7/15/12

SUNFISH TRI WEEKEND

7/15/12

The past 2 weeks had some nice mileage packed in.  It was late this past week however that I began to really feel it.  Thursday I struggled, Friday I took a planned day off and had a much needed massage.  Normally, I would fall right into a long mileage weekend of swim bike run, but I was already signed up for a sprint tri (Sunfish) in Meridian, MS on Saturday and was planning on going up for the day to have a little fun, get some speed work in, and take the rest of the day to chill.  Things have been a little hectic in my life latley with some opprotunities to make some extra money, so my time to relax and recover has been limited as well as my time to be able to knock off and sleep for 8 hours or more if need be.   As an athlete, I usually require more than the average sleep, but at the very least I need the 8.   In the past 2 weeks, I have been limited to 6 hour stretches with an occasional crap (although grateful for the chances) nap in between.  I just have been tired - and like the song goes..."..I'm sooo tired of waking up tired..." that's me these days.
Saturday
Yesterday, I awoke at 2am (yes, I know) to tend to matters before I could hit the road to Meridian.  My legs were tired, I was tired, but thats par for the course.  I thought the day off on Friday would have had a better yield, but nope...not right off the bat.  I made it to Meridian at around 5:45 in time to pick up my packet, set my bike and transition up, and get in a warm up in.  about 15 minutes before race start, I took the bike out for a spin and realized there was a funny noise and the new tires I just put on my race wheels the night before (yeah, I know) felt funny and were riding bumpy - like there was an egg in the tire.   I didn't notice anything obvious though, so I just decided to roll with it.  There wasn't any time to piddle with the bike, and I knew by driving up the day of the race and all of the scrambling involved to pull it off would put me at risk of having a not-so-perfect race experience.  I knew that going in, so I just told myslef - "self, you will just have to ride it, noise and all".  And so it goes...
In reflecting on all the stuff I have going on right now, I knew going into Sunfish it would be a crazy day if I was to go.  Heck, I didn't put those tires on till late the night before, and if you have ever bike raced, you know you NEVER do that unless you are OK with having trouble in the race (you hope to not have trouble...but if you do...).  AND - I was sitting in a car driving for 3 hours just before I was to race...do you think my legs would want to move fast after that? uh, probably not... oh, AND the 4 hours of sleep....shall I go on??  hahaha  But here's the thing...I was OK with it if it happened...it's just a race, fun, a change of pace from long training, and some new and old faces -- it was all good.
So the race was off!! It was a smooth swim for me, then it all just unfolded like a comedy.  It started in T1.. with me not being able to get my skin suit off.  probably 45 sec to a minute.  I couldn't find the string, the zipper was buried, i was dizzy and circling around like a dog chasing her tail....I envisioned ripping and tearing the thing off, but this was no world championship race worth sacrificing a pricy piece of equipment...lol.  I finally got it it.  I thought to myself, or maybe outloud "well, wearing that was a waste of time!"  haha...let ir roll off...
onto the bike...ever feel like your brakes are rubbing and your wheel is a skew?  Whether or not the bike was an issue, my body just wouldn't go.  I checked it out before we started - no noticible rubbing, so I figured it was just me.  The tires still had that egg sensation...whatever.   I cruised, heartrate not nearly where it would normally be for a short race and the ghost in the bike was shifting on it's own, seroiusly?  This was getting comical. (BTW...the next time I rode my bike, the rear derailier broke in half.  Ok, now I know where the "noise" and ghost gear shifting came from)  Oh, and to add to the comedy of the race, since I went off as #2 in the time trial start, I was one of the first targets for the 10-15 dogs along the course to chase.  I forgot about those suckers.  I think by the time the masses in the race got there, they were tired, because people who went later than me only saw a few dogs.  A few scary moments there...
Then there was the run.   I felt terrible, but just gutted it out. Just glad I can run at all, crappy or not.  For me, running fast sucks when I've been logging big miles.  I knew it would, but a race is a good place to work on speed, and so I go and push.
I must say though, my ZOOT ULTRA KIAWE'S were there best part of the day...someone snapped this shot of me with air time headed to the finish!  AWESOME!!!

2nd overall, not too shabby considering...
Sunday
I am writing this on Sunday.  Right now, it's 10:30am and and If I were still out on my bike, I'd be at about mile 70-80.  But I am home, in bed, resting.  today was a wash -  I started a long ride and made it 10 miles.  I'm cooked.  I need to rest a little more, or I am getting sick, or something.  But I am OFF, that I know. 
I don't give in too much, but today, I give in.  this is MY DAY.  an OFF day that includes staying off my feet.  and rest.  my Off days in the past 2 weeks have been jam packed with other stuff.  Not good if you need intense recovery.  Mental and physical day today.  no cooking, cleaning, errands, lessons...just some light chores, a computer, and sleep. 

Sometimes, I get tired.  Who doesn't?  One thing I know about me is that tired doesn't always mean rest.  Sometimes, it means push through and improve.  Make changes.  Don't settle.  Sometimes, I have stellar days when I suck it up and push through.  I don't quit when I'm tired too often...as I strategically map out my rest and make it as important as any other part of my training sessions.

I have had A LOT on my plate these days, more than normal.  A lot of back and forth, time constraints, lack of sleep...kinda like some of the peps I coach have- especially like the ones with kids!  A great lesson for me.  I lie here coming to terms with my fatigue, trying to understand why I can't go go go like I know I can...and I realize MAYBE it's because I've been stretched too thin.  Could my limiter right now be life, and not my training volume?  how odd (lol).  Or...maybe it's because I am getting a little older.  I have a real sense of understanding of that "life" limiter now.  Stress is stess, and my life stress might be beating my training stress to the finish line....which is way short of my training goals. Hmmmm...

