Last night, Bob (@rcmcoach on Twitter), Leon and I met with Coach Gerardo to discuss our Ironman Arizona and Silverman race strategy plans. Gerardo's kitchen served as our war room. We met for nearly two full hours discussing pre-race, race and post-race tips, tricks and lessons learned. We got so detailed that we discussed counting calories, salt intake, what time to wake up on race day, what time to eat, even exactly what to pack in our special needs bags on the bike and run courses. That's just a fraction of the information we ingested. I almost have information digestion issues!
It was exactly the kind of experience where I realized how valuable having a triathlon coach can be. I can't imagine going into this race not being armed with the four pages of notes now stored in my computer.
The biggest thing I learned during those two hours is how regimented the days and hours leading to the race may be regimented. It's almost like the science of the sport suddenly takes over. And considering I'm a "feel" guy more than a numbers cruncher, it will be an interesting experience for me.
Right after posting this, I'm going back over my notes. I need to reorganize them. Prioritize them again. And perhaps most important, I need to share them with those family and friends coming to cheer me on. There will be a lot they need to know.
I will also share some of those tips here, though I need to keep them appropriately vague. Not because I don't want to share them with the competition. No, it's not that at all. I'm not trying to qualify for Kona. It's out of respect for Coach Gerardo, who has amassed his knowledge and experience from more than 70 triathlons and his share of Ironman-distance races. My fellow Fortius Coaching teammates pay for that access, and it would be unfair to him if I just openly blabbed that data to the world. I think I did that for Vineman 70.3 without really thinking it through, and I need to find a better balance between being a paying client and a blogger who shares anything and everything.
So, you'll just have to trust me when I say I'm feeling very well prepared for Ironman Arizona. Physically, mentally, and hopefully emotionally. I'll share what I can hopefully tomorrow, though I'm going to show Gerardo first to make sure it's not too proprietary.
For now though, it's back to the gym. Back to the roads. Back to the pool. There's still one more week where I can make gains for IMAZ. Then, the real taper starts. Mentally, it started for me this week as I "only" have 18 hours of training compared to the 19-plus and nearly 21 hours I did this past week. So, 18 is a cakewalk by comparison.
Even after this past weekend's training, I feel great. Sure, I'm sore and tight. But, I know I have more left in the tank for one more push to improve over the next several days. I'm going to take that seriously. I know there's something left to eke out of my performance. I'm not sure where. Maybe it's a smoother feeling on the run in the latter miles. Maybe it's a loosening of my quads and thighs on the bike, or being able to swim more smoothly for longer. Whatever it is, I'll find it this week.
That, I can share with you.
24 days and counting.