So a few days ago I received an email from my coach, Angie. In the email was a document outlining Lisa Bentley's '12 Tips for Ironman Tapering'. Cool, I thought, I could use some tips as I've never tapered for an Ironman!
Now I won't go over all the tips because one can easily do this by going to her website; however, there were three that are definintely standing out right now...
'Keep moving, but don't do anything that you don't usually do...' Hmm...perhaps I should have paid more attention to this one. You see, yesterday after my chilling bike workout, I went with 7 amazing friends on an afternoon whitewater rafting trip. I didn't really think to much about it at the time. So what's a little easy paddling on the river? Heck, I'd whitewater kayaked on that river a ton of times - it'll be no problem!
Riiiiight. Perhaps I should have taken into account who I was paddling with - three first-timer Ironman athletes, one seven time Ironman triathlete/coach, two kids of steel triathletes, and to spice things up - one amazing musican and proud supporter of triathletes. All was well for two thirds of the trip - some waves, much laughter and lots of water. Things slowed down though for the last bit of the trip. The rapids were gone and the water calm. We weren't having to paddle much, and we were starting to get a little chilled. That's were we, the 'always working triathletes who have not yet grown accustomed to tapering' started to get a little antsy.
Who knows who brought up the idea, but the next thing I knew the competitive side of all of us, yes even the musican, came out. We HAD to pass all the other rafts!! GO! GO! GO! Stroke, stroke, stroke! Yay - we were passing all the other rafts!! We are triathletes, hear us roar!! I think our guide was in shock... I'm happy to report we did pass all but one, but only because we'd reached the end of the journey.
Today, however, I realize that perhaps trying to beat everyone was not a great idea. Why? Because I have discovered there was one muscle I apparantly did not work out these last eight months, my right gluteus medius. Why this muscle is quite sore...who knows! But I now understand what Lisa was trying to say. haha. Oh, and I'm sure it'll ease up in a day or so. (It was worth it to pass all the other rafts though!)
'Be extremely organized...'
Now this one is not hard for me - I'm all about organization. You have to be when you have to juggle a workouts, friends, family, and work. I'm pretty sure there is an unofficial triathlete check box somewhere.... 'OCD?' 'Yes!' 'Good, you are qualified to be a triathlete then.'
I think I'm about to take this organization thing to the extreme now though....all I can think about are lists. Lots and lots of lists.
I thought I'd take to the taper well. I mean, I wasn't looking forward to it becuase I loved all the training I was doing, but I know I need to taper in order to be prepared for the race. Some would say I'm insane for thriving off such long workouts, but hey, if I weren't insane would I be doing an Ironman?? Let's ponder this for a moment...
What I didn't count on, though, was having to replace thoughts of training and all that comes with it. What's that saying about idle minds? Now I guess I could focus on other things, like enjoying the reduced training....but instead all I can think about are lists. The little gerbil in my mind is working overtime on his wheel and he's not slowing down. I keep thinking about what I need to do before I leave for IMC, what I'll need to do once there, what I need for the swim, T1, bike, T2, run, after the race, etc etc.
All day I was jotting down notes on post-its so that I wouldn't forget all my little thoughts about what I need to do. These, of course, will all go into one master list! I have a feeling that within a few days my office will be covered in post-its... Oh my! At least then maybe the gerbil can take a rest....
'You will not need as much food as you did during your intense training...'
Whoa Nelly! Back up just a second....what do you mean not as much food?? Nooooooo...one of the perks of Ironman training is that I can eat as much food as I please and not feel guilty!
Okay, so I went a little overboard with the Bridge Mixture early on, but I gave that up in July after GWN and promised myself I wouldn't have them till I finished IMC! I might add that the cravings have not ceased. Drool...
Oh, and the 36 pieces of sushi I ate was just carbo loading for my 3 hour run! Mmmm...sushi....
FINE! I'll reduce my caloric intake, but I'm not going to like it. Sigh. Oh, what's this I see? 48 hours before race day I should top up my energy stores?? BRING ON THE SUSHI! Oh, and seeing as I'll be near Tickleberry's in OK Falls, I might just have to stop in for an ice cream too! Afterall, I don't want to be nutritionally depleted on race day!