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 deciding to take a year off before gearing up for a long race. For summer, I had decided to complete one race and this was it. The warm summer weather afforded me more opportunities 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 had recently discovered audiobooks, which gave me an opportunity to increase my mind as well as my lungs on long rides.
My favorite listen of the summer 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, flaxseed, 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 Vitamix!
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.