Rejoice! Ironman Coeur d'Alene taper has begun! After a Saturday of cycling and running seven hours and climbing 7,000-plus feet and a Sunday of running 13 miles and swimming close to 3,000 yards, I stand on the precipice of peak physical and mental fitness.
I am ready for Coeur d'Alene.
Earlier this week, I struggled with my personal trainer telling me I'm "just not cut out for running." I've turned that into fuel for my fire, and a new mantra:
"I may not be a runner. But I am a runner today."
That's how I felt as I ran the hills of Calabasas with my buddy Jason today. I was planning on a mild, flat tempo run but Jason had other ideas. He's gearing up for his first half marathon at Dirt Mulholland and wanted some climbing work. I obliged, and I'm glad I did. While I think the workout was meant to be a confidence boost for him, it certainly turned out to be the same for me too. We did some serious climbing today up Mulholland and some hilly neighborhoods near Calabasas High School. My body held out just fine, as did my heart-rate. Perhaps I pushed just a bit harder than I would have on my own, but having the company and the challenge of running with a friend made it more than worthwhile.
That's been the biggest difference between my final build phase for Ironman Arizona and Coeur d'Alene. For my first Ironman, I trained at the same course (dreadful Fillmore), largely by myself. This time, my big bike workouts have been at springtime century events, heavily supported by teammates and new friends I've met along the way. My workouts have remained fun and challenging, not grueling and mind-grinding. The misery of peaking before IMAZ has been replaced by firm resolve to put my head down, shut up and simply get the work done. To be fair, I also think it helps knowing what I'm up against in my second Ironman rather than staring into the darkness of potential failure and personal embarrassment of failing to finish my Ironman.
No such demons this time.
I have pretty pictures to support this blog entry, but alas I'm in the office at work now (10:30 p.m.) preparing for tomorrow's epic E3 day of announcements. So, those pretty pictures are going to have to wait until tomorrow. In fact, this week is going to be a crapshoot on blog posts. As I've mentioned before, this week is like the Super Bowl of the videogames industry, and our company is smack at the proverbial 50-yard line.
Thank goodness my build phase ended one-day before the madness. But where will I find time to rest?
Haven't figured that one out yet.
22 days and counting.