{12} Days

What do you do when there are twelve days left.


I swam.  2100 yards….. feels like nothing.  But I guess that’s how it’s supposed to feel.


I bought soccer clothes, shin guards and cleats for Little Boy Blue.

Am I supposed to be doing something else?

Maybe I’m supposed to …. If I am I don’t know what it is.

I’m part of a IMLT facebook group.  Everyone shares their comments, things they’ve learned and asks questions.  Things that the group is obsessing about at this point include  things such as the elevation change on the course, the special needs bags not being returned, what wheels to ride, how to ship bikes, and the list goes on.

Meanwhile while this is happening, I’m trying to keep myself sane.  I am desperately trying to block out the outside voices and focus only on what’s inside.  I have been training for around 26 weeks.  I have put in the work.  I will do the best that I can on that day.  I am desperately working on mapping out the things that will help me to get through the day.  Thus far, here is my list….

1) The Swim…. Oh the swim.  I can swim 2.4 miles.  That’s not a problem.  The question is can I swim 2.4 miles at altitude?  My plan as of right now is to do a practice swim on Friday when we arrive in Kings Beach, CA.  This will hopefully give me an idea of what I am going to need to do to make it through on race day.  And then on Sunday, I can employ whatever it is that I need to do.  I imagine that I’m going to need to take it slow.  And I’m probably going to need to open up more to get a fuller breathe… if possible.  I don’t know if I can alter my breathing cycle from bilateral to breathing on one side in order to get more breathes.  I will do whatever I can to get through.


2) The Bike … It’s going to be a long day with at least 6,500 feet of climbing.  I can’t fret about this any more.  If anything is going to make or break me, it will be the bike.  But again, I cannot fret about it.  If I make it great.  If I don’t, Ironman Lake Tahoe will not define me.  I will concentrate, I will dig deep and hopefully, I will make it off the bike.

3) The Run … I will make a list.  I will make a list of twenty-six names and/or reasons.  These things will be in my transition bag and I will carry them in my pocket on the run.  So when I have a tough time for a part of a mile, I will be able to focus one who or what it is that I should keep running for.  I am relying on this working.


Striving for a Finish Line

The long story short is that I am currently trying to get a handle on my mental game.  I need to quiet the outside voices and at the same time the ones inside my own head that say it’s not possible.  I need to be calm and just go about my own race.  I have no one to beat but myself and I have nothing to cross except the finish line.  Whether I do it at 15 hours or 16:59, the shirt still says finisher.  With that, there are twelve sleeps left. Twelves nights to keep myself calm and just do that best that I can do.

So, I ask, how do you cope when you’re close to a tough event and you need to keep your mental game together?  Any tips or pointers?


This entry was posted in Coping Strategies, Count Down, Ironman Tahoe. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to {12} Days

  1. Tamara S. says:

    Sarah, I’ve been following your blog and from what I’ve read, you ARE READY! I’m doing IMLT also, and I live close enough to train there. I live at “almost” sea level. I am a back of the packer, only have a road bike, no aero bars, slow swimmer, average runner. I have done the course a few times and I have ALWAYS hit the times in enough to make the cutoffs. From reading your reports about your rides, climbs, swims, races, you are totally ready! The elevation/altitude is really not that bad in my opinion. On the multiple times I’ve trained there, I honestly haven’t felt any altitude effects. I think people on the facebook group are going a little crazy and blowing things a bit out of proportion (my opinion). I totally believe you’ll be ok and you’ll do great. Thanks for sharing your journey on the blog. It’s been fun to read about it. And I look forward to reading a race report that has you celebrating your great day at IMLT. You’ve got this!!!

  2. Yeah I would avoid looking at the Facebook group until race day as I find that fellow racers are the ones that get me the most anxious and nervous about something when really its wasted energy. On race morning, see if you can find a quiet place by a tree or in the water and just be still and give yourself positive affirmation. We both know how cold that water was in Maine at Rev3 and this Florida girl had a lot of issues with it but I got it done by adjusting my strategy because the only thing you can count on in race day is the fact that something will go wrong. Once you accept that and say “thats fine, I can handle whatever is thrown at me” then you’re golden. You’ve put the time, miles, and sweat into the race, now go get it done!

  3. Karen says:

    Excited for you! You seem so ready! Can’t wait!!!

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