Well, here it is. I’ve finally approached an obstacle in my training program. I wish I could say that I knew it was coming, but I can’t and maybe that’s the reason it is hitting me so hard. As sure as the Death Race starts in 59 days, it towers above me in its impenetrable, mocking wallness.
Oh yeah, I had a great time doing Laurel’s Death Race simulation Saturday. And I still enjoy the outdoors and being active but the thought of another pool workout or another long ride on the bike had me really down last week. Sunday through Tuesday I ate awful things and in return, felt awful. A few words to describe those dark days: unmotivated, moody, stretched, burnt out, tense and blah.
Wednesday, I had PT and a 5 mile run with Ricky. PT picked up my spirits a little; I can’t say that I don’t enjoy a good sweat. The run was fast and hard. Coming back from the knee injury is like starting from the beginning. My aerobic capacity has been way diminished. I finished up with stretching class that night and felt better than I had in a few days.
Thursday, I did a 30 min swim and a 30 min bike. I kept them short to try and reenergize myself…maybe even nurture that dying love for triathlons. They both felt good and were long enough to count, but short enough to keep me from getting frustrated.
Friday was PT again (a short session because I was late) and then a 13 mile run. Again, discouraging. The run felt terrible. Legs and lungs were burning the whole time and all I could think was, I used to be able to do 13 easy. I know that’s no way to think, but it’s hard since running was my strongest leg of the triathlon and my first love. Putting in the miles left me with a little feeling of accomplishment, though, and I had no knee pain to write home about so all-in-all, I’d say it was a good day.
Saturday, Jerritt and I went out to the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and rode our bikes out to the lighthouse. It was a good choice 🙂 The weather was perfect, the scenery was sparkly and the biking was nice. For a change, I was happy to be back in the saddle.
Sunday was Death Race workout day, as always. Ricky wasn’t feeling this one either so we decided to keep it short – 4 hours. We started with 30 mins on the ropes. This was actually a nice change. Though it burns, your arms kinda get used to the feeling after a while and it is not too hard to keep them moving. We listened to MST3K Squirm (the best!!) while we roped and the added distraction probably helped. Upon Ricky’s return from the north, we’re going to try for 3 hours on the ropes in one go while having a MST3K double feature!
After ropes, we ran for an hour, did 7 sets of planking for 1 min and resting for 30 secs. Then, 7 sets of planking for 1 min and resting for 1 min. We went out for another 30 min run, did 56 cleans with various sizes of kettlebells, a sandbag carry around the block, max reps of push-ups x 3, max reps of rows on the TRX x 3 (which was not very many at this point) and then took the sandbags to the hill at did that about 10 times. We had to cut out a 45 minute run to keep the workout to 4 hours, so Ricky did lifting that night and I hiked out at Tom Brown with Jerritt for an hour and a half.
Although the DR workout was not one of our longest or most intense, I think we got something else out of it. Neither of us wanted to be there, we both felt like skipping out. Showing up and getting through 4 hours in spite of wanting to take a day off is good training in of itself. Also, the running felt easier and that gives me some hope.
So, fingers crossed, I’m coming out of my funk a little. Yesterday, I begrudgingly started a 30 mile bike ride with Mike and Karen. Honestly, I was sleepy and didn’t want to be there but once we got going, I really did enjoy myself. My traps are adjusting well to the longer rides so I didn’t have tense shoulders for 2 hours. That was nice 🙂 My butt is, likewise, getting used to the idea of more saddle time. I even pushed the pace for part of the ride and was able to get some confidence back there. I’m happy to have done it and that’s saying a lot after hearing the words, “I don’t want to do triathlons anymore” come out of my mouth not even a day before. Jerritt and I even hiked some more that night and though I was pretty sore after, I wasn’t in a bad mood about it.
Where we stand: I’m anxious to be finished with these races. The 1/2 Ironman in May is going to be a Death Race endurance workout for me. I just need to survive the 45 min swim, endure the 3-4 hour ride and push through the 2 hour run. It will be good constant-motion practice for June. As for the Death Race, I can’t say that I feel ready, but I do feel ready to do it and have it behind me. I’m wearing thin never being home. I want to read a book, go to the beach, have a weekend to spend with my family. I don’t want to be exhausted all the time, having to stay up later than I would like to get clothes and food ready for tomorrow’s workouts. After June, I’m taking off, going off the grid. I know I’ll continue to do some running just because it’s easier to keep up than start over, but even that will be cut back. I may be out of racing for good. I’m looking to kayak, mountain climb and backpack for leisure. Jerritt doesn’t believe me, he says that I’ll come out of the Death Race looking for something even crazier. And I can see that happening too, but in this moment, I’m just looking forward to a couple months off.