There are just a little more than 7 weeks to go until Ironman Lake Placid 2009.
These are "The Mental Weeks". There are still a lot of BIG rides left but you are oh so close to race day. You can almost see the end. Almost taste it. The alarm is still going off at 5:20 AM every single day and the sound of it makes you want to throw up. You have HAD ENOUGH! You are asking yourself and your training buddies "Why are we doing this?"
Even though those voices are starting to quiet a bit because the end is near, they are still there gnawing at you. On Saturday, the alarm goes off at 4:50 AM to get the ride started at 5:30 AM to get the 100 miles in, a 30 minute run afterwards and still be home at a decent time. Everyone shows up as if it's judgement day. It's almost "race day like" in its atmosphere. Everyone is so quiet. Then slowly the voices come to life. They curse what we are doing and suggest we head to the diner instead. Coffee, French Toast and Bacon! But somehow we get on the bikes and ride. Soldiers going off to battle. Solemn but accepting the mission.
The mental weeks are tough. You are investing alot of time into training at this point. The weeks are long. You try to prove to the family that you can train and still be a part of their lives. You can still do everything that needs to be done around the house. But it's just not possible. If I come home after riding 100 miles and running for 5 and I work outside cutting the lawn or painting the deck, I can't make it to 10 PM. Awake that is. A movie? Forget it. A beer? Would love it but then I'm out cold by 9. But still you are a trooper and the family more so. They granted you their permission for you to do this. You must put up a brave face and do what needs to be done. At least make it look like you tried to do it all.
When the mental weeks are over, it's taper time and then the real fun begins. You start the slow descent towards race day. And when it's over, it's like an addict coming off a high. It's hard to sustain but you want more. Except the family is shaking their head. Not this time. It's Saturday morning and we want you back before we wake. And don't forget the bagels.