Even the title of this post is showing my ups and downs- ahh taper madness. I know rationally that this is normal and that I am ready, but then the next second I am doubting it and thinking my fears are grounded and not just taper madness related. At least the spontaneous crying hasn't started yet.
I keep googling "minimal Ironman training" looking for stories of people who skipped more workouts than me and did just fine. And those stories exist. I also know there are people who train like pros and are more than ready and something happens on the day and they never finish. In many ways it is a crap shoot.
I just wish I could look back on my training logs and have the hard proof that I'll be fine. Unfortunately I look back on a lot of holes. Missed workouts all offseason, loosing my run base. Basically non-existent swim training. Off and on consistency with the bike. Yes, I have gotten better recently, but still a fair amount of missed workouts. On the other hand, I can put on my logical hat, and see the long rides and runs, the cornerstone of long course training. I keep playing with pace calculators and seeing just how easily I'll make the cutoffs. But then the "what if's" start.
My main fear is definitely the swim, and probably my most logical one as well. My swim training has been poor. No excuses. I think 3300 is the longest I've done in the pool. At this point I'm not sure whether a marathon session would be good for the confidence or just not worth it. I know I will be able to finish and not drown, but how much will it take out of me? Mental energy? Physical fatigue? How close to the cutoff? How will I play mind games with myself on the swim when my mind is full of doubt?
I am also in that "bargaining" phase. Just let me get through this one and I'll do better next time. I'll do it right. I'll train hard. Religiously. I'll be ready.
In all honesty, I'm not sure how happy I'll be with "just finishing." Not that that is not a huge accomplishment, but I feel I am or should be better than that. I did a 5:33 HIM on my first attempt. Doesn't that translate to a 12 hr-ish Ironman (hah!)? I don't want to be back of the pack. I don't want to be back of the middle of the pack. I will be ok with middle of the pack, but to be honest, I'm wanting front of the middle of the pack :-). But I also know that has to be earned, and if we're being honest, I haven't earned it this year.
At the EN Camp, Coach Rich said something I am trying to keep remembering- to everyone supporting you, all that matters is that you are having fun and are safe. I know my mom will be proud of me no matter what. Everyone else probably won't really care either. But man, I've already felt that I've let people down this year, I want some good news to share.
And to think- I'm only a few days into the taper. Bring on the crazy!