Back at it: Chapter 4
Obviously this is not a video as I had hoped to do but I'm holding myself accountable so here is my update.
I have had one, very unique thought during the last month of training which I have never had before, I regularly felt that training was a job. For the first time ever I wasn't having fun while training. It was starting to feel like a job and was consequently changing my attitude toward triathlon. I have always said that when and if I find my limits or if I stop having fun then I will step away from it. Was now the time to graciously bow out? I voiced my concerns and change of attitude to Meliss and reflected quite regularly on why I started to feel this way. As I come to the end of this building block of training I think an answer has emerged.
This culminating block of training was focused on running and building speed. While I knew my body would be able to tolerate the increased stress, without fear of injury, I underestimated the impact of that stress and the required recovery. My legs quickly accumulated a higher level of fatigue from the speed stress. For most athletes dealing with fatigue and its byproducts can be difficult. Having slightly elevated levels of fatigue assures an athlete that they had worked hard but it can also trigger feelings of doubt as one attempts to dump that fatigue and ponders when they will feel strong again. I'd like to believe that my current state of fatigue is reason for the shift in attitude. When I cant do what I want because of being physically tired I become frustrated, irritated and depressed. This state of mind has not allowed me to see, appreciate and trust the fitness I have and the work I have put in. As my legs have started to bounce back that excitement and hunger to train is beginning to return. While I have experienced this cycle of train, rest, repeat many times before this was the first time when training was no longer fun. With all this being said Id like to believe my body responded well to the speed work. I guess we shall see when I come to harvest these seeds in June.
I have really enjoyed the process of pedaling my bike, putting in the work and reaping the rewards over the past few months. Despite my best physical efforts I'm reluctant to say that I made enough progress to have a sub 2:30 split which doesn't sit well with me. So, how can I still go sub 2:30? In years past I have raced on Gatorskins and butyl tubes with the logic of avoiding losing time do to flatting. On this setup I have been able to split 2:30 multiple times however I have come to the realization and understanding that I'm giving up a lot of speed. In order to offset my fitness deficit I will be making the switch to race specific tires and latex tubes. With great conditions, perfect racing and a new set up I can hopefully split sub 2:30
As with any training plan there is the ideal and then the reality of executing it. Over the years I have been able to unlocked the door to swimming success (in the pool). I know what needs to get done however life has been getting in the way. The reality is that I have not been consistently splashing around in the pool which leaves me frustrated and with a touch of anxiety. The goal for the next month is to splash around as frequently and consistently as possible. On a side note I have donned a wetsuit a few more times and it is eye opening how slippery you are through the water. I'm definitely looking forward to the wetsuit swim in June.
I have two prep events before the Patriot Half in June. First up is the Bridgehampton Half Marathon (this weekend). Ill be adding a few extra miles onto this race as it will serve as one of my last long runs. For the first time in 3 years Ill be headed back to Harriman State Park for the Harriman Olympic Triathlon. This race will be a great opportunity to knock the race rust off and to put in a really hard effort.