Countdown to Ironman: 1 week to go

28 02 2017

Taper time

Everyone reacts differently when it comes to the taper. There’s those who get ill (it happened to me in the taper to my first half), those who’ll experience doubts, those who get emotional, those who just want to sleep, and those who relish the reduced structure and intensity.

I definitely fell into the last camp for most of the first week of taper.

Training has been going well. I’ve exceeded my expectations in many areas. I haven’t struggled through the bulk. And I’ve had an awesome training buddy to help keep me honest.

That always helps!

I felt on top of the world.

I headed out for my final big swim. It was scheduled for the Saturday, along with a decent ride and run off the bike. But I had other plans for the afternoon, so I went out on a glorious Friday evening in the harbour.

I was on my own, so a little nervous. But the good weather meant the beach was busy and the water was occupied with a number of vessels – both man powered and diesel.

I headed out to make my way towards the lighthouse and then I knew I’d have to do at least a couple of laps of the fountain to get close to my 4km goal. I took very few breaks. Being on my own meant I could go at my own pace and really simulate a race situation.

Minus the 1200-odd other swimmers starting at the same time.

After my second lap of the fountain I checked my watch and I’d made 3.8kms. That made it my longest swim in the open water. The swim back into shore added almost another 100m to the total, making just shy of 3.9kms.

And the pace was comparable to what I’d swum in the Taupo 70.3 back in December. It made me so happy and cemented the earlier confidence I’d been feeling. I was stoked. It made me so happy.

I deserved an ice cream after that!

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When I got home I was suddenly overcome with emotion. I was feeling so proud, yet had no one to share it with. My husband was away for the weekend. I wasn’t training with my buddies on Saturday morning.

But it was more than that.

A couple of months ago I committed to raising money for the Cancer Society to give my Ironman more purpose. To make it more than just about a medal. And a towel.

Last week, one of my best friends at school lost her battle with cancer. It threw me a little bit. I hadn’t seen her for many years, but we’d been in touch. She was a wonderful person who I shared many of my formative years with.

It makes 4th March more meaningful.

Andrea. This one’s for you.

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