Ironman Chattanooga is only 8 weeks away. It had been my intention to post here regularly to share the training and fundraising journey with you, my kind reader. Long work hours, coaching priorities, training, and life in general all managed to derail those best of intentions. I thought the following was worth blogging about because it might prove useful to my fellow athletes as you train for various events and pursue your goals.
Saturday for most people training for a triathlon (especially an Ironman) usually means a long ride with a brick run afterward. At this point in my training that would mean at least 5 hours on the bike followed by a 4 mile run. Sunday tends to be the long run for the week (3 hours at this point.) My Saturdays aren't typical because I have a passion and a commitment to coaching Team Challenge San Diego every Saturday morning so I move my long rides/bricks to Sunday and do my long run on a weekday morning at 4:15 am.
Today was our first ride on the road (plus a short run) for Team Challenge. It turned out to be a very challenging and stressful morning. Worrying about 30+ athletes that were split into 3 groups based on experience, ability, and goals is hard work. Coach Linda and I learn something every time we do one of these. In spite of group leaders, printed instructions, and cell phone contact, we still worry about people getting lost, injured, or unable to finish due to a bike issue. Everyone made it back fine, though groups split up, a "casual rider" had a flat, and another athlete fell and scraped knees and an elbow. A tire changing clinic followed.
We adjourned for brunch at a cafe 2 blocks away. It's great to spend time with our athletes - as fun as the coaching. In fact, the coaching continued there, as questions and concerns were discussed individually with a number of athletes. We are all about helping our athletes succeed and sometimes that requires extra time and attention. We came away from brunch and got home after 2 pm pretty exhausted. I had a 75 min. run to do in the afternoon so took a 25 min nap. It took me at least 30 min to finally get out the door... and the reason for this post:
It was tough to get going. The run, a workout I like, was intended to be 30 minutes easy, 10 x 15 sec at Tempo pace with 1 min of recovery, finishing with 8 x 20 sec strides. The first mile was made up of some jogging and frequent walk breaks. The energy wasn't there. I wanted to quit but hoped things would get better. They didn't. The 2nd mile was worse. I felt off, low on energy, a bit shakey (too much caffeine at brunch?), and not into it at all. I knew from experience that these feelings weren't a symptom of something bad or a warning sign that I should pull the plug and walk home, even though that's what I wanted to do. I was going to give it at least another mile first.
As I started the 3rd mile my phone app that I was using to track my workout by gps and by time turned off with less than 6% battery life left. I sign to stop and go home? Nope. I texted Linda to tell her my tracker app was off but I would be running another 55 min. Then I turned to phone to airplane mode to save the battery in case I NEEDED to make a call (for help). Then I started running again. And there it was. I was feeling better during that 3rd mile. Now I had some 15 sec. repeats and no timer. I used stride count instead. I know I take 88-90 right steps per minute. That's 22 to maybe 26 steps. I simply guessed on the 1 minute recovery intervals. It became more of a fartlek run for 15 minutes. Then the 20 seconds strides. That's at least 30 right steps so I counted 30 to 40 steps on these accelerations, ran easy for what remained of the 75 minutes, and had what turned out to be a good workout.
Sometimes you have to be patient. Sometimes you have to adapt and adjust. All of that, along with problem-solving, are part of triathlon. Find a way, do what you can, and move forward!
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