Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I know this much is true

I know a lot of things (not everything, trust me, just go with me here for a minute).

I know that taking a month off after CdA was important for me to do.  I was afraid of getting burned out with only half the season behind me (and the rest of my life in front of me).  I spent a lot of time in May on a bike looking forward to sleeping in and having Oreos for breakfast and I reveled in it.  But a month was a long time, and by the end of it I was itching to get back in the swing of training.  I know that is true.


I know that no matter how gently I eased back into training, my body was going to be pretty crabby about it for a while.  Going from minimal activity - 30-60 minutes, if any, per day - back into what I would consider a fairly normal training schedule was always going to be a bit of a shock.  That isn't making me less pissy about not being able to hit a lot of my workouts right now, but deep inside, I know it's going to be okay.  And my body, it is in shock right now.  Wide-eyed open-mouthed horrified terror about what the fuck has happened to the nice life with the naps and the cookies and the sex.  

I know that if I take four caffeinated gels to get through a 5K swim because I forgot to eat after a 7+ mile run, I will not sleep well for two days.  But I do it anyway.  

I know that I have a 70.3 in a few weeks and need to be doing appropriate training to have a good - or maybe even great - day there.  Taking a month off meant I couldn't increase my time on the bike one mile per week.  It instead means that I need to be yanked through the glass.  Fitness by force.

I know that most of the time I need to just man up and get through the workout but sometimes, every once in a while, it's okay to crawl home with only half of it done and sleep for the next 18 hours.  In a row.  And I will not proudly hop on the internet and declare, "I LISTENED TO MY BODY" because I know that I want to punch people in the piehole for saying shit like that.  And it wasn't really listening, anyway, it was more like giving in.  Like letting the water close over your head and floating down into the dark. 

I know that Sonja can't hear me when I stomp my little foot and say things like, "Today I am NOT getting on the bike for the 7th 3+ hour ride in two weeks SONJA," but I say it anyway.  And then I get on the bike anyway.  


I know that my fitness isn't gone, it is just in a valley from my layoff.  A valley that would either take three months of base building or two weeks of soul-crushing workouts to rise up from.  Guess which one I'm doing.  

I know that laying in bed in the dark breathing through my nose to try and force my resting heart rate below 40 is not listening to the feedback I'm getting about how rested I am.  But Restwise sure does like it when I plug in that 39.

I know that deep down, I'm actually really REALLY excited about racing this fall.  It's just hard to remember that through the bleary haze of tired that I'm wandering around in during the few hours a day I'm not on my bicycle (what IS it with so much time on the bike this block???).

I know that sometimes all it takes for a ride to go from grumbly and hard to happy and chipper is stopping to pet the alpacas (and pee behind that farmer's mailbox).  
I know that in about two weeks, I'll come out of the nasty funk slump I'm in.  I'll start tapering for my race and my legs will perk up and I'll be able to stay awake later than 7pm and my voice will stop sounding like Darth Vader (bizarre side effect of being exhausted) and I won't be cursing Sonja's name when I look at my schedule on Tuesday morning (love you, Son, you know that, sorry about dragging your good name through the mud).  I won't have to remind myself to blink or finish sentences.  The ride where I rode so hard that I cooled down in aero with my head propped up on my water bottle because my arms were too weak to hold myself up on the bullhorns will be a distant memory.  I'll be excited about being back in the swing of things, I'll be so ready to go out and just plain old fucking hurt myself, to see if I really can put the pieces all in the right order all at once all in one day.  

I know that I do all of this because I love it.  Because there's nothing better than the sound of you and your girlfriends clipping in and rolling out to explore on two wheels.  Because no matter how much it hurts, to run across that finish line - be it ironman or the tiniest smallest sprint ever - and know that you turned yourself inside out - that is one of the great reasons to be alive.  To have a life where you wake up and go run or ride or swim and then come back to the table to stuff yourself with pancakes and gasp over the details (your husband being the possible exception to NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR WATTS) with your sweaty partner, that is the life I want.  

I know this much is true.  

28 comments:

  1. How do you like using Restwise? Still need to email you back, but I'm probably stuck on the trainer for at least some of Saturday's ride (need to be done early for engagement shower before the party. . ugh). . Trying to figure out how to make Sunday productive!

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  2. Getting back in the swing of things is rough. I'm having the hardest time getting to bed at a reasonable time, then I have a hard time getting up early to fit a workout in, and it is a vicious cycle every day. And as much as it stinks yanking your body through the glass door of fitness, it will feel really good once you are there to stay and the workouts won't feel so bad anymore.

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  3. Great post lady. You'll be out of the funk in about 30 seconds. For reals. When are you coming to visit? And when can I pet an alpaca?

