Ironman Louisville Training: Week 8

Not much to report this was mostly good with a couple of low points: my two missed swims. I've now missed four of my last six scheduled swims - two were out of my control, one was intentional, and one was my fault - which is, you know, not great, but swimming is one of my stronger disciplines (all relative since I'm not particularly strong at any of them!) so I'm not too concerned.

On the bright side, I handled my bike ride this weekend like a champ! It always helps to have company, and I actually enjoyed almost all six of those hours I spent pedaling on Sunday. This Ironman thing may not be a lost cause after all.

In other news, this week I finally started to feel like I was making a breakthrough in my IMNC anxiety/disappointment, but by the end of the week I felt like I had taken two steps forward and one step back and didn't really end up much farther than where I started. I know I keep being vague about all these feelings and it's really not intentional. I do want to get them out and talk about them but every time I try I just don't know what to say. I know the words are in there somewhere and I hope to find them soon.

Ironman Louisville Training: Week 7

This week was...a doozy. I'm really emotional about my training, too emotional maybe. I always have been. It was the emotional side that sucked me in in my early C25k days, and that hasn't changed. Most days and weeks that's a good thing - that emotional side is my lifeblood and why I stick with this sport at all - but sometimes it throws me for a loop and that was this week. I struggled with motivation after coming back from vacation, and I had to do some serious soul-searching over why I am even training for this race in the first place. After last year (a phrase I have vowed to now remove from my vocabulary) I'm finally feeling ready to start facing the facts, admitting some ugly truths to myself, and moving on. I want to talk about it more, and I need to talk about it more. Hoping to get some these swirling thoughts of my head and into this white space sooner rather than later.

This week I finally had the realization that Ironman training, by this point, is hard. It just is. It's hard whether I work out at 5am or at 5pm. It's hard to spend over an hour in the pool. It's hard to spend a handful of hours on my bike. It's hard to run on tired legs and when the heat index is approaching 100 degrees. It doesn't get any easier just because I pack my lunch the night before or I make an effort to put my laundry in the washing machine when I take my clothes off or I use my commute home to double as a workout. I mean, that stuff doesn't hurt, but it's not a magical solution to make training easy. Because it's just really hard. That's #ironmanlife (the coach I used last year put notes at the beginning of my weekly plans - which I'm recycling this year -  and that was literally the only note for this year's plan, which I found hilarious yet appropriate). And that's not going to change.

Race Bucket List Update

I've been thinking a lot lately about races - looking back with nostalgia on races past, looking forward to upcoming races, and adding new races daily to the list of races I want to run (seriously, so many races, so little time). Three years ago I posted a list of big races I hoped to one day run - my Race Bucket List, if you will - and only a few years later, it's in serious need of a revamp. There are some races I've completed, some that are still waiting to be checked off, and some that I'm not really even interested in running anymore. This original list was never a binding nor a comprehensive collection of finish lines I hoped to eventually see, but it's clear that now my race priorities and preferences have changed quite a bit over the last few years!

Ironman Louisville Training: Week 6 (Belize Edition!)

This was an extremely light week of training for me since I was on vacation! Although when I travel I try to work in my training or sneak in a run or a race whenever possible (my favorite way to see a new place), this vacation was specifically about taking a break from training.  I did get in a few, non-traditional swims, bikes, and runs, but they were all fun and extremely leisurely. I hadn't been on a relaxing vacation with zero activities planned in SEVEN years, so yeah, I left Ironman training at home!

Ironman Louisville Training: Week 5

I skipped two workouts this week and am trying to learn how to not dwell on that. I don't think it's realistic to expect to hit every workout - I used to be that person, and I would love to still be that person, but considering that my non-training life looks very different than it used to, I think it's reasonable to expect that training will also look very different. I don't want to use that as an excuse, and, there are definitely ways that non-training life as it is now actually helps my training life, but the point is that things are just different, for better or worse. I've always been one to focus more on what I didn't do than what I did do, and I don't want it to be that way anymore.

It's hard not to not play the comparison game with my training from last year, but with everything logged so neatly and digitally, it's so easy to give into the temptation. Before I know it, I'm asking myself how I was able to do that run so much faster or how I swam that morning even though I was sick but was too tired to swim this week. I need to stop doing that! I have to remember that there are a million variables that go into training and that it would be impossible to try to pinpoint one reason to explain why X IMNC training workout was better or worse than Y IM Louisville training workout. Of course, it's not random, and I will say that this week my biggest problem was simply not getting to bed early enough,  but that wasn't the only thing. I also have to remember that where I started this year is not where I started last year, and that I completed three significant distance races in the few months prior to starting my training. While that was really beneficial for my fitness, the flipside is that I didn't start this training cycle as fresh as I could have. With all of that said, I still feel a little ahead of the curve in my training - not much, as I'm getting to the point where my training will be nearly identical to what I did last year, but a little!