I’m less than a week away from Ironman Chattanooga. My bike is in transit via Tribike Transport. I am getting excited to be participating in my 3rd Ironman and my 2nd one this year. My last one was Ironman Texas on May 17th.
I learned a ton from doing Texas. I was lucky and I mean lucky enough to finish it. I threw up at mile 70 on the bike, was in the medical tent at mile 80 for about 20 minutes and just made the bike cut-off by about 15-20 minutes. Ironically my best 5 mile bike split happened at mile 90. The run wasn’t much better. I got sick at least 2-3 times and almost passed out a few times to the point medical people were holding me up at around mile 10 of the marathon. But I made it.
As of Sunday evening my body is still recovering from last weekend’s Reach The Beach. I did have a decent training week but my legs are still pretty tired. This week I need rest with a few days of lifting and an easy run on Tuesday or Wednesday.
So why will Ironman Chattanooga be different?
1. My Core will be stronger. Coming off of Ironman Texas I took off most of June. I did a few runs, bike rides, and for the first time I took some exercise classes. Coming off of Texas I made the excuse of being sore and not doing well in these classes. Yes my back was full of knots but the truth was I have a very weak core. I have spent the last 6-7 weeks working on strengthening my core. It’s not as strong as it will be for next year’s races but I have made great progress since August.
2. Bike. I am getting back to basics on my bike. For Ironman Louisville I had my triathlon bike but I never got comfortable on it. For IMTX I used my road bike but had bars and a bottle on the front. For IMCHOO I just using my road bike. No frills (well maybe one surprise). I used this same setup at Timberman 70.3 in August and I felt very strong.
3. Legs. For IMTX I ran a fair amount including helping my friend Kate train for Boston. We did a few races together and that helped a lot. But as a runner I always peak in the fall. Last weekend at Reach The Beach I tested my legs and put myself on the limit (hence why I am sore) for about 14 of those 20 miles. I know with my recovery this week my legs for next Sunday will be just as strong as they were last weekend. Of course I won’t run near as fast as RTB but I know my legs will hold up.
4. Nutrition. Nutrition is really the forth sport. For IMLOU and IMTX I wasn’t able to figure it out. I learned something from my friend Aziz at Timberman. My morning nutrition hasn’t been enough. I will be taking 3-4 bottles of Ensure which will give me calorie intake of over 1,000. I will also have Oatmeal.
My on course nutrition needs a ton of work as well. One of the mistakes I have made in the past was drinking three bottles the first hour on the bike. I really believe my body couldn’t digest it enough. I will be cutting this back to two bottles. I also learned from Todd and talking with Kate’s friends at the gym that I need to take a type of Hammer product. I plan to use Perpetuem. I took this at Timberman (one bottle an hour) and it really helped out. I will also be taking salt tablets. For emergencies I plan to take have a few bottles of Ensure in my special needs bag. I worry about the second half of the run and need my energy. I also plan to have some potato chips for some extra salt when it’s needed.
5. Focus. IMTX taught me how to suffer like I never did before. I take pride in being able to embrace suffering for events such as this. Part of this is being able to stay focused. I think in Texas I lost some of my focus. For a period of time I almost quit. But I didn’t!! For IMCHOO I will be a bit more focused. I think a lot of this is because of my nutrition and the confidence I have.
6. Chip on my shoulder! I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder coming into this race. Even though I have finished IMLOU and IMTX I am not satisfied. I have yet to have my ‘A’ race at Ironman. I don’t believe I will be satisfied after IMCHOO either but I want to be able to run the whole marathon. The marathon is my strongest event and I want to prove it on Sunday.
7. Anything Is Possible! It’s the slogan Ironman uses and I believe it. I have 100% confidence in my ability to complete this event again. It doesn’t matter that we are starting later, the bike is longer, and I don’t know the course. I know what it takes because…. I am a 2X Ironman!!!!!