Friday, June 23, 2006

Major pre-race anxiety

This week has not been going as planned. I've missed a lot of workouts I was planning on. Okay, I know I have a big race on Sunday and I need to taper but this is ridiculous.

How do you taper?

Ideally, I like to do my biggest workouts in the beginning of the week and wind down towards the end of the week. I don't do any weight-lifting and I scratch one of my runs since it's so hard on my knees. I don't run for 3 days before race day, and I do a short bike 2-3 days before. The day before, I either do a relaxing swim or take off completely. Sometimes I take 2 days off beforehand. Basically, it ends up being a 3-day taper with 1-2 days off. This has worked well for me so far in sprint to mid-distance races.

How's it's really been: I've taken Mon., Tues., Wed., and Thurs. completely off!!! Ack! I'm having a nervous breakdown right now. I know that a workout takes 10 days for your body to appreciate and that you can only hurt yourself (not help) by working out too much during race week. But I feel that maintaining a consistent but reduced volume of training the week of a race really helps in keeping the blood flowing, muscles limber, mind at ease, as well as getting the muscle memory going. So it's a good thing.

Monday, okay, I was tired from the 8-mile race the day before. Plus, I had a deep tissue massage, which always makes me sore afterwards. Fine. Legitimate day off. Tuesday, I was going to bike especially since I've been slacking in this area and wanted to give myself confidence. But one thing led to another, and then it was bedtime. How many times has this happened to you? Wed. I was going to meet with the club after work to preview the bike course and do a brick workout. I was raring to go when my stomach started bothering me around 4:30 p.m. I popped an antacid and tried eating some gentle foods--yogurt and a granola bar. Nothing. My stomach churned and burned for hours, forcing me to give up and go home. I ended up taking an early evening nap, waking up to eat and sloth on the couch, and going back to bed for a good night's rest. Okay, not so bad since a good night's sleep is valuable, and I can't help being sick. Plus, the club workouts are usually too intense for me, and I may have done more harm than good by doing a hard brick. I have resolved to do my own bike at a lower mileage and preview the course by driving it Friday or Saturday. And tonight? No excuse, whatsoever. I came home with good intentions and promptly fell asleep for 2 hours before I could get on the bike. The rest of the night has been a complete waste.

I feel like complete sh*t right now but I need to focus on salvaging the rest of the week and gearing up for this race on Sunday. Tomorrow, I plan on doing a short brick, focused on the bike. A simple up-and-back coastal ride for 45 minutes followed by an easy, flat 3-mile run. I'll ride to work so I have no temptations to skip. I should feel refreshed afterwards. Must remember to stretch. Saturday, I will hop in the pool and swim for 45 minutes, focusing on drills, technique, and form. This will also help me get to sleep Sunday night since swimming always makes me tired. Then, I will have gone through the motions before Sunday but should still feel fresh. That's the new and not-so-improved plan. Ugh.

Meanhwhile, in addition to feeling like a sloth, I haven't been eating as well. I feel like a pig. I need to start making healthier choices, eating small frequent meals througout the day, and planning what I'm going to eat the day before so it's easy to make the right choices. I'm starting to feel bad about my weight again because I've gained a few pounds but I know I'm at a healthy weight. I think if I just start eating healthier and sticking to my workout plan, I'll feel better.


Jenö said...

Sounds complicated - maybe just don't think too hard about it. There is no point in "cramming" before the exam; think back to all the training you've done and take one thing at a time. Good luck this weekend, and enjoy the race.

Habeela said...

Deep breaths! It is what it is, and I'm sure on Sunday everything will be fine. Focus on your nutrition and force yourself not to do any big and/or hard workouts. More days off is better if you're tired going into your taper so it's all good.

jessie_tri_mn said...

Tapers are for recovery, you're going to be OK on Sunday.

Take it easy on these last couple days of workouts and do what you can to fuel your body appropriately.

Just remember you are fit and it does take time to lose that (more than a just few days off)!

bunnygirl said...

I'm sure you haven't lost any fitness in just a few days. Relax, have a salad or some yogurt, and don't stress yourself about it.

It'll be okay-- really!

jameson said...

it's too late to worry about the workouts you missed... just focus on the race. the week before a race my coach has me taking it relatively (low volume) easy, but make sure you throw a couple of short race pace intervals into your runs and rides just to remind the body what it feels like to go that speed. at the very least you will be rested for the race. good luck. I will be down there hanging out and cheering everyone on!

Paul said...

Hey Rachel,

Good luck this weekend, I know you'll do great! A few of the club members and I are gonna bike down there to view part of the race. We'll be cheering for the TCSD uniforms!


Cliff said...

As everyone need to worry. B/c by now, there is nothing you can do to go faster or further. :). It might sound negative. On Sat, do some bike and run (lightly) just to get yourself into the groove.

For my last race, I did a bad taper too. I have 3-4 days doing nothing b/c my left knee was giving me trouble and things (non tri) have to be taken care of.

Remember, on race day, your phsyical is your physical. You can't change that anymore. The only thing u can change is your mentality. That will make a big diff between a good race and a bad race. Focus on that.

Focus on having fun..smoonth and relaxing time. YOu will be fine.

Barb said...

The week is over... forget about it and focus on your race. So it didn't go as planned... nothing you can do about it now!

Have a good day on Saturday, then Sunday, race, race, race!

Looking forward to the race report! Have fun!

Mon said...

I'm the same way, I like to workout the first half of the week, then take off thurs, fri and sunday!
Eating does matter cus I ate bad yesterday and i feel bad today!

Kewl Nitrox said...

I agree with the others here. Don't fret about missed work-outs. Tapers make you stronger. I am sure you did great in the race!

Ken Schulz said...

I hate missing workouts. However, missing one or two... or three is better then overtraining and getting sick. Stay focused, keep a positive attitude, and you are going to do great!

Bridget said...

I am often okay when I have to take off one day, when I really need it, but then I feel guilty for the others. I am sure you had a great race anyway! Post a race report when you can!

Ellie said...

Hey -- it's NORMAL to feel crappy during your taper.

By now your race is done... can't wait to see how it came out. Bet you rocked.

Jessi said...

How'd your race go? Can't wait to hear about it!

JeffM said...

Hope you had a great race and the taper week shouldn't hurt. I'm sure you had a better race than me!

Mike said...

Rachel- I know it's all been said but don't sweat the missed workouts....definitely better to go into a race well-rested vs. fatigued! Hope it went well!