When I got hurt almost five months ago, I was forced to spend all my time swimming and cycling in order to do ANY exercise outdoors, and I had this idea that I could sort of train for an Ironman, and do the Aquabike if the running part didn't work out.
Thankfully, the running injury seems to be on its way out. Yeah, my running legs are out of shape, but the cross training kept me fit enough that I don't think it will take me TOO long to get back in the swing of things. So far my running has looked like this:
July 7 - Two miles easy -- first run in over two months.
July 9 - Five miles at a 10:00 pace (walked one minute per mile)
July 10 - Two miles, 9:18 pace
July 11 - 6 miles, 9:36 pace
July 13 - 10 miles, Dead Garmin, started out with Brittany and did 8:50 and 8:30 and realized there was no way I could hold that up for the planned 8 miles, ran with Jamal who apparently hadn't run since 2012, was convinced by him to go for 10, but we spent a lot of time at the water stop and even more time walking in the last two miles. We finished a little under 2 hours from when we started, whatever that means. Rode long the next day, and kept Monday as a rest day.
July 15 - 2.25 miles, under an 8 pace. Guess my legs were pretty well rested from the two day break.
July 16 - 6.25 miles with Jack in the jogging stroller, overall pace was 9:10 but I know the first mile was pretty slow. I was happy with that, especially on the hottest and most humid day of the summer so far (real feel 104!)
July 18 - 6 miles solo easy run. First four miles were between 8:30-8:40 but the last two were over 9 and felt hard. Endurance is obviously going to take some time.
Today I'm planning to do 3 easy untimed miles, and then tomorrow a long run of 10-12 at an easy pace. I won't attempt any speedwork til we leave for the beach -- I was advised to get in four solid weeks of just building mileage. But in general, I am very thankful for how well things are going. Sub-7 minute mile repeats aren't going to happen for awhile, but I am confident they will come back.
I went back to working full time for three weeks, and then we head to the beach for two weeks. There is absolutely no way I can do the full peak season Ironman training while working full time. Last summer I didn't work at all, and was only in the "Build" phase during May and June, which isn't all that time consuming. But the last eight weeks of an IM program are tough -- most of the rides are 85-110 miles long, some followed by running, and almost every day has two workouts. I just can't do it. When I wasn't working, I'd get up at 5:30am to swim or ride, then I'd do the second workout at the gym with the kids in childcare later on in the day (usually around noon) and be done in time to make dinner and spend time with my family.
This week I thought I'd see if I could get it all in. I left my house before 6 and got in an 85 mile ride -- solo -- and finished in time to meet my family for lunch at the Whole Foods on the bike trail. I gave Jamie a break and took the kids folk dancing at Glen Echo park, came home and made dinner, and was feeling pretty good. Monday of course was a rest day.
Except teaching 7 classes at a summer program for the arts isn't really a rest day. I was exhausted when I got home at 5 p.m., but I did manage to make dinner.
Tuesday - Friday were ridiculous. Up at 5:15am to swim, teach 7 classes, home for workout #2, somehow manage to make dinner, and by the time I was ready for the next day it was 11 p.m. Last night I hit a breaking point. I had the kids all evening while Jamie went to a Nats game, and I was awoken when he arrived home after midnight. I didn't end up getting back to sleep until 2 a.m., and we had a long talk about why I was still contemplating doing this race. I skipped my planned long ride today and instead am spending the day with the children I didn't see all week.
I don't want to feel the pressure to ride 100 miles on a Saturday, because if I don't, I might not finish. I don't want to do a 4-6 hour ride during the three weekends in August that we are in North Carolina at the beach. I don't want to do double workouts every day we are down there.
So.... Iron Off.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to do ONE of the distances that weekend! I'm thinking I will do the Skipjack instead, which seems about right for the amount of training that I can put in. It's a 1.2 mile swim, 64 mile bike, and 10 mile run. Reasons why this is a much better idea:
1. I really don't want to do two loops in the swim. I just don't like swimming that much.
2. The Skipjack is half the distance AND half the price! I really have a hard time justifying a $412 race fee when we can barely afford childcare.
3. 64 miles on the bike might not make me completely hate Dora afterwards and put her away for the fall. Really, I missed out on some lovely 2012 rides because I was just so burnt out on the bike. She sat in my guest room storage closet until AFTER I broke my hip. That's 8 months of sitting.
4. I want to concentrate on running once I am back into the groove, and doing an Ironman isn't going to help me in that department.
5. Most importantly, my life needs to be in balance. I don't think it is possible to work full time, train for an Ironman, and have a balanced family life. I really don't. It doesn't matter how early you get up. It's still energy spent.
Once triathlon training becomes more stress producing than stress relieving, it's time to rethink your goals. So my new goals for summer training are:
1. Set a new PR for the Reston Century on August 25. Since this was my first century ride and I averaged less than 15 miles per hour the last time I did it, I don't think this will be too difficult.
2. Skipjack 75.2. Setting a PR will also not be too difficult, since I have never done that distance before!
And really.... I am just so thankful to be running without pain. Thankful, thankful, thankful.