I’m not sure why I haven’t written much; just keep on keeping on, I guess.
Training is fine. I feel like its turned down a notch—or two, or three. Or maybe I’m just getting used to it. Today I only had a 4000yd swim and will do some core work. "Only." But, no, I know the volume is down. It’s hard not to be anxious about it..but I trust my coach. That, and there’s literally no point it stressing about it. The only thing is the bike—I am hardly biking at all these days, and I already knew I needed to work on that.
But, I’m trying to keep at it. Trying not to compare my training to everyone else and seeing they have 18 hours and I have 12; trying not to worry about it. Trying to just focus on what I’m supposed to do and block out the rest. It’s mostly working.
And, I’ve seen evidence of it, if I’m being honest. On Friday, I had a 3 hour run. Yes, a run. For three hours. I’ve never run that long/far (consecutively) except for during the marathon I did last year. Even training for that, I would split up my runs (2 hours in the morning, another hour at night, etc). So I was intimidated, I was worried, I was straight-up not looking forward to it. I knew it was mental training, I knew my coach gave me that run for a reason, and I knew I would do it..but I fully expected it to suck, to fall apart, to be a battle.
It was hands-down the best long run ever.
I was supposed to not run at race pace, so I let myself shoot for 8:45s. Nice and easy. I had a sip of water every 2 miles and a gu every 4 (trying to get the fueling schedule right!! and mile increments is better than time, since I intend to live off the course). I kept waiting and waiting to feel worse. I kept expecting it. I kept having to slow myself down. Especially the second half! I would realize I was running 8:10 which is close to what I expect my IM race pace to be (or even a little faster than what I expect it to be). I remember around mile 17 of the Vancouver marathon is when I started to realize I was getting tired. Mile 17 came and went, and I still felt awesome, just the same as when I had started. Just keep running! I remember mile 20 of that marathon is when I hit the wall and was convinced I was done, and the last few miles were a miserable struggle. But mile 20 came, right around 2:50, and…I still felt great! I finished at just over 21 miles, and honestly wanted to keep running. I felt like I could keep running forever. Everything felt spot on. Yes, I was tired, but nothing worse than..running. For further consideration: the marathon took me about a month to recover from. This time, I was pretty much fully recovered from the 21 mile run in about 48 hours (and nothing more than a little stiff and sore, and extra sleepy for a day).
So yes, it was a “slower” run, but it was easy. I know I could have run it stronger. And now I know I can run easy and not even have those mental battles. I was so, so happy and proud of myself for that run—not necessarily because of the time or distance, but because everything was 100% spot on. I could have drank a little more water, will probably increase to a sip every mile because I got thirsty at the very end, but the nutrition was finally, finally spot-on. My stomach was able to handle it, I wasn’t overloading it with gu, but I stayed juuuuust ahead of any crashes and felt perfectly fueled and steady the entire time. No ups and downs. About time I got that right!
So, maybe my training volume is down. Maybe I’m not doing as many intense workouts as everyone else. But if nothing else, that was quantitative proof that I have improved over last year ;) So, maybe I need to chill out. I’m happy with my running. Really happy with it, actually, as long as I can actually run the same way off the bike. I also survived my first open water swim of the season, with only mild panic attacks. I know with a few more I’ll get used to it. The swim will be stressful (understatement, I'm already freaking out), but I am confident I will survive, and therefore, I am happy with my swimming.
Worried about the bike. Worried about nutrition on the bike. Worried about wearing myself out on the bike. I need to be on my bike more. No, calm down, Rosanne!
We went downhill mountain biking on Memorial Day, too. Which was amazing :) Josh and Kyle are the best/worst influences, and I had so much fun chasing them around and, you know, riding the NW Cup DH course, no big deal. I won’t be doing any more DH until after ironman (not risking getting hurt now that it's a month out), but it was a really, really fun way to spend the day off and I’m happy we went. A nice change. I love new things!
But now it’s a weekday again, and I’m a triathlete again. Honestly, I know I’m getting burnt out. Which is funny, considering I just spent the last million paragraphs talking about feeling like I'm not doing enough. But I’m just...tired of it. I love it!! But I’m also tired of it. I know this is totally expected; I remember my coach told me back in December, “about 1 month out, you’re going to start to hate me, and not feel like doing your workouts, and you’re going to be so sick of triathlon and be tired of it and just want to do something else. But just do it. You’ll be fine. It’s a normal feeling, and it will all be worth it.” So, I'm just going with it. My coach says swim, I swim, even though I found myself daydreaming this morning (on the way to the pool) about July, when maybe I can just…not get up and not go swim! And just…do nothing. But of course, I will be doing something, because I can’t sit still. So, who knows. On the other hand, I couldn’t be more excited about CDA, so…I don’t know. Keep on keeping on, I suppose.