And what about that noisy bike in the race yesterday, and the ghost shifting? .... then almost turning around 5 times en route DRIVING to the START of my bike this morning - only to give in and turn around 5 miles into the 100 mile bike ride and go home...I have never done that.  I think I have a hard head...something was telling me to stop and rest - it just took me a while to listen.   my body was cooked and my mind didnt want to give into it.

On the following Tuesday, it began to make sense when I went out to get my long ride in after my debacle of a training weekend and forced rest.  5 miles into that ride, I flatted and found myself stranded without a goofy tool to inflate my new spare.  I eventually got back on the bike after some awesome help from other cyclists passing by.  But, not 10 seconds later, my SRAM RED read deraileur bent over in half.  What on earth was going on?  I suspect it had been cracked since before the race and that explains a lot of the bike issue I had.  anyhoo... I was able to tweak it and carefully get back to the club..only to finish my long ride on a spin bike.  yeah me.  But I got er done.  That rest did me good, mind and body are back on the same page :)

7/8/12

COUNTDOWN TO IRONMAN HAWAII…

14 weeks to Kona…

I have immersed myself deep into training now, and things are beginning to get a little chaotic between working, coaching, training, and resting – but that’s the way it goes, and I wouldn’t have  it any other way!
This week I was able to put the most run miles in since training for Boston in April.  The foot is holding up ok, but not without some minor pain and discomfort and a lot of focus on technique and stride.  I find myself still gimpy in the beginning of a run, but after a few miles, I feel like I can settle into a nice low pain effort. 
ALWAYS ADJUSTING.
Training for an Ironman often requires a lot of adjusting along the way.  Interestingly enough, the race itself can require a lot of adjusting along the way as well.  Things seldom go as planned (in BOTH training and racing), and the reality is when you push the limits, crazy things are bound to happen.  If you have mentally prepared yourself in training to handle those circumstances when the pop up in racing, then you are prepared to make the proper adjustments to overcome and succeed.  I suppose life is like that too.  Adjust and move forward.  Always.  Keep on…

There is no cookie cutter recipe to prepare for an Ironman.  Sure, there are books, generic training principles, armchair coaches…but each individual’s set of life circumstances, their bodies, and each race presents its own set of challenges.  Managing them is part of the challenge and one of the things I LOVE about coaching and my own racing – it’s not just about achieving goals.  It’s what you (or I) had to overcome to achieve that goal.  What was learned along the way?  Was the price paid worth it?
WEEKEND TRAINING.

This weekend started a bit rough.  Friday was my day off and I woke up feeling a lot of pressure to accomplish a lot of things I put off during the week so I could get training in.  All day I felt this crazy pressure, but continued to remind myself to relax, let the day play out and JUST do what I could.  The day turned out pretty well, but honestly, I had a hard time calling it a rest day…

Saturday morning, 4am.  The alarm goes off.  At this point, I actually wondered if I had it in me today to do my long training.  I was exhausted.   This is NOT how I want to feel after a day off, but it is what it is.  I suppose the difference between me and someone not like me is that I got up to train anyway.  I admit, I did sit on the side of the bed for a moment and considered changing the weekend up a bit so I could go back to sleep, but that voice in my head said go – overcome, and get it done.  It’s a funny thing, and perhaps something I should not admit, but I often take motivation from hearing the negative excuses from others who don’t achieve BIG goals.  I see how they fall short – I don’t want to fall short.  I will not fall into that trap.  GET UP, AND GO.
The day started off a bit rough.  I was a little late for my ride, kinda crabby (who me?? lol), and the first 20 miles were mentally rough.  I suppose most folks would have used every ounce of crap I had in the first 3 hours of my day as a reason to go home, quit, and call it a day – but I just went with it.  Just go out there, get the miles in and see what happens.  Sometimes you have to get through the muck to get to the glory.  Yup, just keep on…
Sure enough, as the ride unfolded, I began to find an awesome grove and got my 100+ mile ride in followed by a 4mile run and a 3k swim.  It turned out to be a strong day.  And to think how it started…
I don’t know why I am surprised, but today (Sunday) started out rough as well.  Before my alarm went off, the thunder had me up.  There were some serious storms rolling through…I was hoping they would be done by the time I was ready to run.  We haven’t had much rain in months – surely this would just pass.  It did – but then another one rolled in.
I started my run at 6.  No rain and just a few clouds.  The thunder started at about mile 1, the rain about mile 2, the lightening about mile 3, then at about 3.5, the tree that got struck and the car alarms that were going off sent me for cover in the garage of a stranger’s house.  Ok, so I admit, running in puddles of water while soaking wet near a marina in a lightning storm started to scare me a little.   I stayed there for about 20 minutes watching the storm -- the electricity was like something I have never seen.  After a while, it seemed like it was passing, but no, I was wrong.  It was only getting started.   It was HUGE.  I ran back to the car as fast as possible.  4 miles.  That would be as far as I go this morning.  Perhaps God was telling me to go home this morning, adjust, and regroup.  I kept thinking it would pass as I was running in mile 2-3, but it was funny that as soon as that thought would come – a HUGE clap of lightening with simultaneous thunder would occur – lol.  Ok, can I take a hint?  This little mental game happened a few times until I thought – I’m gonna get struck myself if I don’t heed this warning – I mean, how many times do I need to be warned?  Ok, I CAN take a hint, but I may need to hear it a few times.  Hard headed?  Maybe.  But not stupid.
So here I am.  3 hours later, on the computer, having a cup of coffee listening to the thunder and rain STILL.  I would have loved a long run in a little rain, but maybe if I did it I would have (1) been struck by lightning (2) gotten some nasty blisters (3) aggravated my foot injury (4) something else bad.  Time to adjust.  And move on.  No dwelling, just move forward.