I swam in the lake again. I did an almost mile warmup by myself and then swam a timed mile with Chicago Tri Club for "Stroke and Stride." I only swam since I had run earlier in the day. I felt great cruising through the water, but ended up feeling super nauseous midway through the mile. I'm convinced it's because I didn't have enough food in my belly. Counterintuitive to everything you hear as a child growing up in Florida- "don't go in the pool within 30 min of eating otherwise you'll drown." BS. The times I've had a big lunch or decent snack pre swim, I haven't gotten nauseous. Lesson learned.
Friday evening we drove to Madison so I could ride the Ironman bike course. The open water swim I had registered for got cancelled due to high water and impending storms. I'm now 2 for 2 with registered swim events being cancelled. (Ironman Racine 70.3 being the other). But it is the summer and storms are plentiful and strong here. That's just the chance you take registering for races in the Midwest during the summer.
Saturday morning we went out to ride the bike course. It was beautiful and insanely hilly- not a surprise. I knew it was a beast- it's got the distinction of being the toughest bike course of an Ironman in the USA. L was kind enough to come along with me and slog up and down hills all day. He got a new PDR riding over a metric century that day! Can't say enough how proud of him I am.
We rode the loop that contained infamous Barlow hill. I got to the top of what I thought was the "bad hill" and was out of breath but felt great that I conquered it only to realize the actual beast of a hill was around the corner. I took one look and walked my bike up it. There's no way I could ride my bike up it without falling over. I plan to walk my bike up Barlow in the race as well. No sense burning my legs out on it.
What goes up, must come down- and while the hills were steep and plentiful, the downhills were amazing. I clocked over 35mph not even trying to go fast down one of them! And it seemed If you pedaled enough on the downhill, you could make it 3/4 the way up the next hill without too much effort. Yay.
I have mixed feelings about the recon I did of the course- on one hand I'm glad I rode the course and found it to be way less technical than most recaps of the race made it out to be. On the other hand, I never have ridden or ran a course before a race because I like the surprise element. It keeps me engaged more if it's a surprise on race day. Plus going out 3 weeks before wasn't cheap- hotel, food and dog boarding all add up for this event which has already cost me thousands of dollars so far.
Sunday morning I ran for 2 hours along Lake Monona. It was a nice run in 58 degrees! I passed the area where I'll swim and have transition set up and got a little emotional. 3 weeks from that moment I will be on my way to completing my first Ironman. I'm so excited that this journey is almost over and that I can focus on other aspects of my life that I've neglected during the past 20 weeks.
I can't believe I'm starting a cutback towards the Ironman. I registered for this race in October and feel as if it's dragged on forever without an end in sight. Being able to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel is making me more and more excited for race day. I also cannot thank my friends and colleagues enough who have given me valuable tips and encouragement along the way. Props to my family as well because without their support I wouldn't be doing this. I can't thank them enough for putting up with me during this training cycle.
Fortune cookie from Sunday evening. All the feels. Yes. There is a thrilling time ahead of me.
•continue to nail down race day nutrition
•be mindful of my food intake the next few weeks.
•make sure Mortadella is in tip top shape for race day.
•swim long a few more times to feel comfortable. Get a warmup routine down.
19 days until I become an Ironman
24 days until I register for Boston