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Gulf Coast 70.3 Race Week

Seven years ago, I decided to attempt my first 70.3 at Gulf Coast. I had no formal coaching and was training on my own with the internet as my guide. I had only practiced swimming in a pool and thought I knew how to swim due to years of swimming lessons. When I joined my triathlon team, I learned my swimming lessons were to teach me not to drown. After years of doing marathons, I knew I had endurance and would be fine or so I thought.

The night before the race, it stormed. As I walked to the location where the swim was taking place I noticed the water and took a deep breath. The water was angry. There were huge waves with white caps crashing onto the shore. Clouds were still clearing out from the overnight storm. I watched the water for a few minutes and knew if the swim wasn't canceled I was not racing. In thirty-five years I was never scared of the water until this day. Luckily, Ironman was concerned about the safety of the swim and ended up canceling it. It turned into a bike/run event. I was fairly happy on the bike, but the run was a very long hot adventure due to my overdependence on my marathon endurance. While I was a proud finisher, it gave me some perspective of things I needed to work on.

Fast forward seven years to 2024, I am racing Gulf Coast 70.3 this weekend. How am I feeling? I'm feeling excited about this race. I have reflected on the ups and downs of training. I am a stronger and more focused athlete. My training hasn't gone perfectly but I feel I will be able to finish the race. As I have a slower week with training due to tapering, I have also thought about some things I would like to focus on as I train for 70.3 Augusta and Ironman Florida.

  1. Stretching and Range of Motion: Most of us neglect this aspect of our workouts. You either want to jump right into your workout to get it done or you are tired after and think you will do it later and never do. My goal is to do this every day and make it a habit like brushing my teeth every day.

  2. Nutrition: I plan on following my nutrition plan a little more closely and way fewer treats to be at or close to my goal weight by Ironman Florida.

  3. Strength and Core: Do more core and strength work. Build up to 5 X 15 sets in each exercise and do it five days a week

  4. To Keep Staying Positive: Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. I want to keep giving myself grace. No one is perfect. I know I will get the body and athleticism I want just not as fast as I would like.

  5. Cycling: To Keep Improving Cadence and work my average up to 90 rpm

  6. Rowing: I row at a rowing studio for cross-training. I want to get back to starting or ending my day with this five days a week. It is like a spin class but on a row machine. The studio also offers their classes virtually so you can join from anywhere. For more information click here:

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