I’ve been going through a lot of emotions since making my decision not to press on with my Ironman Lake Placid training. For over a year, that race has been stuck in my mind, nudging me as I wake, sneaking up on me during runs and sometimes pounding me over the head when making race arrangements but then it all suddenly disappeared and I no longer have this gigantic goal standing in front of me and I have very mixed emotions about it.
On one hand I am relieved because I can’t will my body to get better. In fact, I’m over a week into the antibiotics and am almost done with them but things aren’t totally in the clear yet so I’m headed back to the doc’s tomorrow morning.
With this relief though comes a huge sense of frustration on multiple fronts.
-Frustration with such a goofy “injury” to have me not be able to continue on. Its not like I broke my arm or rolled my ankle badly but when your saddle area is infected, it has to be able to heal and things like running and biking too soon can only prolong the “injury”.
-Frustration with not knowing how the rest of the season looks. Once I got through with Lake Placid, I was going to have fun but keep training for the rest of the season. I’m registered for Rev3 Anderson Oly and Rev3 Florida 1/2 Iron but things future wise are so up in the air that I can’t even make plans a month out from now. I’m a planner by nature but this is even beyond my normal idiosyncrasies.
-Frustration with leaving a lot of time out on the Raleigh 70.3 course. I don’t think I’ll do a full race recap because I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on that race and just know that I didn’t have a great day out there and that a 6 hour race time is definitely do able. Several factors contributed to a less than ideal race.
1. I cramped with about 200 yards left in the swim. I went to clear my through of phlegm and coughed so hard my calf cramped. Prior to the swim, I realized I hadn’t taken my salt stick tablet and that it was in my bike box. Not a great way to start things off.
2. Just 15 miles or so into the race I heard a noise resembling a flat rear tire. Mentally, I was trying to keep it together so I hopped off quickly and inspected the bike. Nothing was found which was so odd because of the noise but I was thankful. Around 40-45 miles on the course, I went to change from small to big ring and the chain dropped. Off the bike again to grab the chain and get it back on. Grease all over the hands and girls I had just worked on passing passed me.
3. Saddle issues. The bane of my existence. I was ok for about 20 miles but once we started climbing and into the wind nonetheless, things did not go well. Moving centimeters set things on fire and I was not a happy camper. Like I mentioned in my previous post, had I needed to go 1 more mile on that bike I would have called it a day.
4. The bike issues caught up with me on the run as did the heat and the lake water. My stomach was just so full of air and gas that I kept having to stop to dry heave. I have never walked so much in a run or race before but it was all I could do to keep things under control with my body. I got through the run on flat coke and water because as I made my second lap through downtown Raleigh, it certainly wasn’t the crowds since everyone had left and just us last wavers and some older guys were still out on the course, in the hottest part of the day no less.
5. With all that being said, I want redemption at Raleigh and hope I can do so next year. Its a good and fair course and one that I want to give another go at. Final time for Raleigh 70.3 was 6:33
So since Rev3 Knoxville and Raleigh 70.3, I have been on an emotional and physical roller coaster. I have never felt super strong this season nor have I felt real confident. Both of these are unusual for me. I know there are several factors to this: fall and winter achilles tendonitis/plantar fasciitis, up and down workouts where I get on a roll and then something happens (foot cramps towards the end of the swim, saddle doesn’t cooperate) and my training plan gets altered and I don’t reach my full potential, and a general questioning of why I was doing Ironman Lake Placid in the first place.
I haven’t spoken about this much at all because there were times where I would get really fired up about the race but there were many more times where I questioned what I was doing and why I was doing it. This is not a good mind sight for your Ironman training. I know I want to do the 140.6 distance and do it to my satisfaction but a lack of training partners, injuries and general feeling of progression kept those thoughts swirling around my head.
Another big part of these lackluster feelings has been weight. I don’t like to talk about this just like most women don’t but I have gained weight during the Ironman training. Even though I’m not really training right now, I have lost weight. I went into Raleigh a lot heavier than I would have liked which I know affects my speed and race time. This has been super frustrating and something I am working on with my coach and family.
During this long distance training I have found I miss the speed and fun of triathlon. Since I was injured going into this training, we had to kind of skip over the speed stuff and my times have suffered because of it especially in my running. Not getting my tendonitis under control sooner really put things behind the 8 ball.
The run has always been my strongest leg of the race but this season I have no base to rely upon and have seen my times hang where they used to when I first started running. This has been really tough mentally as I know I am capable of running low 8 minute miles but I haven’t sniffed those times all season.
While I’m feeling more confident in my swim, its not reflecting in my swim times and it has become discouraging to keep coming out of the water to empty racks around me because I’m towards the back. I’m always playing catch up on the bike and run.
I know with hard work and focus, I can turn these two things around, especially my running. While I haven’t been able to run or bike for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been swimming and have done two of my longest swims yet both in the ocean so I am pleased with that. I’m going to really start studying the swim stroke and work on my technique because I’m finding that my lungs are really good right now so I know I’m not taxed but something else is out of whack.
Typically, when I need to burn off steam I exercise; so now that my steam burner has been cut off, the anxiousness increases. Yesterday it seemed as if all of my triathlete friends were racing or training really well. It was killing me knowing that I too should be doing that but couldn’t. My fire for triathlon has been reignited however so I’m really happy to have that feeling back.
I’m crossing my fingers and toes that I can get back on the road soon and start to piece together my second half of the season and start to work towards my new goal of Cozumel in November. That course suits my training efforts here in Florida much better than Lake Placid does and it is easier to travel to and enjoy than Placid as well. Right now, I guess I have to just keep being patient as my parents say, though my whole life I have had significant trouble with “being patient”!
In the mean time, my fundraising efforts continue for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in memory of my grandfather. I am having a local yard sale soon and am looking forward to not only decluttering but also generating cash for the MMRF from the sale.
Until next time…..Just Keep Swimming.
PS I did get to swim with two sea turtles during my swim this past Saturday and it was such a cool experience. It definitely made my day and helps me get back into the ocean now that its turtle season so I can hopefully see more!