Monday, February 9, 2009

Ironguides Journal WK18

It’s a long one this week, so get a cup of coffee ready :)
There have been some rough days in the past 18weeks and a lot has been learnt about what can be endured if you can keep battling through. Absolutely on my last legs, you could say Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. The final limits of which I can push has been tested to the max and Week 18 was pretty much a haze of training. I say haze, because at times the desire to close my eyes and sleep wherever I have been was a struggle. I have never actually outlined my training week so what you read here is what I have been doing day in day out. This is how it went:
Monday swim: A swim I enjoy with paddles and pull buoy and with no swimming for 4days I usually post a strong session. This wasn’t too bad but getting out of bed is becoming really tough.
Monday turbo: 90minutes of hell. Randy joins me for 61minutes of his ‘sermon’ and today Carmen also posted a turbo session at TBB. I had had a bad day at work and took it out on the trainer. As soon as I started I knew I was in trouble. Feeling nauseas and having trouble staying awake and upright I consumed 2 x 100Plus and 2 bottles of water in the session – unheard of for me, but it worked and the result was solid.
Tuesday Swim: The past 2 Tuesdays have been nasty. Anticipating a bad one it was a bit better than the past two weeks. Maybe the run later would be ok?
Tuesday Run: On the treadmill for 92minutes. Despite my fatigue an any given day I have been able to BLAST these sessions. It’s the only time I know how far I am going and have week by week been pushing the limits while making sure my breathing is kept in check. I don’t pay attention to the legs; they hurt all the time so discomfort in the body is not a good yardstick by which to measure my effort, again, fantastic session and quicker still.
Wednesday Brick: The past few rides have not been easy and I have had to basically focus on volume. After the treadmill run of the night before, Wednesday morning (or night, if you think about getting up at 4am) is hard, as it is for everyone who makes the effort. So how surprised was I to be able to crank up the gears and push the ride. Solid effort, on the return I was wondering how much I would be able to give the run though.
Brick Run: The 60minutes on hills doing my usual circuit felt amazingly very comfortable with approx 5min k splits. Now I am really starting to wonder when it will fall apart.
Wednesday coached Swim: Arrived at swimming VERY buggared. I knew it was pointless to do the drills with the group as even with the wettie I felt I was sinking. Legs in excruciating pain and I just wanted to sleep. After the warm up I told the coach I need to swim alone, someone calling out times and telling me to sprint was not going to help. I just swam up and down, up and down. On some of the ends I closed my eyes and rested. Other times I put 100m in before a break. I was given technique instruction and at 36minutes I started thinking about getting out. After that it was a matter of let’s just try to get to 40minutes, then 45minutes. And then one hour. And then when it got really bad, one more length, this is how it played out until even in the wettie I was getting cold. I lasted 1hr 20min.
Thursday morning swim: Back in the pool at home for my last swim of the week. This is a long IM swim of 200m splits with 15sec breaks to help maintain form. Before I even got in the water I had a HUGE struggle just getting out of bed. In the pool I accepted it would be slow and the words HOW just kept going through my head. I was falling asleep while stroking. The urge to close my eyes was immense, they were so heavy and I found them closing mid swim. On the 15sec breaks my head was gone eyes closed and I just stood holding the side to stay upright. I would then have a chat with myself – again saying that word – ‘HOW’ and I then found myself pushing off and doing one more. I lasted 62minutes – which was a miracle.
Thursday run: In dire need of motivation to get out the house and do the 50minutes I found out Sam and Carmen were running at the park and asked if I could join. Having posted an email to Coach Vinnie detailing my sleep swimming I was actually secretly hoping for a reprieve. It never came. Sam said the run would be slow. I said that is all I can muster. They dropped my very quickly. When he turned round I held up my arms and said (with a smile I might add) this is as good as it gets! Amazingly the body started working on the turn. Not quick but I somehow found a groove.
Friday turbo: 105minutes of fun, fun, fun. Still no reprieve. This was really tough, again I don’t want to sound like a broken record but I don’t know how I actually did this.
Friday massage: Ahhhh, this was easy.
Saturday ride/run: A long fast windy 206k. I was in trouble driving the car to BK. Heavy eyes, again the urge to close them was very hard to resist. My mood was not great (I believe I left my sunny personality in bed), but not wanting to inflict it on anyone I just kept to myself and stayed quiet. The first half of the ride was hell on earth and it was probably only the act of having to concentrate on pedalling that kept me from falling asleep. When I got off, I was nearly falling over and putting sentences’ together and remembering things – well I lost that capacity a long time ago (some may argue I have never had that ability!). One may think I was bonking – but at no time was this the problem. Food, drink and needing to ‘spend a penny’ so far have never been an issue, this was all about getting my mind to stay alert and get my body do something very strenuous when there was an overwhelming desire to give in and sleep. You see the body felt strong; today it was the mind that needed to be kick started.
After breakfast and the pure sweet condensed milk elixir of kopi x 2 and milo I found some reserves and pretty much blasted home. Well I thought it was a solid effort, maybe blast is the wrong adjective! The run too was a solid effort, now rather than thinking “How am I going to do this?” I was thinking “How did I do that?”
Sunday run: The end to a long week. I started later than normal to get extra rest. Going out was nasty but on the turn Hayley joined me and together she helped me post a pretty solid run that was just shy of 30k in 2hr 40minutes. I was VERY surprised, but too tired to get happy about it. Basically it was in the bag.
So now I have one more week before the taper. One last long ride on Saturday? I think so. I hope not. One more long run on Sunday? Maybe. I really hope not. In the hands of Coach Vinnie, when he reads this will he think, yeah let’s start the taper now she needs it. Of course he won’t, because it ain’t in the plan! And let’s remember, it’s just fatigue and apparently I am supposed to be walking round like an extra from Thriller. I probably look as bad as one of them too!
What have I learnt this week, because as always, there is always a lesson to be learnt. It is this:
Human Beings have many reserves, you may need to dig very deeply to find them but they are there. Don’t get hooked up on time when you feel tired, instead remember that every day YOU ARE GETTING STRONGER.
“When I think it is impossible to keep going I know my body will carry me forward. When my body is fighting pain and wants to stop and rest, I know my mind will refuse to give in.”

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