7-6 Weeks to Ironman 70.3 Augusta – Positive Reinforcement

I went a bit MIA on the blog last week so I’m having a bit of catching up to do. And the first catch up I have to do is the Week 7 & Week 6 of my positive reinforcement

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For my positive reinforcement of last week, I wanted to choose an event from the training camp in Augusta – the swim.

The first time I got into the water on July 11th, I would not get in the water until everyone was yelling at me to. I was panicking in the cold water and would just not put my face in. And until Laurie convinced me to “sit up” with the wetsuit, I was on my back. It took me a few moments to start swimming. The second time I got into the water was the Friday of camp when I slid in knowing that I could “sit” with the wetsuit, but still wouldn’t put my face in.

So on the morning of Gator Fest, where the start was like a race simulation with waves being called out, I made it my goal to get in the water and start swimming with no fuss and no drama. 

And so I did !

I prepped myself by pouring cold water down my wetsuit and on my head. And yes, I was the last in my wave. But when they told my wave to go, I counted 1-2-3 and slid right in and dunked. I KNEW the wetsuit would bring me up, although I confess that I had 2 seconds of panic when I didn’t surface up as fast as I thought I would – next time, I take a big, deep breath before I slide in! 

From the girl who would not let go the dock at Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, to one that finally got in the water at Augusta without any pre-thought – that is LOT of progress. And now that I have done that, I know I will do it again on race day!

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For my 6th week of positive reinforcement, I want to stay in the same theme of the training camp. A simple difference – the two bike rides. 

I know the temperature made a huge difference, but so did attitude. Only July 11th, I was worried, nervous and towards the end I found it hard to fight back when the course beat me down. This time, I was determined to not have a repeat of that – I was ok with a slow time, but I wasn’t ok with riding back into town defeated like I had the last time.

Ironman 70.3 Augusta
One of the last shreds of strength left riding in.
Photo: Mike Buteau
TriCoachGeorgia Augusta Camp
Confidently taking a low grade long incline in aero. Photo: Jeff Spires


I took the first 10-15 miles easy, chatting up with people and being very controlled and doing my own thing. And when I had my mental moments on the never ending hill sections, I allowed myself that knowing that I would respite on the downhills soon. And when I got to the last 10miles, I attacked it aggressively. I know I won’t be doing that on race day, but this day I did and I showed the course that I wasn’t afraid anymore.  

On race day, the course and I plan to be friends. Jeff Spires rode with me most of the course and told me about the landmarks and their group rides and made the course come alive for me. 

And so it continues – the long road to Augusta.

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