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Miami 70.3 Expectations

by Meghann on October 23, 2012

On Sunday I will be participating in my second half ironman, Miami 70.3.

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If I’m being honest, I have to admit that my training wasn’t where I wanted it to be this time around. For my first half ironman (Augusta 70.3) I was on top of my game. I had a plan and I stuck to it, even posting weekly updates on the blog to keep me in line. I was unstoppable and rocked that 6:29 finish. Not a “fast” time by any means, but still a time I was – and still am – super proud of. I never gave up and I pushed myself all the way to the finish, that’s the key attitude to an awesome race.

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This year the excuses rolled in… I’m the maid of honor at my sister’s wedding…. I’m planning Healthy Living Summit… I’m planning my own wedding… I’m traveling… etc. etc. If you need an excuse, I’m full of them. I’m not sure why, but my training took a backseat to all of them and I didn’t have the strength to push pass them.

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I started writing a plan back in August, but that never went anywhere (see: excuses above). Instead I built up a training base (swimming 2-3 times a week, gradually increasing my long runs and bike rides, the occasional brick, and strength training) that kept me in decent enough shape to participate in Miami, but not PR by any means.

I’ve had a dozen people ask what my expectations are going into Miami, and honestly I have none. I won’t be down there to set new records and I won’t be down there to beat my times, but I will be there to enjoy the race, have fun, and finish with a smile.

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Not every training cycle is going to be perfect and it’s okay not to train to PR every race. Sometimes it’s okay just to train to complete the distance, sometimes it’s okay to to just enjoy the adventure, and sometimes it’s okay to go your own way. One of my highlights of my racing career was crossing the finish line at Augusta holding my sister’s hand. I loved that race and I loved that distance. I registered for Miami because of Augusta. Augusta taught me that I could do this, that I had a half iron(wo)man in me, and that I loved this distance. I want this race to be FUN.

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I’ve gone back and forth on writing this post because I knew people would think I’m crazy for still doing Miami 70.3. I haven’t talked about it much because I’m more scared about what others will think versus scared of actually doing the race. How crazy is that? You might not believe from my lack of mentioning it, but I really am excited about this race. I’m excited to swim, bike, and run my way to the finish and I’m excited to cheer my brother and sister on as we tackle this thing as a family. I’m excited to race!

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I’m going into this race with the better-to-be-undertrained-than-overtrained attitude. I haven’t been writing dedicated weekly training posts, but I have been training and I believe I have enough training to get me to that finish line. The only part I’m worried about is the bike (my weakest sport), luckily it’s a flat course and the only hills I’ll have to worry about are causeways.

And just because I’ll be at the starting line, doesn’t mean I’ll be at the finish. I am NO fool! If something doesn’t feel right – I get hurt, my body has had enough, a pain won’t go way, something happens that is out of my control – I have no problem bowing out. What happens, happens, and no race is worth injuring yourself! I plan to listen to my body on race day and let it guide me.

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Sorry, this post just turned into one big rambling. This is something that’s been on my mind for a while and I had to get it off my chest. Is there a point to it all? Probably not, but sometimes it’s good just to ramble (after all, isn’t that why blogs are there in the first place? ;) )

Bring it on, Miami. Bring it on. :)

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 natalie @ will jog for food October 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Good luck! I know you will do amazingly well :)

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2 Krissy @ Shiawase Life October 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Sometimes having a best attitude going into an event is the best and most powerful thing :) You will rock it no matter what the timing clock says (though I am sure you’ll surprise yourself) :D

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3 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer October 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

You’ve got this, girl! I love the honesty. 70.3 is a HUGE thing to tackle and I love that you are realistic about it. I also am so excited that you are all doing it as a family- how awesome is it that you have such a supportive tight family that you can do a freaking half ironman together?! Love!

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4 Annette @FitnessPerks October 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I think it’s great that you’re just EXCITED to race. Wahoo! That means you’ll totally enjoy it. I just did my first Half IM in August, and it was quite the experience! I loved (most of) it. :) Have fun!

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5 Jean October 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

You’ll do fine! You’ve done one before and you know your body well enough to know better than your readers whether you can or can’t finish. Good luck!

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6 Melissa October 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

You’ve definitely had a busy year. If I were in your shoes, I’d say “MEH!” to the whole thing and go out for breakfast instead.

