Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ironguides Journal WK-7

More than a third of the way through IM training, WK7 has been one long tunnel that has caved in at several points making things even more painfully challenging both physically and mentally. I got used to enduring the physical pain a long time ago. Basically if there is no pain, I assume I am not trying hard enough so that little problem is pretty much under control.
When thinking back to my training for IM 08 this year, even though it was a relatively short duration of training, I think 8weeks in total; I still went through the same highs and lows as I am getting hit with now. It was not the physically struggle, but the mental fatigue that I was not ready for. Training is not rocket science, well not my training anyway. So you would think how can something so simple screw you up so mentally? While what I am feeling is nothing new I still struggle to understand how it just creeps up and bites you so dam hard. Maybe it’s the pressure you put yourself under, goalposts you keep moving, races looming closer, the occasional off day and then comes the time when the off days start to trump the good days and become off-weeks. AND that ladies and gentleman is what I have just had!
I have started to forget little things like locking the door properly (just as well I have nothing worth nicking, with the exception of George, my cat and my laptop). I forget the days. I lose concentration very easily; mid sentence and then I forget what the hell I was saying (probably not that important anyway!)
ON the flip side the things I do not forget: Eating - I do this about every 2hours without fail, most days I am consuming 3000calories. Drinking – Water & isotonic, “keep awake” brew and evening “help Emma sleep” Milo. Training - programmed in, the plan gets me up every day that’s all I ever needed. Sleep - early to bed, early to rise. Goal - I never forget that.
Some days the goal scares me, other days it motivates me. What have I done? Exposed it for all to see, there is no hiding from it. I can only do my best and try, really try not to worry about things (read: other competitors) that are out of my control. My emotions have run extremely high this week. Near breaking point, I have not been much fun to be around and I apologise to my training buddies for the cranky moods. This week I have had to question my actions, the initial reason I fell in love with the sport was because of the fun in training and I have not been feeling the love this week. As a wise friend has told me more than once in the past week, chill out and stop taking yourself so seriously. I am trying; honestly I am TRI- ing.
My Sunday run has gradually got slower in the past 3 weeks. I am trying to ignore this fact. Not let it bother me. The bike has got harder. I am trying to ignore this fact. Not let it bother me. I do know that I will be quicker when rested & re-energised; I am trying to focus on this fact and let it drive me and get me through one more week. The swim funnily enough is great. In 7 weeks I have swam approximately 112k’s. And while swimming is hard, it puts no strain on the hollow legs I have when trying to ride and run, making it ironically my most enjoyable discipline at this moment in time. I am getting better and take great strength from that.
Coach Vinnie has been quiet this week. He is letting me do my thing and get on with the job in hand. I took on some good advice for the turbo sessions and road rides and was pleased as punch to inform him of a couple of breakthrough swim sessions. I penned an email to him yesterday explaining the struggle my mind and body is currently having. This is not a cry for sympathy, a change of plan or a reprieve from training. I am just me being sensible and responsible and reporting back what is going on with Emma. The more information he has, the better he can assess and learn about what I can and can’t endure. Everyone is different and I am handling it in my own way. It may not be pleasant all the time but at least I still get a buzz of satisfaction from completing the sessions every day.
One major element that has become more important as the weeks have gone on is sleep. A few weeks ago I could do the Saturday session, go home, shower and rush out again. Now, once a session is complete the body is crying out for rest. I can no longer just get up and go. Sadly weekdays I have to work, but luckily the weekend allows me to re-coup and do sod else all if I so wish. So once those eyelids start going I just let nature take its course and visit that divine place they call dreamland where all your wishes come true, there is no pain, there are no speeding tickets, work commitments, screws in tyres, bills, blocked drains, washing and house to clean. Nope in dreamland everything is serenely beautiful. I am running like the wind, swimming like a fish and riding like a demon. And when you wake up, be it after 10minutes or 2hours, you are refreshed, recharged and ready for just a little bit more.
To sum up: I still got my arse up Perez even when my mind and body were yelling at me to stop at every heartbeat. My time this week: 26:08. Still not 25something, but considering the empty tank I am confident that 25something is there for taking on any good day. I just need to, what was that word again? Oh right. Chill and not be such an over obsessive arse!
Thanks Coach Vinnie for the words of encouragement and thank you to my training buddies for putting up with my foul mouth and bad mood this weekend. Emma will be back, stronger and happier, but I am afraid the foul mouth may take a little work to eradicate!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These kind of weeks are what makes the victories (however you define them), so much sweeter.