Today marks exactly two months until Ironman Chattanooga!
This past week, I have been vacillating between feelings of excitement and fear thinking about the race being so close. It felt so very far away when I registered (I volunteered at last year’s race and registered the following day), but time is going by quickly and the day I have been working so hard for is almost here. It’s an odd feeling. But I can say I am without a doubt firmly in the excited camp after a really great weekend of training and tracking!
On Monday, we started adding back in some intensity and then this weekend, some volume, with a half marathon on Saturday and an open water swim and four hour bike on Sunday.
Saturday’s half marathon was with my awesome running group, Moms Run This Town. I am a member of the group, but also a “community partner” of the group through our real estate business. So, I was wearing two hats at the event – runner and supporter. In the latter role, we had contributed custom printed water bottles to the race goody bags and a raffle prize for race participants.
The event was a mock race, with people running various distances from 5k to half marathon, at paces from walking to 8 minute miles. This is one of the things I love about MRTT – all abilities and fitness levels are welcomed with open arms. I ran the majority of my 13.1 miles with Taryn, Emily, and Beth.
Major Go Pro envy! Thanks for the awesome pics, Taryn!
We built intensity throughout the run, so while we could chat a bit at the beginning, “silent Stephanie” made an appearance as the run went on (I warned Taryn in advance that I would stop talking at some point and that I was fine, that just meant I was dying inside – HA!). Cruelly, the race ended with some climbs and I struggled a bit at the end, but we finished strong! It was a fun event and I’m really glad I went (even with the 6:30 a.m. start!).
On Sunday, Taryn and I drove about 90 minutes to the site of the Fort Ritchie Triathlon. The actual race is happening next weekend, but the race organizers planned a practice swim for the prior weekend and even though we aren’t doing the race, we thought it made sense to take advantage of the opportunity to get in an open water swim practice. Those opportunities are pretty few and far between, so I was excited to get in the water for my fifth open water swim of the year.
The water was very clear and quite warm. I swam in my Roka swim skin, although some people did wear wetsuits. The course was set up as a 500 meter course. Taryn and I decided to do 2000 meters continuous to make the long drive worth it. I don’t often do long continuous swims, so this was good for me and also a great opportunity to practice sighting.
After the swim, we got on our bikes and rode the Fort Ritchie Olympic bike course. We were so thankful the course was marked because there were some tricky turns and we weren’t at all familiar with the course. We did two loops of the Olympic course and then added some mileage at the end to get to four hours total for the ride. Let me tell you, this course is no joke. I didn’t have my Garmin, but Taryn said we did well-over 3000 feet of climbing throughout the ride. There was one long gradual climb that seemed to never end. I won’t publicly out Taryn’s bad reality T.V. habit 😉 , but I was glad she was doing the talking on that climb the first time up (I think we were both quiet for the second go-round!).
Taryn and I post-swim and ride. Taryn is training for IM Louisville, which is just a couple of weeks after IM Choo, so we have been able to do quite a bit of our training together.
So, it was a great training weekend for me! Basically, we did a half Ironman over the two days. Not an epic weekend, but certainly a solid one!
The only bad part was that I had terrible cell reception where we were swimming and riding, so I could not track my amazing Team HPB teammates racing IM Lake Placid! Taryn can vouch for the fact that I was thinking about them ALL day and wondering how they were doing!
As soon as I got home, I immediately sat down in front of my computer to track everyone (unfortunately for my husband, I did not even shower first and I’m sure by that point in the day, I smelled amazing!). As I expected, they all did GREAT! It was so inspiring watching them all cross the finish line online and that made me even more excited for Chattanooga. In case I haven’t said it lately, I love my team!
So, that’s where I am with two months to go. I’m excited, happy, and feeling strong. I’m sure there will be plenty of lows still to come and I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but for right now, I’m going to enjoy riding this high!