One week before my first 70.3

Wow, how time does fly. It just seems like yesterday that I was registering for the Raleigh 70.3 Half Ironman. That was January and I had plenty of time to train and prepare myself for the first leg of my triathlon journey. I have trained almost six days a week since then and race week is now here. In one week, I’ll be in Raleigh going over race details, driving the bike course, getting my gear prepared and hopefully relaxing a little before the start of the race on Sunday.

Right now, I am sitting here sipping on a cup of coffee thinking about this upcoming week and what I need to do in these final days of race preparation. I’m thinking about my training plan this week. The training this week is called tapering, less distance and less exertion, but still swimming, biking and running.

As I sit here, there are a few other things I’m thinking about for my upcoming race.

I’m thinking about nutrition and my grocery list. To have enough glycogen stored for my race, I’ll need to consume over 800 grams of carbohydrates on the days leading up to the race. That’s a lot of carbohydrates to consume in a day, but necessary for me to have the energy stored to complete a five-hour race. Planning my meals and snacks this week is going to be a challenge, but it’s something I’ve been researching and thinking about for a few weeks now.

During the race, I also have to plan for and think about how I am going to keep up with proper hydration and the necessary caloric intake to get me to the finish line. My goal is to consume 200 calories each hour, drinking or consuming energy supplements every fifteen minutes or so. With heat and humidity expected to be higher than I’m used to, I have to dial in my race nutrition plan and stick to it as best I can. Some advice I have been given during the race is to “consume when you aren’t hungry and drink when you aren’t thirsty.” Mentally, I know what I need to do, but I’ve got to make my plan and be sure to execute it during the race.

I am ready. I am ready physically and mentally. On race day, I’m sure I’ll be nervous, but I have to rely on the training and the plan I have put in place and go out there do what I’ve trained to do. The most important thing I want to do during the race is to smile and just have fun!

Speaking of having fun, it’s Memorial Day weekend, one of my favorite holiday weekends of the year. It is a weekend to remember the unselfish men and women who served our country and fought for our freedoms as Americans. For me, it’s also a long weekend to relax and have fun with family and friends, grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and dip.

Later this morning, we have plans to head to the lake where we’ll spend time with family and friends. We’ll swim, jump off the dock, kayak, eat burgers, laugh, talk and my favorite thing to do, just be.

Yes, I have a week to go before my race but other than a short swim in the lake, I’m going to put my training and race thoughts on the back burner. I’m not going to overdo anything that will set me back on my training or race plan, but I’m going to have fun at the lake and just be with the special people in my life.

Just be. Why not?