IronBritt: 24-Day Countdown

24 days until Ironman Mont-Tremblant. I cannot believe it. Is this really happening? For some reason it still seems fake.

I took a step back the other day to admire the dedication this sport takes. I can’t believe that I’ve been training for seven months straight. Through the snow, the cold, the rain, the heat…I have been waking up at 5am to achieve something grand. Some people may think that’s nuts, and I wouldn’t disagree. But what you’d find more nutty is that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’m still nursing a sprained ankle, but I’m slowly healing enough to bring myself to do the things I’ve been missing - like running. I’ve taken my strides to the streets and picked up the pace enough to feel a little like myself again. Heck, I still did the NYC Triathlon this past Sunday, July 19th, competing in the swim leg of a relay team and I felt awesome. (I plan to do a separate post about that soon!) I also enjoyed cheering on my teammates who totally kicked butt in that blazing heat.

In three weeks, I hit the road for Canada. So what is there left in my training to do, especially when I am injured? I will admit that I have a handful of concerns, though they’re not consuming me just yet. But something tells me they soon will. Let’s make a list:

*Long training days - Will I have done enough long runs and bike rides before the big day? Sometimes I fear I haven’t done enough. But what am I to do? I also can't further injure my injury.

*Nutrition plan - Most people have it down to a science; I do not. I have an idea of what I’ll eat and drink, but I think I need to sit down and map out my plan so that I feel more in control.

*Sleep - I have a habit of not sleeping the night before a race. It’s almost as if the nerves get the best of me and I worry too much about my performance. But I MUST sleep before the Ironman. I cannot be sleeping on the race course; that is not part of the plan. I'll have to be sure to sleep plenty the Thursday and Friday before the big day.

*Course knowledge - Or lack thereof. I trained on the Ironman Lake Placid Course but that is not the race I'm doing. With Mont-Tremblant so far away, I only know what I've read. I've reviewed maps and asked former IMMT competitors for their advice, but I don't know the turns as much as I'd like to. The "know before you go" motto is an important one to me. I'll be sure to get to the site early and maybe drive the course a day or two before the race.

*Bike boredom – I dread the bike leg of the race. I’m not the strongest cyclist and my confidence on a bike is not where it should be. Therefore, the time passes very slowly. I need to come up with mantras, write poems, think of loved ones, and do whatever it is I need to do to pass those 7+ hours!

*Confidence – I need to keep believing in myself. Hard work wasn’t handed to me and I need to remember what I’ve done to get here. I’m hopeful I will get to the finish line. What will I look or feel like when I get there? That is what scares me most. I hope I do this right. I will do this right.

So as I type this I think…I’m going to be OK. I should more so focus on this weekend’s Ironman in Lake Placid and send my positive vibes to my Terrier Tri teammates and other friends participating. I wish I could be on the course to spectate and cheer them on. I think it would be helpful to see the race in action from the sidelines, but due to my schedule, I just won’t be able to make it. Rock it out there guys!! I know you will!!

This Saturday I have a trip to the wine country planned with friends (yes, I do fun things outside of training! Though I won’t be able to drink much), and then Sunday I am getting back on my bike after three weeks. I am a bit nervous about my injury and the thought of the pain that comes with clipping my foot in and out scares me, but I need to feel my legs again and I need to focus on my bike skills. After all, Barb the bike and I are going to have to bond out there on that Mont-Tremblant course if we want to have a smooth finish.

24 days till Ironman. Whoa.

It’s kind of exciting….!