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  4. I am really looking forward my time off in the next couple of weeks. But i'm sure I will be itching to get back into it as well

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  5. OMG!!!! There are alpacas on your route? Holy shit, I'm moving!

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  6. I love how you get cranky when you work out. ;o)

    BTW, I channelled my inner Katie at my last race. In the last 3/4 mile, I kept thinking of you and telling myself it was ok to go where it hurts. It did hurt. Bad. But I finished that sucker strong. :o)

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  7. Time off is awesome but it can definitely be a challenge to get back into the swing of things. You have a strong spirit so I'm sure you'll be back to your usual training self in no time.
    I saw a quote in the book I'm reading about turning your mind off during a race. I'll email you (if I remember) about it soon.

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  8. Cranky Katie, grumbling coach's name, must be training time again!

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  9. The funks help us appreciate those workouts where we have all the energy in the world.
    GREAT to see you back in the workout mode.
    Also I MUST HAVE ALPACA RIDES! Please take me with you.

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  10. Ironman is absolutely a peak, and coming down the back side of that hill is not something that we prepare for mentally. It took me a long time (maybe 3 months?) to get back to "normal" physically and mentally, then maybe another 3 months to get back into a regular heavy training routine. If you try to rush it, you will just get more frustrated. I tried to rush it.

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  11. Alpacas! They would turn any rough day around pretty quickly.

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  12. Great post - definitely interesting how the thing we love so much can also be so painful/frustrating at times. Good luck busting through the slump! (and exactly WHERE are those alpacas?!? love em)

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    1. Middleburg! Come ride with me, I'll show you.

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  13. Yeah you'll be shaking off that funk in no time! Excited that you will be at B2B!

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  14. Alpacas! I wish I could pet the buffalo on my running route. Instead I just stare at them while they continue to not give an everloving shit about me.

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    1. Me unclipping my shoe scared the everloving shit out of them.

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  15. The getting back into training funk is almost bad enough that it makes you want to not take that time off after a big race. Are the laziness and 50 million oreos worth the result? Of course the no time off strategy means you most likely end up getting injured and have to deal with it anyway.

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  16. Something I know for sure: Unless you are an elliptical slave who spends her (workout) life putting in the requisite 30 minutes per day without fail, you will have peaks and valleys in training. There are moments, sometimes between pee breaks and alpaca interactions, that make you think you've found the perfect balance between being overworked and overrested, but most of the time, it's a bit of a struggle to be good to your training schedule, your body and your mind at the same time. The fact that you see it as a worthy struggle is how you know you're on the right track. Keep up the good work!

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  17. I'm learning that the "I listened to my body and did this instead" is more often a crutch and excuse rather than an actual reason. Sure, if you are really injured stop and listen, or don't start and get checked out. But the "I'm achy and I know it's my bodies way of telling me I need a break" excuse doesn't do anyone any favors.
    I know, I have used this ALOT in the past. It's justification for laziness, for not putting in the effort. Here's the amusing part- you (the collective you, not the you you) made the decision to train for this race/tri/marathon/whatever, so you are only cheating yourself when you bail out.
    Last night is a perfect example for me- my training called for a 4 mile run. I didn't want to do 4, and told myself that when I finished this loop the 3+alittle would be good enough. But when I finished that loop, I dug deep and ran past my turn home so I could get my 4 miles in. Wiser minds than mine created this ttraining plan and it's mine to choose to follow. But if I want to perform my BEST on race day, I'm going to keep digging deep.
    I know this much is true for me :)

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  18. Wow, this got my ass out of bed for my measly 5 miles this morning. Thank you! And keep going! You're a serious inspiration.

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  19. Love it! I think you need to adopt an alpaca! So cute. The pups would love one to play with...

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  20. A good alpaca sighting might not cure everything, but it sure will lift your spirits. Truth.

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  21. this is amazing. I think I love you!

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  22. Another prolific post! Loved it.

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  23. Been stalking your archives, I'll step out of stalkerdom and comment now. :) Love this post. I'm jealous of your alpacas. Best thing in Texas we get is cows on our rides, but I moo at all of them. They just look at me like I'm crazy.

    I'm just at the end of training for my first 70.3 (5 weeks away!!!) and doing my first marathon 6 weeks later (either it's going to be the best thing ever or the worst decision of my life...). I'm both SO FREAKIN READY for a month of underwater basket weaving and scared of losing all this precious fitness. I'm resisting all winter races and giving myself something I haven't in almost 2 years... true downtime.

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  24. glad to hear i'm not the only one who puts the "yay i listened to my body" people on my PIWTP list! :)

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  25. Very well written. I had been in a haze for the past two weeks with the volume going through the roof and one more interval to do. It all hurt and this 70.3 was the perfect break.

    Thank you so much for posting this.

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