I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to train for a Half Ironman. I’ve been training since November, and I have let the training consume my life. It has been crazy with good sides and bad sides. I’ve learned a great deal about my ego; well, I don’t think I have an ego at this point. For the next two weeks, I will be up and down with anxiety about the race, April 3rd. Whatever happens, I survived the training and have come out of, let’s say, the dark forest. I’m ready. Um, I think I’m ready.
Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned:
Nutrition: Eating lots of carbs for this race does not work for me. I started putting on weight, lots of weight, until I got a nutritionist to place me in keto. You know, ketosis, like Atkins. It works. You can workout and stay in keto, but you have to give your body time to convert.
Workout Plan: It’s time consuming. I cannot imagine training for a Full Ironman. Training for a Half left me drained and tired, and it’s all I thought about. Um, it’s all I am still thinking about.
Find a Coach: Make sure this coach is not your friend because you will hate him. Sorry, Coach Frank. Find a coach that will push you even when you think you can’t do it.
Find a Group: Working out in a group is motivating sometimes. If you know have to run because your group is meeting at a certain time, you show up and complain with everyone else for the first ten minutes, and then you start laughing. But sometimes, it works to train on your own because you will be on your own during your race. I’ve shown up to meet my group for a training run, and then I’ve run my own pace on my own. Sometimes, it just helps to meet a group to get you out the door.
Ego: I thought I was a pretty good cyclist until I bought a Tri bike and realized that it’s not a road bike, and there is no way to draft someone’s wheel safely. That’s all right. You cannot draft in a race. I also thought I was pretty good until I started climbing some bad hills and ended in tears many times. Good-bye, ego. Swimming and running? Yep. Still working on those skills.
Trust the Training Plan: I didn’t follow my training plan for a run and strained a muscle. I was out for 2.5 weeks and am still nursing the injury. Trust the coach’s training plan and do not let other people push you into going faster or going off your plan. Trust the plan and yourself.
Breaks: It is all right to take a break. Listen to you body and take a break if you need it because if you don’t, your body will take a break for you with sickness or injury. I’ve experienced both.
Relieving the Anxiety: My anxiety reliever involved making brownies. Not anymore. No sugar. I bought some motivational tattoos because there is no way I am getting a real one, and I’m listening to my hypnosis downloads. I just have to get the anxiety down before the race. I guess writing this blog helps, too.
As I begin to taper and the race approaches, one thought keeps entering my mind: What the hell am I doing?