I’ve been in Ironman training now since the beginning of December and I have been pretty quiet on the blog. Sometimes it is hard to get started on a blog after being gone for so long. I never quite know how to begin.
So, I’ve been busy these past few months. Adjusting to training took me a little bit. I hired a coach because I wanted to be told what to do. I didn’t want to think. Turns out, it is really hard to adjust to being told what to do. It took me a good month to get into a routine and not be angry about having to make it work. Now that I am pretty well-adjusted, I enjoy looking at my email for the Training Peaks message to tell me what to do. If I had to think on top of making my body move this much, I would really be in trouble.
I’ve also been heart rate training through this whole process. The first 2 months I don’t think my body knew what to do. I don’t think I took the slow pace as hard in the beginning as some. The previous training cycle I was coaching for a group that ran significantly slower than me in the back. There were days I had to run with them so I had to learn to let my pace go. It did feel a little weird to be a slave to the heart rate, but it just became something I kept an eye on. It also helped that the only thing in my watch view is my heart rate, overall time, distance, and for cycling, my cadence. I only get an indication of pace when my watch auto-laps. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look, but I do, and lately I’ve been nothing short of pleased with my progress.
Needless to say, I’ve been working my butt off. December started out a little slow with new training, but it has been fully ramped up since then. I’ve got through a few building blocks and have entitled me to a rest week. That’s right, I’ve gotten 1 entire day off! I almost don’t know what to do when I only have 1 workout a day, either. It’s a blessing to be able to use that time to do more normal things like laundry, cleaning my house and spending extra time with my fur kids and husband. My first real rest week did exactly what it was supposed to, I got a lot of sleep and by the end I was the little energizer bunny that could hop up the hill on a short run. I was a completely different person from the one the week before that could barely keep one foot in front of the other.
I’ve really been impressed with my fitness levels. Although I’ve stayed mostly in my steady zone to build fitness, I have been able to get little glimpses of how far I’ve come. The other weekend I ran (slowly) for 5 miles then raced a 5k. I was instructed to run hard and race it. To be clear, I dislike 5ks. They hurt and they are supposed to hurt if you do it correctly. I prefer the more steady burn of endurance, but I know that speed will need to come into play here at some point in training plan. I lined up towards the front-ish of the race and I took off. I knew I was holding a good pace but I refused to look at my watch. As soon as the first mile ticked off I saw my split and yelled (pretty loud) “holy shit” to which Brian looked over at me panicked, until he saw the split. It was an 8:01. Y’all, I’ve never seen that. I’ve broken 9 a few times on good days, but I have never gotten close to flirting with a 7. I knew I probably couldn’t have held that pace so I backed off slightly and knew at 2 I’d pick it back up and 2.7 I’d give it everything that I had. Towards the end of the run I started doing the math and couldn’t quite comprehend that I could get under 26. My previous PR was a 28 and change. That’s over 2 freaking minutes! On top of it all I placed 3rd in my age group. Place for a triathlon? Sure! Never have I placed for a running race. It makes me wonder what else I’ve got stored inside of me that needs to come out!
I’ve got a few more training blocks then Texas 70.3 on April 7th. I’m going to put together a race plan with my coach, which is getting me excited. I’m hoping to be able to let loose a little on the run and try to race a little more than treating it as a long training day. I’m ready to see the engine that I have created to give me a good mental boost for what comes my way May 18th for the big dance.