I haven’t posted an update since January when I did Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon about what I’ve been doing to prepare for my big event this year -- Ironman Wisconsin. Since January, I’ve only done two organized events -- the Silverback Sprint Triathlon and my 14th Bix 7. After New Orleans, I got into a great routine of triathlon training, slowing increasing my workload every month and looking forward to testing out my fitness in June at the Legends 70.3 distance. Along the way, I ran into some major “challenges” (some are good challenges!). In February, I put my condo on the market and by the beginning of April, I had sold my condo, moved, got engaged, started planning a wedding and made an annual weekend trip home to Iowa for Easter. I was mentally maxed out by the beginning of April when it was time to turn 30 years old! I was excited for the “big day” and Adam had taken off work to spend the day with me exercising and indulging in Kansas City’s best food and drink offerings. Well….
On April 9th, my 30th birthday, Adam and I set out for a windy bike ride in Wyandotte Lake Park. If there’s two things I can’t stand when biking, it’s cold and wind. The wind was blowing around 20mph on this day but we made it to the park. Wrapping up our first hilly lap, I was stung by something which led to immediate pain in my left quad. I reacted in an unfortunate way by squeezing the brakes and flying overtop my handlebars. Before I knew it Adam and a nearby fisherman were standing over me trying to figure out what to do. I finally got my breath to talk, swore I’d never ride again, and was picked up by our amazing friend Debbie.
I had road rash pretty severely on my ride shoulder and back, but other than that, a knick on the ankle and hip was all that needed patching. I had also hit my head pretty hard, threw away my cracked helmet and was in bed for 10 days with some banged up ribs. Overall, I was lucky, but it made for a miserable start to April. I can easily say I’ve never been tested more than in the month of April 2015. If there’s a bright side, Adam seemed to handle me with extreme care and help nurse me back to health. All the while accidentally giving me poison oak which in conjunction with the road rash, kept me out of the pool for two full weeks.
Starting to feel better, I unfortunately experienced a back injury as a result of potting flowers and bending over to feed my cat. May was full of resting and stretching and getting proper medical attention to help me overcome all of the lower back pain. And then June… No way was I ready to do a 70.3 distance. I could hardly bend over without sharp pain in my back but I opted to at least attempt the sprint distance. I had a slight panic attack in the choppy waters of Clinton Lake but overall, survived the triathlon and started long-term recovery from back problems.
Fast forward two months. I’ve hit over 15 hours per week on average in the month of August. This is below average for an Ironman triathlete, by the way. Some call it “peak” training time. I call it ROCK BOTTOM! Nothing about how I feel right now is screaming “peak” to me. I sleep hard, train long, eat hard and can barely manage close relationships (excluding Adam, he’s hanging in there with me exceptionally well). I simply do not understand how people train for these long races. I’m spent. I wish I could get to the point where I can start thinking about future Ironman races, but I can’t even imagine trying to train like this ever again. I’m tired of being in bed around 8:30, I’m tired of packing a massive lunch because I know I’ll be so hungry after a 3000m+ swim, and I’m tired of every mile of a long run feeling like the last mile of a marathon.
I’m also tired of complaining, so thank you for catching up with me and reading about my progress. I promise I’m in a happy place right now. I’m just exhausted and ready to be merry and to be married. I really hope that someone... anyone who reads this doesn’t feel like they’re the only one who struggles with the long, dedicated hours of training that goes into any long event.
My race is in three weeks. The “taper” starts this week but I’m not so quick to call it a taper. I’m still biking for 5 hours on the weekend and running almost 3 hours on Sunday.