The Winding Road to Ironman Racine
What a great feeling to have completed Ironman 70.3 Racine, my first half Ironman. For such a long time the big race seemed so far away. Now it’s a memory and a feeling of accomplishment.
While I had some real anxiety before the race, once the race started I was focused and enjoying the experience. This whole journey was a great lesson in balance, self discipline and flexibility. Flexibility is the term I can relate to the most over the past five weeks or so. For over a year, my wife Jenny and I had planned a 4-week vacation in June, travelling south along the East Coast and visiting many beaches and towns. Jenny was a good sport in supporting the training I planned to do while on vacation.
I had no idea how difficult it would be to complete the last few weeks of training while travelling. It was not always easy to find reasonably safe bike routes for 3+ hour rides (we are clearly spoiled with all the rural roads in the Midwest) as well as getting in swim training, mainly in the Atlantic and available local pools. I usually found a way to get in the prescribed training for the day prior to getting in other more leisurely vacation-like activities.
There were many memorable experiences during the training sessions. I repaired a flat tire surrounded by large iguanas in Key West, was pummeled by large waves while a storm was coming in off the shore in Jacksonville and I swear something bit me while swimming in the Gulf.
Most likely due to the change in training routines and additional vacation activities, I ended up straining a hamstring and having some major back pain for a couple weeks as well. The key was staying flexible with my training expectations.
As race day approached, I felt good again and ready for the race. A special thanks to Coach Joe for the swim coaching, injury treatment tips and adapting the training plan to my schedule and challenges. I couldn’t have exceeded my expectations without your help and words of wisdom.
As for taking long vacations while training, I don’t recommend it.
Click here to see the Racine photo set