I know this race journey isn’t complete unless I figure out some goals. I’ve been told countless times not to have a time goal for my first ironman and I think it’s the right way to go for me. I do much better at first time distances if I have some general goals that aren’t related to a clock. I do have an overall time goal but I’m not married to it and the ultimate goal is to finish. The goals below are very modest and I know some may think they are namby pamby but I don’t want to finish and feel in any way shape or form that I didn’t meet X, Y, or Z goals and detract from what a huge accomplishment finishing is.
Let’s start with the swim.
I’m feeling good about the swim. I probably feel the most comfortable about the swim in relation to the run and the bike. I suppose it’s because it’s the first thing you do and you aren’t tired or swimming nearly as long as you are running and biking. That being said, I am not out to “crush” anything and certainly anticipate being a middle packer during the 2.4 mile journey down the river.
Swim Goals: Remain calm and swim at a steady effort. No crazy kicking and breathing every stroke. I want to relax and set up my day right with the swim. Resist the urge to breaststroke as sighting (I do this far more than I should on long open water swims).
Onto the bike…
The bike is making me the most nervous. I’ve never ridden the course due to time constraints and travel but I’ve heard it’s similar to Augusta 70.3 in terms of hills. I know I can handle that (I did Augusta in 2012), but I’m nervous about riding 116 miles of that. And I’m nervous about 116 miles in general.
Bike Goals: Take it easy the first loop. I keep hearing how people may take the first loop too hard and then pay for it. Honestly, I don’t see myself falling prey to that because I’m just not that fast and I’m not a hammer on the bike. Ever. That being said, I want to try to stay around 16 MPH, but if that doesn’t happen NBD. I want to try to enjoy this ride as much as I can as I’ve heard it’s a beautiful course and I’m going to try to stave off the “GET ME OFF THIS BIKE” thoughts as long as I possibly can. That right there is a tough goal for me. Heh.
The run is a big, fat question mark.
Run Goals: My biggest run goal is to only walk aid stations. I 100% know this is going to be very tough after riding forever but I’m going to keep this goal in my mind for as long as possible. That way if I have to walk I can try to keep it to a certain amount of time or I know I’ll just start walking a lot. (I walked toward the end of the Jacksonville Marathon and I’m ok with it. Ish happens.) That being said, ain’t no shame in walking or jogging really, really, really slow. Haha.
2. Enjoy the day. I’m not sure I’ll ever do this again so I want to get the most out of my experience.
3. Smile. When I’m hurting, I will smile.
4. Positive self talk ALL DAMN DAY. (Just call me Stuart Smalley.)
Twelve days to go…..
You're going to have a great day!! I smiled ALL. DAY. LONG. at Louisville, even when I was hurting. It definitely helps, and the volunteers are amazing. Just breathe and take it all in!
You've totally got this. Just remember to run your own race. It's not worth getting competitive against someone else on the course and having it ruin your day. Do you 🙂
Trust in your training and you will be ready. FWIW, my "get me off of this bike" talk set in about mile 65 in Ohio, and I made it 8 miles into the marathon without walking. So it shouldn't be difficult for you to do better than I did here.
You're ready! Go enjoy the day. And I bet after you finish one, you'll want to do another.
I love that it's not time goal oriented… you are going to do amazing. Stay sassy and strong and you will kick ass. Finishing the training cycle and then finishing the race are huge accomplishments. Take pride in how far you've come already.. it's inspiring.
I think these are great goals! My husband went up and rode the course and did say it was beautiful. Comparing it to Augusta is a good way to look at it. I think he said there are a few bigger climbs, but when there is an uphill there will always be a downhill! Good luck!!
Good luck! And sounds like a sensible race plan. I've never run a tri, or trained, but as the saying goes, "Plan the race, race the plan!"
I so wish I could be there to cheer you on! You know, since we're best friends and all. Those are excellent goals (as if I know) and I have no doubt you'll exceed them all 🙂
Awesome And Totally Positive
Great idea to take the first loop on the bike smart! IMLP is a two loop course and I had heard as well that people ride the first loop too hard and pay for it later. So, I had the same plan on race day as you do. Stick to your plan to be conservative on the first loop and you will be rewarded in the long run (pun was not originally intended…)!! ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!
So excited for you! There's nothing like that first IM and crossing the finish line 🙂 Stay present the whole day and soak it up; it goes by SO fast! Your goals are perfect… definitely be a bit more conservative your first bike loop. Your legs will thank you on the run!
Remember to have fun, smile (it makes the pain more bearable), stay positive, keep moving forward and believing! Oh, and never give up 🙂 I'll be cheering for you all day! Best of luck, lady!
Looks like a solid plan! I am with you on the breaststroking. My favorite way to sight. That was "my stroke" back in the day so it is way to easy to keep doing it once I start. You'll be great – I am sure of it!
Yay Bethie you did it!