Now that my first Ironman is less than three weeks away, I am changing my focus. From the physical to the mental, the brass tacks to the vision. At this point, even if I sat on the couch eating Cheetos instead of training, I have put the miles in the bank to finish the race. It is weird to look at my schedule and see a taper. And to feel like this weekend I don’t have to do anything because I only have to ride for 5:10 one day and run for 2:00 one day, and somewhere fit in another 3:00 ride. Ironman training is weird, it creates a new sense of ‘normal’ where it is not out of the ordinary to train for 7-8 hours a day both weekend days. So when I only have 6 hours, that is like what the heck do I do with all this free time?! And my credit cards run away in fear because they know I have not shopped in months. But anyway, I digress. How does one train the mind? Well in my opinion it comes down to a few things.
First off, get lonely. Get really lonely. Ride your bike all by yourself for over 6 hours. That’s what I did this past Sunday. My brother was going to ride with me but he seems to have gotten himself into an overtrained state. My mom was going to ride sag for us but since it would just be me I told her not to bother. So I rode, and I rode, and I rode.
I got a very sub-par picture taken of Estes Park unfortunately. This was a really cool view, or maybe I just told myself it was really cool because I had just climbed one of those ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ hills – you know that one, you look up and say ‘you’ve got to be kidding me!!!’ because it is so freaking steep and you’ve already climbed for 15 hours. Or that’s what it feels like.
It was just after I stopped in a cute little town called Glen Haven for provisions. I didn’t have a cinnamon roll but holy buckets they looked and smelled phenomenal. It was a good thing I didn’t, I think I would have hurled on the crazy climb. I did get a Snickers to save for later, put it in my jersey pocket, and threw it away that night because it was gross and melted. So sad.
While I was there, I parked my bike next to a sweet car and took a snap. I thought it was kind of cool, if you think about it the Cervelo is probably the most Ferrari-like bicycle, next to a real Ferrari.
I rode by this Estes Park institution, the Stanley Hotel. If you’ve never been to Estes Park it is a landmark. It is also famous for being the setting of The Shining, a creepy Stephen King novel that was turned into a super creepy movie. Even this picture I think looks kind of creepy with the ominous clouds in the background.
By the time I got to Estes I was pretty sure I was screwed time-wise, I thought my ride would be way over my allotted 6:10. But the ride back went quickly, quickly enough that I had to add on one 10 minute loop. That worked out well considering my terrible math skills!
So that was solid. The other exciting news was that I swam a 6000 this weekend. I had maybe two or three 6000 yard/meter swims on my schedule before but I never completed them. I had time this weekend and I had skipped some other swimming so I figured I would do it. The main set was 40 x 100 which sounded torturous so I modified it to include some 100’s and some longer straight swims so I wouldn’t lose my mind (too much). I have to say it wasn’t that bad but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I just don’t really see the value, over a 6000 my form degrades and I don’t think it’s good to practice swimming that tired. But maybe I’m just lazy!
And in yet more news I found a sweet quarry out here in Northern California and had a quarry-swimming adventure on Tuesday night. It was freaking awesome. You just roll up, change, and jump into a very nice little lake, and swim to your heart’s content. All for a $6 parking fee. Thumbs up, California! I practiced some open water starts because I feel like in most races I do everyone starts like a gunshot and I am kind of whimpering along. That was a lot of fun.
And last but not least, here is my thought on training the mind. The key is the power of positivity. I am visualizing the race. I am visualizing the success I want to have in all areas of life. I am living positive, to obtain positive results. I think it is the way to go. How do you train your mind?