Ok Wednesday was a soul crushing kind of workout that had me freaking out and wondering if I was going to be suffering through this Ironman with legs that didn't feel like they had put in all those miles this past 10 months.
It consisted of 3 min at IM to 70.3 watts, then 2 min above that to threshold and repeat 3 times, easy for 5 min and repeat 2 more times for a 1.5 hour ride. This was effort that last week I was holding for 4 sets of 45 minutes no problem, not breathing heavy feeling strong.
It nearly annihilated me. Ironman Watts, HR was 20 beats over what it normally was, legs felt powerless, and I was working so hard I felt like I was going to puke. WTF. 10 days out and I couldn't hold IM watts for 3 minutes...never mind the 5.5-6 hours I will need to hold it race day.
The last week I hadn't been feeling so hot either, the drop in training had everything aching, tightening and generally feeling exhausted and like shit.
I quit the workout early, something I've only done 3 or 4 times since this started last year. It was a hard mental hit. But I was killing myself to hit something that shouldn't be that hard, and decided to listen to my body. So I took off the bike shoes swapped them for my Newtons and head out for the run.
Ugh. I felt like I was slogging through mud, stomach wasn't happy, well crap. I draw a lot of confidence from how I feel off the bike, and if I feel like this race day its going to be a hell of a long day. I could hit the paces I was aiming for but HR was high and it felt like a lot of work from step 1. Ironman is too damned long to be working that hard from the first step, I don't think I would be able to hold it. When last week I held it no problem after a 4 hour bike ride.
Ok I know this is the taper, don't freak out. My body is rebelling from not getting its hit of endorphins and all the good stuff it likes from the high volume and intensity. After that workout I felt like I had the flu, head was hot, body was cold stomach did not want to take anything in. Not feeling like the invincible athlete on a high of performance that I was feeling before.
So I e-mailed my Lucho a rambling note, not even sure it made much sense, complaining of pain and tightness and fears of crashing and burning in this race.
His words back to me were simple, and what I knew in my head essentially the unload of fatigue is cause me to feel out of sorts, brush it off and rest up.
So I had a glass of wine a hot bath and went to bed early hoping the next day would feel better.
That was rock bottom. I woke up the next morning feeling like myself for the first time in a week or two. That sparked something up in me, I had a swim on the schedule and I actually felt energised and wanted to attack it. Even more shocking in the water I felt wicked strong and smooth, not dragging my ass through it.
Now the 2nd session on the schedule was a nap, and the 3rd said "Nothing else today". Wellll.....I was feeling good and I just got a delivery, a new pair of Newton MV3 racing flats that I was excited to try out. So I went out for an teeny little run, just 3 miles. Oh man did I need that. I felt fluid and like running was the most natural thing in the world, no slogging through mud today. Not on the schedule but mentally was great for me, just feeling back to normal.
That has continued today on a bike ride today holding IM watts not even getting my HR into zone 2, breathing easily. Thank-goodness. I knew in my head I hadn't lost the fitness, but I'm so glad I'm on my way up from the rock bottom of taper madness. I forgot how much it sucked, but don't despair and don't freak out and over train if you find yourself in this position, it will pass!
8 days to Ironman