Monday, August 2, 2010

Suffering...Closing the Chapter on 2010

In a recent interview with pro triathlete Andrew Starykowicz he asked me to define "suffering". It as something I had to think about to come up with a definition. It seems pretty easy to know when you are suffering through a workout or a race. You get to that point when it becomes very difficult and the body begins to really hurt. It's much harder to define. Some days in training my goal for the workout includes suffering a bit. This is mostly the case when I do interval workouts. I intend to suffer for the last bit of the intervals and then recover on the easy periods before putting my body into suffer mode again and again. Suffering is never in the plans for a long ride. Sunday I had my own experience with suffering and it didn't take me long to know it was happening. I'll back up a bit. On Monday I began the week with a goal of getting a lot of miles in on the bike. I didn't put a specific number on it but I was thinking 400 for the week perhaps. I decided after my achilles hurt during a workout last week forcing me to run the 2 mile Quick Bix instead of the regular 7 mile as planned that I was going to stop running for awhile. This would give me more time to ride and swim. Monday was a good 50 mile ride and then Tuesday morning was 40 more. My plan was to get a 30 mile interval workout in Tuesday evening. I picked Payton up from daycare before noon and took her to Happy Joe's Lunch buffet in Le Claire and within an hour of eating my stomach was not happy with my decision. Not only was my stomach going crazy but I had a bad headache, body aches, and I was super tired. No more workouts...I suspected food poisoning for the 2nd time this year. Wednesday was awful. I slept 12 hours and felt terrible. I was totally wiped. Thursday morning was more of the same so I went to the doctor and had the food poisoning confirmed. He said it would hopefully run its' course in 48-72 hours. He was correct as I began to feel better on Thursday night. I decided I would resume training on Friday. I swam and biked 40 miles Friday and just felt pretty weak but my stomach seemed much better. Back to my Sunday ride...I left the house at 6:00 a.m. hoping to get in an 80 mile ride with 3 hours in the middle of alternating 10 minutes easy followed by 10 minutes at tempo effort. I did this for 2 hours in a 60 mile ride last Sunday and loved the workout. I began the 3 hours of alternating efforts 6 miles into the ride and I felt decent. At mile 20 I knew it was time to begin refueling with fluids and my Ironman Brew. My stomach did not like this at all. It was like I was filling it up but it wasn't digesting and my stomach grew fuller and fuller. I began dry-heaving with each drink so I stopped drinking. It was super humid as evidence of the huge fog patches I was riding through scared that cars wouldn't be able to see me. Right about mile 50 I felt the suffering setting in. My power numbers on the tempo periods were falling fast and I knew the lack of calories from not drinking was starting to catch up with me. I abandoned the tempo segments and just started focusing on finishing the ride without having to make a phone call for Jen to pick me up in DeWitt, IA. I was sweating so much I knew I needed to drink so I did...and it came right back up. There's nothing like puking on the bike while traveling along at 20 mph. I knew this wasn't good. I also knew it was a sign to put an end to this disastrous 2010 campaign. I was in full suffer mode and I just took one pedal after another until the ride was over. I didn't feel like eating for about 5 hours after the ride.
After the Bix last weekend I ran into local triathlete Derek Radosevich who is preparing for Ironman Wisconsin next month. Derek gave me the lecture that I badly needed to hear about letting my body heal. He reminded me that I only have 1 more year on my pro license and I'll never get to race professionally or realize my potential if I don't heal my tendon now. He was 100% correct. The more I thought about it the more I knew what that meant. I have to take a break now and see if my tendon will get to 100% so I can begin training how I need to if I want to make a pro podium next year. If I wait to take my break I may delay the long break it will need and that could disrupt my training and racing next year. My hope is that I have no trace of an injury by November 1 so I can begin to rebuild my running mileage up towards 65 miles a week in preparation for Ironman St. George which is in Utah on May 7th. So with that I'm putting a close on this disastrous year that started out so promising until mid-March. It's tough to accept how difficult this year has been for me but I know it will make next year all the more enjoyable if my tendon ever heals to 100%. I trust that God has a plan for me and there is a reason for keeping me on the sidelines this year. For now I'm thinking about St. George every day. It will be my 1st professional race, my first Ironman, my first marathon, and I'm also dreaming it will be my first appearance on a podium in a pro race. Although the 2010 chapter is finished this journey is far from over. I have to give lots of thanks to Jen for hanging with me through the tough days this injury has brought me. She always has a great way of putting things in perspective for me. I'm blessed to have a great family and a fun job teaching kids.I'm looking forward to meeting the new 8th grade crew next week as we begin another school year. Watching Payton grow up is a blast and Owen is just getting to the age where he responds to so much. You can see there is a lot going on in his little mind. I recently asked Payton what her dad does for a job and you can find her response in this video I shot on my new i-pod nano. videoI never wanted something as high tech as the nano but sweating through workouts lead to the failure of my last 5 i-pod shuffles. Thankfully I had the Geek Squad protection plan and they gave me free ones each time the shuffle malfunctioned. After the 5th one was destroyed I decided to upgrade to the nano since the nice salesperson informed me they have a protective case that is sweat proof. Hopefully the sound turns out okay since this is all new to me. He sure smiles a ton and still awakens me from my sleep with his bellowing "Young Warrior" cries often. I also have to thank the sponsors that have stuck with me through this injury. It means a lot to me that they haven't given up on my abilities to handle adversity and come out of this stronger than ever. "The road to greatness is never flat." Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!


Adam Beston said...

Good call. Like I said before, keep the posts up. It was enjoyable to see the full story. You motivated me that extra bit to get to race weight and it is working. I know Ben Hoffman a little and live down by St George so let me know if you are down here for a training excursion or drop me line if you need a wheel or equipment after traveling. I live a tad far for a home stay and our place id packed but we have a 19 month old so also some suggestions there for the fam if they come. Good luck!

CoffeeChug said...

Hope you don't mind, but I made a reference to your toughness and your blog on my blog. Your story keeps me motivated Jeff.

Aaron Maurer

LeeAnn said...

Next year is going to be your year! Although it was difficult you've made the right decision.

Thanks for all the help you've given me. I appreciate it!