The second time is a charm! Well not necessarily in Ironman events.  Every event is a mental and physical challenge that requires immense focus and determination in order to complete the race.  This was my second Ironman Wisconsin event.  It had been two years since my first race, after I had decided to take a year off between gearing up for a long race.  This summer I had decided to complete only one race, and this was it.  The summer afforded me more opportunity to complete some longer rides and focus on outdoor swimming.  My three favorite rides of the summer included up to Cross Lake and back,  down to Le Suer and back, and out to Hutchinson and back.  I discovered audio books this year which made long rides an opportunity to increase my mind as well as my lungs.  My favorite listen this year was “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll.  This book changed my eating habits forever.  I would encourage any endurance athlete to do what Rich suggests – go to CostCo and purchase a vitamix, get some almond milk, coconut milk and oil, kale, carrots, beets, avocado, bananas, apples,  walnuts, flax seed, chia seed, and whatever else strikes your fancy and learn to eat from a cup.  What a great way to get calories, fats, protein, sugars, and everything else your body needs to go far!  So thanks to Rich Roll and my viatmix.  This year I also made some additional changes to my routine, I started to work with a swim coach and began using a heart monitor.  While I still profess to be a minimalist, I have to say that both these additions did help further my performance.  Who knows, maybe next year I might finally get a bike computer as I train for my third Ironman – yes, I registered for 2013.