Making it to the Blackwood Marathon

I decided to write a blog to save those around me from what might be a bit of tedium. Who wants to hear me go on and on about exercise all the time?

Well, maybe some people do…

So, please forgive the indulgence. I am wrapped up in my own thoughts right now, even though I should be doing a million other things – feeding horses, going for a run, riding my horse … I am mulling things over, and want to lay it out rather than toss it around.

I have a big fat hairy goal:

I want to do the Blackwood IronWoman In October 2010.

This means:
– running 12km
– canoeing 8.5km
– swimming 1km
– riding horse 16km
– cycling 22km

Ideally, to know I can complete each leg and have a little left in the tank for the next leg, I need to be able to perfom double the distance at my race pace. So I will have to train pretty hard over the next few months.

But there are some hurdles to overcome:
– I am running 8km pretty comfortably, and building up distance, though I’d like to improve my speed, but 24km means running to Woodanilling! This is a little daunting, but I have a plan and if I stick to it, I can do this.
– I have no idea when I’ll be able to do the canoeing/paddling thing, but I have been using the rowing machine, which is at least a start, but I don’t even have a kayak or paddles, let alone water here in Katanning… that’s a bit of a stumbling block!
– The pool is closed all winter, and only opens just before the event. When am I going to train to swim 2km in open water through the winter?
– I have a sore horse, and need a better fitting saddle, which will mean selling at least two of my saddles in hopes of getting enough to pay for one that does fit, plus regular chiro, massage and stretching for the horse. We will be able to overcome all these hurdles, they only cost money, and that just means making sacrifices elsewhere.
– Cycling 44km is just a ride to Woody and back, and I can do that, though not at my goal race pace. But all I really have to do is just keep riding. The problem is that winter is setting in, and I don’t have lights, gloves, long riding trousers or jacket to make that happen just yet. The plan is to find some time to go to Bunbury and use my voucher to buy the things I need so I can ride in the winter. The real question is: will I want to ride in the dark, wind, and rain?

I think the biggest question for me though is really “How do I stay motivated to train for so many events through the winter?”

Although there’s always 24 hours in a day, through winter the vast majority of them are dark hours, and cold and wet hours to boot! I also work full-time, often have odd shifts, and need to maintain some level of energy for work. And I need to eat properly, clean my house, and do those million other little trivial things that are requirements for life … on a budget, because all this will take money as well as time. Just travelling to get to a place to train to swim, paddle, pay for riding lessons, saddle, chiro, running shoes… it does add up!

And time management… I’m looking at training for 5 disciplines, all that need – at the barest minimum – three sessions a week for optimal training: two short and one long session each week.
That’s 15 sessions each week, most of which will have to be over two hours long by the time I get into what I’ll call “full training”.

So how do I do it?

Near as I can figure I will need to train about three hours each day, especially as I get nearer to August and am working at those double-distances. I think I will need two rest days. And I can draw up a plan for it, but just how to do it!? What on earth am I thinking?

Why do I want to be an Iron Woman anyway?

Because it is an amazing challenge and I woudl feel invincible! Because the idea of completing such a greuling race, of being one of the few who does the whole thing, makes me feel really excited and almost ‘jittery’ inside. Because I want to be able to say “I can” and because I think I am running out of time – 36 isn’t old, but I feel like 40 will be too late. I don’t want to just be average, I want to be incredible! And I think if I set the bar for extreme, and get great results, I’ll be more satisfied than if I set an average goal and get mediocre results.

So, here’s hoping I can push myself out of bed in the cold dark mornings and do what I have to do. Here’s hoping I can hold onto the desire through the winter and find reasons to keep trying, pushing, striving!

Here’s hoping I find my way to the finish line!

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