Two weeks ago, when I finally achieved my two and a half year goal of breaking six hours in a half iron distance triathlon I was challenged to fully receive congratulations messages from others. I was so internally proud of how I handled the run and cutting it close, but when people said something along the lines of, “All your hard work paid off!” I felt like a fraud.
If you know or follow me, you know that I don’t follow a training plan. I’ve tried coaching and I didn’t like it. I tried loosely following a team plan last year and opted out of many workouts. I was a different person last year, but still, I march to the beat of my own drum.
So when someone tells me that all my hard work is paying off, it’s hard to receive. I look around me at all the other athletes I know who will run up and down their driveway to get that last tenth of a mile so their Training Peaks box is colored green. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of doing what training makes the most sense to me on that day.
While I don’t follow a plan, it doesn’t mean that I don’t do work. Oh, I do. I pencil in long run and bike miles that lead up to race day, I jot down days I intend to do hill repeats and show up for tri team workouts. I am aware of what I need to do to finish.
I saw a teammate’s post about his Ironman Wisconsin goals and I have been thinking about mine. I am faster this year, there is no doubt about that. Where a touch of doubt holds me back is how I felt at Door County Triathlon. I was so full of anxiety and stress I forgot to have fun. I don’t want that on Ironman Wisconsin day, it’s entirely too long of a day to feel that way!
Keeping that in mind, I jotted down some numbers that are generous and attainable for my current abilities.
Swim – 1:20
T1 – 15 minutes
Bike – 6:45, 16.6 mph
T2 – 10 minutes
Run – 4:30, 10:18 minute miles (this may need to be re-thought, likely closer to 4:45-5:00)
And then I revisited my 2017 Ironman Wisconsin blog recap, which has this gem:
A rundown of my past Ironman WI finish times:
2016: 14:38 *raced with John, New bike course/Barlow Rd. Stubbed my toe.
The funny part is before race day I would joke “I keep getting slower, every year! I am insanity. I keep doing the same thing, expecting different results!”
I. am. insanity.
And when you really look at the numbers above (numbers don’t define you, you are a beautiful, unique snowflake, but these numbers matter to me), I truly am getting slower. The 2016 year hardly counts since I stubbed and broke my toe coming out of the water. If I sign up for 2018 I could gamble that my finish time would be 14:48. Look at years ’13, ’14 and ’17, first it slows down by 5 minutes, then 10, so next year by 15 minutes. NUMBERS!!
Since I am a beautiful, unique snowflake I thought it would be fun to put some meaning behind my goal for Ironman Wisconsin this year. What if I take back the time I lost in years ’14, ’16 and ’17? My above prediction for this year is 14:48 based on my previous insanity and unwillingness to change.
I have changed in many, many ways. Sure, I still don’t do well with a plan, but I have so much more drive than I used to. I’m done half-assing it.
My first Ironman was 14:18, my slowest one was 14:38. That’s twenty minutes. That’s what I will aim to PR by, minimum.
This begins my quest to #break14andSMILE