You know, I’ve never really liked the name of this triathlon. Seems to conjure up thoughts of sheer vertical walls that the race director calls “hills” and there are these black diamond signs that say, “Ride at your own risk!” or “Beware Extreme Danger!”. Sheesh!
But, I’m sure that’s only in MY mind, as by now you’ve gotten to know how I think…or not.
Anywho, my last final event of the year officially….well, there could be others that I don’t know about and at the last minute I say, “Oh, I’ve GOT to do that one!”, but for now, it’s the last one. And you know what? I’m READY for it to be my last one.
Even though I’ve done fewer official races this year, 6 officially, I feel like I’ve been training and training hard all year long. And actually I have.
So when I say this is my last official race of the season, I’m actually looking forward to it. And not only physically looking forward to it, but mentally as well.
There seems to be a constant effort that I’m putting forth whether it’s a physical or mental. Always being careful what I eat, how I feel, did I pack my bag, do I have enough gels, don’t forget the anti-defogger, did I over do it during that workout, “OUCH my back hurts!”, on and on. And I’m not complaining, I’ve chosen this sport, it’s what I love to do, but it does take a great deal of effort to maintain the momentum of always pushing forward, trying to fix this, or strengthen that, and just trying to get better each and every day.
So yes, after the 26th I am VERY much looking forward to relaxing and recuperating and putting the training on the back burner, knowing that come January 1st, I will be working none stop at training for my 1st Ironman in Coeur d’Alene.
But, before we go there, let’s talk about “Black Diamond”….Oooouuu scary! Really? Why couldn’t they have named it “Blue Sapphire” or something more peaceful?
As all half Ironman are, it’s a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. That’s all doable right?
Well, on they’re own, they are! And in fact I’ve done all these distances and more, but normally just one at a time. However we have been doing mock triathlons (we being Steve, Jerry and his wife Dawn) out at Fish Lake for the last 9 Saturdays and have approached all these distances and more.
On one mock triathlon that we did a couple of weekends ago, we swam for an hour and half, which is 2.4 miles and the same distance as Ironman. Then we did a 65 mile bike ride which is a little more than half the distance of Ironman, and while we were on the bike I realized that I already was feeling fatigued and IF this had been a real Ironman I would still have 47 more miles of biking PLUS a marathon to do!
I realized a couple of things:
- I have a LONG way to go before I’m ready for a full Ironman
- That even though I’ve been very dedicated to training each and every day (except Sundays), I am tired mentally, of the training and constantly thinking about training, nutrition, etc, etc, that I’m ready for THIS race to be over and for training to be over. And that I will have to be twice as diligent and focused when my Ironman training starts in January, and that’s going to last almost 6 months! Whew!
I was humbled by the thought of doing this. I think I might have undervalued the effort required to do an Ironman, and of course to do it well, not just float through all 140.6 miles of it.
So yes, Black Diamond is my last event of the year and while I’m excited to do it, especially with my two training buddies Steve & Jerry, I am going to be VERY HAPPY to have it over with and know that I don’t have to think about training for the rest of the year. (No that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on the couch and eat bonbons until January!)
Meanwhile, this is my taper week and I’ve enjoyed it but I have soooo much to do to get ready to drive over to the West side of the state. I will have almost my entire family with me at the start and finish line. This is a 1st and I’m very excited that they can be there to see their “old man” taking another step closer to preparing for one of my long term goals.
I will report back next week with all the stats.
Predictions? Well, my only other half Ironman was Troika 2008 in Spokane and I did a 6:14:08.
That was a 46:20 swim, 3:05:56 bike, and a 2:12:00 run (UGH!)
I know what I did wrong on that race so I’m going to try and fix it this race, so, here’s what I HOPE will happen:
45:00 swim, 3:17:00 bike, and a (gulp) 1:52:29 run, for a total of 5:59:59, includes total of 5:30 transition times.
If I can finish in the middle of the pack in my age group I’ll feel pretty good.
Of course bottom line is to have fun and enjoy the fact that my family will be there to greet me (carry me?), that is after all, why I do these things..to enjoy them!
While we’re all in Kennewick this weekend doing the Titanium Man, could you do me a favor?
The last time we were in Fish Lake I took my pet fish with me and forgot to bring it back home.
If you see it, could you gently pick it up and bring it back to me?
Here’s a picture of it so you’ll know which one it is. You’ll know it by it’s silly toothy grin: