Monday, April 25, 2016

Ironman NC - Training Week 1 & 2

The beginning of this year was a little rough for me when it came to training.  I've basically been on a constant training plan since 2013 and I was feeling a little burned out from it all.  I have also struggled to motivate myself to finish my PhD dissertation (something I should have finished a couple years ago).  Although I had the goal to complete an Ironman since 2012, signing up and realizing training was approaching was very overwhelming and stressed me out.  Instead of tackling things one day at a time I pretty much crawled back into my shell and became the queen of procrastination.  I started to read a 40+ books a lot :)  My "training" became sporadic and inconsistent.  I would run here and there, which made my first half marathon this year really hard, and I did almost no biking and swimming.  In March I went to Europe for 2 weeks and was sick before, during and after the trip.  I found out after my trip I had bronchitis and that was causing exercise induced asthma the few times I did attempt to workout. I missed two races because of that and had complete rest the 2 weeks before I started my Ironman training plan.  I was sick for a total of 6 weeks.  It sucked!  I write all this so you know where my starting point was.  I lost all of the fitness I built up training for my first half Ironman.  It would have been ideal to base build leading up to my IM training plan, but mentally I needed the break. It's made it harder to get started and it's frustrating to see how much I lost, but there's nothing I can do to get it back.  All I can do is move forward.  

Week One:
My hiatus in training resulted in a rough start to training.  I am out of the habit of working out consistently so diving into training two weeks ago was a shock to my system.  My first week of training was also impacted by a trip up to Boston to cheer on my uncle at the Boston Marathon.  It was a really fun weekend, but the trip caused a change in the normal schedule of my workouts.  I had to do my long bike ride after work.  I have been having a really hard time convincing myself to workout after work so having to knock out a long bike ride after teaching all day was really challenging.  I did get out and do it, but it didn't quite go like I wanted.  I did all of my workouts scheduled, with the exception of one swim.  Considering how wishy-washy I'd been with exercise the last 2 months I'm pretty happy with that.  All of my paces and times were slow, but getting it done was an accomplishment, at least for me. In a week or two when I've adjusted I'll focus more on the paces.

The most difficult thing to adjust to has been the cycling.  In some deluded part of my brain I thought I could just hop on my bike again and it would be no issue.  I knew it would hurt because you have to get used to the bike seat and position in the beginning, but I forgot how much it hurts to sit on a bike for an extended period of time.  It was PAINFUL!  I'm still not totally used to it, but I'm getting more comfortable.  Hopefully the sit bones will be broken in by next week.  The pain caused me to cut one of my bike workouts short.  I was supposed to do a 40 mile long ride, but my body was screaming at me to stop and the sun was setting so I let the mind win and stopped at 34.  My discomfort resulted in some ridiculously slow times too.  I hope I'm able to recover some speed as I get deeper into training.  I also really to get a proper fit on my bike because I'm dealing with aches and pains that shouldn't be there.  
Stats for the week:
Swim - 1 mile
Bike - 47.32 miles
Run - 15 miles
Total Mileage = 63.32 miles
Total Time Training = 6:51:04 hours

My friend Stacey and I have the same bike, (mine is a 2014 model
 and hers a 2015). We did the RTC Sprint last Saturday and I had to 
get a picture of the bike buddies.
Week Two:
Week two went a little better than week one, but my body is definitely struggling to adjust.  I was able to complete my long ride of 45 miles.  It was uncomfortable, but I managed.  I am also pleased to report that I completed every single workout on my plan!  That is something I haven't done in quite some time so it's a big deal for me.  I am determined to keep that streak up and hit all of my workouts on my plan.  I know I've lost fitness, but I trust my coach and the plan she made for me.  If I stick with it and take it one day at a time I will be read on race day.

I had two races this weekend as well and that made training a little more fun.  The first race was the Richmond Sprint Triathlon.  It was nice to open the tri season with, but it was a pool swim and a lot more aggressive and brutal than I expected and I ended up being slower than I thought I would be.  I've done less than 10 tris, but to date, that's the most I've every been kicked or hit in a race.  Overall, I ended up doing a little better than expected, despite the swim, and had a great day.  The next day I ran the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 miler with my brother.  It was a beautiful course and a great way to get a long run in.  

Stats for the week:
Swim - 2.42 miles
Bike - 67.62 miles
Run - 17.11 miles
Total Mileage = 87.15 miles
Total Time Training = 9:54:01 hours

Odds and Ends:
All the training made me tired!  I've been in the habit of going to bed early so that was really helpful to the start of training.  I was able to get up between 5-6am fairly easy to get my workouts done.  One morning I woke up really early and was at the gym by 4:30am to swim.  It was so awesome to get the workout done and out of the way for the day. I need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep to feel refreshed and ready for the day.  Others might need less, but that's what my body needs and I'm making it a priority to get at least 8 hours during my training, maybe even more when my mileage is higher and I'm in peak training.  Even with the proper sleep, I have a feeling I'm going to be feeling tired for the next six months.  

Unfortunately, I didn't make much progress on my dissertation the last 2 weeks.  I read a few articles, but that's about it.  I sent some work into my advisor to review and didn't hear anything back.  Instead of following up with her like I should have I just let it slide and enjoyed my trip.  I don't have any trips for a while though so getting into a good routine should get a lot easier this point forward.  My goal this week is to finish up my second chapter, or at least finish a full draft to send to my advisor.

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