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Ironman 2015 – More Thoughts From The Pensive Racer

9/12 – Multi-sport training day!

Rain, rain, go away! I mutter as my alarm beeps obnoxiously at me to get up at 6am. I refuse and hit the snooze button. 30 minutes go by and there is that pesky alarm again. Shoot, I have to get up! Tyler and I are supposed to meet his dad, Lynne and Beth at 7:30am. I scramble to get everything ready and fill up the water bottles. I slap some peanut butter onto bread and grab a banana for the drive. I manage to carry everything but the bike in the first trip including wetsuit, food, water bottles, my three sport gear essentials and post-workout clothes. I powerwalk back inside to grab my bike and get Tyler so we can hit the road. Driving down the road, I eat my breakfast and sip on some coffee thinking through the day’s plan: swim in the lake, bike 40 miles and finish with 80 minutes of running. I just wish the rain would stop! It is only sprinkling at the moment but I have a bad feeling about this – the clouds don’t look forgiving. We arrive on time and prepare for our workouts. Each of us has a different workout to follow today but they all start with a swim. The ladies put on their wetsuits and then are set to go.

I lower myself into the water and aclimate as water runs through my wetsuit. I set my watch up and I am off. I feel fast and light as if I were gliding on the surface of the water. I know this won’t last too long but I enjoy it while I can. My breath is calm and my strokes feel strong and fluid. The wetsuit keeps me floating more than I am used to which gives me a false sense of energy to go hard. I hit the far end and begin my trek back in. My goal is to do almost two full loops in the hour. I reach the dock to begin again and I see Lynne just coming out finishing her 30-minute swim. I congratulate her and wish her well on her bike ride before I submerge my head again in the water and begin lap two. In the distance I see Tyler heading my way. I want to catch his attention briefly for some tips. As I swim up to him, he stops and asks me about my time for the first loop and then tells me to keep it up. After a few more encouraging words, he is off again and I am forced to carry on. I make it just to the begining of the cove at the far end before I have to turn around. I u-turn and sight for the dock heading in for good this time. Now I am tired, maybe I shouldn’t have pushed so hard in the begining but I still feel strong. I am impressed at the improvements I have made in the water. Tyler really has helped make my stroke more effiecient and effective. I channel my determination to be done with the swim and kick it into gear. I am out before I know it and Tyler is there to help me practice my swim transition and pull off my wetsuit. I definitely don’t have the wetsuit strip routine down but I have a couple more practices to go and I am not so concerned if it takes me 30 more seconds on race day to rid myself of the wetsuit before moving onto the 112-mile bike journey that ends with a marathon run! Wetsuit off, I now head into the foyer to helmet up and set off for the bike.

With no luck from the weather gods, it is still raining. Beth and I are biking together before we each do our running. She and I head out for the bike path thinking we can ride out to the end and back and have a solid ride. As we slow down for each intersection taking us farther west, the rain becomes worse and so do the conditions on the path. Biking is not my favorite thing – nevermind riding in the rain. I can’t help but think of everything that might happen. My anxiety gets the best of me and I tell Beth I have to turn around. I do not want to stop her but I am not risking an injury this close to the race! We both decide to head back clocking only 12 of the 40 miles we intended. We return to our transition set up, lose the bikes and move to the run. At least we hit the bike for a few miles. The run is going to be good – rain and cool temperatures! I am excited to get going. I start off somewhat slowly to let my body adjust. Two miles in I am feeling good so I decide to go for it. I am amazed as I look down at my watch that my cadence and speed are what they are. Lately I have felt slow on the run. I had forgotten what it feels like to just run and enjoy it – but here I am running with ease and a smile on my face. The finish is uphill (of course!) and I take it as a challenge to go without slowing down or increasing my heart rate too much. Pulling into the parking lot I am done! My workout is complete and I am feeling accomplished. Part of me regrets not biking as the rain has died down but the other part of me is happy at what I completed. I check in with Beth and then shower, change and set off heading to work. I am eager for this race to be over – I feel like it is looming over me. I wish it were tomorrow so I could be done with it!

~ Kacie 🙂

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