This weeks summary is going to be short because if truth be known, I am exhausted. I have been told that this was the hardest week of my training cycle, and I am holding on to those words to help get me through the next 55 days until the Half Ironman race.
This week's challenges were mostly in the run and the bike segments. The New Orleans Rock N Roll Half Marathon is next Sunday, so this was the last chance to get in some long runs in preparation for the race. I had some pent up anxiety all week as I entered into some long training days. I've only had one or two 8-9 mile runs so far and was losing confidence in my ability to complete another long run. I had a few medium length runs (6-8 miles) early to mid week, intermixed with some Fartlek workouts and some hills to throw in a bit more of a challenge. The final long run came on Saturday when I had one last chance to hit my pre-race training goal of 10 miles before I am to race in the half-marathon. By Saturday, the weeks training was taking a toll and I was pretty tired. I did manage somehow to HTFU (see abbreviation post) and push through the fatigue to get those ten miles in within my goal time frame of 1:45:00, giving me a 10:30 pace. It may not have been super-fast or super-pretty, but it was completed. And I now have some screwed up toenails to show for the effort. And the confidence that I can do this.
Today ended the week with my longest ride to date ~ four hours and about 60 miles, followed by a 10-15 minute run. My performance was a bit lack-luster, but I learned a lot about the need for better pre-training nutrition, the importance of changing into an easier gear and cranking up the cadence when you are dying, and the joy of having faster people with you that can pull you along when you are tired. I also learned to fight the negative self-talk that creeps in when I am disappointed in my performance. Emotion is a hard thing to control, and I struggle sometimes with keeping the smile on my face when I'm suffering. Shout out to Lizzard for helping me work through some of the mental game today and helping me to keep it all in perspective. My mental challenges today led me to my post on mental toughness. Chrissie Wellington, I don't know how you do it, but I wish you'd share your secret!
Planned Training: 15:09
Actual Training: 14:11