Monday, May 19, 2008

Rested, ready, and nervous

Rested: This past week of tapering has been a God send. However, I seemed to have lost my sleeping-in ability. No matter how late I go to bed I still wake up at six. This is what my parents do... does this mean I am getting old? One thing waking up early does afford me is getting my workouts in before it gets too hot out. Sunday was Arizona's first 100 degree day, and today it is supposed to be 105! So what do you do when it is miserably hot outside? Take naps, and watch plenty of movies :)

Ready: Lately I have been trying to tie up some loose ends before I take off on Wednesday. I got fitted on my bike again, got it tuned up, rented some race wheels (Zipp tubulars 808's/404's), bought all my nutrition, bought some new tri-shorts, my Mom sent down some new Brooks racing shoes which are sweet (Brooks Racer ST III), shaved my legs again (crappy!), took an ice bath, took copious naps, and have been packing up my stuff at my apartment because I have to move out before I leave.

Nervous: I have been freaking out a bit lately. My passport visa just got to L.A. last night!!! That means they will overnight it so it will be here tomorrow just in the nick of time. I know, I know, I probably should not have procrastinated, but I figured twenty days would be enough. Another thing that worries me is that my race wheels are what you call tubulars. There are two styles of wheels, tubulars and clinchers. Clinchers which the majority of cyclist ride every day consist of an exterior rubber tire and a separate inner-tube. So when you get a flat you just take off the rubber tire, replace the inner-tube, put the rubber tire back on, and inflate the tube, and you are ready to rock and roll again. A tubular tire is a one-piece construction. The inner-tube is sewn into the outer rubber tire. The benefits of a clincher are that you can easily replace the inner-tube when you get a flat. But typically, clinchers are much heavier and do not roll as smoothly as tubulars. Tubulars on the other hand are extremely hard to replace when you get a flat because the tire is glued on to the rim. However, the pros at my bike shop say that you average .5 to 1 mph faster when riding tubulars. One pro said "it is like riding on silk". So here is why I am a little worried. If you get a flat while riding tubulars during Ironman you have pretty much two options. 1) Quit the race or 2) Replace the entire tire, which takes alot of time, and because you do not have time to reglue the entire tire you have to take corners very very very slowly or the tire will simply fly off the rim. So it is quite risky to ride tubulars, but to be able to ride a mile an hour faster for 112 miles is worth it. Every pro uses tubulars so there must be a method to the madness.

Overall, now that I am done stressing about my passport visa, I am doing really well. My legs are finally feeling fresh, my back is feeling much better, and mentally I am starting to get my swagger back. During the end of training I was starting to have some really crappy workouts and I was really mentally drained. Now that I look back at it I think it was just my body telling me that I needed to rest. I think if I had one more hard week I would be on the brink of overtraining. This whole Ironman experience has been a pretty wild ride. Yesterday (Sunday), there was a triathlon here in Tempe called Tempe International. It is an olympic distance triathlon (swim 1500 meters, bike 26 miles, run 6 miles). Last year, Tempe International was my first ever triathlon. If you would have told me that a year later I would be doing an Ironman I would have told you that you were crazy! But, it just goes to show you that anything is possible. If you put your mind to something and truly commit to it there is nothing that can stop you. I have realized that you can talk yourself into, or out of anything you want to do. The biggest thing I have learned is how to hit the mute button on self-doubt. My coach used to say, "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are probably right."

Some news worthy information: Last week polar bears were officially put on the "threatened" species list. Scientists speculate that in less than 100 years polar bears will be extinct. How sad. (,8599,1779634,00.html)

I just wanted to say another thanks to all the people who have sponsored my Ironman endeavor:

My awesome parents Jeff and Joleen Ervin
Sam Barnes
Betty Crawford
Mike and Sandy Ervin
Dee Ervin
Dewey and Mary Orr
Denise Merten

Thanks again, you guys rock!


"When things get bad, pray they get worse and overcome them. Challenge yourself and push yourself to your limits. This is the only way to truly become great."
-Andrew Augustine

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