Monday, June 02, 2008

On Hay, Barns and Rebellion


I went sub-8 last night.

I wasn't working out. I was sleeping. And for the first time in MONTHS, I managed to get almost 8 hours of sleep at a stretch.

When people ask me how I fit in all this training and a law practice, and parental responsibilities, I could be the hero, or I could be honest. Honestly? I don't sleep much--ever. And during the peak period, I'm not a very good dad or a very sharp lawyer.

This has combined to make me just a leeeeeetle bit cranky lately, and not very rational. Could you tell? Uhm. Yeah.

That crankiness persisted this weekend. I was pissed that I had to call it a day at "only" 95 miles on my bike ride on a very hilly route in very high heat. I had nothing left. I barely made it back to the car, nearly passed out when I got off the bike, and scrubbed my transition run.

Which made me even more pissed.

Almost fell asleep in the car on the way home, then couldn't sleep when I got home because of the pounding of my pulse when I tried to relax.

Which made me even more pissed.

Then, Sunday, I was pissed that I had to walk it in from between 17 and 18 miles on my long run. I had planned 20 in three hours. I made it only 17 and a fraction in 2:58. Never mind that you needed gills to breathe the Houston humidity and there wasn't a breath of a breeze. Never mind the high temperatures and lingering problems from the previous ride. No, I was irritated.

And continued to be irritated because I could not MAKE myself swim outside in yet more sun. I napped and went to swim inside. 4000 yards--not meters--in a short course pool.

The very perceptive amongst you will have noticed that the link to my training log has disappeared from my sidebar. I put off logging a few workouts, and but now I'm in total rebellion. I have to bill my time in my job, I have to call and let people know when I'll be home, and at this point, I'll be damned if I account for duration and heart rates in my "me time."

I'll hit the workouts as best I can, but what kind of person feels guilty about riding "only" 95 hilly miles in high heat and humidity and then scrubbing the transition run? What kind of person gets irritated at himself for running "only" 17-18 miles in high heat, and coming 2 minutes short of the 3 hour workout goal? What kind of person feels inadequate having swum only 4000 yards (not meters) in a short course pool instead of in the open water because he could not bear to be in the sun one more minute?

Well, apparently it's the kind of person who logs his training and heart rates, pretty much exactly like me. So, I'm quitting. From now until the race, no more logging. No more heart rates. I know what "tempo" feels like, I know how hard is hard. Enough with the numbers and the guilt and the data. I'll give it my best for the next three weeks, but that's going to have to be enough.

Realistically, I did good, long workouts two weeks ago--112 on the bike, 18 on the run, and 4000 long course meters in the pool. I'd give my training to this point a B+ for duration and a B- for intensity. So, the hay is probably in the barn. The logical part of my canine brain knows the fatigue that I feel right now is a result of loading that hay, and not from lack of fitness. But the psyche is not wedded to reality, nor is it necessarily rational. It's not real, but it sure seems real.

Of course, if this Ironman thing were "rational," everyone would do it. It would be average. If it were, we wouldn't have any part of it. Average sucks.

16 comments:

Fe-lady said...

Make sure you are re-hydrating after all that "pissing"-

We have all shortened workouts because of exactly the same thing. (If anyone wants to argue this point they are lying probably!) We just couldn't DO them! Sometimes what is written IS NOT gospel and you just have to go with what feels right for you on any given day. I tweaked my plan to suit a 54 year old female. I don't think it was written with my age group in mind. Who knows...those last few miles of riding or running may have caused injury or illness. I think you have trained SMART(ly) for You...and you are anything but the average Greyhound!

Lisa said...

what kind of person feels guilty about riding "only" 95 hilly miles in high heat and humidity and then scrubbing the transition run? What kind of person gets irritated at himself for running "only" 17-18 miles in high heat, and coming 2 minutes short of the 3 hour workout goal? What kind of person feels inadequate having swum only 4000 yards (not meters) in a short course pool instead of in the open water because he could not bear to be in the sun one more minute?


