Saturday, January 29, 2011

And I didn't miss any workouts and everything's great...

...and if you believe that!

It's week 10 and I'd love everyone, especially the coach, to think it's all rosy and we're all systems go to Ironman Coeur D'Alene, a PR, and a trip to Kona. But that's fiction. Yes it is all systems go (so far) for IM CDA, but that's about all we know. The past few weeks have been rough. I've gotten little road running in, something about that white stuff, but more than that has gone on. While I have successfully managed another SAD episode, I did end up getting sick and generally ready to sell all my gear and join the donut eating set.

It's during this (very regular, very predictable) episode of despair and self-loathing that something kicks in. I disgust myself to such a degree that I decide to kick my own a--. But this time it's not about working out more and harder. Part of kicking my a-- is forcing myself to realize that, yes, I'm about to miss a few key workouts while I shut it down and get rid of the cold. It doesn't really help that manic part of me, but it helps prepare me for what comes next. Likewise I refocus on my nutrition. See a theme here? It's not so much the exercise that pulls me out of these periods. It's the restoration. Once the energy levels begin returning then I crush it like a fiend resume activities as prescribed and just let what is gone be gone. It's just the best long term plan. Do I think the missed training volume could cost me in June? Maybe, but maybe not. I do confess I am most distraught over missing my mile repeat test. I know I'd be much better than I was at the end of December and frankly seeing that difference works wonders for the mind. Instead I need to try and be okay with simply knowing I am better. (Or am I?)

All this work and anxiety and depression may make it sound like I'm not enjoying the training. In truth at times I am not. But those times are fewer than in other years and they are really an indicator that I'm not doing it correctly anyway. Usually it means I'm pushing too hard too early. By backing off the throttle a bit it feels like much of the "burden" of training is lifted and I can, say, just hang out on my bike for a while. I don't need to obsess about whether or not I'm putting up better watts per heart beat than I did last session.

Oh, and adding to the "fun" was my I'm on the team, I'm not on the team, I'm on the team drama (self-inflicted). Well I'm on the team, albeit in a different capacity than before. Doesn't change a single thing about me as an athlete. It just changes the page on which my name appears on the website, and oh yes, you don't get to see my smiling face! Never fear, I'll post some pictures in case you find yourself longing for my lycra clad body!

This week marks the transition to "build" activities as opposed to "base" training. I have always liked build more. There is more variety. You do learn during the build whether or not you have a proper base, because if you don't you break down pretty quickly, and if that happens...it's back onto the emotional ledge!

(So far so good, including the best paced 800TT I've ever swum.)