Week 29 & 30 Ironman Training

Week 29 & 30 Ironman Training
July 22, 2014 Jess

It’s race week and I find myself 2 days in, on a rest day, with 2 nights of 10 hours of sleep under my belt. It’s nice to be reacquainted with rested Jess. I have adjusted to taper quite well with little to no ego involvement.  I met with MB last week for our final meditation session before leaving for Lake Placid.  His instructions were to use every meditation to visualize the race.  Not only the race but everything about my experience from the time we leave the house to the time I cross the finish line.  The pre-race rituals only need to be visualized once or twice but every bit of the race is to be seen in my mind as much as possible.  The goal being that when I arrive and start going through the motions my sub-conscious will say ‘Hey we’ve already done this and we had an awesome experience’. I have the benefit of knowing this course very well as I have completed this race before and trained on it several times.

And so I am, with every meditation, picturing in my mind the wait for the swim start, my calm strong strokes, the views of town when I turn to breath. I complete the first loop energized and start in for the 2nd, realizing that this will all be over soon and resist the urge to slow down because I’m enjoying it so much.  I finish with a huge smile and run to T1 for comedic exchanges with the volunteers and hop on my bike for a safe ride.  I see my legs spinning up the ascents, safely navigating the descents, hitting special needs for more chamois cream, seeing Beej and my family,  soaking up their energy and that of the crowds’.  I head out of town for another loop of the same, realizing that every pedal stroke I take covers the final ground of the bike course.  I use my assigned mantra of ‘om’ to maintain focus and go beyond the physical, exchanging words of encouragement with other competitors.  I climb Mama Bear, Baby Bear and Papa Bear for the last time and cruise down into town, spinning out my legs as much as I can to ready myself for the run.  The crowds are cheering and I’m cheering back, my cheeks are starting to hurt from smiling and I finish the bike somewhere around 7 hours.  Although I say, and its the truth, I don’t really care about my time MB says its very important for me to have time goals to push towards.  It will keep me driving especially in times where I’d rather be driven, in a car, with air conditioning resting easy.

I surrender my bike with gratitude and visualize me heading towards the transition racks for my bag, I grab it and trot to the change tent introducing run motion to my legs.  I don’t forget a step, sunscreen, vaseline, gels and my banana for immediate consumption.  I head out onto the sun soaked streets and hear the roar of the crowd, the energy is soaring and my legs feel fresh.  I head down the steep descent leaving town and off to River Road.  I start to see competitors that past me on the bike many hours before and I try not get ahead of myself by keeping my pace in check.  I walk the even number aid stations and get in my nutrition religiously, I remind myself that I still have a ways to go and to remain calm.  I hit the turn around and head back into town where the steep descent now becomes the steep ascent into town.  I run it all, never stopping, head for the 13 mile mark, I see my family and Beej smiling, yelling, cheering despite their exhaustion.  This gives me great energy for the 2nd loop, I head back down and my quads feel every step.  I return to my mantra and reclaim focus for the final lap.  I focus on faculties of power and calmness as I take each step as light as possible.  Turning onto River Road I know I just need to stay strong, every step I take is closer to the finish.  I hit the turn around, announce that I’m heading to the finish and although my exhaustion is startling I know that I am far more powerful than my physical body.

At mile 18 I start to take in coke and the sheer change up of sugar is more than I need to bump me up as the race has just begun.  I listen to my breath, I soften my gaze, relax my face and come out of the trees to see the ski jumps ahead.  Then the red barn, then the turn onto 73 and up the hill, past the horse grounds, I know I’m within 3 miles.  I push up the final climb back into town remembering what BJ told me and catch my breath once I turn onto Mirror Lake Drive.  I hit the final aid station and push hard to the turn around knowing that it’s all downhill from there.  The crowd is thick and some remember me from before, they know I’m going to the finish.  I get close to the turn, I start to see outstretched hands and I muster the strength to slap them.  I turn right, then left, I’m in the oval, I hear Mike Reilly. I make the final turn, blinded by the lights I hear the roar of the grandstands and no longer feeling anything physical. I reach my arms high and cross the finish line well under 14 hours.

So that’s what I’m visualizing and no matter what happens on race day I will do my darndest to embrace and notice when I resist.  I will resume focus in times when I lose it and be grateful for every step because I know how lucky I am to be out there.  Plans for the day have already been altered with the loss of my sweet boy, Harrison and the recent realization that Beej will not be starting by my side but those things are out of my realm of power.  The only thing I have control over is the choices I make, the outcome is already determined, I just need to go play it out.


Week #29 Recap

2100 yd swim
75 min heated vinyasa
1 hr  z2/z3 bike
30 min recovery bike
45 min z2/z3 bike
20 min z2 run


2600 yd swim
40 min vinyasa
6o min heated vinyasa
60 min recovery bike
2hr 30 min z2/z3 ride
25 min z3/z2 run


Week #30 Race Week

20 min yoga
1600 yd swim
Swim in Mirror Lake
30-50 min recovery ride
20-30 min z2/z3 run
1hr 10min z2/z3 bike
15 min recovery run


20 min swim
35 min recovery ride
10 min recovery run
2.4 mile swim
112 mile bike
26.2 mile run


  1. Jocelyn Bergeron 9 years ago

    I’m going up to LP this weekend to volunteer and register for 2015. Just so you know, I’m printing this, “I turn right, then left, I’m in the oval, I hear Mike Reilly. I make the final turn, blinded by the lights I hear the roar of the grandstands and no longer feeling anything physical. I reach my arms high and cross the finish line” quote out, and putting it at my desk. It will be my inspiration as I proceed through this crazy year to get myself to the start line, and the finish line of IMLP.

    • Author
      Jess 9 years ago

      Love it! Thanks for volunteering and keep in touch. I want to hear about your IM journey. It will be amazing! Namaste.

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