Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weathering the storm...Week 16

A more appropriate title would have been the one I had 2 weeks ago. If you check on that one you'll understand. The weather in Iowa this week was actually the best we've had for training outdoors since I began training on Nov. 1 but I was unable to take advantage of this nice weather. I woke up Monday really sore and did an hour run but cut the rest of my workouts short. I wasn't sure whether I was sore from racing last Saturday or combining that with a pretty big day Sunday when I ran a much quicker than normal long run with Adam Bohach. Up to this point my recovery was actually better than I can ever remember. 2 weeks ago my body held up great through a 33 hour workout week and even through a weekend of training which simulated an Ironman. When I woke up sore and tired still on Tuesday I began to feel like something wasn't quite right. I got more sleep this week than I think I have any other week of training this year yet I was completely wiped out. I began to think I may be a bit overtrained so I would take it easy mid-week even taking a complete day of rest on Thursday which was the first day since I began training November 1 that I did absolutely no training. Thursday night I was still super tired and had a headache and my stomach didn't feel right at all. I slept 9 hours and then suffered through a half day of teacher inservice on Friday morning during which my stomach continued to churn. I realized that I had some kind of virus that was nearing its' peak. It completely peaked on Saturday. I think I visited the bathroom over 20 times and it was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It left me completely drained. I tried to get in electrolytes to replace what I was losing but I couldn't keep up. Fortunately for me I began to turn the corner on Sunday morning as I felt like my body was getting back to normal. The total volume of training for the week was very low in a week I wanted it to be high. I've learned to weather this type of storm without worrying too much about it. Is it ideal to have this kind of week 4 weeks prior to my pro debut? No, definitely not but I also realize it certainly isn't the end of the world. In year's past I think I would have dwelled on how much fitness I lost. I would have worried that I had gotten out of shape. Not this year. I'm very confident that I'm in the best shape of my life. When I began training I had 27 weeks to get ready for Ironman St. George. I know that 1 rough week in the middle of that build-up will not be significant. Within a few days of getting back into my normal training routine I'll probably forget I even had the setback. I've learned through the past couple years to handle the highs and lows of training much better. I know from coaching that it doesn't take long to get back to the fitness level I was at with the big training base I have. Thankfully today was a great day of training. I ran 13 miles this morning, then got a solid 1 hour swim workout in and finished with a 1 hour bike ride tonight. My body felt stronger with each workout today giving me hope for a good week this next one. I've been thinking a lot about the race in San Juan. It's now less than 4 weeks away. I plan to substantially increase my swimming between now and then. I know from past experiences that short term increases in swim time help me get a better feel for the water and I typically can make big improvements over a short time. I hope those improvements will allow me to get out of the water with the tail end of the guys field. I hope to get out hard and settle in on the feet of a group of the guys and girls in the field. It's definitely good for me that pro men and women start together because that allows me a better chance to find people to draft behind during the swim. On the bike I'm going to ride harder than I ever have for a 1/2 Ironman. I know the first half of the bike leg I may not see too many other guys but by the 2nd half I expect to be making my way through the field. I'd like to be off the bike in contention to run my way to a top 8 finish. I know from my fitness that I'm in shape to get off the bike even after a hard effort and run 1 hr. 15 minutes for the 1/2 marathon. I don't know how the heat and humidity as well as the tough run course in San Juan will affect that time but I do know I should be able to move myself up through the run. I can't wait to see how it plays out. The race will be a great learning experience for me which is why I signed up for it. I wanted to gain some valuable experience about racing professionally before Ironman St. George on May 7.
On a side note, Jen ran a mile at a track meet at Augustana on Thursday and ran 5:05! It was very impressive and fun for me to watch with the kids. I have a massage tomorrow with Laurel Darren which should get my body ready for a big week...it has worked every time. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!

1 comment:

CoffeeChug said...

Great post. A fantastic reminder that we cannot let small setbacks cause us to lose focus of the big overall picture. A few days will not hurt the body despite our competitive mindset that all is lost. You are an inspiration to all of us "regulars" who try to get in excercise for the sake of excercise.