Sunday, February 27, 2011

One more week in the books

This was a tough week. On paper it didn't look that bad, but I never really had it going. Could have been a lot of things, e.g. residual fatigue from the miles in the cold and wind, but the bottom line is ... it doesn't matter. I did all my work and feel pretty spent. During the run today I just wanted to stop. I felt tired, like "I want to step off the road and go to sleep" tired. But I didn't. Same thing on all the bike rides this week. I averaged ~5% slower across the board. But then I realized something pretty remarkable, it was okay. Yes I want to improve, but no I'm not going to get all neurotic about it. There is time, and there are ALWAYS weeks like this. Every athlete has them. Not every workout can be a PR. In fact in part I'm writing this in the hope that another athlete somewhere, who is perhaps having a rough go of it, can relax a little and know that a bad week doesn't mean the end of things. All it really means is it is time to refocus and pay extra attention to recovery. And in my case I'm actually seeing some opportunity. Tomorrow I have another couple of hours, run day after long ride day, and I know I will be tapped out. Historically it has always been my toughest day, and historically despite struggling mightily at times, I tend to make it through the run even begin to "refind" myself in the final 30min. I think more than anything else these two days each week build my durability, and Ironman is a test of durability, not speed. Case in point, as slow as my run felt today, I averaged a faster pace than I expect to run in Coeur D'Alene.

Ahh, Coeur D'Alene. Leanna and I were at dinner last night and she asked my about the plans after Coeur D'Alene, and more specifically what I was thinking about Hawaii. Well, here it is. Kona is not in the plans. All of my eggs are in the Ironman CDA basket. It is the theme for this effort (there's always one you know and they always make themselves known!). The goal is to go under 10hrs, plain and simple. Much like the first time I went under 3hrs in the marathon, this time out I'm setting a goal time, training towards it, and will do my best to execute towards excuses. And if I come up short? Well, we'll worry about that on June 27.

This was not an easy decision, but I actually made it a while ago and I'm quite fine with it. Yes I've held this dream since I was much, much younger but in the end my dreams for my family and kids outweigh this one. Madame Pele and I may well never meet, but that's not the end of the world. Much like when I made the "honor roll" in high school cross-country, if I go under 10hrs in Idaho, I'll be able to walk away from Ironman racing satisfied... (I think!)