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!!