Two weeks from tonight, I'll be collapsed in my hotel room, hopefully elated with the performance I worked for and (I believe) earned. Yet it still doesn't feel totally real. For instance, despite a year of training, I felt a pang of anxiety when I realized tonight that the next Ironman on the official schedule is...mine. There's nothing else to look forward to. No other friends to cheer on. No other teammates to send off.
It's just me and a date that approaches more quickly every day.
If today's workout is any indication, I'm definitely close to being ready. Bob, my fellow Fortius and IMAZ teammate, joined me this morning for a full tri-workout. We swam at Zuma in clear, crisp 62-degree water for 45 minutes. I experimented with compression shorts in the water instead of a swimsuit, as well as compression calf sleeves. I liked it overall. The calf sleeves rolled up on my leg a bit but I think that was after I took off the wetsuit, not while wearing it. I think I'll go with that strategy at Ironman. Any edge I think I can get. Following a fairly leisurely transition (what a gorgeous day out!), I did my very best to hold onto Bob's wheel as we hammered out to Big Rock and back. I succeeded for the first half of the ride as we belted out several 21-plus mph miles, but the second half of the ride, Bob stopped toying with me and simply took off. He very well may break five hours for his bike split at IMAZ if he wanted to. Finally, we embarked on a 90-minute run while trying to stay in heart-rate zones 2-3. We were successful, completing just around 9.6 miles in that span on a flat course. I needed that run following last Sunday's blow-up in Calabasas. I know I can hold my heart-rate steady for several miles but I'll need the weather and wind to cooperate, as well as my own ability to stick to my race plan. Today, the wind was moderate and the temperature was around 70 when Bob and I started running at noon.
Now, it's getting late (for an old guy like me). I'm typing, reflecting about the past week. With the exception of a couple monster swims, this past week truly felt like what I expected a taper should be. Relaxed. Moderate. Fun.
With the occasional balls-out bike sprint thrown in for good measure.
14 days and counting.