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.
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...
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 :)

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