I feel like I start every single one of these monthly posts with a comment about how much I’m panicking. This one won’t be any different. I’m panicking. Despite having a solid month of training, I’m not sure I’ll be ready to complete the Ironman in August. (Can anyone ever be certain they are ready to complete and Ironman?!)
Really, when it comes down to it, I couldn’t have asked for a better month, training-wise. I feel like I’m gaining fitness at a good rate. I’ve been trying to be very aware of any signs of overtraining, but my body seems to be reacting well to the increased training load. My paces have stayed the same (or even sped up) as my distances increase. I’ve had a few less-than-stellar workouts, but that’s to be expected. For the most part, my workouts have been steady and productive, which is ideal. I’m really trying to trust my training plan. I can only hope that good, solid training will lead to a good solid race.
My health has been solid. I’ve been starving most of the time which means I’ve been eating. That’s a plus. My weight has dropped down, but just a bit, and it’s stabilized. I’ve still been trying to focus on eating enough. Fueling is so, so important. Fortunately, Rob has been food-pushing like mad, and he’s helped me stay on top of the food situation almost as much as my insatiable hunger has. While I haven’t been sleeping as well as I should be, I haven’t been feeling overwhelmingly tired in general. I’ve noticed that as the days get longer, I actually seem to need a little less sleep, so I think that’s part of what’s happening. Best of all, I haven’t had any niggling pains. My IT band is holding up well under the stress, and nothing new has developed.
And this is where my struggle has been. This month has been rough. After I got in a car wreck, my “minimum daily away from home” time jumped from 9.5 hours a day (one hour total commute plus 8.5 hours at the office) to 10.5+ hours a day (generally 2.5 hours total commute plus 8ish hours at work because who needs a lunch hour?). That’s a lot for me personally to handle when I’m so deep into training. Add to that the fact that I’ve had to deal with all the stress associated with a car accident, and I’ve been in a really bad place. Like, emotional breakdowns on the train into work bad. Like, staying up later than I should because I simply cannot face the idea of waking up in the morning and doing the whole thing over again bad. (Oh, in case anyone reads this and thinks I’m a crazy person—you are sort of right. Money is a huge trigger for my anxiety, which is the reason this situation has felt so completely insurmountable to me.)
Longest swim: 3500 yards
Longest ride: 47.28 miles
Longest run: 11.79 miles
Most encouraging workout: My 2-hour ride at 17.1 mph. On most of my bike rides, I have been just barely hitting 16mph. I know that typically, the pace on my training rides is artificially deflated due to stopping at starting at traffic lights and stop signs, but I was still wondering how in the world I could hope to hit even by B-goal (16mph) over the course of 112 miles. This ride, while it was flatter and faster than the Ironman course will be, gave me hope that I will be able to ride a decent bike leg.
Most discouraging workout: My three hour bike ride (which was also my longest). Nothing was particularly awful about this ride. I had been excited to up the distance because my long rides had been so heartening. However, my legs just didn’t have it this ride. I struggled more than usual and much more than I expected to. It left me a little worried about my ability to ride 112 miles if 47 left me feeling so beat.
Average time per sport per week:
Swimming: 168.75 minutes (2.8 hours)
Cycling: 361.25 minutes (6 hours)
Running: 197.5 minutes (3.3 hours)
Other: 82 minutes (1.4 hours)
Looking to the future
More of the same. I’m in the depths of Ironman training now. I made that sound like a bad thing. Honestly, sometimes it feels like a bad thing. But when I actually think about it, I’m enjoying the training itself. I can only think of a few workouts where I got back and thought, “Well, that wasn’t fun at all.” For the most part, it feels like I want the rest of life to get out of the way so I can train in peace. By “the rest of my life,” mostly I wish my job would still pay me to ride my bike all day and completely ignore my actual job duties. 😛 As my training progresses, I plan to continue watching for signs of overtraining and to be aware of mental burnout. On the training side, I’m hoping for more of the same. On the life side, I’m hoping that getting a car (soon!) will put an end to some of the more overwhelming elements of my life.