Friday, April 20, 2012

The tale of 2 years!

The title of this blog could have had different variations, however this was the best I could come up with. As you will read below you you know that my last 2 years of Ironman training and preparations have been nothing short of...


Granted, both years/results have been amazing and far from what I really expected. However, I can really separate the last 2 years into 2 categories... Pre-Kona and Post-Kona.

So, in the categories, I will focus on the Pre-Kona first.

For me, it was exactly what the below photos indicate.

Smooth sailing & living the dream.

I was injury free, free from illness and was just ticking off sessions left right and centre without any dramas (besides fatigue building up) and getting results. I broke the 80min mark for a 1/2 Marathon, got myself a top 10 overall in a 70.3 race and had a great race at Hawaii.

I almost felt:

Nothing was stopping me getting my sessions done, heck, I even was doing 5hr Indoor Trainer sessions, doing double 4hrs rides with 40min runs, running 100k a week became the normal.

The only thing I was suffering from was general fatigue and soreness. I was right on top of this and was getting treatment twice weekly.

Fast forward into Post Kona time:

I started to have feet trouble, developed plantar fasciitis, tried to train and race through it, still got results and didn't give it the respect it deserved. I managed my first Overall win (Murray Man), and then things turned south. I headed to Phuket 70.3 to try and jag another spot for Kona, got off the bike in 1st in my a/g, however just had to walk the run leg, well run walk. If you read my Phuket race report you will see that it was a bit of a run/walk thanks to winner Michael Raelert spurring me on!

A long December followed without being able to walk properly, taking time off to enjoy some normality in my life. I started back around Christmas with the boys just riding with the occasional run thrown in. 1 run, 2-3days off running, frustration.

So we re-jigged the program to try and manage the PF and get some running done in the lead up to Ironman Melbourne.

There was nothing smooth about this race build. Just a total management of my body, my motivation and my training. Having good weeks, bad weeks and weeks in between meant the I was very unsure about how I would fair in the race. I gained some confidence very late in the build after getter 2 100k run weeks in the legs.

The most frustrating thing about my build was that there was no pattern for when my feet were so sore I couldn't stand. It wouldn't necessarily be after a 2.5-3hr run, it might be after a run free day, or it could be after an easy 30min run, or even off the bike which prevented me from completing the session.

So heading into Melbourne, I decided just to lay everything on the line as it was such a special day for me for so many reasons! I got through this race with a result that I would only ever dream about with having a ride/run and overall PB. Joining the sub 9 club and then earning another qualification for Kona was just the icing for me.

Since then I recovered and starting getting back into it, a bit of inconsistency for family reasons (my choice and one that I loved making) and now this week falling sick. Heading to bed Tuesday night at 9pm (normal time) looking forward to swimming the following morning (Did I really just write that??).

The alarm going off at just after 5am, I tried to open my eyes and my body just felt dead. No energy, nothing, I even struggled to move to find the alarm to turn it off. I fell back asleep and before I knew it, 8am, same feeling, decided to take the day off as I just couldn't move.

Next thing I knew, midday, then 3pm, then 5pm. I forced myself to get up and try and move around. Sitting with no energy on the couch hoping that I was just tired and then tried to eat, just a small meal is all I could consume, a bit of water and some strepsils that my sister got for me.

7.30pm, lights out. Boom, 7am wake up. So from 9pm the Tuesday night until 7am Thursday morning I think that I was awake for a total of 4hrs. Now, that's not like me at all.

I decided to head to work to get active and maybe just try to fight it off naturally. Nope, 1pm, exhausted, off to the Dr. The verdict...Tonsillitis for now. 5 days of anti-biotics to follow along with Echinacea, garlic, Zinc & vitamin C tablets and blood tests if I am no better over the weekend.

Will this stop me?

As much as I listen to my body and am a big advocate for it, until I am told to stop I will just tick over and keep myself in shape. Right now I have stopped, into day 3 of nothing, just letting the body recover.

Am I getting a big Nervous?

For sure. I am never one to want to race ugly, but I might not have any choice! I know that mentally I just need to tick off a few big sessions to rebuild my confidence. With only 2 weeks to go, time is running out for this, however I am always up for the challenge!

Although I might get to the start line looking like the above, the motto is exactly what I will be about. I might be underdone, but I sure do know what it takes to fight out and Ironman race!

And like with anything:

So for me, it is more rest & recovery, pumping drugs into my body and trying to get myself ready to go again sooner rather than later. I am not going to force it that's for sure, I do it because I love it!

For Now...


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