Cuz you know what? It’s *just* a race. There will be more but there won’t be more wedding planning (well, at least I hope not LOL!) It doesn’t seem like you really want to do this (trust me, I GET it! which I will get to in a sec) so frankly, why bother?

Now I’ll add in a personal anecdote – I signed up for a marathon three years ago. I signed up with every intention of doing it. Trained that summer, but things came up. I didn’t have time to schedule in 18 mile runs or whatever. I did 6-8 milers but never more than that because I just didn’t have the time (or motivation) to run more than an hour a day. And you know what? I wasn’t even planning a wedding! (it was more work-related things…just got really busy & working later hours).

I still run, but I realize that for *me*, training for marathons just isn’t in the cards. I like working out, but an hour/day is ENOUGH LOL! I don’t want to devote so much of my limited free time to training, ya know?

So…that’s where the MEH! comes in. If I were you, I wouldn’t do it, but props to you if you do! :)

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7 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I was wondering what you were thinking about the race since you hang mentioned it much. But I don’t think you’re crazy, I think it will be a fun and rewarding experience. It’s not always about beating your previous time, it’s about the journey (and yes I felt a little cheesy typing that)

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8 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin October 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Good luck girl! Even attempting that distance is a feat in my book!

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9 Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

How fun that you are racing with your family! My brother and I have talked about doing a half ironman together. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

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10 deva by definition October 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Good luck! I know how it is when training falls to the wayside. I’ve run at least one “fun race” as a result of looking at my previous weeks of running and going “this is not going to be fast, but it’ll be fun!”

I hope you have a blast and rock that finish line!

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11 Ebernst October 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I totally didn’t train well enough for my last triathlon (my first olympic distance). I had all the good intentions, a plan, and then life/the summer got in the way. I think it just happens!

I went into the race with an awesome attitude though, that I was going to kick some major butt and have an absolute blast. Even though I flew in from a work trip the night before (landed at 11pm and then left at 4am to drive to the race), I knew that if I had a great attitude that I would have a good day.

Pretty much I had the most fun/perfect race day I could have asked for! I think as long as you have a smile on your face during the race (and when you cross the finish line) that really is what matters. Certainly, I didn’t break any records, but I loved every minute of the race. I’m going to race my first HIM in June of 2013 and I can’t wait to get pumped reading your awesome race recap!

Have a rocking time at Miami!

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12 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale October 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I believe in setting goals and intentions for the race at the start line. That way, you can take EVERYTHING into account and lay whatever you have out there. There is no shame in not achieving a PR. Though, I would love to ask you — You wrote this post in a tone that seems a little … down-trodden? … let’s just say, you didn’t sound like your bubbly self. So I’m wondering, whose expectations are you referring to in your title, and where do you think they came from? If they’re your expectations, and you’re getting them from your heart, that’s fine. But if you’re feeling the need to justify the result you will be achieving to your readers to meet some perceived expectations, that might not be the best thing. Probably less than 0.001% of the people on this planet can say that they’ve completed a half-ironman (nonetheless two!!) — you’re amazing for this feat alone!! Go out and have fun, Meg — we’ll be cheering you along regardless! :)

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13 Coco October 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Your going to rock it lady! Positive attitude it more than half the battle and I have no doubt that your going to kick ass and take names! Good luck :)

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14 Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut October 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm

You got this! Love your attitude. :)

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15 Kimberly October 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

First time commenter here…I am so glad that you wrote this post! I recently ran my first marathon this summer, and a couple half marathons in between, always wanting to PR. Basically I’ve been training all year and I’m starting to feel burnt out. I’m starting to realize that you can’t and shouldn’t expect to PR every single race you do, and that it’s OK. What I’m also realizing is what is more important is to keep running fun! With the additional pressure of having to PR makes it stressful and less enjoyable. So I try to go into races with a “just have fun” attitude and be happy with my time no matter what!

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16 Reenie October 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I think you will surprise yourself ~~ you’ll do great!!! =)

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17 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I’m sure you’ll do great! Most of my favorite races have been ones I went into with a “let’s just have a good time” attitude.

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18 jennyv October 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Don’t worry about striving to measure up to outside expectations — be proud that you’re taking on this challenge and by all means, enjoy the journey!

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19 Ali October 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

What you’re doing is such an inspiration to me! Go enjoy it????

