We’re here. The last two blocks of training have flown by and in a few days I’ll be racing Busselton Ironman 2018. Woah. I’m still amazed about what has been achieved over these 20 weeks of training. I’m constantly reminded that nothing is impossible – we can achieve anything we set our minds too.
The last 8 weeks have reinforced this 100%. The training load has been epic. One weekend was dubbed “Ironman Weekend”; we completed the whole IM distance over 2 days. Saturday was 180km ride and 10km run. Sunday was a 4km ocean swim and a 32km run. As you do. A few weeks laters was my Busso Training Camp; we completed a 70.3 on the Saturday (one lap of the swim course, one lap of the bike course and 2 laps of the run) and a 3km ocean swim and 20km run on the Sunday. Both were manageable. I found myself thinking ” I can actually do this, and not just that, it feels good!” I’m still in disbelief when a 70.3 becomes a training session that’s almost faster then any I’ve raced! I never thought there would be a day when a 70.3 would be a walk in the park but as I hit the 16km mark of the run and decided to pick up the pace for the last 5km to 5.15 min/km from 5.45 min/km
I knew that I had done enough in training to nail this race.
Nutrition these last weeks has been focused on practicing my carb loading – getting in enough fuel, while still feeling light and comfortable, and no gut issues on the run. Carb loading is really the opposite to healthy eating, but it’s only for a day or two. Plenty of crumpets, white rice, white pasta, NutriGrain cereal, fruit juice and custard. Not much vegetables here.But if it means I have plenty of extra fuel for the big day then it’s totally worth it!
I’ve also been finetuning the race nutrition logistics. Aid station practice was needed to make sure I could confidently pick up bidons from people on the side of the road. I’ll be using a concentrated Bindi in one bottle and picking up water to dilute it into my aero bottle – so at least four to five bidon pick ups. Practice was needed for a nanna like me. My kids however thought this was great! One was holding out bidons, the other tried to catch the empty one once I’d refilled the aero bottle.
A bigger Bento Box for my bike was also required to fit all the nutrition without having to jam it all in and risk something popping out!
Tom’s Wholesome Foods have continued to fuel me and I look forward to their delicious lunches and coffee every week! The difference it has made having healthy and nutritious salads has been amazing. Lara and Tom are a fantastic team and if you haven’t visited them in Leederville yet – get onto it!
I’m stoked to be racing on Sunday; to have got to this point without injury or any major issue. Even my anxiety has been better despite the constant planning of training, work and family. Don’t get me wrong,
this last six months hasn’t been all rainbows and glitter.
I’ve trained in the dark, the cold, heavy rain and hail. There were times when I was so cold while riding, my teeth were chattering, my hands were and face were numb and I was that close to pulling over, hopping on a train and beelining it for a hot shower at home. But, I didn’t and now we’re here, ready to race.
Training for an Ironman has taught me many things about my mental health and our perception of mental health in general.
I’ve learnt it’s easy to become physically strong, but becoming mentally tough is far harder.
I was physically able to do all the training set for me, but having the mindset to persevere over the long distances, to not let the sheer volume overwhelm me – that was the hard bit.
However, every time I conquered a new distance; rode and ran further then I have before and then backed it up the next day with another equally as long session it reinforced that I can achieve anything.
Sadly though, only a few weeks ago I lost a friend to suicide. A beautiful soul who always shared a smile and a wave, or a quick chat at school pick up. I didn’t have her mobile, nor were we FB friends, but she brightened my afternoon. She mattered. And now she’s gone and part of the mental health statistics –
one of the 6 Australians that die by suicide every day.
It really brought home to me how important organisations like Beyond Blue are, we all need support and it’s programs like this that can help.
My total training tally now stands at 3871km – 180km of swimming, 2834km of riding and 857km of running. I’ve raised quite a bit for Beyond Blue and I thank each and everyone of you who have donated. My goal is to bank a $ for every km I’ve training, so there’s a bit to go to reach $3871. You can help by donating here.
If you’d like to follow my progress on race day – you can use Ironman Tracker or the App, I’m #706.
To everyone who has supported me so far and/or will be there on race day –