Thursday, March 11, 2010
Know When To Fold 'Em
After 2 recovery weeks back-to-pack (not intentional), I began to freak out. The first recovery week was planned, and I adhered to my training plan religiously. Somewhere during the 2nd week (let me think, Tuesday), I was plagued with sudden, unexpected, and all-consuming fatigue (more on that later) that left me bed-ridden for the rest of the week. Finally, I cancelled all my weekend plans and concentrated on getting well, succumbing to the irresistable urge to sleep 16 hours a day.
This Monday, my body re-emerged from hibernation rested and rarin' to go. Mild panic swelled in my throat. My Ironman was only 9 weeks away! Count backwards and that's only (gasp) 6 weeks of training left to go! How much de-training had I suffered? Had I trained enough beforehand? Will I be able to start healthy and trained? I'm still trying to convince myself "yes". My training for this Ironman has been much less structured and haphazard than the others. But, I did a 100-mile ride, and several 80s. And some 16-mile runs. And the swim should be no problem. But the course, my God the course!
The temptation is to push myself in training now full-tilt, all the way, to the breaking point. I must stop myself. 6 weeks of training left is still a long time. I need to wait at least until the "Final Push" period before going nuts (last 3 weeks). Oh, but I love to go nuts.
Monday, I tested the waters of physical health with a 4-mile run and weights. I ran with my dog, who exuberant at the chance to run with me again, pushed the pace at the beginning. At the end, I saw a guy who I just knew I could run down with the help of Travis (is that cheating? using your dog to run someone down?) so I pushed the pace (and succeeded). I returned red-faced, dripping sweat, and slightly naseous, all signs of a run well done.
Tuesday, I biked on the bike path, a solid 16 miles, not too hard, not too easy and followed it up with a fantastic 3400 yard swim masters workout. I felt like I could have gone forever. I would have....but luckily, I had an engagement that night and didn't want to be late.
Wednesday, I ran a very hard 6 miles on hilly trails (that resulted in a very embarrassing bout of gastric distress) and did weights.
Thursday (oh, that's today), I did a 3200 yard masters swim workout. I felt very sluggish. The time on the clock confirmed how I felt. Did someone sneak in and make the pool longer? I could have sworn the lane had gotten longer! No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't make my body go faster. The fatigue was catching up.
Thursday night, I got on the trainer. Oh, first I took a late afternoon nap. I know, I know. But I was SO tired. Just an hour. Woke up feeling very refreshed. Popped in a Spinerval DVD and hooked Torch up to the trainer. Filled a water bottle, got my iPod, a towel, put on my bike clothes, and clipped in. Warmed up. God, my legs felt sluggish. Leaden. I tried, I really tried. But at this point, I know my body. I just didn't have it in me. My body simply wasn't absorbing the workouts any longer. The fatigue had accumulated. Yes, I could push through the workout and deepen my fatigue, spelling disaster for my weekend's workouts (100 mile bike Saturday and 18 mile run Sunday). Or, I could get off and go have a nice steak dinner. Yummy! I called it a day. And tomorrow? I'm scaling back on tomorrow's workouts as well. Gotta keep my eyes on the prize. Time to rest!