Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Goals.


Even thinking about writing this gives me anxiety.

"Yeah Megan, we know, everyone gets anxious."
Right. But my type of anxiety has been known to go to extremes. If I start crying and can't stop it's not because I'm that emotional, it's just that my body won't physically calm down. If I have something on my mind that I consider "serious" I won't sleep a wink and will likely be full of nervous energy until said issue is resolved (followed by a period of craaaaaazy intense sleep). My hands will become ice blocks and will noticeably shake for an unknown amount of time. The list of symptoms goes on. But what I'm about to do? This qualifies as OMGMEGANWHYAREYOUGIVINGYOURSELFTHISADDEDSTRESS territory.

Goals are right up my alley. I'm a type A goal oriented person. But I also consider them to be very personal. And for the most part, I think a lot of people would agree. And frankly, it's really NO ONE'S business what I or anyone else strives for in life. Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. (Thanks Google.) They can say great things about who a person is. I've heard over and over again that if your goals don't scare you they're not big enough. Spoiler alert: my goals scare the shit out of me. And sharing them with others can help keep you accountable. Spoiler alert: I give myself enough grief when I don't reach the goals I set for myself, no way do I need others coming down on me too. And of course they create motivation and can create a sense of encouragement when you share them with others. But goals can shift and you need to be flexible with your expectations. So overall, the whole "let's tell the world!" idea just doesn't sit well with me.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it's time to be uncomfortable more often. The day I gained enough courage to consider writing my goals down for the world to see, I ran across this article about chasing that big idea you're to scared to say out loud. It's about putting in the work, trusting the process, believing in your talents, and forgetting about the outcome. Don't think, just do. The author and I are actually fellow high school/college acquaintances {Go Gators! ILL-INI!}. We also happened to grow up approximately 2.5 blocks away from each other. He's far more creative than I and actually gets paid to write. And I can't thank him enough for giving me this simple read to bookmark on those days when I need a little reminder.


#truth

So I'm gonna try something new here. Let's talk about what I want to accomplish in a few short months at Ironman Texas.

"OMG MEGAN YOU'RE DOING IRONMAN TEXAS YOU NEVER TOLD US!"

Uhhhh yeah, I know I didn't. Part of the whole, nonyabusiness thing, remember? But I'm jumping into 2017 with 2 feet and ready to make myself a little uncomfortable. Ironman Texas was not on my initial radar when planning 2017. I've always had a secret desire to go back and race on the full 140.6 course and take my chances that the monsoon won't show up on race day. So when Jacqui started looking for her Kona 2017 qualifying race and said the word "Texas" was a possibility, my ears perked up. She had a couple of options on her plate, but just a few days before Christmas, Texas won. And if I was ever going have my 2nd chance at Texas, this was my window. So I jumped on it.

And here's what we intend for IMTX this time around:

  • Rob, Jacqui, Ryan and I get to go back and hang out with our favorite Texas hosts, Aimee, Rob, and Dunkin.
  • But we're not going alone... This year, our favorite night owls are coming with! Nate and Trina are Woodlands bound to tackle IMTX too :)
  • Jacqui gets a shot at some redemption after last year's DNF
  • Ryan will attempt to reclaim his title as the IMTX Overall Amatuer Winner 
  • I hope to complete the race without ending up with a black eye due to golf ball sized hail (among other things, but we'll get there)
And here's what we plan on leaving out of the trip this time around: 
  • Jacqui's pre-race bike crash 
  • Me oversleeping and almost missing the race 
  • The unforeseen hail storm that showed up around 3pm on race day.

So here we are. 14 weeks from race day. (Oh yeah, did I mention they moved the race to April this year?) And I have to get my butt into gear. And quick. Truly, my goals are more than "I hope it doesn't rain this year." Holy hell. Here goes nothing.


SWIM:

Last year on May 14th, the swim course was not wetsuit legal. I'm pretty sure the water hit 80+ degrees that morning making it similar to bathwater. I hopped out of the river and clocked 1:19 on the dot. Not where I wanted to be, but considering I didn't have a neoprene hug for 2.4 miles, I was pretty satisfied. Eight weeks later I swam the same distance in an equally calm body of water WITH a wetsuit in 1:15. So, in 14 short weeks, I'm banking on the water being less than 78 degrees due to the 1 month pre-mature race start so I get the free speed from the neoprene. Add in all the laps I've been logging lately and a couple tweaks on my swim form, and I'd like to see 1:10 or faster coming out of the water.


This year I hope to be pealing off my wetsuit

Bike:

So, last years bike course was NOT ideal. However, it was GRACIOUSLY accepted considering it was only approved 2.5 weeks before race day. The course itself had more turns than it did miles and and was short by 17 miles. I hopped off that bike averaging 19.4mph for the 95 mile course. And the last few months, the bike has been my biggest nemesis. It's currently the center of my love/hate relationship with this sport. I can't remember the last time I did a workout and stepped off the bike without stumbling. I'm pushing some watts I've never even dreamed of. My current Ironman bike PR is from Ironman Maryland coming in at 5:59, 18.7mph. All this said, let's be lofty, shall we? Who says I can't bike 112 miles at 20mph? 20mph for 112 miles puts me at a solid 5:35.


One of the 29485739 turns on the bike course last year



RUN:

Everyone knows all the poor decisions you make before the run shine bright on the run. Lack of nutrition, to much nutrition, over biking, etc. This is what I like to call separating the men from the boys. And honestly, I'm still not sure which category I fall into. But what I do know is that my run off of the bike has improved 10 fold since IM number 1 in Madison almost 3 years ago. The more I run in the heat the more I surprise myself, which will hopefully serve me well hopping off the bike mid-afternoon at the end of April. I recently broke the 4 hour curse at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November. But, can I break the curse off the bike? That's right, you heard me. On April 22nd, it's sub 4 or bust.

This picture gets me every time. 



So where does that put me?


1:10 Swim + 5:35 Bike + 4 Run = 10:45 plus transitions.


Let's crack 11 hours.



But let's leave out the blurry & soggy mess this time?





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