Hey there FitFam,
I have thought a lot lately about writing, but to be totally honest, I have simply been too tired and unmotivated to do so.
Ironman training is tough!
I recently updated my Facebook status to share exactly how tough it has been.
I liken it to having a new baby.
Everyone expects you to be totally in love with your new bundle of joy, however the honest truth is that there are intermittent moments of pure bliss but for the most part it’s simply a lot of work. You barely get enough rest, your body is changing constantly, and you find yourself in the realm of the complete unknown. Each day seems to be a repeat of the one before. And most of us are afraid to admit this truth – its HARD, harder than you could have ever imagined.
However like having a new baby, this journey is amazing! It is life altering for sure. The end result is a brand new you.
Gone are the days of socializing past 9 pm. New TV shows – no clue… Even getting dressed up to go out for dinner feels like too much of a chore. Your friends will appear to have moved on without you, but you know, or at least hope they will still be there in the end when life settles …. if it ever settles.
Here’s the thing, like starting a family, this training – being a triathlete, becomes more than a hobby. It becomes your way of life. It alters you forever, your perspective changes, you CHANGE.
I am not sure if I will ever go back to the old Jenn. I am not sure I want to, it feels great to have purpose and every week to see a new challenge over come.
The past few weekends have been really challenging.
First two Saturdays ago I set out for a 3 hour ride, cue Gilligan’s Island theme song – haha
I should have know I was in for it when I reached my marker – Chukuni River Bridge a good 15 mins quicker than expected. I began to worry, sure enough when I turned around to come home I was faced with some pretty nasty head winds. By the time I reached my van I was 20 min over my goal time and felt rather defeated, physically and mentally. It took every ounce of courage and fortitude to finish that ride, I could have given up at the 3 hour mark. Tim offered to pick me up.
LIKE HELL AM I GOING TO QUIT EARLY BECAUSE IT GETS HARD – ITS AN IRONMAN FOR EFF’S SAKE. IT IS BY DEFINITION HARD! THAT’S THE POINT.
So I finished my ride and my run and went home and cried like a little girl in the shower. Then I dried off, ate some lunch and moved on…
This past Saturday my ride was different. I set out for a 3:30 ride, again got a little further than expected – I am certain the ride out is far easier than the ride back. I decided to push further to get the full 56 miles in rather than 54 as my time allowed. Again the ride home was HARD, those hills are HUGE. Yet again the WIND made it a challenge. But this week I was riding on the high of meeting my race distance. I then decided if I was going to ride 90 km I might as well run 10km to make it a FULL 100km – because who doesn’t want to hit triple digits!
This workout was by no means easy, but yet I was able to manage it mentally and physically.
The thing about taking on a major feat like Ironman is to learn to manage the fear, to push away the dark feelings to learn to approach it in manageable chunks.
2 similar workouts to very different feelings.
Last week’s training:
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 2950m swim, 7 mile run
Wednesday – 60 min ride on Zwift academy workout
Thursday – 2900m swim Brick – 45 min Zwift 15 min run
Friday – 3000m swim 5.5 mile run
Saturday – 56 mile (90 km bike) 6.22 mile (10k) run longest workout ever!
Sunday – 6.2 mile run, easy and slow.
How do you manage challenge? Any tips?