Actual Facebook conversation I had today with my awesome coach.
Me: Hi Gina! I want to blog but have writers block! What should I write about?!
Coach Gina: So last week was a rough week and it seemed like you were really tired. And your plan had a nice recovery week this week and you said how great your run felt earlier this week……you can lay it out there and let them know the ups and downs of training even when you are doing well and staying on track…..just thinking out loud a bit…
Well. There is that.
Let me backtrack…2014 was not the most awesomest of years. It happens sometimes. In fact, I blogged FOUR times…boooo…and I didn’t even have an “A” race. But you know what, it’s a new year, new goals, new excitement and I am gonna be all T. Swift and shake 2014 off.
The one thing I did that was super impulsive in 2014 was sign up for the Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Triathlon. It really came out of nowhere. I received an email in July that registration was open and before I knew it I hit “submit” on the Active.com website. I knew nothing about this race. I think the draw was: 1) I have never done an Ironman sanctioned event and 2) It was an early season (March) event. That pretty much sums it up.
So, I am 8 weeks (!) into my training. And I must say, it has been a long, long time since I have diligently trained for a race. I am talking training with a capital “T.” I am following Competitor.com’s “Super Simple 70.3 Training Plan.” The “simple” means it is easy to follow…not that it is actually SIMPLE to train for a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.
But I digress.
Last week was a TOUGH week. I rode a fairly hill 45 miles Saturday and on Sunday I swam 2000 yards and ran 11 miles. My body was tired. I did some really good workouts during the week and thought magically I would be able to FLY up the hills on my Saturday bike ride. Hardly! And my Sunday run felt like I was running through tar. I was thankful for my Monday rest day and yesterday I swam 1000 yards and felt fantastic. I then did a 4 ½ mile run at my favorite trail and I had this burst of joy pounding the pavement. I fell into a rhythm, conscious of my body moving but also letting myself go. I felt like the trail was a close friend and each time my feet hit the dirt it was like we were high-fiving one another. Within those 4 ½ miles I had to do six 30 second sprints all out. It was amazing.
So, in reference to Gina’s comments, here are the ups and downs of training.
It’s just like…A LOT. I know I have done a bunch of half marathons, but once I get into the double digits I have a hard time wrapping my head around actually doing it. Running is hard. Biking more than 30 miles is hard. And don’t get me started on open water swimming.
You aren’t going to feel awesome after every workout. You aren’t going to feel faster after every workout. You are training for a specific event and each workout is designed to get you to be ready for your event. You are going to want to talk yourself out of a workout maybe 45% of the time. You are going to bargain with yourself, “If I do 4 miles even though I am supposed to do 6 it is still better than doing nothing.”
Even though you are putting in the time and effort, there are still going to be people zipping past you on the bike. You may even beat yourself up a bit that you are maybe a poser and aren’t triathlon-worthy because you don’t look how triathletes are “supposed” to look. You may have gross, dark thoughts that negate all the hard work you have done.
Winter training blows. It’s cold. Jumping into the pool when it’s a cold morning seems like the worst idea ever.
Nutrition. I am not the best at eating awesome while in training mode. I would really like less Jill up the hills I bike, but then, also, food is delicious.
Blisters. My husband is a cyclist and he has soft, lovely feet. My feet look and feel like something the cat dragged in.
There is a sense of accomplishment when I diligently do my workouts. Plus, my Christmas present this year was the super sexy Garmin 920 watch and man am I in LOVE. It is hot! And it connects to wifi and my Strava so I can instantly view my PRs and efforts.
Endorphins rock. Case in point: yesterday I was driving around and was super annoyed by all the idiot drivers out there. A few hours later after I did my run and was driving around I was super happy and smiling and my frustrations melted away.
My tribe. I am so fortunate to be a part of an amazing community of women through Love to Move. Pretty much all of my long rides have been with these women. I don’t know how to put it, but I know in my heart that they want me to succeed on March 28. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that these women support me. Find your tribe.
That’s pretty much all I got today. It is, after all, a recovery week.