Okay – here’s how it is. I am a week (6 days actually) away from my first half ironman. My training cycle has not been perfect. I have suffered from:
- injury : a somewhat recurrent shoulder injury brought on by a devastating combination of hard swimming and pushups and the most STUPID injury I have ever had which occurred about 2 weeks ago when I stepped on a thorn outside and Adam, my GP and the practice nurse were unable to dig the tip out of my foot. I hobbled for over a week and was not able to run or bike. Dumb.
- the blues. Who doesn’t ever suffer from the blues in a training cycle? I certainly did. At times I got very demoralised. At the hours of bike riding ahead. But more at my lack of progress – I don’t appear to have speeded up on the bike at all despite miles on that thing. My running ranges between “meh” and “okay”. My swimming has improved, though it’s still hard work. But the cycling really bugs me. If anything, in a cruel twist of fate my beginner’s aches are returning. My undercarriage was BROKEN after last Sunday’s 2.5 hr ride.
I came back from a week’s holiday in France (no training due to above mentioned thorn incident) feeling like maybe I should give the whole thing up. But this is a bad habit I have folks – when things don’t go perfectly, I would prefer to give it up and start again (or not do it at all, as is so often the case). My husband often tells me “the best is the opposite of the good” and even though I struggle to think of my training cycle as “good” I threw myself back at it this week. (The thorn is still in my foot but seems so deeply embedded it is now just part of me. Whatever. ) This week has been okay – training-wise – and a friend reminded me that the idea was to go out there and enjoy this. So this is what I’ll do:
- Enjoy the swim. At the beginning of this year I could barely do front crawl from one end of the pool to the other. I now feel confident about completing a 1900m swim in open water. Not with much style, or much speed, but nonetheless – this is a huge thing for me!
- Enjoy the bikeride. I know what it feels like to be slightly out of my comfort zone on the ride, and that’s where I need to be (otherwise I might as well put a wicker basket on the front and forget about using my gears). If I manage to feel like I’m working for most of my ride then that will be a success, regardless of my time.
- Enjoy the run. I have this in me – I can run when tired. It doesn’t matter how fast but I just need to keep going.
In retrospect, I kind of ruined my Oly in June by fretting about being at the back. I know I will be at the back this time, and it’s really up to me whether I let that disappoint me or whether I just enjoy the BIG distance I’ve traveled mentally this year – getting from this race being a BHAG at the beginning to it being an absolute reality now. I am sick and tired of comparing myself to others and feeling I’m coming up short – I honestly bore myself with my angst sometimes. So instead I’m going to do this thing and enjoy it and amaze myself. Why not?
And amazingly, just as I’m getting my head round this enormous goal which I’m about to go for, everyone has been asking me what the next step is. What’s my next event? What’s my next challenge? An unbelievable amount of people have asked me if Ironman is next. Really? Really? Do you know how far that is? Do you know how much you need to train for that? And my personal worry – do you know HOW MANY HOURS ON THE BIKE this involves? For me?
For now, I’m squeezing this thought right down. I am NOT thinking about next week. 6 days folks, and counting. Bring it on!
See you after the big day, folks!