Today I had a key brick on my schedule and I wanted it to include one more opportunity to do a sustained 20+ minute climbing effort on the bike. It's relatively flat around my house so for me that means either riding about 95 miles, or putting my bike in my car and driving to my friend Jenny's house where I can do the loop including the climb in less than two hours. Obviously, I chose the latter option.
As I was driving to the ride start, I found myself feeling exceedingly anxious. Anxious mostly about how the workout was going to go. I really wanted it to go well. I guess I just wanted the confidence of knowing that my training is on track... that my taper is on track... I guess I was looking at this workout as an indicator of how my race might go at Honu next week. I know how long it takes me to climb Pineapple Hill on a good day (and on a bad day, lol!) And I know how long it takes me to do the brick run loop from Jenny's house too... I've been doing this particular brick about once a month for the last few months so it's kind of an indicator workout for me. Hence, the nerves.
But I mean, it's not like today was the race or anything. I mean, shoot, who knows how the race will go? I think I am ready. I mean, I know I am ready. As ready as I've ever been for a 1/2 IM anyway. I've trained a ton and I think I've been pretty smart and calculated about when to go hard vs when to go easy vs when to rest. I've definitely pushed my limits lately but I have not fallen off any cliffs while at it... In a nutshell, my training the last few months has gone almost perfectly. I know some people have a genetic talent that allows them to train for like a week and then pop off a stellar 70.3 and still kick everybody's ass, but, um, I am not one of those people. I have to work very hard for every minute of every race and with me there's no faking it. I either did the training and will race well, or I didn't do the training and it'll be obvious with my finish time. So I think that's where my nerves came into play today. I mean shoot, I've done ALL THIS WORK and I just want it to pay off on race day, you know??
I spent the first 30ish minutes of the ride today trying to convince myself to relax and just enjoy the fact that I was out on my bike. My heart rate seemed very low... like 10 beats lower than normal. Hmmm. I felt fine though so figured it was what it was. The good news is that as soon as I started the climb, it popped right up tho where I wanted it and then I kept the effort right at threshold all the way to the top. It was hard, but not like fall over and die hard... exactly what I wanted the effort to be today. And my time to the top was right on par with how fast I can do the climb on a good day with a headwind (like today). With a tailwind I've gone almost 2 minutes faster but that was a good tailwind... ;)
Anyway, I felt solid on the ride and then got off to go run. I've really been working on my run lately so to feel so stellar today was just great. I ran a good bit faster than I ever have on this loop and just felt like a rock star. I was not killing myself (telling myself, "Remember Michelle, today is NOT your race!") but just felt solid and like I could have kept going all day.
Phew. That was totally what I needed today. I mean, it's just amazing how easy it is to start questioning everything when you are tapering. Did I do enough? Am I ready? Of course I am. Logically I know that but somehow still question myself everyday. I'm ready to just go race right now and show myself what I can do but instead I have 9 more days to worry about it. Argh.