August 23, 2011

The great unknown...the double!

It’s the great unknown. I can honestly say that I feel as though I am going into my first Ironman and I feel like my head is below the surface of the water right now. It’s a very weird feeling and it’s been mixed bag since July. There have obviously been feelings of pure elation that I had worked so hard for so long and finally seen the fruits of my labor, but then came the pangs of fear of, “wait, I have to do another ironman in only 10 weeks?!?!?” I feel like I’ve been thru the wringer in terms of emotions for this and I just want to apologize for anyone who has been caught in the collateral crossfire.
As a self coached athlete, I tend to rely on several folks to kind of bounce ideas off of and mimic what I have seen works for me/them. Unfortunately for me, I only know of one other person who has done Ironman Lake Placid – Kona double in the same season. Most folks whom I have come in contact with have qualified at late season races like Wisconsin and Florida and those have slotted them entry for the following year, allowing them the time to adequately train for such a big endeavor. Or they have done so at Texas which is early season, allowing them time to come down from IM and rest before going back at it.

So what do you do? You play with the cards that you’re dealt and you map out a plan. My loose plan was to take a week of recovery after IMLP and then just kind of get right back to it and into the swing of 20+ hour training weeks. I’m calling an “audible” this week and swapping stuff around though to make this a rest week. I’m in need of a breather and I feel like I’m just going thru the motions if I don’t rest this week. My legs have that dull ache that reminds me that I probably haven’t recovered from IMLP yet.

Again, it’s the big unknown. I’ve never done two Ironman’s in one season, let alone two so close together. Friends that have doubled in a single season have always had adequate time in between so I can’t even lean on them for support/advice. It’s very daunting to be heading to the Ironman World Championships and wanting to perform at your very best, while also trying to figure out heat acclimation strategies, drop those last few pounds to get to race weight, navigate workout schedules, uniform choices, equipment issues, finding places to swim over the summertime and also adjusting to using a different nutrition strategy (solely using the crappy Ironman Perform drink mix rather than my tried and true Gatorade and CarboPro mixture) prior to the big dance. That combined with a more intense workload and a 40 hour work week, puts my stress budget thru the roof. Sorry friends if I have been a little “off” lately… I think I’m just nervous and anxious and ready to get this thing on the road.
So with that being said, I’m taking a rest week this week and that will free up my schedule a little bit. I’m going to re-collect myself and take care of some of the little things this week to get those out of the way. I know I’ve been a little bit negative lately to those that have been around and I apologize. My roommate last night said to me, “I’m done with this pity party, don’t bitch about having to get on your bike, you’re going to Hawaii” and that kind of slapped me in the face and back to reality. I know that I am incredibly grateful that I am headed to the Big Island and MANY folks would kill to be in my spot right now, so I have to make the best decision about training I can. And that means resting this week, pushing thru the next few weeks and then getting ready for race day. We had a discussion about how I could just do nothing for the next few weeks and I’m still going to Hawaii, but that’s not my style. If I’m going to race against the worlds best in the toughest course around, then I want to be in peak physical condition to do so. Besides, I think the Ironman gods would smite me if I just took it as a 17 hour pleasure cruise. Madame Pele would be pissed and no one needs that…

Anyway, the point of this post was that the last few weeks I have lacked the real motivation to get out there and get stuff done with a purpose. I felt like I was going out for rides because I HAD to not because I wanted to get it done. That’s not right. I mentioned how I can’t even use visualizations about running down Ali’i drive or hitting the energy lab as motivation to get me going because I don’t want to fuzzy those visualizations with the real memories I will be making in only a few weeks. So a rest week is needed to recharge the batteries and then get after it. There’s only 45 days left to the big dance and I will be prepared. Rest assured. Now I just need to let my body heal some, get some SOLID amounts of sleep and be ready to attack the next few weeks with a vengeance.

Rest hard friends, the season isn't over yet....see you on the roads in a little bit.  Cheers.


Alexa said...

sounds like you're making the right call! it's going to be an awesome experience, that's for sure!

Tim said...

I applaud the verbal slap she gave you. It's like winning the lottery and then whinning because you have to pay taxes. You do need more rest though so I'm glad you're taking it. Stay Thirsty my Friend.