We’re 20 days out from Ironman Wisconsin and I have committed to publishing my thoughts every day up to the race, so follow along if you’ll be jumping in Lake Monona with me September 11th.
BIGGEST CONCERN: The swim.
I always think about the swim and have been working hard to make sure I’m ready. I’ve also watched a lot of videos to see if I can figure out where I’ll start in the water. It’s a tricky decision because I’m not a fast swimmer, but don’t consider myself slow. The start line is about a hundred yards wide and the only truly clear water will be in front. So, do I start in the first row again and get swam over by a dozen people, or take a more conservative approach? I’m leaning toward the former.
SECOND BIGGEST CONCERN: The bike.
There’ve been a lot of rumblings about the bike course changes, specifically the new Barlow Road hill (what is it with these streets called “Barton or Barlow?” . . . see Ironman Chattanooga run) which is allegedly steeper than anything on the course. I have to be honest, my biggest worry isn’t the hill itself, it’s the fact that they’ve taken away two other “fun” hills in the process. Those missing hills represent the first two of the 3-Bitches and were an amazing source of spectator energy. One of the main reasons I love the Wisconsin race is the fans, so I hope they rally and figure out a way to make the new bike course even better. Knowing how my Wisconsin countrymen (and women) like to party, I have faith they will still bring the energy.
THIRD BIGGEST CONCERN: I have to wait three weeks to do this race.
I don’t know about you, but there comes a time you’re just ready to get on with it. I’m feeling anxious now and will be in overdrive the next 20 days. I’m still doing hard workouts this week, but after next weekend, the TAPER will really crank up the emotions. You start to feel those creaky phantom injuries, you start to question simple things like . . . will I remember how to ride a bike? I’ll worry about every stupid little thing until I finally just lay on the couch stare at the ceiling. This is no longer fear, it’s all about the energy that wants to release itself on that course.
FOURTH BIGGEST CONCERN: Sleep
I’m really bad at falling asleep (which I realize means I’m an ego-maniac) so I’ve been practicing by getting in bed earlier, which typically means I just spend more of my waking hours in bed. I’m not looking for recommendations here because I’ve tried everything and know the ultimate solution, but I think the only real strategy I have here is to get up at a crazy early hour on Saturday before the race. Resist caffeine and spend a very long, uneventful day with my eyes open.
SUMMARY: I’m not really concerned.
As a blogger I’m obligated to write semi-organized entries that, to some degree, make relevant points. While I acknowledge these “concerns” I should also point out that they could just as easily be “My Biggest Exciting Challenges.” What I’m really most concerned about is staying in this moment. Being here with the workout today. I can plan and plan, but if I don’t address what’s here in front of me (much like the unexpected situations that will face me on race day) all of this obsession will be for naught.
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