70.3 Ironman Florida
I am always amazed at the beauty of long distance racing. The routes the mind takes as the race progresses are fascinating to look back on. Each race I am able to reflect on those journeys and become a new, stronger person after analyzing them. I will begin by saying that I feel ironman distance racing is largely dominated by ones mind and succeeded by the mental barriers one must break through. I have enjoyed very much these past 3 years of ironman racing and the mental strength I have gained. After this past Florida 70.3, I feel I can use some sharpening on that front and am excited to witness myself doing just that come the end of the season. Ironman racing and training are such a fun journey and again, I enjoy very much becoming a stronger person through the process.
This season one of my goals was to focus on my swim. I am very excited to say that I feel like I am well on my way to becoming a better swimmer through the South Florida Masters swim program I have joined. It has only been a few months, but I am already seeing huge improvements. I swim with a fabulous group of master’s swimmers that are motivating and inspiring and have a fabulous swim coach who has an incredible eye for detail and has improved my technique so much. Thank you so much to Fla Aquatics and Coach Richard Garza.
The beginning of the season, my triathlon coach Chuck Kemeny (Revolutions Tri Coaching) and I made some goals as far as how I wanted my season to progress. This past race was very important for us to check in and see where I am. I was very excited to report back to him because I feel I am right on track for my main goal this season which is Ironman Arizona in November. Ironman Arizona will be my 4th ironman.
I was very excited and nervous before this race. I had some big goals for myself. One of those goals was having a good swim. Now swim time wise I feel like I still have work to do, but fitness wise I am very excited that I felt so good the entire way and in my opinion that is right where I want to be. That is how swimming fast begins. To first have the endurance and strength to breeze through a long distance swim which is what I feel I did. Now is the fun part. Swimming fast. And thus begins part 2 of my swim training. The hard part is telling myself to be patient. But dig away I shall and I cannot wait for the future.
Coming out of the water I felt great, looked at my Timex and thought alright, not what I was hoping for, but that just means I’m gonna have to run faster, and good news is I enjoy running fast. I got on my bike and felt amazing. My nutrition was spot on and I felt powerful throughout the course. Still some fine-tuning to do because I weakened a bit in the middle, but overall I think my bike is right where it should be and I plan to improve it further which is exciting. Now this is where it gets fun, the run portion that is always my favourite part. I ran into some problems here which is frustrating to me. I had a certain pace I wanted to hit for the first 10 miles and when I looked at my watch coming out of transition and saw it was a real challenge to hold slightly over that pace I panicked. In training, I was having no problems holding under my goal pace so this was a surprise to me. After long training rides I would get off my bike feeling great. But there are so many factors that go into all this, so all I will say is that I just need to keep chipping away at my training. I fell apart on my run I believe mentally. I know I am capable of putting down the run time I had planned for, but like I stated in the beginning, ironman racing and training is largely dictated by your mental strength, and that is something that takes time to build and in my case needs sharpening.
Again, what an exciting journey this all is and I enjoy in immensely! I have such incredible support through Team Timex, Triathlon Lab, and Powerbar. I am so grateful for the incredible coaching I receive through Revolutions Tri Coaching. The support from my family and friends and the wonderful masters program I am a part of. My experience is enriched through all of this. Ironman journey is made up of all the little steps along the way and those steps are to be savored. That is the main lesson I am taking from this race. I focus so hard day in and day out and never expect less then the best out of myself. I cannot be disappointed from the outcome of this race because it showed me some important things that I needed to see. After reflecting on this race, I feel more powerful and focused then ever. This was the wake up call I needed and I am so excited for the future, for the journey of ironman training and racing to keep progressing!