Ummm... the kind of people who become an Ironman... You must be peaking. Sounds like the mental state is perfectly in order.

tri-dogmom said...

Wow. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself... Training is hard enough, and you've got an overflowing plate on top of all that!

Also, with the heat.. sometimes I feel like we're just doing more damage tryign to get all the miles in such drastic conditions. It was miserable in AZ this weekend...

faithrunner said...

Sounds like you need a vacation! :) I'm sure your legs will know what to do when it comes time for race day, they'll probably thank you for the time off too. Balance is a good thing, enjoy the non-logging period.

Supalinds said...

I think this is the best post you have ever written, well at least close because you write damn good ones all the time.

You are there and you deserve every piece of fitness you have at this point. You've worked so hard and when you work that hard it sucks to come in a little short, even if it is just a little. Although, in the big picture we all know it doesn't matter. You strive for perfection and there is nothing wrong with that.

But good on ya, you pulled the plug on data compiling, and you stop when it hurts!!

You are MY hero!

Iron Benny said...

I'll never forget the time I drive to Arizona to ride the IMAZ course with Commodore one month before the race. It's unforgetable because of the way I felt afterwords. I was just like you; I was sick, dizzy, starving, tired, etc. But when I got home, my head was pounding so much and I felt so sick I couldn't sleep. I thought I was doomed on race day. After all, it was the ACTUAL course.

But in the end, cooler heads prevailed. Sounds like you already know you're ready. You just haven't comes to terms with it. You are experienced enough to know that you will be fine on race day. But I know how hard it can be to brush aside a ride like that. But if it is any consolation, I bet every Ironman goes through a ride or two like that before the big race.

Lana said...

Note to self: You might get irritated and need to stop logging. You need to remember that it seemed very normal that TriGreyhound felt that way, and so when you wonder if it's normal, just have faith that it is.

Thanks for being honest, Greyhound. I have this archived but ready retrieval during those hard weeks in Sept and Oct.

stronger said...

Is it time to hit Breck yet?

21stCenturyMom said...

That's why they have aid stations at these races - because it is sort of impossible to carry enough fuel to get through.

Race day is going to be YOUR DAY! I just know it.

TriRed said...

I follow your blog because I can easily identify with your lawyer-triathlete brain. Mine works in a very similar fashion and reading this was very timely. I was at mediation until 1230 this morning and was furious with myself for missing track practice this morning as a result. Rational? No. Time to take a step back, yes. You have done the work and part of that is to trust what you have stocked in reserves. Once you accept that, you will have both the physical and mental reserves to be victorious at IMCDA.

Cass said...

You've got this in the bag (or the hay is in the barn). You've done the workouts and really, it is just the classic type A personality that is showing. I completely understand, if something is on the schedule, then it MUST be done. There are times whenever that's just not possible. As I've said before, you are a source of motivation for me. I know that you've got this and look forward to tracking you in a few weeks!

Kim said...

wait, youre not superman? cause i still think you are! you have your act together... work, family, triathlon training. you are a dedicated and motivated husband, father and friend. everything will come together at CDA. you are prepared. you will dominate.

Brent Buckner said...

Yeah, sounds as though you're full. Body will only absorb so much....

momo said...

you know this is completely normal, don't you? all the feelings you're having - they're 100% NORMAL. this whole thing takes a toll - on your body and your mind. just hang in there and soon it will be all worth it.

the dogmom and i have been riding in similar weather. not so humid, but hot as hell. and we've bypassed a few transition runs for the sake of preserving our lives. but i know, we're all going to be well prepared come race day.

rebel all you want, greyhound, you are almost there!

CoachLiz said...

The IM Taper Anger has set in! So has the mental and physical punk out. You are going to be so ready to race in 13 days.

Taper smart...

SixTwoThree said...

Go easy on yourself Greyhound. You're a needle in the haystack!