Volcano Ice Cream

volcanoicecreamVolcano Ice Cream is the one on the right. This is the most delicious banana, strawberry and oreo cookie ice cream. Ever since my first visit here in 2005 (when I think I had this almost every day before the race) I’ve looked forward to this as my post race treat. The coffee shop is still there and they seem pleased that I so look forward to it. Roger had a scoop last night and taunted me with it confirming how delicious it is. The other picture is a Chocolate Silk – this is twice the price of any other item on display which could be a marketing ploy as it’s got us really intrigued. Jo said she may try one the night before the race (carbo loading!), I think I may accompany my volcano ice cream with it post race.

Clearly I’m getting ahead of myself. Back on to race build up.

Kona is now really buzzing ! Up early to swim the full course on my own. I swam non stop out to the turnaround buoy and halfway back. Then I had to do some detours to avoid the masses of swimmers. Probably ended up with  a little over 4k of swimming in 69 minutes. I felt comfortable and really enjoyed it. A very leisurely splashers breakfast with Roger and Donna before a quick look at the merchandise store (no purchases) and then relaxing in my room for a couple of hours.

At lunchtime I headed out along the Queen K for a short run. Did run walk this time with a minute walking based on advice from Phil who has managed a 3:16 marathon based on run walk. This felt better than the 30 seconds though I think in the race I will walk right through each aid station. I also ran in Skins compression shorts. They felt good to run in other than when I walked they were way too hot (they’re black). I’m on the lookout now for some white compression shorts to run in, if not I’ll be in Tri London shorts or possibly normal running shorts. I ran the last couple of miles of the course visualizing running this section in the race. This is not because I think I’ll be struggling at that point. Far from it, I’ll be on cloud nine when I’m there in the race. No, I was visualizing so that I have it fixed in my mind that I WILL get to this point in the race.

Over coffee this evening we came up with another cunning plan. I’ve never used special needs in a race but this time I may be walking by that point and appreciate it (I think it was Roger that pointed this out). The cunning plan is to chose something to put in there that I will really look forward to and will entice me out on the Queen K. Perhaps a roast chicken ? Some sexy trail mix. Answers on a post card please.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my preparations have gone. It may seem odd to say this but they have really gone more or less as well as I could have asked for. What I mean by that is that given my foot surgery – from that point on I’m not sure I could really  have got my preparations better. Yes I could wish that my foot had repaired and let me run normally immediately but it was unlikely. Given that my swim and bike preparations have been awesome. I’m now running without pain and key markers are suggesting I’m  tapering well:

1.My HR is low – 35 this morning and my lowest WTD average this year.

2.Average nightly sleep has been over 8 hours for the past week

3.Motivation is high

4.Fatigue is low

5.My training consistency in the past 3 months has been spot on

With all that my expectations are for probably my slowest Ironman, in fact if it’s not I’ll be chuffed to bits. However – sport and Ironman rewards the work put in. You don’t compete and get an adjusted time for hours training done (though that makes for fun dinner conversation). Though many people try and big up a performance by giving other details (eg lack of hours done or level of other commitments), it really is not relevant. We get to the start line and are there to race for who is best on the day. How they got there doesn’t matter other than giving that information can be useful for all of us to learn from. Thats part of the reason I started this blog, I thought it may help some people to see what someone actually did and how the results followed.

This is something I’ve wanted to post about for a while but have not worked out how to articulate it. Reading that I’ve not articulated it very well but it’s the best I can do. I feel that this time round I‘ve done all I can to get to this race fit and ready so the result will be appropriate and if I don’t do well it’s I wasn’t good enough on the day.

I’ve also been thinking about commitment to athletic achievement. Gordo once posted about how few people are willing to “Fully commit”. I think there’s naturally a fear of not having an excuse. If you commit fully and still fall short it means you weren’t good enough. I think this is probably the closest I’ve got to full commitment. I’ve given up work, my home, possessions, trained full time. I’ve managed to do well with my diet, rest and training sessions. But could I commit more fully ?

For sure I could. Seeing Jo and Rachel in Lanzarote and the sessions they do. I still train within my comfort zone. That doesn’t mean I don’t train hard just that I do the training I like doing. I feel that I need to commit to trying other things. As I’ve cycled along the Queen K seeing others out fighting fit I’ve wondered about the fine tuning I probably should do. Back just before I snapped my tendon Gabriel commented that I don’t need anymore aerobic endurance. I feel he’s on to something. I love doing that training and am willing to build that so much that I should be able to endure some serious fine tuning. The question is will I be willing to commit to this for a future race.

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