Sunday, June 10, 2007

Well, That's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Us Into


"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach." So I was often told in the buffet line as a small child with a mound of food on my plate--food that I seldom finished.
"You've bitten off more than you can chew." So I have often been told since then in a variety of situations. Choking on those bites was not uncommon.
"Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten us into." So said the practical, Oliver Hardy side of my brain to the childlike Stan Laurel on the other side. Apparently only Stan was present when I joined the confederacy of dunces who all signed up for Ironman Wisconsin last summer. Oliver is horrified and predicts certain doom.

Confederacy of Dunces
The Confederacy Of Dunces

Oliver's voice was in my ears as I was finishing a 4.5 hour ride yesterday with a heat index over 100 degrees. Nevertheless I ignored Oliver and road past my start point to tack on miles for the last 45 minutes of the ride.

Oliver almost shouted when I got off the bike and grabbed my running shoes and hobbled for my 30 minute runoff. Nevertheless I ignored Oliver and ran----well, run might be a bit of an exaggeration. It was very ugly and very very slow.

Oliver was less persistent this morning on my long run, but he poked me in the shoulder when I ran through the unrelenting humidity drenched in sweat. Running past a swank hotel, the outside speakers were playing . . . . "Sleigh Ride." 100 degree heat index and I hear Christmas music on my run.

I KID YOU NOT.

Oliver is barking more and more often now, because the countdown clock is in double digits. This is getting real, and I wonder if I'm going to make it. Two months ago, before the MS150 or Wildflower, 4.5 hours in zone 2 was no big deal. Now? Very big deal. I am slower, I feel weaker and I take longer to recover. It could well be the heat. There really is nothing like the suffocating heat and humidity that is "normal" Houston weather this time of year. The sucky conditions will be great training for the typical race day conditions.

But it still sucks.

It could be I'm overtrained from pushing back my recovery week for scheduling purposes. It could be I am chronically overtrained to the point that I need to take a month off--a month I do not have. 40 year old hobbits generally have only one peak per season in their furry feet. Have I peaked? Was the break after Wildflower simply not enough? Would any break be enough?

Thank goodness a recovery week starts tomorrow, and I intend to recover like crazy, but still. Are my eyes bigger than my stomach? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Is Oliver right?

Stan, with his childlike faith, will continue to show up for every workout. Stan believes. Oliver . . . . not so much.

15 comments:

Wendy said...

Stan and Ollie both have their places. But I'm votin' with Stan! (That recovery week will work wonders.)

Spokane Al said...

I know the feeling brother.

Curly Su said...

you're going to be just fine...the doubt is good; it makes you keep getting out there and training...

and next weekend, we're RECOVERING...

LBTEPA said...

Maybe overcoming Ollie is part of the challenge of Ironman?
As long as Stan keeps showing up you'll be ok - and I'll be tracking you online from Australia on Sept 9th.

Iron Benny said...

Aaah, your feelings sound familiar. Oh yea, they're the same as mine. Holy crap G-hound, I'm scared too. But my countdown ticker says 13 days! What the hell am I going to do?

Just like you, I don't know if I'm overtrained, undertrained, out of shape, tired. I just don't know what to think.

If given the luxury of unlimited time, I still don't know if I'd ever feel "ready" for an Ironman event. No matter what we do, it will be a hard day. So, someone once told me, "it's better to be under trained than over trained." Not sure if any of this helps, but just know that you're not alone. I think every Ironman athlete out there, especially the first timers, is scared. I know I am. It just means that you respect the distance.

Do what you can friend, because that's all that you can do.

Benny

21stCenturyMom said...

You are going to LOVE your recovery week and it is going to love you back. Your strength will return and Stan and Ollie can get out of your head.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Dude! bring on some recovery! And then I'll see you in Lubbock.

heh heh....

No Wetsuit Girl... overseas! said...

You'll make it, I know you can. It's just the heat and the late recovery week.

Remember, Oliver was an obease asshole and they always got out of it in the end.

Taconite Boy said...

let's cyber recovery together! I'm taking this week off after my 1/2 and am sooo enjoying it.

Shelley said...

G'daw, why recover?? I say go HARD, or go home...:-)) See ya in Lubbock!!

ironjenny said...

(Oh, gosh - I love Shelley and the Lubbock comment!)

I am driving 4 hours EACH WAY to watch you to in Wisconsin in September. Believe! You will be fine.....
Jenny

Brent Buckner said...

Hear you.

Maybe next week I'll post about about how messed up I feel getting back to going long in zone 2.

For now perhaps both of us need to keep in mind how much building out we can do... maybe I'm 8 weeks away from 6 hour rides, but I have those 8 weeks and more. As do you.

Andra Sue said...

I'm with you on the heat...3 hour ride + 30 min run yesterday and I thought I was going to die. Like a total dumbass, got up late and didn't start until almost noon. Haven't posted about it yet, but I'm thinking the title will be "I'm screwed!" Welcome to Texas summer, I guess...

Iron Pol said...

I very much doubt you've bitten off too much. Self-doubt IS a part of this journey, right?

Coach Mike sent some required reading about overtraining and under recovering. After I get through it, I'll send it to you.

If you want it "pre-Iron Pol certified," let me know. I'll e-mail it now.

Carrie said...

Not that I've ever been there, but it sounds like your feelings are right on par with someone about to become an IRONMAN in just a couple of months!! Any more trips to Austin soon?