Last night, I realized that my team was testing on the bike today. That means pushing as hard as you can for 20 minutes to see what watts you average. It’s not fun, especially for someone like me who is not a sprinter by any means. I’m an endurance girl. I’m in it for the long haul at a much more reasonable effort level. But today, we had to push.
My test showed no improvement from the last time we tested four weeks ago. Worse, I felt worse than the last time we tested. Immediately, my mind went to failure mode. My training hasn’t been going well. My body isn’t responding. My race isn’t going to go well. I’m going to have my first DNF at an Ironman. Why am I doing this? Blah blah blah. And then I stopped myself.
My training has been going very well. I’m loving my workouts and had a great race at Marble Falls last weekend where I PRed and averaged 15.7 mph on the bike, which is huge for me. And I finished that race feeling strong, feeling the best I’ve ever felt at that particular finish line.
The last seven days have been rough. I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been stressed at work. In that stress mode, I ate some dairy (which is comfort food to me), which I know my body doesn’t like. And I’ve been trying to cut back on calories because I haven’t been dropping weight like I normally do during Ironman training. That combination of things screwed up my training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I did nothing Thursday and Friday. Then I did an easy swim on Saturday, pushed myself on the bike on Sunday for a short ride where I averaged 15.3 mph (which is still great for me), and ran with the girls on Monday and felt good despite the humidity.
So today didn’t go well. So what? I got a good workout in, and I was reminded of how important rest and nutrition are to my training. The answer isn’t to fall apart mentally. The answer is to refocus and to adjust my rest and nutrition.
I love my triathlon training. I love running with my friends and working with Natasha. I love scheduling much of my life around training and races. My hard efforts in training are often the best parts of my day. Finish lines are sweeter spots than most vacation destinations. I’m very lucky to do what I do. I need to remember that when I have a bad day.