Not a Sprint, Not Yet a Half

This is totally going to be me. Obvi. SOURCE
This is totally going to be me. Obvi. SOURCE


I signed up for the Olympic distance race at Wildflower this weekend — not the half. This should not be particularly shocking. Pretty much everyone agreed that since I haven’t run 13 miles since the beginning of March and the whole four weeks off running I probably shouldn’t do it for the first time in the middle of a race. The new swim-run-bike-run format should help me too. Maybe. Hopefully. And, the Olympic race is hard enough and competitive enough that it should be more than enough of a first race back.

Of course, I also sort of have a terrible relationship with the Wildflower Olympic race and did not enjoy the two times I’ve done it — one of which ended up in a DNF and the other with an IV in my arm and me swearing off the event. The whole starting at 10:15 a.m. and having to be stuck at a campground with limited food and water did not work well for me. I’m still not excited about the fact that the 29&Under and 30-39 year-old women have to start after all the men, all the older women’s age groups, the Team-in-Training group, and over an hour after the collegiate women’s wave at 9:05 a.m. And, then they throw everyone back together for the overall results, as if some people didn’t have to deal with more heat and crowds than others. That’s some bullshit.

Ideally, I’ll do well enough to be in a position to actually care about the overall. But, that may not end up being a problem. We’ll see.

Yesterday, I went for my hard(ish) run around 5 p.m. when it was about 90 degrees. HEAT WAVE. I figured it’d be good practice for stupid Wildflower. I tried to do a series of 4′ efforts at tempo/half-marathon pace mixed with some shorter, faster things. It did not go well. I didn’t necessarily feel that hot, but I did feel that heavy and drained and awful. I had to bail halfway through the third round. Then, after a brief walk/rest, I jogged the three miles home. That was when I realized I was messed up. But, I told myself ‘I’m going to feel terrible at the end of Ironman. If I can’t run IM race pace now, I won’t be able to then.’ So, I did. It hurt and the whole thing was ugly. Usually, I probably would have shuffled and maybe walked given how I felt, but I didn’t. And, then, my heartrate didn’t go below 100 for about 30′ after I stopped running.

Even jumping in the pool for a few minutes didn’t help much. And, then, today, I tried to go for my bike ride with some short 1′ and 2′ race efforts. My heartrate and power numbers said I was still physically messed up, though. I cut the ride short and thought I’d feel better to go for a swim later. I never felt better. In fact, I felt worse all day. I couldn’t do anything. I, evidently, went through some minor heatstroke yesterday and still have a very mild cold, which is turning into a cough and making it hard to sleep at night. I don’t think I’ve been eating well either. I also, evidently, picked up the ability to really fuck myself up in training at some point, which was not a skill I can say I had before.

At this point, right this second, I don’t think I could even finish an Olympic distance triathlon, much less worry about finishing it quickly. Usually, I don’t feel that way until after a race, not four days before. Guess it’s good I decided not to do the half.

Something I Do Not Understand About Trainers, Fitness Instructors, Coaches, Etc

Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should do that something + more or harder or faster. Sometimes it does, but not every time. Just because I can hold 1:20s at swimming doesn’t mean I should, nor does it necessarily mean I should try to hold 1:15s and not make it through the set. Just because I could do plank push-ups at TRX today, didn’t mean they were easy or that I should do something harder. I actually could only do a set amount of them before my arms gave out — but I guess I looked stoic while doing it, so the instructor kept trying to get me to do harder stuff until I couldn’t. Why the insistence on pushing until failure? That’s fine sometimes (sometimes we need that), but sometimes doesn’t it make more sense to do the hard thing that you can do well, instead of the harder thing that you can’t quite do poorly.

Signs You Are Really Fucking Tired From Training

1. Any of NBC’s sports coverage makes you tear up.
2. Actually, just about everything makes you want to cry.
3. You consider paying a neighbor to go get you a burrito from the place a mile away, because biking there is impossible.
4. Instead, you download every food delivery apps you can find, hoping one of them will deliver the burrito for you.
5. The floor doesn’t just seem like a good place to sleep; it seems like the best place. Because you’re already there.
6. You start to think NCIS is good show, because the remote is too far away to change the channel.
7. Finding the remote sounds like a lot of work.
8. Eating sounds like a lot of work.
9. Getting up sounds like a lot of work.
10. Maybe it’s not you. Maybe there’s some kind of magnetic force field that has actually nailed your legs to the ground.
11. Maybe you did something really hard this morning, like squats while sprinting uphill, with a tire on your back. You don’t think so, but you can’t remember. It sounds possible.
12. Biking the 2.8 miles slowly from the ferry to work makes your legs burn. BURN.
13. You really don’t want to train anymore. At all. Ever. Maybe you’ll just become a bum.