The reality is that training for an Ironman is not easy.
I didn’t commit to this thinking it would be, but reality is that this training is brutal. 19 weeks left to go. Starting to wonder if I’ll be ready…
Usually I LOVE to ride our long team rides on Saturday, the last few times, not so much. Between the heat, the soreness and more heat, I haven’t felt the love for training in awhile.
These must be the dark days when you start to question if this is worth it. When questions like “can I do this” or “can I keep this up” start to creep into your head.
I’m looking for the next fix. The next string of moments that give you just enough to keep going, enough to keep you wanting more. More laps, more pedal strokes, more distance. I can handle the miles and I can handle the time commitment. Give me the mental bump I need to be mentally engaged every moment of training. These last few weeks I’ve been on auto-pilot, not “feeling” anything except the physical pain. A little surprising how you can detach yourself in this manner. Being there without being there. Weird indeed. And I feel like many people go through life this way.
The plane ticket to PHX for IM AZ has been booked. I’ve turned in the 2nd round of re-commitment paperwork for LLS/TNT. From purely a logistical standpoint, I am on-track and ready to go to. But if I don’t clear this mental hurdle, I’m never going to make it.
We begin another recovery week, slightly shorter workouts, hopefully a chance to recharge mentally as well…
*Update – Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY clear on WHY I have undertaken this…I just need to find that “oomph” again and not move through the process mindlessly. Any tips on how to enjoy this stupidly hot/humid summer while riding and running are appreciated.
Last week was a “Recovery Week”. All of our workouts were scaled back a bit and we even had a day completely free of any training. The ironic part about last week was how incredibly TIRED I felt. Well, I’m still tired, but last week I simply could not find much energy.
It’s kind of funny, but now that school is done, it feels like I have even MORE on my plate. My fundraising efforts have kind of been on the backburner while in school, but it’s now time to focus on that. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little daunting. (What IS that saying BTW “I’m not gonna lie…”?)
Anyways, I could use a little break. A few days away from the routine. Just to reset and refocus.
There was a brief moment after getting coffee this morning when I stood by my car and watched the sunrise in the distance, it was relaxing and energizing all at once…
Nothing is weighing me down. I will push through.
Well it finally hit.
9 straight weeks of training, a new job and MBA classes combined with a light cold this week finally took it’s toll.
I had to say no. No swim tonight. No studying and no work at home.
Just me, a couple friends and a little Tropic Thunder.
My friends for the evening: Tall and slender, or short and curvy. Good thing I didn't have to choose one over the other.
Funny which line that struck me the most while watching: “Pump your brakes kid, you about to cross a line”
But seriously, it rang true with me today. Going to swim tonight would have crossed a line and perhaps pushed me to a point where it was not enjoyable. I dread that. Until now I have looked forward to almost each and every workout. Until now I’ve looked forward to class. So far I luckily continue to look forward to work.
It was great to really just shut down completely for a few hours and not push my brain or my body. It’s only March, November is a long way off. “Knowing thyself” is taking on a whole new meaning these days.
Training has ramped back up following what seemed to be a long recovery week. Ironically I felt like I had a lot of energy and by the end of the week was itching to get back into the hard training. That extra energy certainly came in handy this week. Our training schedules and intensity bumped up a notch and so did the weather.
Saturday’s ride in Cartersville started off slightly chilly, but by the end I could have shed all of my layers and been comfortable in a tri-top and shorts. The sun was shining and the temperature in the unshaded portions felt like 80 degrees.
By then time I finished the subsequent 20 minute run, I was toast. The moment I finished running my quads started the pre cramp twitching which make walking almost impossible. Luckily though, someone brought a box of Cheese Its. Between 3-4 handfulls of those and polishing off the rest of my fluids, I was able to walk normally again.
Right before turning in for the night Saturday, I checked the mirror. Yup, sunburned cheeks. It’s the end of February. Already time to break out the sunscreen.
One more long ride, 50 miles tomorrow and we start our first recovery week. Roughly six weeks into training and all is well. Despite the cold temps, rain, snow, ice, drizzle we’ve knocked out the first chunk of training. With the exception of tripping on a crack in the sidewalk this morning on our run, I have not been any training accidents/incidents, knock on wood.
As we are settling into a groove with training, my own life has begun to settle in as well. My new job, while not easy, is less a source of anxiety than when I first started and beyond that, I am within the 7 week mark for completing my MBA.
I am tremendously excited to reach these milestones over the course of this year and it brings a smile (or maybe a smirk) to my face to briefly look back on the previous year.
The memories and bonds we are creating and making stronger through training/fundraising together are incredibly humbling. 50+ Ironman hopefuls supporting each other through our various mental and physical roadblocks is a powerful thing. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be taking this journey with my IronTeam.
This morning I woke up, completely wide awake at around 6am.
Wish I knew someone who is a professional dream interpreter. Although I’m pretty sure it’s just a result of all the information I’m trying to cram into my brain all at once.
A few pieces from the crazy dream:
- George Hincapie was at the IM AZ practice swim with me and egging me on that I couldn’t keep up.
- I started swimming but as I put my hand in the water to stroke, I felt a pine tree in my way so I started “running” on the tree. “This is going to be a piece of cake swim if there are logs/trees for me to run on.” (I had swimming fins on too)
- I finished the swim and ended up on my parents cabin (!?).
- We chatted and all of a sudden I realized it was 5:30pm. The race was supposed to start at 3pm.
- I ran down to the water/dock which looked like the Jacksonville Landing freaking out. Oh and it was dusk. That stood out in my mind for some reason.
- “How in the world am I gonna make up all that time?!?!”
- Pam was there. “Don’t worry, now you can just go hit on chicks in the crowd” (I wasn’t interested in that, I just wanted to race!)
Then I woke up. It’s so strange to really feel those intense feelings of anxiety in a dream. They felt so real.
Perhaps they are the feelings our brains want to feel on a daily basis, but suppress them so we are not lunatics in public?
I hope I don’t miss the start of the Ironman in November. 😉