feel like sitting on your tush) just makes me feel...well terrified! And rest days?!? I don't DO rest days. You trained them out of me months ago! Now I'm supposed to take 3 in as many weeks? WHAT??
So besides spending my extra down time working on my dissertation (oh yeah, that old thing!), I've been trying to mentally prepare myself, and physically prepare all of my equipment. Yesterday my bike got a good shining and I lubed up my chain. Today I took her into the shop and got race wheels installed (going with the same Zipp404s I raced in last September at the Delaware Diamondman half). I'm visualizing lightening fast transitions (HA!) and how to quickly and calmly fix a flat (which of course I'm now having nightmares about. Awesome.). I'm also visualizing how I'm going to have veins of ice water even in the 90+ degree heat on a run course with no shade. This probably will have no effect whatsoever on my actual ability to withstand heat, but it can't hurt to try, right?
Considering the nutrition/hydration disaster I got myself into for the last half, I've been spending considerable mental energy working out how I'm going to avoid the same mistake. In training I have weaned myself completely off of products containing caffeine and so far in my racing and training this season my heart has not been an issue. My coach recommended a new sports drink made by Infinit Nutrition which was custom designed based on a phone interview to be the best product for me and my training needs. I've been using this religiously in my training and have worked out what I hope is the best strategy for consumption. I'm paying special attention to my electrolyte levels in this last week before the race, hoping to avoid the swim-induced leg and foot cramps that have been plaguing me for years now.
I've been reading a lot about "topping off my glycogen stores" in this last week as well, which sounds to me a lot like pigging out. I don't know where that fine line is of eating enough to be ready and over-eating because you're not training as hard right now. Gotta work on that one.
I think I may have crossed another fine line between thinking about this enough to be ready and over-thinking everything because I'm internally freaking out. Or externally.
Hey, in other news, Mirinda Carfrae and Craig Alexander are racing Eagleman, too! I can't wait to go to the pro forum and get autographs! As you can see from my picture, I have my triathlete magazines with their faces gracing the covers, all ready for their signatures! (I KNEW there was a reason I hoard old magazines! HA, MOM! :) ) For those of you who don't know who those two Pros are, Mirinda Carfrae was the Ironman World Champion in 2010, the year that Chrissie Wellington scratched due to illness, and she came in second last year. She holds the Kona marathon world record and runs like the wind. Craig Alexander is the reigning Ironman World Champion and is just an amazing athlete and competitor. He also just seems like a really cool dude. Yay!!
Ok, off to change the tubes out in my flat kit and then to take my newly-Zipped bike out for a 1.25 hour "easy/steady" ride.
You'll be hearing from me again soon, the race is days away!!