A friend I haven’t heard from in a long time called me today and asked “Hey, I just called to say you’re rocking your training! How are you feeling about Ironman?”
After this wonderful compliment, I verbally spewed “I’m not rocking it, I’m slow, I haven’t done enough, I need to swim long in the lake yet, my run yesterday was so slow, and it hurt, blah, blah, blah”
You know, instead of “THANK YOU, what a nice compliment, things are going well, I’m capable of some neat things!”
Peak training is that place where the inner demons come out to play and poke at every little doubt. Yesterday I was crying before I even got on my bike at 8:14am, but first, let’s rewind a few minutes. I had a giant brick to tackle alone, 72 miles on the bike and the plan called for a 15 mile run. All by myself. On my own. The alone part made it harder than the physical part. I was stressed out before I even showed up, daunted by the idea of potentially an 8 hour brick workout. Did I mention this was going to be all by myself?
So, 8:10am I pull my bike pump out of my car, and it fell apart. The nozzle dropped onto the ground. Ffffffff. Curse words, so many curse words. WTF. No. I showed up, this can’t happen. After the curse words came the tears. Then two phone calls. Then I drove over to a local bike shop where I know local triathletes begin their rides, and fortunately saw someone else getting ready for her ride. She kindly let me use her pump, and I got back into my car and drove back to my planned starting spot.
8:22am, I’m finally on my ride, but upset because of how my day already started. I try to look around and enjoy the scenery, the sunshine, the cows, the perfect temperature, but I started off upset and it took me until getting through Mt. Horeb to get over it. I finished my first loop, stopped at my car which I set up as an aid station to get more water and more gummi snacks. On my second loop I was finally enjoying my ride, and then a motorist swerved at me and yelled out from his window “FALL!!” which first, scared me, and second, put me right back into that stressed out state, and it made me cry again.
It’s hard to cry and climb into Mt Horeb at the same time, so I stopped crying and climbed. Then I climbed some more on Witt Rd, Garfoot Rd, and all the other wonderful places to climb on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course. Climbing makes me stronger.
When I was finally done with my 72.5 miles I was relieved it took less than five hours, though not overly impressed with my mph average. But it was done, and that was the bulk of my day. Then I just had a run to get through. My A goal was the 15 miles on the plan, my B goal was 13 miles, my C goal was 2 hours, my D goal was 1 hour.
The route I planned was mentally easy to handle. I was parked by a water fountain next to a crushed gravel path that goes on forever. I ran two miles in one direction, turned around, stopped at the water fountain, and then two miles in the other direction, turned around, stopped at the water fountain, and repeat taking away one mile in each direction until I got to 13 miles. I “settled” on 13 miles due to the run/walk pace I was going. Fifteen miles would have taken me too much time on my feet where I believe it would have just put me at risk for injury. The 13 was plenty painful towards the end as it was.
So, 7.5 hours of arguments between my brain and my legs are complete. I slept like a log after that. I napped like a champ on Monday. I have a wonderful few days of recovery and pool time, and then one last big weekend of training and fighting doubt-demons before I get see the taper-tantrums.