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20 Kari October 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Aww, you know, if you don’t want to do it, DON’T! :) Seriously!!! No one’s going to hold it against you. Like another lady said, it’s just a race and there will be more. You have a trillion things going on in your life this year – you’re getting MARRIED! That’s a major life change right there.

Also like another lady said, you DO seem a bit sad in this post :( Chin up, buttercup! :)

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21 kirsten October 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

good luck meghann! :)

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22 Natalie @ Free Range Human October 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

The fact that you’re even attempting it impresses me so much. I can’t even fathom doing that kind of race. Go rock it! Good luck!

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23 Bridget October 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer on this post but it seems like you’re feeling very iffy about alot of your races lately. Even your running you don’t seem as thrilled about. Are you burnt out?

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24 Kelly October 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

It’s funny, I was wondering the same thing. I totally understand life getting in the way and priorities shifting. But, and this could be a completely personal thing, I find when I’m really into something I make time for it no matter how busy I am. Sometimes when something gets pushed to the bottom of the priority pile it’s a sign for me that maybe I’m not as into it as I could be, and that’s okay.

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25 Sara@RunningInPinkProject October 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Youll be fine. :) You know, in 2010 I had my worst fear realized when I had to stop 8 miles in to the Princess 1/2 because I got hurt. And honestly? It wasnt nearly as traumatic as I was thinking it would be. When I think about that weekend now, I just think about how cool my first race experience was. My point is, you’ll most likely rock the race but if you dont thats ok too. Go, have a great time, and dont worry what other people think… Good Luck To You!!!!! And PS: I just signed up to finally get my tiara medal. Im doing the Princess 2013! :D

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26 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 23, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I have to admit, I forgot you had ever mentioned you were doing this but I fully stand by the fact that you’re an amazingly strong individual and your body has proved its strength on many occasions. And I think it’s absolutely respectable (and SMART) to go into it knowing where you stand, feeling confident to keep going, but to also know that ultimately you have to listen to your body while you’re out there. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes. :)

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27 Becky @ runfundone October 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I hope it goes well for you! I can’t imagine doing a intense race in humid Miami! I lived there for one year and just running in the mornings was icky.

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28 Camile October 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

My students and I are the ones handing out medals at the finish. Hope to see you there!

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29 Ashley @ This Is The Place October 24, 2012 at 5:57 am

I hear you! I’m running NYCM this fall and I am soooo not trained as well as I’d like. I’ve done 3 20 milers, so I know I can finish, but I won’t be PRing. It’s tough…you want to impress people, try to PR, try to be better. But there is nothing wrong with this approach. Have fun!!

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30 Debbie B. October 24, 2012 at 6:26 am

I hope you have fun in miami. Not every one gets to experience a half ironman. No matter the training or the outcome just enjoy the moment. Know that we are cheering you on.

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31 Lindsey October 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

I found your blog back in March on the day I signed up for Augusta Half Ironman 2012. I googled “Augusta Race Recap,” immediately found this blog, and have been reading here ever since. I am surrounded by lots of triathletes, but somehow reading your posts from just before Augusta and your actual race recap made me know “I can do this.” Good luck on the race. I am sure you will do great. And have fun!

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32 Samantha October 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

So glad you’ve posted this! I was lacking in the motivation department for a while and didn’t take my training nearly as seriously as I usually do for my upcoming half-marathon. I originally hoped I would PR and finally go sub-2, but then I stopped and thought for a minute: why force serious training when I have other commitments and am not feeling it, especially when I’m running a FUN race in Disney (I’m doing the Wine & Dine)! My motivation has come back in the last few weeks, but my mindset is completely awesome – I just want to have fun and enjoy running through Disney! I’m not here to set a PR, I’m here to finish and have fun.

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33 Emily N October 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

you got this. :)

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34 Jamie October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

This is a refreshing and honest post from you! I feel like a lot of bloggers have to be always setting and reaching goals where everything just gets bigger and better, which is GREAT! But it’s not realistic for most of the population. It’s okay to run a race just to finish and not to beat some time goal or even your last time. Exercise can be a great competition but it doesn’t have to be! And I say this after just running my first marathon without the stellar training I had hoped for. I still did it and completed a freaking marathon. I can’t imagine backing out just because I wasn’t going to meet a 4 hour time goal or something!

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