Tough, Tougher, Toughest: Week 26/30 to Ironman Chattanooga

This week was pretty crummy from a training standpoint. I’ve just felt super run down all week, and I’ve just not been able to get my legs to work hard enough to get my heart rate where in zone 2, let alone my speedwork in zone 4.
 I remember lots of crummy days/weeks last year, but I feel very fortunate that it’s taken me this long to not be super stoked about training. In fact, I kept telling myself, how many workouts did I cry last year? (A bunch!) And how many this year? (None-YET!)  I cut a couple of my workouts 10-15 minutes short, and opted for an extra two hours sleep instead of my third swim on Friday. Not exactly how I wanted to finish up my second to last week before taper, but I think it was still a solid week overall.
Additionally, I’ve gotten a bit worried this week that I’ve NOT been worried ENOUGH about the hills on the Choo run course. I’ve been trying to run hills about once a week, but then this week, I went full blown freak out mode, and I ran some crazy hills on every single of my runs. This was probably not a good idea….So I’m going to back that down to once or twice a week, and try not to obsess over anything between now and the race (right!).
It seems silly to be frustrated about a bad week out of 30, but when you’re SO close to the race, a bad week can make you second guess EVERYTHING about your training. Suddenly, the guilt of missed workouts (even from months ago!) floods in, doubt about your training plan, etc.
However, I feel guilty talking about my rough week of training. On Tuesday, a newer friend of mine, who is also training for Ironman Chattanooga, was hit by a car on her century ride. Miraculously, she was not seriously injured and she is still hoping to compete. So each day that I’ve slogged through a miserable workout, my body just not cooperating, I just tried to remember how fortunate I was to be able to be out there. And I thought constantly about Erin, knowing she wished so badly to be out running or riding with me. So I learned a very important lesson this week, and that is to be grateful for everything in training and life, the highs and the lows. The fact alone that I’m able to train like I am means I am blessed beyond measure!
So a quick recap of my longer workouts.
I had planned to work Saturday, so I swapped my long run and ride days. I decided to run the same route as last week, but instead of saving the crazy hills for last, I ran them first for 6 miles. Starting mile 10, I REALLY started to struggle. My feet hurt and my legs were just exhausted (even though I hadn’t done a long ride the day before!?) I didn’t come near last week’s pace, but I survived for a total of 15 miles in the training bank.
Sunday’s ride with Larry and Penni started out beautiful and cool. We decided to do an out and back through Culloden and Roberta, and we pushed against a nasty headwind the whole way back. I did the same nutrition as last week, 5 servings of Tailwind, 6 bottles of water, and 3 Accel gels. For some reason, I actually got hungry half way through the ride, which never happens to me! After the week I had, I planned to stick to my plan and only ride 5.5 hours. However, Larry and Penni talked me into tacking another 8 miles onto my ride for a total 100. In return, I talked them into running my hour brick with me! I’m so lucky to train with friends who not only make training go by quickly, but also motivate me. Our fellow Mid GA Tri member Bonnie met us back at the parking lot with Nutella Uncrustables, cold drinks, and straight-out-of-the-oven homemade brownies! Can you say spoiled!? During our run, I drank one bottle of Nuun, but I was so thirsty, I would have drank more. I started to get chills at the end of the run, so I think I was borderline dehydrated. My body didn’t seem to be wanting tons of liquids on the ride, and it was a lot cooler, so I hadn’t drank as much as last week. You’d think I’d know better by now!
So to sum it up, week 26 was tough, Erin is tougher, and week 27 will be toughest.

THEN TAPER!!!!!!!!!

Week 26 numbers
Swim: 3.5 mi.
Bike: 139.6 mi.
Run: 29.7 mi.

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