Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius
Ironman training comes with a roller coaster of emotions, and one of the most prevalent is doubt. It doesn’t help when you’re sick a month from the race and battling Achilles and plantar fasciitis issues, but I am remaining positive and in “everything happens for a reason” mode.
Yesterday was massage day and my therapist basically told me, “my body is a wreck.” Oddly, it was my back and shoulders that seemed the most jacked up as she wrenched on the sore tendons. I told her to “Make me squirm,” and it was easy to oblige.
On top of that, I started getting a sore throat Tuesday night and spent most of the day inhaling fresh juice and tons of water. It took about a day to release that problem, but I’m still weak and congested. One month away from Ironman and I am not sure I could comfortably run a mile.
I keep reminding myself that Ironman training is a lesson in patience. You can’t “always” be ready to race and a major part of training is breaking your body down, so you can build it back up. Today, I have a great opportunity.
One thing I wish I did was keep a food journal because I think that is likely where my problem lies. I get sloppy with my diet because of ravenous hunger and next thing I know I am plowing down tortilla chips. That’s one place for change or I may soon be smiling on the open road behind the wheel of this truck.
Nothing about Ironman says “moderation” and honestly, that is a major conflict with my training and racing. I get to points where my body feels invincible and push it over the edge, only to wake up the next day feeling like I got run over by my own 18 Wheeler.
With that in mind, here’s my latest thought on training for Ironman with a month left. I’m supposed to be in “build” phase, but since I am “building” from a trough of exhaustion, I have to be careful about my workouts. Because if I have one mantra about racing an Ironman, it is this: “I simply want to feel great on race day.”
So, that could very well mean I won’t have a full distance swim, bike, or run under my belt when I toe the line in Louisville. In fact, I won’t even really be close in any of the three. My longest swim is around 3,200 meters, bike is 80 miles, and run is 12 miles. How in the hell do I think I’ll be able to do a full Ironman on August 24th?
With patience and confidence.
This race is one stroke, one spin, and one stride at a time. None of mine will (or should) be at max effort. For me it’s about finding your flow and managing pain.
As I write this, doubt is all over my body and mind, but it’s because of how I feel right at this moment. My opportunity is to listen to my body. To start fueling, resting, and “building” within my limits.
With one month left, I have to let go of doubt and fear, trust where I’ve been, and believe I will be prepared to face that moment with the same weapons I’ve been using today.