During the spring of senior year, I took on an immense challenge, to compete in a half-ironman dubbed the World's Toughest Half Ironman during my track season. I had my school coach for track, but nothing but my own sense of myself and advice from a book on the triathlon training. In previous track seasons I had three hard workouts a week, this year I was working out 12 times a week at a higher intensity. I swam at 6 in the morning 3 times a week, and after a hill workout on the bike just 12 hours earlier, it took more strength to get out of bed then to get across the pool. The first time that I started running directly after getting of the bike, I made it half of a mile. Training with my heart rate monitor worked wonders though, added efficiency to every workout. While doing intervals and sets I was able to structure my recovery to maximize my ability for each repeat. I took my morning heart rate every morning to make sure I had adequatel! y recovered and wouldn't be wearing myself down for nothing. I found what range I was able to work at for long amounts of time, especially important for a sustained race such as a half-ironman. The end of track and the triathlon came very close. I tapered for track trials a bit earlier than i would have preferred to for the triathlon and shattered my PR's by 20 seconds in the mile and 15 in the 2 mile. Three days later I had my hardest triathlon workout, a quarter length ironman with more hills than the course I was to compete on. Two days after that I had track finals and felt the toll like I never had. My legs gave out in the mile. When I finished the race my heart rate was below 150 because I couldn't get my pace up. I sucked up the pain and PR'ed again in the two mile. 12 days later was the triathlon and 6 and a half hours after the six am start in 39 degree F weather, I finished at the top of my age group and two hours ahead of my projected time. What I thought was go! ing to be a struggle was a competition to the core.