Monday, April 18, 2011

Lessons in Ironman

This past weekend of training was a tough one, more mentally than physically, although it wasn't too shabby physically either. 

Saturday included a 1:40 long run in the driving rain and howling wind.  It was actually a pretty great run (in my new Zoot Tempo 4.0's...love!)....so much so that I pushed the pace about :15/mile faster than I should have.  That was followed immediately by a :30 ride on the trainer (which should have been done later in the day, but we had a tri club meeting). 

Sunday was supposed to be a 2:50 bike ride.  I didn't have it in me to get on the trainer again, so we bundled up and headed out.  It was 37 degrees with a 17mph wind...."feels like" temp in the 20s.  No, this isn't a post I meant to go live in February....it is in fact April.  Mid April at that.  But this is Chicago and so it goes.  My IronSpouse blew a tire before even leaving the house (per his earlier post, a sure sign we should have called it a day!).  I rode ahead to Brookfield and hooked up with the Salt Creek Tri Club.  It was cold.  Miserably cold.  And I was distracted trying to figure out where my IronSpouse was and if he would ever catch us (he never did).  As a result, I neglected my nutrition and had NOTHING to eat or drink for 85% of the ride.  The lack of nutrition, coupled with nasty weather and trashed legs (see long run pace above), resulted in one of - if not THE - worst ride since I've started triathlons.  It made me cry.  More than once.

Of course, once I made it home, instead of warming up, eating a good recovery meal, and putting my feet up, I quickly showered and rushed to the grocery store.  I then did some more laundry, took the dog for a walk, paid bills, got myself ready for the work week and a bazillion other little weekend chores.  I was BEAT. 

I was second guessing my decision to do this Ironman and then I realized this was my first real Ironman lesson(s).  And I need to capture them here so I don't forget....

1. IM training is about building aerobic endurance. I need to stop looking at/worrying about speed right now, as I'm still five months out; stick to the training and the fitness will come.  I went too hard on Saturday's run.  I was feeling good and wanted to push it.  I paid dearly for that on my bike ride yesterday.  I would have been way better off at a pace that was about :15 slower and would have saved my legs for a better ride yesterday.

2. Nutrition is paramount.  I did not eat or drink anything on the bike ride yesterday because I was too worried about keeping up/finding my hubby/the wind/etc.  The lack of fuel made me miserable, without energy and wanting to curl up on the side of the road.  I need to follow MY plan and follow MY workouts and MY nutrition regimen.  I can NOT let myself get caught up in others right now.  Just can't do it.

3. I need to be good to myself.  I'm still trying to be everything to everyone.  I'm trying to juggle three jobs and working seven days a week.  I'm trying to keep up with my household chores and then some.  I need to get more involved in charity work.  I need to organize every last square inch of my house.  But as I get my workouts in and try to keep up with all of this as well, it leaves NO time for me to rest & recover which is so critical in this journey.  I just can't do it anymore.  I  need to be selfish and put myself first.  This is SO hard for me to do.  SO hard, but so important if I'm going to make it to the finish line on September 11.

Onward and upward.  Good lessons learned and many more to come!

- Her 

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