In an attempt to dig myself out of the blogging black hole that I have allowed myself to fall into, I’m penning this catch up post.
Half Ironman training is…..kicking my ass.
There is NO other way to put it. Of course, most of the ass kicking is of my own making because I am terribly over-scheduled. Some of the ass kicking is because I, um, probably scheduled a big race too soon after Houston…..in my defense – switching from Cowtown Half Marathon to the 50k seemed like a really good idea at the time! LOL!! And I think some of the ass kicking is due to my lack of motivation. I used every single ounce of motivation, determination and dedication that I possessed while I was training for and racing at Houston. I did what I set out to do and grabbed my BQ. And since it was such a huge goal and I spent such a long time focusing on it – the absence of chasing it is causing me to flounder. I am struggling to maintain focus on these shorter term races and I am most definitely struggling to set my goals for the remainder of the year. I’m going to get there, though!!
After Houston, I reveled in the glory of my BQ for exactly 5 days, then it was back to work. (I literally had NO time to waste to get started on my 70.3 training. The timing of Houston had already put me behind the 8-ball in relationship to Galveston.) I know planning my workouts caused some stress for my coach. It sounds so ridiculous when I put it down in print – I’m training for a 50k and a half Ironman AT THE SAME TIME. Big-time kudos to my coach for: 1) the balancing act (aka training plan) that he put together for me, and 2) choosing to create a training plan instead of strangling me (which, I’m sure crossed his mind)!
The first week of 70.3 training was HELL. I was SO EXHAUSTED. The second week – I was still exhausted, but my schedule was wonkier than usual. I had some out-of-the-norm commitments that required rearranging my training schedule. I *nearly* skipped a bike workout. I intended to get up early to do before work; then I moved to the next day (which was a rest/swim day) and planned to do early. I got up and just skipped it that morning. I tried to justify to myself that swimming was enough for that day. But I confessed to Brent that I skipped the bike and whined because I was tired. All he had to say was, “You’ll be tired at Galveston” and I decided to do it when I got home…..at 9 PM…after driving Alli to practice and after swimming. I did it and I was STILL exhausted, but at least I could live with myself. I needed that kick in the rear and I’m glad that Brent is willing to do the kicking when it is needed.
I’m now in week 3. I did my 2 hour ride on Tuesday and it was easier. (Probably because I had been off work for 2 days, but I’m choosing to believe that I’m getting stronger!) I have one more really long run this weekend in prep for my ultra in 2 weeks, then the “long” runs won’t be as long. I finally feel like I’m on the edge of getting a handle on juggling it all again.
Back in the pool
I jumped back into the pool a couple weeks ago. It had been six long months since I had done swimming of any kind. I was pleasantly surprised that my fitness in the water seemed about the same as the last time I swam!! This was a huge mental boost for me, as the swim is the biggest question mark for my 70.3.
But the same day I got back into the pool, I learned that the pool I use was scheduled to be closed beginning Feb 1 through sometime in the Fall. SERIOUSLY. I did something completely out of the ordinary for me: I didn’t fret – I just started looking and found another pool across town. Last week I was able to visit this new pool for a swim and I’m not sure it is going to work. It is smaller and a high school swim team practices there at the same time that I am available to swim. Most likely, I’ll head back to the pool in which I started It isn’t my favorite, but it will get me by.
At Galveston, if I can get myself warmed up and avoid the panic related to that and figure out how to manage the inevitable panic related to all the people in the water, I really do believe that I can finish the swim before the cutoff.
Rocky Raccoon 100 Pacer
This weekend, my long run was to be a very SLOW skip around Huntsville State Park as a pacer for my teammate, Tim, on his last 20 mile loop of his 100 mile attempt. As it turns out, having a fractured tibia isn’t conducive to finishing a 100 mile race and Tim was forced to drop after 40 miles. I know that another 100 mile attempt is the LAST thing on his mind right now, but he is going to have to attempt another just so I can fulfill my job as pacer!
The Flu? Ain’t got no time for that!
I drove down to Huntsville for the race and arrived Saturday around lunch. Around 2 PM, Alli started texting me saying she was nauseous. Then she texted saying she thought she had a fever. Then she texted saying she was achy. UH OH. I had a gut feeling that she was coming down with the flu. She was at a friend’s for the night, since I had planned to be running at 12-5AM-ish and Bobby was gone to the lake. Logan picked her up and brought her home. I decided to stay in Huntsville, but deep down I wasn’t convinced that was the right decision.
Brent came in from loop 3 and after he got off on loop 4 with his pacer, Alli started texting me again. She still wasn’t feeling well and Ibuprofen wasn’t working all that well. My mom knew she was home sick with Logan and was having a fit to go down and stay with her. (My mom is 83 and notoriously fretful. I knew she wouldn’t sleep a wink unless I came home.) So I decided to leave my Renegade family behind to go home and take care of my little girl. It was a tough decision, but the right one. I was home before midnight. We arrived at the clinic as soon as it was open on Sunday and, sure enough, Alli had the flu.
The timing of this illness couldn’t have come at a better time, for me. On Monday, I did NOTHING. I actually thought I was coming down with something. But I believe it was my body finally being able to relax for the first time in….forever….and it was letting go of all that exhaustion and tension. Alli was still running fever on Tuesday, so we stayed home again. I felt much more energized and got several things accomplished around the house, which also helped my mood and energy level.
Yesterday, Alli was back at school and I was back at work. She was zapped after school, though, so I made the decision to keep her home from practice.
Hopefully, the time off will give me enough of a boost to make it to Spring Break. Alli’s team will be heading into qualifier season, which is difficult because of the amount of travel. But I’ll also be two weeks away from Galveston and a break will be in sight!!
I’m trying not to sign up for any races for a little bit of time after Galveston. I am beginning to think that a couple week break, then maintaining base might be the best plan for a while, to give my mind and body a little break.