T-Minus 2 Days. We're packed and ready to head up to Muskoka. I'm hoping to score an athlete banquet dinner ticket for Fran so I aim to get there as soon as registration opens to increase our chance of seats still available. I wonder if I'll have time to get a post in before race day, so I'll give my final thoughts now just in case.
Half Ironman. I didn't even know what the distances were a year ago. Never done a tri, never ran a mile in over 10 years. I registered anyways. I had a dream to just finish. I knew when I set out to do this, I wouldn't be following any of the training plans I found online. They were riddled with drills and for silly lengths of time.
Mountain Biker crushes Tri. That's what the headline should read. I didn't follow the tri-dork training manual, I didn't sacrifice my passion for mountain biking to make time for trivial swim/bike/run workouts. I am just going to show up and bring my extensive mountain biking fitness and apply it as best I can to a triathlon. I did rack up some running these last few weeks as I completely overlooked how difficult it is, but as much as I will suffer for this, I don't regret it. Mountain biking is my passion, that will always take priority. Training for triathlon is really just cross training to make me stronger on the mountain bike.
The mountain biker training plan: Rack up as many hours on the mountain bike and that should be enough. It's cycling, so that should carry over to the bike split. It's cardio and upper body so that should be enough to carry over to the swim split. My legs are strong and I can dig deep, I'll just do my best on the run. Or so I thought. After a couple sprint tri's I realized you can't just suck it up on the run, there is more to it than that. A lesson I learned all too late, but I may have packed JUST enough miles under my belt at the last minute to see me through to the end and within the time cut-offs. I'll get there eventually.
The biggest win is that I did all the 'training' while balancing career, family and friends. I'm lucky to have married such a loving, supporting, hardkore woman that has shared this journey with me. My training partner and bestest friend is my wife. It's pure awesome that she toughs it out and does the workouts with me. I look forward to joining her at her first Half-Iron in Welland next year. My success in my career and our family is thanks to her.
Saturday is Fran's birthday. While the weekend will obviously revolve around me and the race, I don't feel bad about this. As a matter of fact we could probably just skip Fran's birthday all together. It's only fair as I don't get to have a birthday ever again. Fran stole it. There is no birthday, only anniversary day. We were married on my birthday, thus it's not celebrated anymore. I think I'll forever replace Fran's birthday with 'race weekend'. Yes, that sounds good to me. Instead of celebrating her birthday we'll all go out and watch me do a race.
On the other hand, she's officially a cougar now. Her claws have grown in so I will have to get her a scratching post, but she seems to always be in heat and tries to hump my leg. I'm not too sure what to do about this as I am past my prime and am just not in the mood. I guess we can just chalk it up as payback all them years when the roles were reversed.
The forecast calls for very cold and probable rain. This is a big problem. My back has been seized up all week and I have the most wicked back pain. The cold really makes it unbearable. The more I think about it, the more stressed it makes me and the more tense it gets. I'm trying new drugs tonight, I just have to make sure I don't get drowsy.
To my surprise, my father is coming up to watch the race. This is liken to the frequency of Haley's comet. I can understand though as most of my racing, even in my prime, was boring to watch. You only get to see the person go by a couple times. Regardless I think this is great 'support' as it just makes me push harder to get to the finish line. When I told him that I registered for an Ironman his exact reply was, "son you're going to die. Can you get your money back?". He calls it as he see's it, and while most people are fishing for words of encouragement and reassurance that they will 'do it', my father is a realist and don't sugar coat nothing. It wouldn't be him without the brute honesty lol. So in the back of my mind all week, I have had my motivational mantra one liner going through my head that will get me to the finish line. Through training, it was the standard 'I Can'. However now it has evolved more into 'f*ck you all for doubting me'. Yes there's a few people in mind that I shake my head at everytime they open there mouths, so I turn their negativity and doubts into fuel to drive me to the finish line, becase I love proving them wrong lol. I am partly to blame as I brought this on myself as these people know what my 'training' routine consisted of. It's not your typical triathlete step-by-step training plan, but I will continue to believe that the quality of strength and intensity in mountain biking trumps repeated low-intensity tri-specific workouts with regards to HALF-iron distance.
What I have done is plenty good enough. We'll just see how it turns out on Sunday.