Steelhead: noun - The anadromous variety of the rainbow trout, having silvery, unstriped sides.
Ironman: noun - A male athlete of remarkable endurance or durability.
Triathlon: noun - An athletic contest consisting of three different events, typically swimming, cycling, and long-distance running.
Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon: noun - August 19, 2012 - Begin with a 1.2 mile swim in beautiful Lake
Michigan, and transition to the run at Jean Klock Park. Next is a 56
mile bike course through parts of Berrien and Van Buren counties. This
area is known as Michigan’s fruit belt, and is home to berry farms,
orchards, and vineyards. The 13.1 mile run winds through a Harbor Shores
golf course and the Whirlpool Corporate campus.
Yes, it is official - and has been for weeks, but my intense training schedule has not allowed me to post much here. After Muncie 70.3 was cut back to a 37.2 Olympicish distance, I really had no choice. Ironman made it right by offering discounts for the Steelhead race in Benton Harbor Michigan on August 19.
There are some significant differences between the races:
The swim - I hear Lake Michigan is just a little bigger than Prairie Creek - and seriously waves up to 3 feet in the open water! They don't even determine which direction we swim until the day before based on the currents.
The bike - Instead of fast and flat, it's hill work! Muncie Gain = 528 feet vs Steelhead Gain = 732 feet; And instead of closed highway, it's through the country including county roads
The run - Instead of a hilly out and back, it's a double loop with even more hills! Muncie Gain = 161 feet vs Steelhead Gain = 203 feet
All of this has significantly impacted my training and with the help of pro triathlete Joanna Lawn and her coach (and husband) Armando Galarraga, I have a day by day plan that I've been following to a tee since they left town! It's exhausting, and very time consuming, but also very worthwhile. I know I am stronger (and smarter) than I was before Muncie.
I have 2 more hard training days, and then Molly and I are off to Kona on vacation. How fitting that we chose to vacation in Kona, the home of the Ironman World Championships, at this time! I am hoping to find a way to swim on the swim course, and get plenty of runs in, but still unsure how I will get the bike time in.
Stay tuned for an update upon my return!