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!


Chris and Amy said...

Wow! You're an animal! I'm happy when I do 1600 yards at my swim practice, but I alternate between the slow and medium group. The faster swimmers do more. Good job listening to your body. Steak...yummy.

Christi said...

I feel your pain. Of course I am only training for a 1/2 ironman and my training volume is not as high but fatigue has been plaguing me for the last couple of weeks. Luckily I have learned the hard way that I have to listen to my body. I am glad that you did because I know that you will get over this hump as well and Chris is right you are an animain in the pool!

Wes said...

Me thinks next time, you might want to try the "more with less" approach :-) You might just surprise yourself.

Formulaic said...

Eyes on the prize!

Nicely done. Rest up and go get em tiger!

teacherwoman said...

Wow, you are going going going! Yes, eyes on the prize!

Sam said...

Hope you're all rested up. Sometimes its necessary to take the rest in order to end up stronger!

Utah is looking will be windy most likely but the course is nice!!

Anonymous said...

Your passion for training is inspirational. Best of luck in the coming weeks.