This was a wonderful season. So grateful to start and complete everything I started.
The season started with ‘Sorath Kaur’ entering our world on the 3rd of February.
Glad to have an awesome coach who worked my training around everything I had on my plate. Full support from my wonderful family, who made sure I had a good night’s sleep. The end goal was a full Ironman in October.
Early morning training rides, runs and swims everything was squeezed in. Not to mention the extra strength training, and massage and chiro visits. My better half did a lot of work in covering up for my shifts with Sorath.
May started off with an Olympic distance (1-mile swim + 25 miles bike + 10 K run) race, where I was just getting ready to race again.
Ironman 70.3 Coeur D’Alene at the end of May, was a good race. Got my PR on the course. Learned from my mistakes, learned to pace, and had a decent run.
The following week, I went on to ascend Mt Adams (12, 280 ft). This was definitely something that humbled me. I survived this because of my endurance training, and a lot of solo hours training on my bike. I did do some practice hikes, but hiking up 12000 feet in the snow with a 40-45 lb backpack was not easy. Coming down was harder than going up. Camping at 9000 feet was adventurous. Watching the brightly lit sky at night was surreal.
Following two weekends, I went on to do gravel riding for hours and hours. Getting lost in the Snoqualmie forest, and encountering 2 bears and 4 cubs was scary. Then riding gravel, off the grid somewhere in Oregon forests was very humbling. It was such a learning experience and was all about conquering mental demons. I finished last on a bike that I had purchased 3 weeks ago and had ridden gravel only 4 times before. This ride came down to just finishing because I was hurting to the point that I was ready to quit on a few occasions, but I wanted to come home to my daughters telling them that I finished what I started. The gravel ride in Oregon was harder than a 70.3-distance triathlon.
After the gravel ride, it was time to chill a little bit and get on with the training for another 70.3 and the full distance. Another Olympic distance race in July, and then some easy time in Canada. Did get in 2 runs, and two bike rides in Canada to maintain the training load.
September was my A race 70.3 in my hometown. Felt good to race local, commute time of 15 mins, and no logistics to be taken care of. Had my race distance PB. Great swim, a conservative bike ride, and a solid run.
After the race, I started having doubts about being unable to complete the full Ironman distance. Even though I had 2-3 long-distance rides done. I started feeling guilty for all the time away from family and kids. But a bit of a pep talk and talking with my coach, helped me with the last push. I felt selfish to not be there with my kids over the weekends.
A week of rest and the last block of training started for the full Ironman distance. Long weekend rides, long swim sessions, and long runs. I was kind of mentally tired, but the way to get things done is to stop thinking about it. As my coach says “Thinking is bad for you”, do not overthink, take each big training session at a time. I did exactly that, each long session over the weekend was done at a time. At the end of 4 weeks, I had never before felt this fit, and race ready.
23rd October was when I stood at the starting line and crossed the finish line of Ironman California. My 3rd one is done and dusted.
Don’t think I am going to do a full one for the next 4-5 years. Takes away a lot of time from the family. 70.3’s are easy to deal with and put on the schedule.
My fitness this year has been courtesy of remaining consistent with my training, being coached by a good coach, and being supported by my Iron family. Now it is time to give them back. My recovery has been pretty good, and I have been feeling good 4-5 days after the full Ironman.
What did I learn this year?
There is no such thing as motivation. The only thing is Consistency. Stay consistent, keep showing up, and you will start becoming a better version of yourself. To keep showing up is discipline.
The thing I missed the most throughout the season, was my family. Traveling for the races was not possible with an infant. I am definite that seeing your loved ones on the course gives you a much better boost than the energy gels do. 2023 we plan to travel together.