Monday went ahead great with yet again faster times but there has been a niggling discomfort in my left shoulder for a while now that I have been calling fatigue. On Tuesday the fatigue turned into alarm bells as the pain went from an ache to sharp pain. This for anyone who knows injuries knows aches and sharp pains are a world apart. When you start getting sharp pains a BIG problem could be looming. I cut 800metres off the Tuesday swim because of it and reported back to coach Vinnie.
I knew myself what was wrong. When I first started swimming one year ago everything was wrong, a VERY BAD BAD technique. I mean come on I was swimming in circles in IM Langkawi (remember!) It is still not great but at least I now understand what I should be doing and how it should feel. This is key as once you GET IT you just have to be patient and keep repeating and repeating until it becomes natural and you don’t have to mechanically think about it anymore. So while I know what I should be doing the damage if there is any is already probably there.
To make matters worse swimming became tough this week, really hard work. I muddled on, doing the volume only and making sure the sharp pain was kept at bay. The good news? Rides and runs although still pretty tired were really strong.
The taper plan came through on Thursday. I studied it, read it, and studied it. Hmmmn, so of course it is not what I expected, not sure what I expected but as I have said before I am in the reliable hands of Ironguides and on hearing last week about the success of a 42year old guy (read: 9hr 11min IM Arizona finisher, KONA qualifier) that Coach Vinnie has been coaching, I am NOT, I say I am NOT going to argue. Yes I am scared, yes the pressure is on, but a quote I read this week sums up the whole ethic of the training that I am now doing. If it was so damn easy, of course everyone would do it: “Success only comes before work in the dictionary”, Brett Sutton (had to be Doc!).
With my weekend taper complete, I feel pretty good and am looking forward to light swims and reduced runs and a revved up body come next Sunday. There is pressure, but in all honesty the pressure from outside could never match up to that that I personally put myself under. I just want to do my best, and if that is 10th place I will be happy. If it is 3rd place but I know I could have done better I WILL NOT be happy.
Thanks Coach Vinnie for your motivational email; I am inspired and raring to go.
Phuket here we come!