I am choosing to celebrate my 40th year of living by using (some might say abusing) the body that I was given, and pushing it to its ultimate limit (so far). I am going to race, of course. Specifically, I am racing Ironman 70.3 Augusta!
This is a challenge, a big one. I am a big mixed up bag of emotions: excited, scared, intimidated, thrilled.
My training program begins officially on June 10. It is a 16-week program, and after careful research and option-weighing, I chose it for a few reasons:
- It's 16 weeks. Not 20 weeks. Not 24 weeks. A longer race does not necessarily require a longer training program. My husband trained for 20 weeks for a marathon and I trained for 20 weeks for back to back half marathons. It left us exhausted, injured, and sick of running. I want to be healthy and excited about the next race when I cross the finish line.
- I'm in reasonably good condition. I've been swimming, A LOT. I've been doing a fair amount of cycling, my rides being between 15-30 miles. Running, well, I have backed way off to let my foot and hamstring heal. But, that can be picked back up reasonably easily.
- The training plan does not suck up all of my free time. I have kids, I have a house, I have a job. I also have a life outside of training. The really long workouts are confined to the weekends, and the bulk of the program is happening over the summer, when the kids are out of school and therefore have freer schedules, and I have evening daylight that provides extra training time.
I have a lot to do before race day. I have to book a hotel for the long weekend - which will include a night in Savannah so that I can pig out at Lulu's Chocolate Bar. I have to get new wheels for my bike, a new bike helmet, and a hydration system. I have to learn how to tolerate eating nutrition gels without gagging and puking, and I have to learn how to take nutrition on my bike without careening off the road and into a tree. I need new running shoes, preferably these beauties. And there is a ton of other stuff to prepare for that I am sure will come up on this fairly short but intense journey. I actually haven't even gotten around to thinking about RACE DAY yet!
So, for 40, I will be crowned half an Ironman. Some people go on a bender. Some people get liposuction. This is my way of honoring myself - by swimming, and biking, and running, and sweating, and cramping, and cussing 5 hours into the race at myself...