Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fatigue--Walking the Line

Only 1.5 weeks left. Can I make it? It's like one, long Ironman to the finish, which is my taper. I can see the heavenly Taper beckoning me, just out of reach. Almost there...

I've been training harder and more than I ever have before. I've missed so few workouts, I can count them on one hand. The fatigue is building precipitously. I know I'm walking that line. If I cross it, I will be overtrained, get sick, or injured. If I am just below, I will rebound so strongly during my recovery that I will be fitter than ever before at the start line.

I took the day afer my Half Ironman Simulation off. Complete rest. I was annihilated. I think a lot of it was the heat. I felt terrific on Monday. Amazing what 1 little day of rest can do. I hit the weights hard Monday morning, following it up with a fairly slow 8-mile run. My feet were sore at the end; I need new running shoes...again. I wear through them so quickly! Lunchtime was a hard 3,000 meter swim with Terry at UCSD. I really pushed myself and was pleased to see my time drop about 5 seconds/100 (I've been trying to figure out why my swim time's have gotten consistently slower--about 7 sec/100m slower).

Yesterday (Tuesday), I swam (again) in the morning with Sickie. This time, I sucked. I was tired, sore, and cranky. Unfortunately, it was test set Tuesday. Sickie kept asking me for my times. I had to move over to the next (and slowest) lane during the warm-up. And I was still too slow! After our test 200, I almost burst into tears when Sickie asked for my time. Almost started sobbing, hopped out of the pool, and quit. I knew, at that moment, I was simply exhausted. I gave myself a break, and finished out the workout (2600m), accepting that my body just couldn't go any faster that morning. I was very proud of myself for sticking with it.

Later that night (after my brick--18 mi bike and 6 mi trail run in San Elijo Lagoon--so nice), as I was falling asleep on the couch after scarfing down my dinner, I asked Brent if he thought I had slowed down in the pool because of all the weight lifting I've been doing (which I still think is part of it). He raised an eyebrow at me and said, "You're tired! How else can I say it? You've been hitting it so hard. You're tired, you're tired, you're tired."
Hmm, I mused to myself. Could that be it? Nah.

Today is a little easier than yesterday. I had a solid bike workout on the trainer (Spinervals--Dropping the Hammer). Okay, the first half sucked, but I was able to produce some decent power in the second half. All I have left today is a trail run (5K of speed work). Then, nothing until tomorrow (and tomorrow is just swim and weights). One workout at a time. That's how I get through this.

We're driving up to Santa Cruz tomorrow for the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge ( Because I've always wanted to know what 11,000 feet in 100 miles would feel like. I'm really excited. It will be beautiful. A little vacation. Plus, Thursday and Friday will be easier training days so I can rest up a little for Saturday's crazy ride. Yup, it's a workout so hard that I'm scared. I love those!


Renee said...

You? Tired??? No way! You are Wonderwoman! :)I am glad you took a rest day though. Take care of yourself because we are all looking forward to the Ironman report!

Grey Beard said...

The parameters for rest are well studied and known. As long as you keep intensity up, you can reduce frequency and duration by at least a third with zero drop in fitness.

Decreasing duration of exercise by 1/3rd results in an increase in VO2max of 5% building steadily from weeks 1-5 after peaking. Decreasing intensity however, is a disaster. Showing up at the staring line exhausted is a good way to insure failure. I like to succeed.

In my experience, too much rest is a myth. It makes you a bit slower early, but you feel super-strong by the end. I think the implication is obvious. YMMV, but the research supports this view.

bunnygirl said...

You're almost there and I know you'll be ready for Saturday's ride and IM. Sleep like a bunny, run like a bunny. The rest will take care of itself.

Diana said...

I love the thought of being "being afraid of my own workouts!" That's when you just know you're in the groove!
Love the bunny pic-he looks so comfy as you will be after all this!!