Two whole weeks have gone by without writing my training blogs. The longer I wait, the harder it becomes, and the more frustrating it is to get started. Sort of like my Ironman Lake Placid Race Report which I have yet to begin. Week 3 I wrote this yet somehow I didn’t keep up with writing. ”No matter what happens it’s important that I blog consistently every week until Kona. On the topic of staying motivated, blogging helps to measure my progress which also provides motivation. Have you heard some people say to never look back at the past and to always move forward? For most things I agree, but when it comes to measuring our progress on things that are important to us sometimes taking a look back is necessary and productive. If it weren’t for tracking my own progress through my blog I don’t think I would realize how far I’ve come.” At least I am able to look back at training reports that I send my coach. Two weeks is just too much to blog plus I feel like today’s post is going to be sloppy. Here’s the quick version of both weeks then need to be back to work.
Week 4 rocked and was probably one of the most intense weeks I’ve ever trained. I loved the challenges and how almost every day left me with several hours of happy energy, although exhausted by early evening. Even one of my swims challenged me and those days usually fly by no problem. I even ate a snack mid-swim for the first time ever. I was constantly hungry that day. Saturday’s (almost) five hour hilly ride challenged and annoyed me (some conversations on the ride) and yet I still had lots of fun with friends. I know that my 2:15 run in the beginning of the week and 2:30 run at the end of the week most likely would not have been as successful without the support of my coach. I was stung by a bee half way through Sunday’s run but told myself to keep pushing through because if this happened at Kona I would have to keep going. Learn from this experience and never carry a half packet of open Gu in your tri top. The bees will get you. I also made sure to hit my yoga mat three times that week. Ahhhh, yoga…. How do triathletes train without it? Oh, and naps. I started taking naps that week. Two wonderful naps. All-in-all I think week 4 was the most challenging week physically and yet I think I enjoyed this week the most.
Week 5… the ultimate battle is with yourself. This was a recovery week, my lighter week, and intended to be a fun week. It was absolutely the most difficult week, although I still looked forward to each day and tried my best to push through. I struggled most days and I remember how much just a 90 minute ride challenged me. I started to realize how maybe everything was catching up to me and how I never really had a recovery from IMLP I woke up exhausted almost every day and as the week progressed it was hard to function at certain points. I looked forward to more of these throughout the week and got in two days of yoga too. Thursday and Friday I barely slept, waking up every hour or so incredibly uncomfortable (uncomfortable does not mean pain), and finding myself in these yoga poses. Child’s pose, frog pose Half Bow, Supta Baddha Konasana and one leg out at 90 degrees. I remember feeling super tired in the past while training for other Ironman races, but I’ve never experienced the sensations in my legs that I did at the end of this week. I even woke up a little fearful on Saturday morning, knowing that I had NOTHING left in my legs…and felt like maybe my mind was on empty too. I made the decision to skip my first day of scheduled training and it was a hard decision for me. I actually wanted to ride but my body told me I needed to take this entire day off. I felt disappointed in myself, guilty, let my coach know what my body was feeling, and was thrilled to receive an encouraging email agreeing with my decision along with some other great things. Turns out I really needed that day off both physically and mentally, and looking back I am really glad I had that day off from training. Sometimes the ultimate battle is with yourself. It was just one day and not worth questioning. Setbacks are temporary. Use them to break you or make you. Sunday I felt better than ever and I’m full of energy ever since. Phew, I glad to be back and feeling great.
Now 31 days away from my fourth Ironman…the World Championship. I have no idea how it will go. Why does any of this really matter? On one hand, everything about Kona matters to me. On the other hand, so long as I give my training all that I have (and then some), racing Kona is going to be a celebration. No matter what happens out there, I just have to accept and be proud of how far I’ve come and let all of the other variables go. I always want to reach my goals and do my best to exceed them when possible. Now that I have the support of a coach I want to make sure to do my best to meet his goals for me as well. I know he works hard to put together my training plans week by week and it’s clear that he writes them specific to me. It’s been an awesome experience and I know I feel calmer, more confident, and wouldn’t be getting through as effectively without my coach. I really want to give this my all and have the best possible experience. The closer we get to the race, the more mental it becomes. Mindset is key and there are so many important reminders over the final month to Kona. It’s another reason why spending a few days a week on my yoga mat is essential at this point. In addition to all of the physical benefits it helps focus and strengthen the mind. I can’t believe it’s next month already. Part of life to me is about exploring limits and using your potential to reach a reach incredible outcomes. Ironman helps me explore how far I can go. It helps me grow, keeps me focused, healthy, and it’s so much fun along the way. It’s a daily reminder of the choices I have and opens my mind and body up to embracing new challenges. So yeah….week 4 was awesome, week 5 not so much and yet I wouldn’t change any of it. It’s all part of the experience. Keli