Essential Sports Nutrition

9/4/17

Hello race week!



Back in October, after we returned home from the Ironman World Championship, Karel and I sat down and talked about the 2017 season. With so many races to choose from, the first step on deciding our race schedule was to establish our 2017 season goals. Our races would be our road map and our big season goal would be the final destination.

Karel's big goal is still to qualify for the 2018 Ironman World Championship at Ironman Chattanooga. Although he received a slot to IM Kona for this year at Ironman Lake Placid, he let that slot roll down as that was not in his road map for this season. My goal was to qualify for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and to peak my fitness for my big race on September 9th, 2017. I planned on qualifying for the 70.3 WC at Ironman 70.3 St. George but I surprised myself when I won my age group (35-39) at Ironman 70.3 Florida back in April and earned my slot to the 70.3 WC. I was delighted to also win my age group at IM 70.3 St. George but even more excited to let my slot roll down to another deserving female athlete. 

Now that it's race week, I have an opportunity to reflect back on the season and what a season it has been. As I go into the Ironman 70.3 World Championship event, I couldn't be more grateful to have this opportunity to be a participant in this spectacle of an event.  My body is healthy and strong and I am excited to race with so many amazing females (age group and professional) on Saturday and then be a spectator for Karel and the age group male and professional athletes on Sunday. 

I am actually a little sad that this will end my 2017 triathlon season as I don't feel quite ready to stop the structured training and racing. 

The focus for this season was to become more comfortable and confident with the 70.3 distance. Even though I have raced many half distance triathlons over the past 11 years since I started endurance triathlon racing/training, they have always been included in a season of Ironman distance racing.  It's been incredible to see what my body has been able to accomplish in training and in racing this season but I know that my strength is in the Ironman distance. But this forced break from Ironman distance racing has allowed me to embrace and explore a different style of training for my body and to take different risks in half Ironman distance training. 

While I will go into this race with confidence and belief in my ability, I recognize that there will be a lot of very strong and fast girls out there in my age group. Fast has always been a word that I don't often use in my vocabulary as the Ironman distance is where I excel and I seem to be great at not slowing down (due to a combination of knowing how to pace the IM distance, understanding how to fuel/hydrate for the IM distance and good mental skills). I have never considered myself a "fast" athlete but on Saturday, I get the opportunity to race as "fast" as I can for 70.3 miles, on a very tough course, and that excites me. I love that I finally have this opportunity to leave it all out on the course, take some risks and challenge myself as faster athletes help me bring the best out of my body.

Race week, I'm so glad you are finally here!