It's that time again, and I can hardly believe it: Ironman Coeur D'Alene is just around the corner. I guess I should be feeling stoked to be on my taper, but mostly I'm feeling queasy about the long three part car trip up there, getting my house in order, and the fact that there is about six thousand feet of climbing (again!?) on the bike course, and I am not sure that I'm 100% ciimbtastic these days. I recently retested my body fat composition, and while I'm actually at a lower BF than when I was doing Ironman Arizona (though 1% higher than during IM Los Cabos), I weigh a solid six pounds more. I've gained a crapton of muscle and it's messin' up my racing weight game! Ok, so maybe also drinking beer is messing up that game. I wasn't as good with my beer discipline as of late. That's another story. A story of delicious beer. (Why is it so delicious!?) And also, I think when I tell myself I can't do something, I resent it and then drink four beers instead of one. I was actually being better about it when I tracked my meals, because then I could keep in mind that one beer was okay, but a serious nutritiously deficient dent was made by more than that. But it is a learning process, and I also had my birthday this month, so y'know. And as my fellow Ironman pal says, what is the point of doing a sport that limits your intake of beer?! Most of us do this damn endurance stuff for the beer reward at the end. 

Training has been long and lonely, and while I've put in all the miles (if not all the elevation), it has sucked some of the joy out of things. Yes, I had a great few rides with my main man Panda, who, upon borrowing a carbon bike when his steel frame cracked, was so freaking crazy fast he dropped me like nothin'. Which I totally knew was coming, since he is already fast on that heavy-ass bike. But many of my rides were solo, and I missed my usual bikes on the weekend with the Valley gang, often due to the fact that I'd either have to work, do some other part of my training like a long run, or that I've got a really crappy sleeping pattern which keeps me snoozing through primo triathlete training hours. But now is the time to see if my training will pay off, and while I haven't really been as gung ho as last year before Los Cabos, what with my fast guys to chase all the time, I know that I'm still more fit than previously, and need to be kinder to myself. The BF test revealed that, even though I was far from my previous weight, at 147, I'm still closer than I thought, having increased my power. So chill out, do your best, and enjoy the views. (I do confess that I would be down to drop a pound of muscle if it'd lose several of fat with it, though... it is way harder to maintain a quick marathon pace with all this "power" :-/)

My coach wants me to practice maintaining a positive mindset for the whole day, which is the best advice I can imagine-- if you're happy, even going slow is pretty great, because you're alive, experiencing the glory of the world, and everything is awesome. As I've learned, it's the gloomy mindset that will stretch hours into an eternity. As I return to the States for an Ironman, let us revisit the happy happy times of Ironman Arizona. That is my true goal for this race: for it to be a GOOD race, a fun race, a race I feel good about. Because I think it's my last Ironman for the season-- I had been considering Tahoe, but the thought of climbing alone for long hours, and the financial cost is maybe too much right now (especially if I go to Japan for a wedding, which might happen!) So I want to really focus on the here and now and live it up. But now, to do some tutoring work, so I can afford my rent and this trip and the whole shebang. 

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AuthorNikki Muller